Saturday, January 12, 2008

Singing in the Rain

Yesterday was the day the walking started to bite ... it was wet and cold, thoroughly nasty English winter weather. The mile each way to Little Cherub's Jo Jingles class felt like three in the face of steady driving rain. My waterproof jacket did its job, but water dripped from the bottom leaving me with soaking wet jeans. Cherub was snug and dry under a rain cover, but cross - she gets very offended these days if we put her into the "wrong" coat. Unfortunately both her winter coats are wrong coats. The only "right" coats are two cheap, rather worn, thin fleece jackets that I have now hidden. Sometimes she forgives and forgets the offence to her person quickly; other times she complains with great persistence. The only way to stop her whinging yesterday was to sing to her. If I stopped, she cried. So I walked the mile there singing in the rain with entirely fake enthusiasm.

Jo Jingles cheered her, so I didn't have to sing my way home. As I walked I thought of the hobbits, and how quickly the gloss disappears from an adventure once discomfort sets in - damp, hunger, fear. As for poor Frodo and Sam, dragging their way through Mordor ... well, certainly there was more to those hobbits than anyone familiar with the Shire could have imagined. I also remembered my own worst ever day of walking. Many years ago I walked 120 miles from London to England's Nazareth, Walsingham to raise money for charity. With no experience of long distance walking I allowed myself a week. I did it. It hurt. Tevye, at home acting as mission control as he recovered from spinal surgery, kept getting plaintive phone calls along the lines of "if I ever suggest doing anything like this again ... stop me!" Worst of all was the day it rained heavily. To add insult to injury, part of that morning's walk was along the A10, a major trunk road with no footpath. Walking along a busy road in driving rain with heavy lorries trundling past was, to put it mildly, no fun. I cheered myself by deciding to stop for a hot meal at a pub marked on the map instead of relying on my own supplies as I had planned. I reached the pub. It didn't sell food. I felt much as the hobbits would have done if they had reached the Prancing Pony at Bree only to find it out of beer. I consoled myself with a brandy, which did at least make me feel a little better about the afternoon's walk ... for maybe fifteen minutes or so.


Romany said...

So impressive!

120 miles in a week? Wow!

Elizabeth said...

Much sympathy! I've had to do the rainy entertainer act many times too... Waterproof trousers (for you)?

The Bookworm said...

I have waterproof trousers and did think about wearing them ... but I have a sneaky suspicion they would now be uncomfortably tight round the waist :(. I may have to invest in a larger pair, but I'm trying to pretend I don't need to.