Monday, 15 November 2010

Fit for Purpose

The Ouse

I live on the edge of the Fens, on a bit of a hill, it has to be said. Ten metres above sea level – so you just be careful out there, pumping all your global-warming-fumey-things into the atmosphere as I don’t fancy any particular mad rise in sea level at the moment.

As well as having to cope with the imminent threat of drowning I also have the misery of not having any local hills to clamber up to perhaps gain a modicum of fitness for my annual walking binge in May. It’s hard living at sea level in East Angular. But if I don’t get out there and get some exercise the first two weeks of my two week walking holiday will be hell, watching my companion disappear into the distance as I flounder hopelessly behind.

I need to be Fit For Purpose.

Ouse Reflections

So, Lord Elpus and Miss Whiplash dragged me round a muddy little circular walk all of six and half very long miles. Total height gain was about 10metres. Sandwiches were taken. Two pubs were inspected. Memories came flooding back for Miss Whiplash from her youth: The toilets in the first pub were just the same, but now they were in focus. There was no-one to trip over sitting on the floor shooting up either. However, the beer in the second pub was far better than the first.

Common - Ridge & Furrow

We got home as the sun was sinking southwest into the old ridge & furrow of the common. A lovely stroll with two wonderful friends. As for the fitness thing… Well – you have to start somewhere…


  1. That's a nice set of pics, Alan. You've captured the light and colours of autumn really well.

  2. Being a Suffolk lad myself I can sympathise with your lack of local hills. Still, you could always do what I did.


  3. Very atmospheric photos Alan!

    10m height gain - so sad - must be a real sod trying to do a decent bum-slide in the snow.

  4. The joy is in the journey Alan. Hills I find are more enjoyed when you have to travel to see them. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Living in the East has its benefits. I am no poorer for not having hills. I have wonderful forest and rural scenes to enjoy. Fine coastal walks as well. Speaking of fine those photos are.

  5. Stunning pics I'd say Alan - even without hills!

  6. ...speaking of which, is that mashed up hand of yours fit for purpose yet, i.e. lifting heavy glasses when the other is maybe otherwise engaged?

  7. James - A move would indeed be favourite!

    Ken: I don't need hills for a decent bumslide. The cow pastures hereabouts provide more than enough opportunities for a skiddy bumslide experience.

    Martin: I sort of agree with you, then think it's probably best to move!

    Gibson: Wouldn't they look better though with a nice backdrop of snow-slathered hills?

    Old Gregorlach! (Look away now if of nervous disposition...) The hand is mostly healed with just a determined scabby bit at the base of the ring finger. That finger also has very 'dead' places and very tingley places too and a bit of a wicked scar. It's also a bit bent. (But when all the scabby stuff goes I shall try to straighten it out.
    So, if eventually there will be grandchildren, I should be able to terrify them them with the hooked scarry claw!

  8. I think they would Alan, but I'm biased! I need my local hills to keep me sane - well nearly!

  9. Climbing up the stairs? I know, not the same thing, and not as enjoyable as the hills, but I've noticed that living in a fourth floor flat in a house with no lift actually does help keeping fit! :)

  10. Alan - I live a bit further North of you at the foot of the Lincolnshire Wolds at 18 metres above sea level, but 3 miles away I can get to the dizzy heights of 168 metres (the highest point between the Kent and Yorkshire !

  11. Maria: Your comment shamed me into walking downstairs to make another cup of coffee and then carry it all the way back upstairs to Mission Control. I am not sure whether it was the caffeine or the height climbed, but I DO believe my pulse raced just a little more quickly. Thank you. The Exercise Programme has now reached a whole new level.

    Mark: What can I say? I bet that you too record the mileage your new boots have completed. And I bet you know where we are in the darkest days of the year count too...
    It's tough, but we suffer for our art...

  12. Now there's a point - just where are we in the dark days of the year? Time was I would get weekly bulletins to cheer and encourage through the winter evenings.

    So, Alan, enlighten us - please!

    (enlighten - geddit??. Hur hur...)

  13. Lord Elpus: This year the winter solstice for the northern hemisphere is at two minutes to midnight on the 21st December. As I write this it's about 5.00pm on 17th November - so we are about 34 days and seven hours to the solstice. This means we are now in the darkest 68 days and fourteen hours of the year, having left behind almost 300 days of better light.

    Dark days....

  14. Tooooo pessimistic. That doesn't cheer and encourage. Try this:

    In just 34 days twelve hours and fifty minutes hours will be getting better - and just in time for Christmas too :-)

  15. Yup! I think you are right Phil! That's a lot more fun! Soon be summer! I noticed from Darren's blog that there is only 176 days to TGO Challenge 2011. That's cheery stuff!

  16. 176? Is that all? Oh well, I guess there is still time for another beer before I need to start training

  17. Tony: 174 now - steady with that beer belly....

    Mark: Thanks - sweet of you :)


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