It’s been a soggy, grim, rainy, cold, humid and generally miserable looking grey day.
However – I’ve enjoyed every sodden minute of it.
Sure – the countryside has been more of a challenge this morning than it would have been on a sunny and dry day – but I’m a believer that not only is it just as nice to walk in the rain – but that you can enjoy most kinds of weather as long as you have a good twalker in tow.
I’m not sure why but I took a photo of my feet at the start of the day. I was sitting in a nice dry bus shelter in Offchurch waiting for my friend to arrive and playing with the remote camera function on my Apple Watch.
I was (if I’m completely honest) trying to figure out whether my favourite Peaky Blinder hat makes my head look odd now that I have no beard and a smaller face – and while I was in the process of taking random pictures to assess the situation I pressed the wrong button.
Look at them.
Aren’t they cute?
They’re all warm, cosy, dry and have been lovingly accessorised with with freshly laundered jeans that are delicately scented with spring flower fabric softener freshness.
Underneath the hems of this bouquet of trouser material my double ply super soft walking socks were hugging my feet like a nurturing mother with newborn babies.
All was well in footland.
Later it was a different story.
However – I’m getting ahead of myself.
I discovered today that one of my long term friends had a closely guarded secret.
She has for many years hidden a secret fetish – and it wasn’t until today that she confessed her darkest desires to me (looking over her shoulder to make sure no-one was listening) and told me what really made her excited when she spent time alone (and sometimes with select others).
‘I like a good map.’ She said. ‘You can’t beat a good map.‘
I’m an open minded person – and although this is pretty niche it wasn’t as bad a fetish as I’d expected. I like her – so I’m willing to overlook this relatively minor deviance.
Besides – there was a twinkle in her eye when she looked at me – and this clearly made her happy. Where was the harm?
Sure enough it turned out that she was fully Ordnance Survey and GPS enabled. With her carefully prepared and detailed study of potential orienteering challenges she was completely ready to take us over hill and dale.
It was actually quite nice to know that I was with someone that had full awareness of all elevations and hidden pathways dotting the countryside – so I surrendered myself to her predilection.
The walk she was taking us on was a circular one – and can be found here.
The great thing (I soon discovered) about this route was that the vast majority of it was totally off-road through fields and farmland.
It’s not normally my kind of territory – but it’s undeniably good exercise, and even at a leisurely pace keeps the heart rate up as you trundle along chatting. There are some really nice views as well – although most of it was sadly buried in cloud today.
The nice thing about this stroll though has been the variety. One minute you’re looking far off into the distance of the surrounding fields and countryside, the next you have a sheltering canopy of trees and carpets of little flowers alongside the path.
There’s also lots of wildlife – and plenty of birds (too fast to photograph) complemented the multitudes of sheep and occasional friendly horse. This fellow was a little ‘chompy’ and after I realised he seemed to really like the taste of my hand I withdrew to ensure that it remained attached.
Neither myself or my friend was in a rush today – and both of us were more interested in chatting then route marching.
If anyone at around midday UK time noticed a calm in the air or an unexpected silence that seemed to make everything a little more peaceful there was a good reason. Today we set the world to rights as we twalked and meandered effortlessly through all manner of topics as the mood took us – occasionally laughing about slipping on mud or climbing over hidden or slippery stiles.
It was great.
Who cares about weather when you have good company?
In all the walk ended up being around 7 miles – and took a very leisurely 4 hours or so. However – this rather languid pace can be accounted for by the fact that we also stopped at two pubs for coffee along the way (it would be rude and uncivilised not to stop for caffeine at least once on any journey of worth) and wandering towards and around various items of interest.
Now that I’m home I feel warm and satisfied. It’s been a nice day.
However – not everything in life is satisfactory.
I ordered some Jeans last week from Jacamo that arrived today – and (since I’m still learning about the cutting edge of fashion and style) I had ordered a stonewashed black pair of ‘tapered‘ denims.
I now know that tapered basically means ‘skinny fit‘.
What twisted evil villain dreamed up the idea of a ‘skinny fit’ range in oversize clothing?
For those that have not encountered this modern ‘hipster’ take on jeans – close your eyes and imagine what trousers would look like if you didn’t fancy expending useless energy climbing into them every day – and instead decided to opt for body paint instead.
Yep – it seems that I had inadvertently discovered MAN JEGGINGS. My biggest surprise once I’d pulled them on was that they didn’t come with a free pair of Ugg boots…
On the downside this means that they have to go back to Jacamo.
On the plus side this ALSO means I’m going to use the money that I get back from them to go and buy a cheaper pair from Sainsburys!
So – its been swings and roundabouts…
Anyway – I have things to do this evening and I must get on with doing them internet. It’s stopped raining so hopefully I’m not going outside to get yet another soaking!