Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Walking clubs

In this morning's newspaper I noticed that the Happy Wanderers Walking Club for couples was accepting new members. I'm not sure why singles weren't welcome. Many of my walking companions would be excluded from this club.

Little Mt. Doug
In Victoria, I can walk everyday of the week if I want to, and I often do.

On Mondays I walk with a friend who, like me, is anxious to keep fit. We usually hike up and down Mt. Douglas. "Mountain" is a courtesy title. An elevation is not officially a mountain if it's less than 1,000 feet, and colonial officials did not want to offend their governor by calling this tract of land "Douglas Hill". (You may remember that this was the premise on which was based the film "The Englishman Who Went up a Hill but Came Down a Mountain".)

Two deaf old buggers
On Tuesdays I walk with the Deaf Old Buggers. Many years ago on the Pennine Way I encountered a quartet of octogenarians striding across a Yorkshire moor. How could those old buggers still be walking, I wondered. Well, time catches up with you. Now, some of my best friends are octogenarians. As we walk along the trail, we talk loudly about a variety of issues, which frequently evolve into some kind of grammatical discussion. My companions were eminent men in their field, but had little cause to study grammar. Now in their retirement they show a surprising curiosity about this topic, and I am only too happy to respond to their interest. Yesterday, while clambering over rocks, we discussed reflexive pronouns.

Three whimsical walkers
On Wednesdays I walk with the Whimsical Walkers, so named not only for the capricious nature of the human participants, but for the presence of a little enigmatic terrier called Elliot who follows his master devotedly along the trails.

On Thursdays I walk with a Serious Hiker. We venture out a little further into the woods and get lost.

On Fridays I walk with a group from my choir, aptly called Allegro Moderato. We race along, trying to keep up with our leader, an allegro, while some of the moderato lag behind. Occasionally, this has led to a little tension. This group has been enormously successful in providing an opportunity for new friendships.

As we walk, we chat, or walk along in companionable silence. The joys of walking!

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