We are a no-blame culture. So I cannot possibly blame either of the other persons identified in the twitter exchange for what follows.
The traffic on the school run for DD and her euphonium (not a euphemism) was better than I expected. I arrived back home at 0838. I needed to leave the house at 0900. I am trying to walk about a mile in about 20 minutes each day. 0900-0838=22 minutes. And the twitter exchange from earlier was in my mind.
My thinking went thus:
1. I have enough time.
2. I do not have to get changed in order to walk a mile along tarmac. Other people walk in office clothes on their way to work and during lunch breaks.
3. I was already wearing clergy shirt, cords and DM boots, a reasonable enough walking outfit.
However, I failed to take in to account one of my many quirks, a quirk with which regular readers of this blog are all too familiar. I could find mud in the Sahara. I also failed to take into account the time of day. I put on my waterproof over my clerical shirt, and strode out. I waved to Dave the Lollipop man, turned the corner, walked along the pavement, crossed the road, looked down at my trousers and realised they were plastered in mud from hem to knee. Four minutes, of walking on leaf strewn pavements, had reduced me from ‘respectably casual’ to ‘urchin’. I don’t know how it happens. Other people walk 15 miles in mountains and look like a pristine shop advert at the end. I walk a couple of hundred yards and look like I’ve been mud wrestling.
I sighed, and continued, whilst calculating what clean trousers I had to change into as soon as I got home. I was now at the peaceful part of the walk, away from houses, no pavements, just me and the lane with first cows, then sheep for company. Except of course I was walking at 0845. At 0845, people are driving along the lane at breakneck speed to get to work. It’s a 60 mph speed limit and they are entitled to do so. There are
grassy verges muddy banks where a walker can walk safely. Which brings me to my boots. My beautiful, gorgeous, comfy Doc Marten boots. And the mud. They were now inextricably linked. So that’s a change of footwear too.
I turned smartly at the “run keeper says I’ve walked half a mile mark”, conscious that I needed to change boots and trousers when I got home. That half mile mark is where I have paused often over the last few days, sometimes to paddle gently in the puddles, somethings to kick water about, sometimes to note the patterns the raindrops make. They are still large puddles there, where the road widens to allow cars to pass. There isn’t really a grass verge to act as much of a refuge. There certainly isn’t a lot a walker can do when a rushing commuter drives straight through the puddles without a second thought. Because you see, they are nice and dry. Which I wasn’t. (I mean, I wasn’t nice, or dry, if you get my drift.)
So I’m not going to blame anyone for the fact that with no spare time at all I ended up having the fastest shower in history, and wearing completely different clothes. I was on time for the next thing I had to do, I was clean, and I was respectable. But todays’s walk has not been the source of joy and wonder it usually is. And whose fault is that? Mine.
Oh, you want the stats? After all that? Distance 1.04 miles; time 19.06 minutes; pace 18:27 mins/mile; expletives unfitting on the lips of a member of the clergy of the Church of England …. somewhere between several and many. In fact anyone watching might have been remedied of a scene from “Four Weddings and a Funeral”. Not the weepy funeral poem.