Wednesday 20 June 2012


You will of course recognise that ejaculation from the Lee Hazelwood song recorded by Nancy Sinatra. I also remember a version by Irish songstress Rose Marie.

We played it for a time on Radio 2. However, when she got to the question it sounded like the Rev. Ian Paisley and frightened the life out of me every time I aired it. The words seemed appropriate for this blog.

The weather dawned sunny, so I decided to tackle a long walk - one I'd not done for a while. I was going to walk the Regent Canal towpath from near my flat to Limehouse Basin where the canal drops into the Thames, and which in its time had been a huge commercial hub. Now though it's a base for expensive boats.

I needed the right clothing. Shorts baggy for the use of? Check.

100 (or is it 1000) mile socks? Check.

I bought these a while back. Wool outers with a cotton liner. The inner moves against the outer preventing blisters. They work a treat.

Comfortable shoes? Check.

Off I went. It's probably a couple of years since I have attempted this trudge. How much had I deteriorated in the interim?

The canal towpath is busy these days, and you live in fear of cyclists hitting you from behind despite notices declaring pedestrians have priority and cyclists should ring their bells and exercise caution. Often they don't and pedal past at breakneck speed.

It did cross my mind - were these the same cyclists that you read about complaining about road traffic?

The sun shone, the water glittered and boats were moving back and forth as they are supposed to do on canals.

I was walking about 3.5 miles per hour, so in a couple of hours I reached my destination. I felt good. Often times on long walks I can develop blisters, raw thighs and an aching back and neck. On this occasion all seemed to be going well.

I rested for about twenty minutes and set off back. The good thing about a yomp like this for amateur hikers like me is that we don't have baggage. I just had my phone, door key, some cash and a credit card. Travel light and if things go pear shaped you can always hop on public transport.

There are a lot of police in evidence at the moment in the East London area. Is this pre-Olympic security paranoia?

From the conversations I overheard as I strode past, it's about litter. I think they want Team UK (that's us) to pull out all of the stops so that the capital looks as shiny as a new pin by the time the world arrives. This means that if/when we lose, we will do it hygienically.

The graffiti and rubbish on canal towpaths has long been a bugbear of mine. I doubt the manifesto promise of the death penalty/transportation to the colonies would make me electable if I stood for office, but it does annoy me.

Five hours and fifteen minutes after starting out I was back. Fourteen to fifteen miles covered. Hot and sweaty yes - blistered no. The walking with hands swinging at your sides has an effect - pudgy fingers! I needed a reward and knew exactly where to find it.

1 comment:

Holland said...

You deserved the reward Alex! Well done!