9 December 2021

Walking

In the past week I have watched two lovely programmes about walking in the countryside -  courtesy of the BBC. Called "Winter Walks", the programmes are gentle and slow-moving as selected celebrities undertake five or six mile walks along public footpaths in somewhat unfamiliar territory.

The two programmes I have watched were both set in Yorkshire and involved two Yorkshire people. They were Amanda Owen - also known as The Yorkshire Shepherdess and Alistair Campbell who was Tony Blair's chief strategist when Labour were last in power in this country.

The celebrities walk alone carrying a small camera on a selfie stick and there is some further drone footage which is edited into the film.

Being a regular walker myself, I am well-acquainted with the benefits that walking can offer us  - both in terms of physical and mental well-being. As Amanda Owen and Alistair Campbell walk along they both remark on the healing quality of walking and the peaceful joy of putting one foot in front of the other as their thoughts wander without the usual constraints.

Amanda Owen lives on a hill farm with her husband and nine children. She has written several books and has become a popular TV celebrity - largely through a documentary  programme called "Yorkshire Farm". Alistair Campbell has bravely opened up about his struggles with depression and mental ill-health even though he has remained a prominent spokesman for the left in British politics.

On Amanda's walk she talks to a couple of sheep farmers and a mountain cyclist before proceeding and on Alistair's walk he stops to talk to a farmer who is patiently repairing a drystone wall. We have many miles of such walls in Yorkshire. Some of them are a thousand years old. Every stone was carefully  put in place by human hands as winds blew around or the sun beat down. Millions of stones. Millions. It's quite a thing.

I wish I could find a way of sharing the two programmes with you. They were, as I say, quite lovely. And they illustrated so nicely some of  the wonders of walking in the  countryside - getting physically tired as you absorb the ever-changing scenes that Mother Nature is keen to share with us when we get out there.

32 comments:

  1. I believe Prince William did one of these walks as well - didn't he? I hope that it will show up on Britbox or even Youtube over here - I will keep my fingers crossed.

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    1. I might be wrong but I don't believe Prince William featured in this particular series Margie.

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  2. You don't have to convince me about the values of walking. My big problem now is that it's icy. When I fall I usually break something.

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    1. Stay safe Red and do exactly what The Micromanager says!

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  3. I'd love to watch those documentaries, but so far, every time I've tried to watch something on a BBC website, it said "not available in your country" (something along those lines). Maybe they will be on youtube.
    Amanda Owen is almost omnipresent these days, isn't she! As for Alistair Campbell and the benefit of walking for people who struggle with mental illness, he is to be admired for that. I think I have mentioned my niece in Ripon before; she has been diagnosed with borderline a few years ago and just does not seem to get any better. Of course the pandemic has meant therapy was not possible the way it should have been, but I do so wish she would get the hang of walking - I am convinced she'd improve.

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    1. I hunted around on YouTube but could not find these programmes. Sorry to hear about your niece. I agree with you that walking can be one of the very best medicines but some people still feel puzzled about this pastime.

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  4. If Yorkshire Farm was broadcast a few years ago, I think we may have seen it here. I have a memory of the name. In England I never took its history for granted. I so often thought of those who had been where I was thousands of years ago. I stood waiting for my partner who was in Boots on The Strand wondering if any of my relatives had stood in the same place.

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    1. I could have made a silly remark about sheep stealers but I won't as that might have caused unnecessary offence.

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  5. I read about these programmes, but forgot to watch them. They are bound to be repeated, probably over the weekend, so I'll check the TV listings tomorrow.
    Having watched Yorkshire Farm, it amazes me at how well Amanda copes with the children - all a credit to her - and the day to day running of the farm.

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    1. There are rumours that her marriage to Clive is fracturing. That's sad for all concerned - especially the children. I hope you manage to watch the BBC 4 programmes Carol.

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    2. Oh dear, perhaps it's because she's made such a success for herself - she's certainly the dominant character and able to forge ahead with a career of her own. I feel sorry for the children if they are having problems.

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    3. She is a remarkable woman. Perhaps she has "outgrown" Clive. She still seems young and Clive seems old.

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  6. I like Amanda Owen but the Yorkshire Farm programme only shows what they want you to see. Have you got one of those 360 degree selfie video cameras your Christmas present list?

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    1. No but I have got an inflatable pvc doll called Lolita on the list. Made in China with a complimentary puncture outfit.

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    2. Seriously, in watching those walks programmes we thought it might be interesting if they did a series presented by members of the public instead of celebrities. Unfortunately, you would be disqualified because in scouring your social media before selecting presenters they would find the above reply and deem you too risky.

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    3. I could have taken Lolita with me in my rucksack and inflated her on The Kinder Plateau in spite of the danger of watching her blow away.

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  7. I haven't seen the walks programme but I enjoy watching Our Yorkshire Farm with the Owen family.

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    1. I suspect you will enjoy the winter walks programmes. Catch up on i-player if you can't locate them otherwise.

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  8. Mum was English and a great believer in walks. She passed that on to me and I am glad she did. I tried watching the program but you have to live in the UK as the disclaimer said so nicely.

    A walk does a body and a mind good.

    As for the beautiful shepherdess, why would anyone want nine children in this day and age.

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    1. It is irresponsible in my view but she is lovely with the children. So is her husband Clive. There's twenty years between Clive and Amanda. Rumour says their marriage is now on the rocks.

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  9. Nine children? No wonder she likes to get out and walk.

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    1. I am surprised that she can walk after bearing nine children.

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  10. NINE children?

    As you know, I am also a fan of walking so I can attest to its restorative powers! In fact I'm hoping to get out some this weekend, if the weather cooperates. (And even if it doesn't.)

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    1. With the climate crisis bearing down upon us, having multiple children seems very irresponsible to me.

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  11. Julia Bradbury does it for me. She likes walking, Portugal and sups pints. Hey that sounds like me!

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    1. I saw your photo on your blog last week. You are much prettier than Julia Bradbury.

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  12. Thanks to streaming, we are getting more and more British shows to choose from all the time. I've seen Travels By Narrowboat and a couple James May shows. Winter Walks though doesn't show up on the platforms I have yet.

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    1. The BBC do their best to limit worldwide access to their programmes.

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  13. Some years ago, my doctor prescribed walking outside every day for a month to address some health problems I was having. All this time later, I still walk at least five days a week. It's good for the body and soul!

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    1. He or she was a wise doctor. It's not all about pills and operations.

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  14. My only experience with Yorkshire is through the James Herriott(sp?) books and TV shows. I too love to walk although the scenery isn't as varied here. Trees, trees and more trees. :)

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    1. I remember driving from Port Angeles Washington State in 2014 - down to Ocean Shores. Tree after tree after tree. Incredible really - but as you suggest not much variety.

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