Yesterday I travelled to Hackpen White Horse. I bet you’re thinking, “Oh Jaysus, here we go again,” but it was slightly different this time as I thrashed out fifteen and a half miles on the byways and bridleways of the Marlborough Downs with my good friend, Ramblin’ Ray.
Although it was nice to have someone to talk to on the way round, having to keep up a conversation whilst walking quickly up some relatively steep slopes highlighted how out of breath I often become. But whilst taking in the splendid scenery, commenting on the flora, the fauna, the blustery but sunny weather and the little bags of shit that selfish inconsiderate bastard dog-walkers hang from the trees, we managed to discuss a broad spectrum of subjects but most particularly the personality defects of the personalities that join us on our Sunday walks with the Ramblers’ Association. We were only really rude about two or three of them and even they were people who don’t walk with us regularly.
So, if you are a Rambler in Wiltshire and you are reading this, don’t worry because we like you at least most of the time. Unless you’re the Scottish bloke/gobshite that has trouble with his printer and loves BBC Radio Two deejay Ken Bruce or you’re the Lancastrian chap/gobshite that describes in graphic detail his sexual exploits with ladies he has met on internet dating sites. Personally I prefer Jo Whiley’s evening musical extravaganza and I only ever log on to the World Wide Web to discover where my next walk with the Ramblers is going to be.
My out of breath imperfection does concern me rather, as does the muscular twinge at the back of my left knee and the fact that for the last week I have had barely any exercise and eaten and drunken far more crap than you would expect an elite Andean explorer to pollute his body with. But a lot of my slobbing has been to do with the fact that I had an excruciatingly busy week at work and, in the grand scheme of things, I must remember that no matter how fit I am I wouldn’t be able to participate in these wonderful trips if I didn’t have the money to pay for them. In this respect, last week was a spectacularly good little earner. And, whilst I'm on the subject of my work, I must also remember to cut my toenails before I go to Peru as their unkempt state contributed not insignificantly to my minor state of discomfort today.
Another concern is that next weekend I am going to Berlin with a brace of boozy blokey mates. This will be good training for packing my bag and jumping on a plane but I fear a profusion of bier und bratwurst will deepen the blip in my fitness campaign. The day I get back the final surge in Operation Fatboy Slim will take off in earnest . . . just you wait and see!
As part of my training for the Big Berlin Bonanza I went for a post ramble pint at the Waggon & Horses in Beckhampton (site of an Iron Age village founded by the Beckhams) where the beer was a bit flat but my rambling companion seemed rather excited by the fact that the landlady wasn’t. The fact that the landlady could talk forever about quality beer was the cherry on the cake . . . or even two cherries!
In the evening of yesterday I travelled with my third born child and her mother to the fashionable West Swindon district of Swindon for the purpose of going to see a fillum. The Woman In Black was the title of the film and, although very good, it did tend to make the viewer jump out of his (or her) seat a fair few times and simultaneously cak his (or her) keks in fright and it was a poor sequel to Men In Black. A good night out was enjoyed by all but that’s all I want to say about Swindon. . . now and forever.
Yesterday my friend Andrea travelled to Nepal to take part in a cycling trip with everybody’s favourite adventure company, Exodus. Nepal is high on my list. You should have taken me with you Andrea . . . pah!