Friday, 17 March 2017

On Walking

Hi, my name's Vicky and I like walking.

Like some sort of Guardian reader who shops at Waitrose.

Like some sort of hippy who eats quinoa and does yoga and mindfulness and meditates.

But only some of those things are true. I do read The Guardian, for example, but only on a Saturday as I am very poor and can't really afford to go buying the newspaper everyday like some sort of MILLIONAIRE. I read the internet. Obviously.

The thing is, it cannot be underestimated how great walking is. Especially for a city girl like I actually am. I love London. It's great. Shops are open 24/7 and there are police sirens often enough for you to be able to check your hearing on a regular basis. Winner! For real though, London is great. It's also full of parks and greenery so this woman here ain't complaining about the best city on earth (in my humble opinion but also, let's face it, I've never lived anywhere else so this is yet another Londoncentric view. Sorry about that).

But walking in the countryside is great. And apart from the train fare, it's also, basically, free. I mean, you might want to buy a map and some water or a book and a wine-cooler full of water, which is what I use as I am one classy chick, but the actual walking part? Free as rain. Talking of rain, you might want to invest in some waterproof walking boots and a rain jacket. Just TRUST me, OK? Like, we do live in the UK, guys. And you know what our weather is famed for? Raining. So, it'll probably rain. The first proper walk I went on it rained like a monsoon for the first 10 minutes. We were still in the urban bit of the walk, barely out of the train station. The heavens opened up like an Ice Bucket Challenge (remember that!?), ruined our book and made us squelch the rest of the way round that bit of the South Downs. But. Then. The clouds cleared, the sun came out and it was a beautiful, glorious, English summer day. Though it was muddy as fuck. Swings and indeed roundabouts.

Thing is, it is cheaper than the gym and you're more likely to go. Also, halfway through a walk when your legs are killing you and there's only bog as far as your eye can see and you want to lie down and be left there to die, you know that you can't. You can't just stay there in the woods indefinitely. You'd die of exposure and you wouldn't get to eat that cheeseburger in the pub you promised yourself. Because, damn it, if you can't eat a guilt-free cheeseburger after walking 12 miles then what is even the point of this whole business?

10 Walking Tips (for punk amateurs like me)

  1. Bring water, you moron. 
  2. Wear comfy socks, preferably walking socks. I buy great ones from Amazon. Because I am also obsessed with Amazon, yes I know that this is problematic. 
  3. Buy walking boots. Trainers are NOT good enough. RIP Nike Classics.
  4. Wear something reflective and/or colourful if walking in Autumn or Winter months. YES, I KNOW MY JACKET IS TOO DARK. THANKS FOR NOTICING THAT, MAN IN THAT CAR WHO PULLED OVER JUST TO TELL US THAT WE WERE WEARING DARK CLOTHES. WE GOT LOST! 
  5. Bring an apple. Or a Tracker bar. Or a Snickers, who's counting calories in the woods? 
  6. Wear layers. I know it might be freezing now and just a sweater and your coat are good enough but you are going to want to take that sweater off so you'd better be wearing a T. Shirt too. Idiot.
  7. Bring a backpack. One big enough to stuff your sweater and coat into. See above. You WILL take these things off. You must bring these things though as you WILL get really cold too. Fun, in it?
  8. Bring a torch. I know you have a flashlight app on your phone but what happens when your phone dies, VICKY? No flashlight app. Bring a torch. A real one. You might have to buy one from the National Trust shop. Fine. Do it. 
  9. Bring plasters. You will get blisters if you don't bring them. Fact. No way round this one. To prevent blisters bring a First Aid kit. 
  10. Just follow Sarah, this one really only applies to me but it is a really good tip. 


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