Recent walks have been short of really humorous incidents but today’s had two, both relating to young children. This was my first walk for two weeks, after last weekend when the weather was not great and I was feeling under, er, the weather. In addition, Pammy and I celebrated our wedding anniversary so a long solitary walk wouldn’t really have been playing the game.
I was in a very good mood this morning, having watched Pompey win well on the Saturday and I was rather up for a few miles today. I took a familiar route into Southampton over the Itchen Bridge, feeling the chill of a decent breeze as I neared the city. I stopped for a coffee, feeling slightly tired after a late night and gave a yawn just as a young boy, no more than 5 years old, walked past with his parents. “You should put your hand to your mouth”, he said, and I was rather taken aback, being accustomed to being left alone to drink coffee and read the paper. His father looked embarrassed and appeared on the verge of admonishing his son, until I smiled and laughed, responding, “Yes you’re absolutely right, it was a bit rude.”
I was still chuckling to myself for some time as I entered Shirley. Lucky old Shirley, you might say, but it is a route I usually take when I need a few miles under a rather tightening belt. I was royally entertained by the three football matches on the radio this afternoon, and despite normally having little real interest in the Premier League apart from for Fantasy Football, I have to say that this is the most interesting title chase for years and it appears now to be a three way chase with little to choose between the three, and only Man City are within touching distance of them. Some good commentaries on good matches made the miles fly past but at around 12 or 13 miles my feet and legs were feeling it. Once I had turned squarely for home and up one of the steepest hills in the area, Woodmill Lane from Swaythling towards Bitterne, I got a second wind and the rest of the walk was pretty easy.
Just short of home, I popped into a local One Stop (other convenience stores are not available anywhere nearby) to pick up some milk for the recovery tonight. I waited at the front of a queue behind a young lad purchasing some Panini-style football stickers but wasn’t sure which of the two types he really wanted. The cashier was being extremely helpful, while smiling somewhat awkwardly at the rapidly lengthening queue. “This one is for the Champions League so you could get Barcelona or Real Madrid, and this one is for the Premiership, so it could be Man United or Liverpool.” I was almost minded to inform him that it was the Premier League rather than the Premiership, but I bit my pedantic tongue. The boy, around 7 years old, opted for the Champions League ones and the cashier rang up £4.00. The boy then got out his wallet and a visa card, which amused and annoyed everyone in approximately equal measure. When did 7 year olds start to have credit cards? He typed in his PIN, without attempting to hide it, and without criticising him, ok, forget that, he didn’t exactly show much imagination in his PIN – it would probably have been one of my first three or four guesses for a child’s PIN.
The milk had not quite matured beyond its sell by date when I reached home, having walked around an hour in the dark. That does not bother me at all in familiar surroundings since I know where I am going and it is quite different otherwise when I need to check directions. Given my apparent shortage of fitness, 20 miles was (were) absolutely fantastic. Decidedly chipper tonight but this is just an early step to getting fit enough for future expeditions. Must remind myself to sort out the dates for the week of pain, now a regular annual event in the spring for me. Could be the week before or after Easter.