Ode to Grandchildren

I am under no illusions that my blog is read by that many people. At its peak, I was getting 300-400 views a day with a high of 555 on the day of reaching the very north of Scotland. And that doesn’t include followers who received the text by email. A typical post now gets about 15-20 reads with presumably a few more by email. I guess that is to be expected with me just rambling on about what essentially are meaningless walks on Saturdays and Sundays, rather than the achievement of a specific challenge. I had around a hundred views on the Isle of Wight Challenge earlier this year which did show a certain amount of interest on specific days of note.

You might wonder why I carry on blogging at all. I appreciate the interest that people have in me, my walking, my health etc, and it is now always a conversation starter if people might be struggling to find something to talk to me about – and my interests are quite simple: statistics, football, cricket and some quiz shows. But the walking appears to fascinate people, and I’m not quite sure why. However, even if I had no views of my blog, and no-one ever mentioned walking to me ever again, I would still write. I find it therapeutic and, and here’s where it gets a bit weird, it is a record for my future grandchildren to look at when I may be either gone or still here but too old to gallivant about the streets for hours at a time. Well, grandchild(ren), if you are reading this in the year 2030 or so, it’s hello from Granddad, and this is what I used to do on most weekends. Walking up and down streets, yes, that’s right. Perhaps I’m still doing it – after all, writing this in 2015, my probably unrealistic ambition is to become the oldest person ever to walk from Lands End to John O’Groats. That will have to be my thing for early 2039, it seems.

Today’s walk was a typical one for the autumn as I try to keep a decent level of fitness for next year’s challenge. On Remembrance Sunday, it was purely coincidental that my watch read 11 minutes past 11 as I left the house but it was a timely reminder of the sacrifices of others and the freedom that we have to go about our various leisure activities on weekends. Pammy had cautioned me to take waterproofs as it was very gloomy, but the weather forecast was for it to be grey but dry down on the south coast, and so I felt there wasn’t the need. Of course, about three miles down the road, rain was certainly in the air but not making any sploshes in the residual puddles from overnight rain and nor was there any movement from significant numbers of car wipers. This was about as bad as it got and, after an early coffee stop, the afternoon was just a long walk into Southampton, over to Shirley (that’s an area of the city and not any fancy woman of mine) and across to the top of The Avenue before a mainly downhill walk to Swaything, and home via Bitterne and Thornhill. Dark for the last hour and a bit but it was all familiar territory.

As I try to do, I did have much quicker sections like that from Southampton up to the top of Shirley when I really did turn on the afterburners but there were many sections elsewhere where the combination of wet pavement and leaves falling from the trees made for conditions just a little more slippery than I would have liked. 22 miles was indeed a very decent effort today, despite those leaves on the line. Feeling a bit stiff and achy now, but that’s no bad thing. It confirms that I must have pushed myself a bit. Grandchildren, get off whatever passes for your tablets, smartphones or electronic gadget things, and get some exercise. Take your Dad out for some footie, if you must, and mind his ankles…….

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