diamond geezer

 Sunday, June 28, 2015

It was a lovely day yesterday, so I went for a 12 mile walk. I am eventually going to tell you all about this 12 mile walk, in more detail than you'll probably require, because that's how I roll. But to do this properly will take more hours than I have available, so you can have that report later, whether you want it or not. In the meantime I'm going to write about my day out from a completely different angle, and one which hopefully completely disguises what I did.

It was a lovely day yesterday, so I went for a 12 mile walk. This wasn't the plan when I woke up, indeed I had no plans at all at this point, so over a cup of tea I selected a "Thing To Do" from my great unwritten list. Of all the things I could have chosen, this felt like a suitably offbeat way to waste a gloriously sunny afternoon of opportunity. I wasted the morning away, and had a bath, and had another cup of tea, and finally at twelve noon I was ready to leave the house.

I took a couple of trains to a town in outer London, where I walked through the main shopping centre but didn't buy anything, not even a snack or a drink or anything. If anyone ever comes with me on any of these trips they invariably stop for liquid refreshment at this point, usually caffeine based, because they know I won't have organised my day out based on proximity to barista availability. But I was fine at this point, because I'd had two cups of tea for heavens sake, and there was only a 12 mile walk to go. One bus ride later, off I strode.

There were no shops in the village where I started, so far as I could tell, so it was just as well I wasn't hunting for a bottle of water. I should have brought one with me, to be honest, but I never remember, and my London 2012 bottle leaks anyway so what would be the point? I found the footpath I needed down a country lane, and set off south across the dung-strewn fields. There even was a damned excellent view of central London at one point, which was fortunate because I could point at it when the highly suspicious local farmer drove over to ask what on earth I was taking photos of.

Eventually the countryside faded out and, somewhat suddenly, the suburbs of London kicked in. There are no shops in these back streets, I suspect everyone drives to Tesco, although I understand I narrowly missed a Costa Coffee at one point because everywhere has to have one these days. There wasn't a footpath where I really wanted to go so I had to divert, past a parade of shops which had a newsagent but it was sponsored by The Sun, so I gave that a miss on principle. In the next playing fields I spied a cafe of sorts, which I was sorely tempted to pop into for liquid refreshment, but it appeared they'd closed two minutes ago, dammit.

By now I'd been walking for over five miles and was re-approaching the town I'd passed through earlier. This was packed with queueing traffic and reddening people in t-shirts, most of them milling around the main shopping centre for the opportunity to consume. It's the last place I'd want to spend an afternoon, an artificial conglomerate of pizza restaurants, big chains and cinema, so I eschewed the opportunity to join the masses and their frappucinos, and walked on.

In the retail park beyond the ring road, the only purchasing opportunities were clothing, white goods and a sit down meal, so my burgeoning thirst went unquenched. Never mind, I thought, I've brought a tube of Polo mints with me and one of those will see me through. I was then expecting to follow the main road for a mile except there was an unmarked footpath so I took that instead, which turned out to be an excellent move. However no liquid dispensaries were located along this route, indeed I passed nobody at all, just a stretch of languid river unsuitable for consumption.

The horses along the next section seemed to have enough water to drink, but I was now set on a southerly course somewhat distant from civilisation. A few dogwalkers schlepped by, but I was amazed by the solitude afforded by this lengthy London stroll. I'd now survived over six hours without a drink, which for you might be the end of the world but for me, even on a sultry afternoon, was merely par for the course. A locked gate forced another mile's detour, which my legs didn't especially enjoy, and took me no closer to anywhere selling bottled anything.

At the very end of my walk I spotted a conveniently-located McDonalds, except there was a bus leaving in two minutes so I waited for that instead, only for the driver to pull off from the stand and leave everyone standing. Muted curses ensued. At this point I thought I'd just head home and have a drink there, because how long could it take, the answer being a whole extra hour of slightly parched tongue. And once through my front door I gulped down a large glass of water, and made myself a cup of tea, and checked on the scales and noted that I now weighed three pounds less than I had that morning. It's not a recommended dietary option, the 12 mile dry walk, but I complete such journeys far more often than you'd think.

I shall tell you this story again tomorrow, but with the emphasis on geography rather than refreshment. My apologies that the proper report may be less interesting.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan17  Feb17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
life viewed from london e3

email    twitter    G+

my flickr photostream

What's on this month?
28 Jan – 23 Apr (10am-4.30pm)
Sussex Modernism
The sixth annual exhibition at Two Temple Place focuses on radical art/writing in Sussex, and is damned excellent.

twenty blogs
ian visits
blue witch
city metric
the great wen
edith's streets
spitalfields life
in the aquarium
round the island
wanstead meteo
london museums
christopher fowler
ruth's coastal walk
london reconnections
dirty modern scoundrel

quick reference features
Things to do in Outer London
The DG Tour of Britain
Comment Value Hierarchy

read the archive
Feb17  Jan17
Dec16 Nov16  Oct16  Sep16
Aug16  Jul16  Jun16  May16
Apr16  Mar16  Feb16  Jan16
Dec15  Nov15  Oct15  Sep15
Aug15  Jul15  Jun15  May15
Apr15  Mar15  Feb15  Jan15
Dec14  Nov14  Oct14  Sep14
Aug14  Jul14  Jun14  May14
Apr14  Mar14  Feb14  Jan14
Dec13  Nov13  Oct13  Sep13
Aug13  Jul13  Jun13  May13
Apr13  Mar13  Feb13  Jan13
Dec12  Nov12  Oct12  Sep12
Aug12  Jul12  Jun12  May12
Apr12  Mar12  Feb12  Jan12
Dec11  Nov11  Oct11  Sep11
Aug11  Jul11  Jun11  May11
Apr11  Mar11  Feb11  Jan11
Dec10  Nov10  Oct10  Sep10
Aug10  Jul10  Jun10  May10
Apr10  Mar10  Feb10  Jan10
Dec09  Nov09  Oct09  Sep09
Aug09  Jul09  Jun09  May09
Apr09  Mar09  Feb09  Jan09
Dec08  Nov08  Oct08  Sep08
Aug08  Jul08  Jun08  May08
Apr08  Mar08  Feb08  Jan08
Dec07  Nov07  Oct07  Sep07
Aug07  Jul07  Jun07  May07
Apr07  Mar07  Feb07  Jan07
Dec06  Nov06  Oct06  Sep06
Aug06  Jul06  Jun06  May06
Apr06  Mar06  Feb06  Jan06
Dec05  Nov05  Oct05  Sep05
Aug05  Jul05  Jun05  May05
Apr05  Mar05  Feb05  Jan05
Dec04  Nov04  Oct04  Sep04
Aug04  Jul04  Jun04  May04
Apr04  Mar04  Feb04  Jan04
Dec03  Nov03  Oct03  Sep03
Aug03  Jul03  Jun03  May03
Apr03  Mar03  Feb03  Jan03
Dec02  Nov02  Oct02  Sep02
back to main page

the diamond geezer index
2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002

my special London features
a-z of london museums
E3 - local history month
greenwich meridian (N)
greenwich meridian (S)
the real eastenders
london's lost rivers
olympic park 2007
great british roads
oranges & lemons
random boroughs
bow road station
high street 2012
river westbourne
trafalgar square
capital numbers
east london line
lea valley walk
olympics 2005
regent's canal
square routes
silver jubilee
unlost rivers
cube routes
capital ring
river fleet

ten of my favourite posts
the seven ages of blog
my new Z470xi mobile
five equations of blog
the dome of doom
chemical attraction
quality & risk
london 2102
single life
april fool

ten sets of lovely photos
my "most interesting" photos
london 2012 olympic zone
harris and the hebrides
betjeman's metro-land
marking the meridian
tracing the river fleet
london's lost rivers
inside the gherkin
seven sisters

just surfed in?
here's where to find...
diamond geezers
flash mob #1  #2  #3  #4
ben schott's miscellany
london underground
watch with mother
cigarette warnings
digital time delay
wheelie suitcases
war of the worlds
transit of venus
top of the pops
old buckenham
ladybird books
acorn antiques
digital watches
outer hebrides
olympics 2012
school dinners
pet shop boys
west wycombe
bletchley park
george orwell
big breakfast
clapton pond
san francisco
children's tv
east enders
trunk roads
little britain
credit cards
jury service
big brother
jubilee line
number 1s
titan arum
doctor who
blue peter
peter pan
feng shui
leap year
bbc three
vision on
ID cards