The third successive walking day and the fourth in five started with a survey of the damage. A blood blister on the little toe of the left foot was tempting to burst but experience has taught me to leave them be, while the right foot looked to be healing nicely. A fresh plaster for the leftie was in order and I loosened the laces on both boots to give my feet half a chance.
This all seemed to work for a while but it was difficult to concentrate on anything else and gradually each step became a test with one repeating question, “Did that hurt or didn’t it?”. As I took the route from Sarisbury through Warsash and Titchfield to Stubbington, I mused as to the historical comparisons between Don’t You Want Me by Human League and Sk8er Boi by Avril Lavigne. Both start with one having what appeared to be an unpromising relationship: “working as a waitress in a cocktail bar” and “all of my friends stuck up their nose, they had a problem with his bad clothes”. The partner then achieved success but rejected they who had stuck with them during the bad times. Quite why this occupied my mind for at least 20 minutes or so was beyond me, but it took my mind off my left foot, and by that I don’t mean anything connected to Daniel Day Lewis.
The worst toey feeling was starting again after a half an hour coffee break as left little piggy rubbed mercilessly for a couple of minutes as I walked back up Burnt House Lane. However, this soon passed and I had a great feeling about the walk and life in general. I do need to get back a single-mindedness, confidence and a sort of arrogance in order to be at my best. I am not necessarily a good person to walk with or talk with at times when I feel like that, and I can just be pretty quiet for a while. I felt like I needed to do at least the distance of yesterday and really got a good stride and speed-walked a couple of 15-20 minute spells after reaching the A27, through Segensworth and ultimately up towards Burridge, turning left at The Elm Tree pub which promised two rumps and a bottle of wine for £19.95. I would hope and imagine that indicated steaks rather than random buttocks but I wasn’t about to stop to check.
It was at this point that some light drizzle became steady rain and I was glad to cross the M27, the railway line and reach the A27 again. My feet were still in good shape but I find that uphill or downhill is hard enough without the degree of difficulty multiplication factor of pavements that slope left to right, or right to left, down to or away from the road. That is what makes Sarisbury Hill a very decent test. At first it is simply uphill then, as it appears to get steeper, the pavement slopes sharply toward the road, then suddenly slopes the other way. It always feels good to reach the top, that’s for sure.
Tomorrow I will be going further afield for my walk, into the New Forest and sounds as if I will be walking with Pammy. 16 miles today and could be around the same tomorrow.