All posts tagged: walking

When telling a lie is the best option, to clamber ancient rocks in Wales

“Come and stay in the holiday cottage with us; take a break from your Mum,” says my Aunty over the phone. I don’t need to be invited twice. Any excuse to hop on a train cross country- my favourite way to travel. My Aunt and her partner live in North Wales, but a family gathering is happening in South Wales, and it’s the perfect time to catch up with my cousin, her husband, and their 3 kids, as they celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. They’re staying near where Mum and her 3 siblings grew up, around Gowerton. I’ve never been there before: I’ll get to see the house they grew up in, the school they went to, and most importantly, the bays and beaches over which they gazed as they matured, following their dreams. But I’ll have to ignore the stab of guilt at not taking Mum with me. I know full well that she actually needs the stability of her routines in a familiar place, rather than the stress of travel and an unknown …

Without doubt, the most beautiful road sign I’ve ever seen in Australia

I get teary every time I drive past it. Which is quite often, as it’s near the end of my street on the way out of town towards the highway. That stretch of road becomes long and narrow, without pavements or overhead lights, and cars can drive at 80kms (or faster) after leaving the slow limits of suburbia. It’s officially Winter now, so despite my tropical address, it’s dark by 5.30pm, as everyone hurries home to their families and snug houses. Except Alfred. I can’t remember exactly how long he’s been around, but it’s years. Years and years of just walking in sandals on the road’s edge, leaning more and more to one side in his spine as time passes. Who is he, my son and I used to wonder? And why is he always walking, sometimes wearing a garbage bag as a jacket, whatever the weather. Nut brown legs, stained clothes, occasionally carrying a stick with litter impaled on the end of it; always walking, no matter the weather. A couple of years ago, …

How to sleep (or not sleep) with a man in a cabin in the Tasmanian wilderness

So we took nearly 2 hours to walk 4.5kms on the first day of the Three Capes Track because we kept stopping to pee and/or take photos. Finally we arrived though, and here’s G49 (the birthday girl) perfecting her “Please-stop-taking-more-photos-for-your-blog” pose. The ‘huts’ were fantastic: built less than 2 years ago, all timber and colorbond (very typical Australian architecture), with stunning views, and well-equipped stainless steel kitchens (no fridges, plus you must bring all your own meals, and take out all your rubbish). Yoga mats and a foam roller were also provided, plus a pile of boardgames and packs of cards. But the best thing of course, was walking around without your pack!  We were welcomed and briefed by the ranger, who gave us a history of the site, the latest weather update, and an orientation re the next day’s walking (11kms). It all felt super organised and well-designed. Except for the sleeping arrangements. You see, up to 48 people can book to walk the track at one time, and the rangers assign the same numbered …

World Weds/Random Thurs combo: What we can all do about plastic, ‘cos it sure ain’t fantastic

I walked on the beach here in Australia yesterday morning after the farmers’ markets; it was wild! I’ve never seen the water so high, and I wouldn’t swim in that ocean if you paid me money; it was thrashing, and whirling. Still, I pounded my way up and down for 45 minutes, as I’m beginning training for a 4-day hike… but that’s another post (and hence the fairly ugly new boots I’m breaking in, and old shorts- sorry ‘H’, I know you don’t really like them. *grins) The point is, I began to pick up bits of litter/plastic. I always do, but this time, perhaps because of the storms and rain we’ve just had here, there was much more. Which reminded me of this fantastically-informative, well-laid out, beautifully-photographed blog I like to follow called The Zero-Waste Chef. Whose recent post was called Go Plastic-Free in 2018 (or Close to It). Please check it out, and let yourself be inspired. Let’s do it together! What ways do you think you could easily reduce your plastic consumption? Here’s …

Tackling the mountain, 200 steps at a time

We love our small mountain ‘Mount Chinny’. My son and I can see her from our verandah, keeping guard over our cute country town near Byron Bay, and she figures in many local photos: Supposedly, she’s the cap of the volcano ‘Mount Warning’, which blew her off millennia ago; you can see that parent mountain in the far distance: The base of Mt Chinny is on private land though, so access for the general public is restricted. But this Saturday, all that is going to change: 500 lucky entrants are going to compete in ‘The Chinny Charge’, which was last run 16 years ago, and won by a sugar cane cutter in his bare feet! I bought son ’17’ his entry ticket in the race, then realized I could just walk up it like other sane old people, and bought myself one too. I’ve launched into a heavy training regime. Not. I drive to the steepest hill around here, which leads to a disused water tower, and walk up it, listening to loud Australian hip hop. …

Mother and daughter out for a walk

A hand strokes her back as they walk down the hill on this warm morning, heading away from me. Giving reassurance, or seeking it? The road is steep, and the frailer figure is definitely an old woman. Her back is stroked again, and I assume that’s her daughter, with the cherry red sunhat and white runners. Similar body shapes, similar height. I’m walking into a mall in England with Mum, July 2017, and we realize the shop she wants is up on the second floor. I know her anxiety and claustrophobia won’t let her get in a lift, and she hates escalators too. “Shall we walk up the stairs Mum? It’s not far. I can hold your arm, or you can hold the railing?” “Ooh, I don’t know, I hate heights. Will you help me?” “Yes of course. Just don’t look down. Let’s talk about something to keep your mind off the height, and definitely don’t look down OK?”  The red hat leans in to whisper something, and the older woman laughs; I hear it …

Blog tales for the Over 50s with positive ageing, dating & relationships

Walking with son ’17’ when suddenly…

… he drapes his arm across my shoulder. He’s never done that before. I put my arm round his waist, but it feels awkward, so I let it drop. We move apart a little, and walk on. We sit in silence on the rocks watching a dolphin pod swim in lazy circles while the sky fades orange, pink, baby blue, dark blue. As we walk back towards the car, he does it again. This time, my arm round his waist feels comfortable. We walk and talk, arm in arm, 17 & 51, as night falls.   Best. Homecoming. Ever.