Saturday, 14 January 2023

Out on the mean streets

Anyone else signed up to Country Walking magazine's regular challenge to walk 1000 miles in a year? It's not as daunting as it sounds: 2.75 miles a day and you've got it in the bag. Easy, if you say it quickly enough.

I've made a good start. I've already walked 60 miles since New Year's Day, because I've been out canvassing. There's a local by-election coming up at the start of February, so I've been pounding the streets posting leaflets through letterboxes and knocking on doors to gauge voter intention. I feel doubly smug because of all the miles I've clocked up and the satisfaction of knowing I'm supporting a good cause.

An unexpected consequence has been that I've seen parts of Kettering I've never seen before, despite having lived here for over 30 years. It's not a big town but a bit like New York (and this is where the similarity ends) it is divided into tidy chunks, and there are some sectors I've never visited, especially those on the posh side of the tracks. There's been a lot of building work, too, and in several areas where once there stood a proud shoe factory, there is now an enclave of bijou homes. I was particularly intrigued to see a resurgence in back-to-back terraces being built among swish detached houses. Fascinating stuff.

If you fancy a walk, why not explore an area of your home turf you haven't visited before? You never know what you might find.

Friday, 6 January 2023

What you will


Just before Christmas, I was out delivering community newsletters. People were beginning to put up lights outside their houses, and inside I could see trees being decorated and people wrapping presents. Now we're at Twelfth Night, and those same houses are looking bare, with just the occasional deflated Santa clinging to a chimney pot. 

 As usual, I haven't made any New Year resolutions. I used to when I was a child: be kinder to my little brother; do my homework on time; pick up my clothes off the floor before bedtime; then later it was the usual things like losing weight, getting fit, cutting down on the tea and biscuits. I never lasted much beyond February, so now I just don't bother. Nor do I engage with Dry January, Veganuary or any other such nonsense. I prefer to decide for myself when things need a shake-up. 

The other thing is that it's so hard to predict what the coming week will bring, never mind the next year. Looking back I see I posted this on 1 January 2020: 

'I don't know if you've noticed, but a new year has started today. Honestly, to look at FaceAche you'd think it had never happened before. I'm SO fed up of people telling me how great 2020 is going to be. I hope they're right and I shall do my damnedest to make it so, but let's wait and see, shall we?'

 Need I say more?

The title of this blog is, of course, the subtitle of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night from which this quote comes:  'Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.'

I'll just leave that with you.