In Training

As part of our continuing training regime we try to walk wherever we go, time permitting. Actually, time permitting means we rarely walk wherever we go but we do make the effort to walk to any dinner engagements or on days out. For instance, on a recent day out to London we walked to Benfleet station, a distance of four miles and had every intention of walking home on our return. Luckily my continuing efforts to perfect my rain dance, for once, paid off. I had to put up with some strange looks on the train but oh the comfort of that warm taxi on a cold winter’s night!

Another example of our training efforts. We were due to meet friends in Leigh-on-Sea for dinner, a distance of 3½ miles. This is a well-trodden route for us as we have friends who live in the area so, a seven mile round trip for dinner was an ideal practice run, albeit a little short, for our projected ten miles each day. Unfortunately, the venue was changed to Hamlet Court Road, a further 1¾ miles! Always ready to make the most of a bad situation we thought aha, this will be a good test of an average day walking in Spain!

We made it, on time, smug and feeling no ill effects from the extra push. We had an enjoyable meal laden with the usual amounts of wine and near the end of the evening reflected on our return journey. After visiting the toilet, I reappeared in full rain dance regalia and proceeded to scare off what few customers remained. I can only surmise they were eager to depart before the imminent deluge! However, after twenty minutes and the breaking of two head feathers not a single raindrop was forthcoming, we resigned to the walk home!

Now, I don’t know what it’s like where you live but around the Leigh area they turn off all non-essential street lights at a certain hour, usually 1:00am but occasionally there’s an evil little council worker who delays it until your next step is about to avoid that rarity of objects, the dog turd! Hey ho, I’ll leave them outside and clean them off in the morning. The remainder of the walk continued without event but not without odour, we arrived home at around 1:40am feeling even more smug.

Now, I have to tell you people there’s a distinct difference between walking seven miles and walking eleven miles. When you walk seven miles you jump out of bed in the morning feeling fit, healthy and ready to tackle the world. When you walk eleven miles you jump out of bed, your knees buckle and you fall in a heap on the floor! You don’t feel fit or healthy; you just feel 65 years old. This isn’t so bad for me but Deb was certainly put out. We hobbled through the daily ablutions conversing only in groans and grunts reflecting that we would soon have to do this for fifty consecutive days!

Made a mental note to do at least three hours’ practice on the rain dance once I’d cleaned my shoes and replaced my missing feathers. No eagles around here I’ll have to make do with pigeon, do you think it will reduce the potency?

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