Smiling and talking dog optional

Not for the first time I had little energy or enthusiasm today for walking – I must admit to often having to force myself to go for a walk now and I never anticipated it would be like this. With London2Brighton next weekend, I ought to have been well up for it and getting a reasonable distance in, but that wasn’t the case at all.

Of course, the weather forecast of rain holding off until 5pm encouraged me to go with waterproofs and the outcome was inevitable. The atmosphere was quite muggy and sweaty and it was hard to feel that was going to be one of my favourite walks. Off-road was a bit sloshy in places today but I made my way to Hedge End and Botley, and then up the road toward Horton Heath but turning off before the Peartree pub. It was amusing to hear the radio commentary from the Rose Bowl and the commentators apologising for the aeroplane noise, noise that I could hear ‘live’. It was nice to listen to cricket after our own washout yesterday, but soon I felt the first drops of rain and as this became heavier, I sheltered at a bus stop for about 10 minutes watching the world (well, cars, buses and bikes) go by. Though the rain did clear the air and make for a fresher feel, I was already feeling down and feeling down usually translates into fatigue and aches. At least when I restarted, I wasn’t aching but not feeling my best at all, though I did take a diversion away from the shortest route home, through Townhill Park estate, in order to build up an extra mile or two. My soles were starting to feel a bit sore, though not terribly so, and I did just want to get home.

If I am going to take a break, I tend to take it early, but today I fancied a coffee much later. That did perk me up, despite arriving just as a barista was turfing out five young lads who were throwing shortbread biscuits around. Blimey, given the cost of those I wouldn’t be wasting them like that. They must have more money than sense.

Now having the requisite energy for the final four miles or so, I trudged back onto the path home and suddenly found a burst of enthusiasm. It appeared as, from the opposite direction, came a pretty young woman walking her dog, who smiled a lovely smile and wished me “good afternoon”. I have to say that the dog should really audition for Britain’s Got Talent. 😉 I soon reached home and reflected on a total distance of 16.5 miles. Not a bad distance and enough just to keep some sort of fitness in my legs.

I am hoping that Saturday’s event will find me in a much more positive mood. I would be surprised if it doesn’t and adrenaline and anticipation will help, at least over the first half, while it is still light and before any semblance of tiredness kicks in. I know I will have a few people wishing me the best but, if you really want to help, you’ve got to get a “pretty young woman” to appear every couple of miles to wish me good morning, afternoon, evening or night. Smiling and talking dog optional.



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