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Walk It Off

Sunday, 21st February 2010

Due to an excess of red wine last night I found myself leaving the car at my parents house and resorting to walking to work today. No great hardship really, I used to walk to work all the time and it only takes 45-50 minutes.

As it turns out, I’d forgotten how enjoyable a walk it is. Admittedly in nasty weather it can be rather unpleasant and a bit of a chore but this morning I was met with a crystal clear sky and that glorious golden liquid sunshine you get early in the morning. Beautifully cold crisp air cleared the mugginess of last night’s indulgence. The wintry skeletons of the trees revealed a view across the Moray Firth as far as the snow capped hills of the Black Isle. Sometimes it’s better to slow down and savour the world. Three deer were foraging in the stubbly, frosty grass in the fields by the Smithton roundabout. I’ve seen grouse and birds of prey that I’m not qualified to identify on the same route in the past. A murder of crows scavenging by the retail park. A blackbird the apparent victim of cat, a rabbit lying dead by the fenceline of the farmland next to the A96 gleaming with frost.

All of these things you miss when you move too quickly. The details. It lifted my mood tremendously, finally cracking the shadow cast by this seemingly endless and dark winter. Happy days.

Set me right up for the day. Had the most productive and enjoyable day at work I’ve had in a while and even now, although I’m bloody knackered, I’m feeling rather relaxed and happy.

It wasn’t just the glory of nature that cheered me. Being the better part of an hour it’s a prime opportunity to listen to some tunes, something that you can’t really do (at least not safely) when you cycle and the drive doesn’t last long enough to really get into some music. There’s also some quality thinking and reflecting time where I sized up my life and decided that really on the whole I am happy and content and have little to complain about. Sorry if this seems a bit smug but it is actually true.

So I have spent the rest of the day in high spirits and brimming with zest for life. It’s unlikely to last, my inherent cynicism will inevitably reassert itself in the next few days. I’d be surprised if Thursday wasn’t a turning point when I will be taking Barbara down to Edinburgh to deliver the “Save The Highland Rheumatology Unit” petition to Nicola Sturgeon at the Scottish Parliament. I’m looking forward to this trip, somewhat surprisingly given my dim view of politicians generally. I think it is likely to either generate some faith in my soul for politics or snuff out the last embers of it. Either way it will be interesting to see how things turn out. Word on the street is we should get some tea and biscuits out of it. Paid for by the taxpayers. Get in.

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