Let's start this post with an aside. Unusual, I know, but let's live on the edge.
Look, I know the title of this piece is grammatical grunge (..the The Great Outdoors Challenge...) but omitting the 'the' just makes it look plain daft. You can complain all you like in the comments section. I won't read it. Ah. But there's the thing. I will, and every barbed sentence will slice away my already bludgeoned confidence blow by tiny blow.
Walkers, or perhaps it's just this blog's readers, have a high proportion of fastidiousness when it comes to written English amongst their number. With my complete lack of education in all things grammatical at my Comprehensive school in the sixties and seventies, this should make reading the scribblings in this place an exquisite torture. Think of this as my way of proving those right-on metropolitan elite tossers who promoted this ghastly system (whilst sending their own offspring to Grammar and public schools) to be deluded virtue-signalling fools.
Hmm. That 'aside' took up two lengthy paragraphs.
Right then! (Is that better than starting a sentence with 'So.'? Or 'Look'? To the meat of this evening's post. Just under a year ago I wrote of my regime for Challenge Fitness, in the post Getting Organised: Limbering up. which told of the benefits of walking just three miles a day, starting on New Years Day and continuing until setting off on the TGO Challenge
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This evening I tested the ageing brain-cell by performing a little arithmetic and came up with a disappointing result. (Christ! This blog is a bit negative tonight!) I've often been described as a Huge Arse, but it transpires that I am in fact a Little Behind.
This chart should provide some help with an explanation:
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The straight-as-an-arrow red line is the cumulative progress of three miles a day: The target.
The dark brown line is last year's walking, recorded in weekly chunks.
The pale brown line is this year's walking, to date.
Last year's exertions started in a moderately sedate fashion, up until Week Eight, when there was a either a burst of enthusiasm, or more probably increasing guilt at falling well-short of the set target. You will perhaps be surprised to learn then, that this year there was also a similar spate of guilt about this place at more-or-less exactly the same point in the year, but that there has been no corresponding acceleration.
Of course, I could put it down to crappy cold northerlies followed by the 'Beast from the East.' Note to self in the future, when re-reading this drivel: The Beast from the East: Google it, as you will have forgotten what on earth that was. Who made up this ridiculous name? It was far more likely to be simple lethargy, with an added twist of sloth and slobbery.
Because of the prevailing ground conditions on my muddy Northern Patch, most walks have been to the sandy delights of the Eastern Provinces. The earlier picture in this piece was of the fine trees there, taken yesterday evening.
So! Right then! Look you, Boyo! Things had better improve, sharpish. That graph deserves better results than the meagre efforts so dismally displayed so far this year.
And for those of you who were expecting a picture of a little behind, you'll just have to dig around on the internet. I'm sure you won't need any instructions.
As you were. Stand Easy.