Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Sunday, 29 May 2016

National Walking Month: How was it for me?

My walking kit for National Walking Month
My daily walking kit: I've had some strange looks along the way, but who cares?
I feel comfortable and I feel good in my special gear, and that's what counts. 

I have a confession: taking the #Try20 challenge for National Walking Month is one of the best things I've done in ages.

Confession number 2: I haven't quite managed a 20 minute walk every day. There was one rainy day which put me off, but that's OK because I went for an hour's walk the day after.

About a week in, I realised I wasn't taking my camera with me, which is strange because I usually take it everywhere I go. Pondering this fact on my walk, I decided it's actually quite nice to have a portion of the day without some kind of screen in tow, and to have a more mindful approach to my walk.

May has taken me from a thick fleece-needed wintry feel complete with dancing daffodils at the start, through to the brink of a t-shirt summer today with frothy cow parsley in the remnant hedgerows on the estate. There was the surprise find of English bluebells, along with joyful birdsong and some rocky outcrops reminiscent of Cleve West's show garden at Chelsea. No wonder that garden had so much resonance for me.

I've oft bemoaned the lack of view when stepping out of our front door; I'd still prefer to have a mountain or sea view to hand, but this month I've learned to appreciate the quieter riches of the here and now. I'm remarkably lucky to live in a place which is more like a park than a housing estate where there's a 1.4 mile route to trace, which is mainly off-road, and with the perfect combination of one third each of flat, puffy uphill, and warm-down downhill stretches.

My route's stuffed with the most amazing trees, comprising those preserved from the original farmland (including some mighty oaks), supplemented by lots of enlightened choice additions. Blossom time was particularly beautiful.

And so, as the end of the month draws near, I find I'm reluctant to let go of this precious time of the day. When I commuted to Bristol, I walked to the station every day and years on from that time, I find I've missed the walk that was so easily built into my daily routine.

I'm sure it's no surprise to you I'm going to keep going into June and beyond.


  1. Michelle, I keep telling myself that if I'd just walk 10 minutes in one direction and then 10 minutes back, it would do me a world of good! I don't have your views, though. I live in the flatlands and I often lament the lack of topography!

    1. Do it Cindy! My only regret is I didn't start sooner - perhaps there's other beauty to be found in the flatlands...

  2. Getting a dog has to be the easiest way to ensure you get out for a walk everyday. It's also the way to get to know lots of other people - my dogwalking friends are always up on the local gossip!

    1. My completely non-scientific survey conducted last month showed dog walkers always say hello, and around 50% of everyone else does so.

  3. Well done you - I've been obsessed with my Fitbit for a while, and enjoying the loop through the lanes by our house. There's an old horse that I often give some carrots or apples to; I feel rather guilty if I miss a day or two.

    1. I've resisted getting a Fitbit for the same reason Mark... though I did find myself Counting Steps the other day ;)


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