On your feet


It needed time to see whether it would succeed (or indeed to gauge the magnitude of the failure), and it seemed only polite to let the salons know first, but now the figures are back, the jury has sat down and the lead juror is on her feet and clearing her throat.

Hair does not stop slugs.

Quite what we’re going to do with that unbroached sack of the stuff is not yet clear, but it’s no longer in my house, so I don’t feel any great pressure to resolve matters.

The matter most insistently bashing about in my head is how to purge the summer of relative indolence in time for some whopper walks I have planned. And when I say planned, I mean booked hotels and roped in other people, so there’ll be no backing out. The biggest worry that’s been expressed by one friend who has lived in Balham all her life, and another who has lived in Tooting all her life, is the risk of cattle attack. No, really. Apparently, in some sort of Tom Sharpe-style comedy horror, the cows are waiting to pounce. On each occasion I have pursed my lips, looked thoughtful and moved the conversation on.

Walking in high summer is a sweaty-backed, sunburnt, thirsty-making slog, but the tang of autumn in the air? Magnificat. The delight I felt at getting the rucksack and the boots back on was a surprise – perhaps that’s how dogs feel when they see someone picking up their lead. And walking through the early morning mist in Battersea Park, on my way to clocking up a self-imposed training minimum of 12 miles a day, is a heart-song treat. The well-heeled young fellows running around the park, a honey-hued genetic elite thanks to generations of wealth, beauty and good maternal nutrition, is just a happy, happy bonus. 


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