For the last thirty years I have been living dangerously; my last seven homes all had their foundations barely above Ordnance Datum. With Global Warming threatening to raise sea levels, I was very lucky not to have drowned in my sleep.
Living at such low elevations made for difficulties when readying myself for any walk involving the physical effort of clambering up mountains. East Anglia is not renowned for its summits.
Over the years I have been fortunate in having Lord Elpus & Miss Whiplash close by: They whipped me into action every Autumn to drag me round the Suffolk Munros: all the hills 100m above Her Madge’s Imperial Sea Level. Happily, this usually involved meeting at a public house where we could slump into armchairs in front of roaring fires with a few pints of Greene King IPA, until Miss W finally kicked us out into the chilled afternoon dampness and the sludge of the Suffolk clay. This weekly fix was enough to keep the walking frame ticking over during the winter months so that when we needed to raise our game, to lug rucksacks about, it wasn’t too much of a shock.
I now live down in Berkshire. The shock statistic of my new location is that I live 250 feet above sea level on the side of a hill. This feels a little bit like cheating really as I am now Training At Altitude. With the new regime over at Challenge Control, there may well be dope tests at every start point on the TGO Challenge. I had better prepare a blood sample before I set off, just in case.
It was a sunny day today and so there were no excuses for not getting out there and going for a walk. I chose North, by North West as my direction and struck out fully provisioned with two apples and a granola bar. You can’t be too careful. And I was sporting clean pants. Just in case I was to be run over.
I left it a little too late to walk far but made a mental note to turn round at 3:00pm and see how far I would get. I was heading towards the Chiltern Hills.
I made it to the M4 motorway. What a great destination, eh? I know how to pick them! Stuff was whizzing past me at incredible speed. Everybody seemed to be in a desperate hurry to be somewhere else.
Miss Whiplash would have been pleased with the mileage and my efforts to increase her financial well-being. 10 miles in 3 hours including a stop for a pint of Greene King IPA. She’s a good girl; she has shares in Greene King. I even managed a few hills as well.
The burgeoning comedy belly will soon be a thing of the past.