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It’s been a while since my last post, when summer was at its height and walking days long, unencumbered by mud or prey to mid-afternoon fading light. Autumn is now almost over and winter upon us, and while the weather sometimes offered up some beautiful sunny spells, this autumn has sadly been a wet one.
Anyone who has walked our local fields recently will know that the ground is sodden, with many fields awash with standing water, Given that the likely outcome of any field crossing is filthy footwear and boggy britches, you may question the logic of an off-road jaunt. What could possibly be worth the significant cleaning exercise that would follow?
When it’s as wet as has been, it would be all too easy to snuggle on the sofa, turn the TV on and the heating up, shun company and succumb to the temptations of comfort food. But, for many reasons, that’s not always the best course of action.
Being outdoors, experiencing the weather, testing ourselves against the elements fosters a sense of achievement known to be beneficial to our wellbeing. Now, more than ever, looking after our physical, mental and emotional health is really important, and going for a walk is a great way to boost all three.
When the lure of a foray outdoors proves too strong there are really only two options to consider:
Stick to lanes and tracks and avoid the worst of the mud.
Embrace the conditions, go anyway, and work out whose turn it is to clean the boots later.
I’d advocate the latter – the countryside can be glorious at this time of year, as I hope these photographs show. And, to whet your appetite, I’ll soon be publishing a new feel-good walk that is the ideal antidote to a duvet day.
So, pick a fair day, wrap up warm and go for it. Trust me, it’ll do you the world of good!