26 December 2012


After Christmas comes Boxing Day. Yesterday's feasting had made me feel like a lethargic Mr Blobby so I drove a couple of miles south of Pudding Towers, past the Sheffield Tigers rugby ground on Dore Moor and then down Whitelow Lane, turning to the riding stables at the end of Shorts Lane. It's somewhere I have often parked in order to begin a familiar one hour circular walk - burn some calories, get the blood pumping and the lungs gasping fresh air.

I put on the walking gaiters that Shirley had bought me for Christmas. It's the first pair I have ever owned but many times in recent months  freshly laundered trews have been muddied by country walks so this seemed a good way to protect my trouser bottoms. It was a bit of a struggle getting them on because the straps that go under the boots were difficult to adjust. But finally I was able to set off.

As well as providing good physical exercise, I find that walking is also psychologically therapeutic. As you walk, you think. You're processing memories and the issues that life throws up. Sometimes you're solving problems or conceiving creative notions. In my humble opinion, many of the difficulties caused by modern living would be massively reduced if people would only get out walking. Depression? Forget the pills and the counselling and get out for a long walk. Obesity? Walk it off ounce by ounce. In mourning? Unemployed? Unhappy? Just get walking.

After the walk, I drove up to Dore Village where I snapped a few pictures as is my wont. Above you see two foraging hens on the verge by "The Hare and Hounds" and below a stone that commemorates the first unification of England which happened when King Ecgbert of Wessex accepted the submission of King Eanred of Northumbria at Dore in 829 A.D. to become, for a few shorts months, what The Anglo Saxon Chronicle called "The Ruler of Britain". He predated Aethelstan - often thought of as the first true King of England by a hundred years.


  1. Before I actually lived in Sheffield, I used to travel through it on the train....I always thought fore was where I wanted to live when I came to the city.
    I ended up in walkley. The only place I could afford

  2. EARL GRAY I'm sure there'd have been a humble abode for you on the beautifully named Pismire Hill (near Shiregreen). People who live there think that Walkley's as posh as Henley-on-Thames!

  3. I'm sure you're right about walking.... but it's soooo hot!

  4. I agree with you about walking YP. I also enjoy it whenever I can get out. Thanks for the short history lesson too - Dave

  5. HELEN Good point. Walking anywhere in Thailand drained the lifeblood out of me. This is an advantage of living in a more temperate climate.
    DAVID HAMILTON I wish I'd been able to do more walking in NZ when we visited in January though I doubt you have as many public rights of way as we have in England. Still the walk to Cook's Cove from Tolaga Bay was a highlight of our trip.

  6. I agree. Walkies are the answer to all problems. I intend to do lots in the UK in 2014.
    Helsie - aircon fixed yet?

  7. I too enjoy solitary walking. Well, I do have the dogs to tag along and keep me safe from the wild beasts on this mountain. My neighbors wonder why I do not walk with them, but it is, for me also, a way to think deeply, in solitude as well as make plans and wonder about life and happiness and my place on this mountain and in the world.


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