The story today is the snow and the cold, of course. It is unusual for me to increase the number of layers to four but it was enough to keep every body part sufficiently protected except the exposed parts of my face, and my face was cold. I didn’t have a scarf with me to cover my face. Good chance that, if I had, I might have looked suspicious enough to be a good ‘stop and search’ candidate, given the police wouldn’t be able to tell if I was black or white.
I gave some thought to not walking today but I felt that much of life is a balance, either of risk/utility, of pain/pay (used this week in a discussion relating to possible promotion and different pressures and responsibilities) or of pain/gain (which is more relevant to today). I decided to start out, not get too far from home too quickly, and take it as it came. The snow started pretty soon, though mere wisps like when one asks for a touch of parmesan cheese on top of one’s pasta dish in an Italian restaurant, or perhaps sugar sifted onto a sponge cake. But after about 45 minutes, it was more like gravy onto a roast dinner. Just about the right time for a coffee break in Hedge End Village.
Despite a lengthy wait behind four customers with complex coffee and cake needs, I settled down for a read of the paper and to watch the heaviest of the snow. As it eased slightly, I set out again and walked at a decent enough pace. I didn’t really want to finish too late and I was having considerable problems with the reception on my digital radio. I almost always like listening to football (or cricket) while I’m walking but it was frustrating trying to work out what was going on. I resigned myself to mostly silence with the odd “fizz buzz crackle it’s now Swansea fizz buzz crackle”. I didn’t hear any of Spurs’ three goals. Thankfully it was much better when Pompey kicked off a bit later.
Plenty of steep climbs today including the one from Riverside Park up to Witts Hill and down and up Mousehole Lane. I could have taken different routes and short cuts to home but I felt capable of a reasonable distance without wussing out. Blimey, my face was cold, my lips numb and I was fortunate not to have to speak more than a word or two when I bought a newspaper and drink as I neared home.
Considerable gain, not that much pain, and over 16 miles, certainly enough to help with what needs to be a proper fitness drive now. I notice it most myself when I put on a bit of weight and I really need to eat less chocolate for a while. It’s not getting that close to like the point a few years back – before I started long distance walking and had not done much exercise in a couple of years – when a friend at work (and he’s still a friend) asked “so when is it due?” but I could do with a bit of exercise during the week. I am keeping up the ‘Lifts for Lent’ thing and have not used a lift or escalator (two weeks to go now). I stayed in a hotel in Belfast during the week and was thankful to be only on the third floor; around this time last year we had a meeting in Canary Wharf……on the 36th floor. Thankfully, that wasn’t this year, otherwise I’d need to leave for work an hour earlier and take a defibrillator with me. I currently work on the fourth floor so that is reasonable just to generate a faster heartbeat and slightly heavier breathing.
Right, now I’ve warmed up a bit. Cricket starts in four weeks with the first friendly for Sarisbury Athletic. Really looking forward to that as long as it gets a bit warmer by then. Not guaranteed. A flashback to 1975 when snow stopped play in the Derbyshire v Lancashire match at Buxton. I’m sure that’s me on the left…….