How to Walk Well

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Listen, I know that this is probably discriminatory and all of that, but this blog post is not aimed at people that don’t generally walk with their legs. I know some fine people that use wheels to get around and others who use various combinations of sticks and frames and they (and you) are all wonderful people, but this is not your time to listen. Also not included as the potential audience for this post are things like rocks and plants that don’t get around in the same way that humans do. I mean, sure, rocks get around by getting kicked and plants get mobile by getting themselves put into pots and hanging baskets, but still – this post is not for you.

Happily though, pretty much everything and everyone else is included. Frogs get around in much the same way that humans do, and rockets and cars do pretty much the same.

So, now we’ve laid some ground rules – on with the show.

The first and only rule for How To Walk is to introduce some variety into it. By this I mean that sometimes you need to skip and other times you need to swagger. Sometimes you should consider walking backwards and at other times you can perhaps think on the benefits of walking like crabs do – sideways. Wait now – don’t go. This is not madness. This is absolute common sense. Think about it: stuff wears out, right? After you’ve walked across a grassy field a few dozen times, you’ll notice that you’ve laid down a track. The grass you walk on will get beat down the more often you walk on it. Then it’ll get more sparse. Then it’ll die. This is the wearing process. The same thing happens to joints, muscles, tendons and other stuff in your legs when you do the same things to them day after day. They get worn in certain patterns.

So what, I hear you ask, is the alternative?

Let’s go back to our field of grass. Think about what happens when, every time you go across it, you choose a different route. Here’s what happens – you don’t wear a track. This is because the grass at any particular point has a chance to recover from being trod on. By spreading your footfalls around the grass you bring benefit to the whole field and – bonus – you still get from one side to the other. It’s a true win-win situation.

Similarly, when you vary the way that you walk you give the various components of your legs a rest. You’ll have noticed, perhaps, that walking up hills uses different muscles to walking down them. Your legs ache in different ways according to what you’ve done. In the same way, walking backwards, sideways or forwards use different combinations of tendons, joints and muscles. The more variety you can bring into your gait the more benefit you will bring to yourself and your legs. Make variety in the way you walk a lifetime habit and, chances are, the longer your legs will last.

That’s all for now; I hope you enjoyed what I’ve shared and are able to tune in to future episodes of ‘How To’, but for now – happy walking!

Ode to a Hole in the Ground

Skip to the end section.
Under the last line.
The rest is just warm-up.
I wrote this afterwards.


An ode is a song. Or so they say on the internet. But who’s going to believe that sh…tuff?

I mean, what kind of a word is Ode anyway? It’s got to be either an old word or a new one. Cause it’s not one from my generation. Not by any stretch of the chalk.

But anyways; just say that it is a song. Then this isn’t an Ode. Because there’s no way that you’ll be able to find any rhythm or rhyme to it. And without them things then you’re just left with nothing. And a dull nothing at that.

A few years back now, I recorded some songs and stuck them on SoundCloud. One of them got almost a thousand listens. Some of them even rhymed and, for sure, they’ve all got rhythm. But none of them are Odes even though I nicked some of the lyrics from ABBA. Good news is that they haven’t rocked up, in their platforms and pearly smiles, to complain. Not just yet.


I’m having a late Hemingway moment.
The kind where you pause and analyse.
The kind where you’ve lost your mojo.
The kind where you need to just stop. Period.

But I’m not going to. Because I have to write an ode.


Odes are funny creatures because they don’t have legs.
You’d think that I’d be okay with that, wouldn’t you.
Because I’m much the same.

Put me in a hole,
And I look the same
As when I’m stood up.
Which I can’t do,
Because I don’t have legs.

They got plucked away,
By a train.

Yeah, no; don’t worry;
It doesn’t hurt anymore.

I play an accordion sometimes
In the centre of town.
I play well.
No, really!

But they don’t hear my song.
They don’t see my face.
They don’t see me.
They’re just wondering why I’m stood in a hole in the ground.

But I least I have the balls…
What’s that?
No, that’s not what I was going to say.

I was going to say that
At least I have the balls to
Get myself
OUT
OF
THE
FUCKING
HOUSE!

My Rebalancing

It’s like a twang. As if the rubber band holding my hip together has suddenly slipped. Twisted around with a twanging feeling.

A creature living inside my hip made of ache and bone.

Walking along the left-hand side of the road where the path tilts one way towards the road so that water can flow into the gutter. That’s when it twangs. That’s when the discomfort comes and I have to stop to let it rest for a moment. Walking along the right-hand side of the road is fine.

“You’ve got a leg-length-discrepancy.”

“Say what?”

“One of your legs is slightly longer than the other.”

“Oh.” I mean, what can you say to a thing like that?

I walk on the path to the right of the road even though the pain and the twang is many years in the past now.

Took me more than a year to find out the cause. You should hear some of the theories I went through. Like opening heavy doors with my foot and sleeping on the wrong side of the bed for too many nights and age and negative-thinking and crossing my leg the wrong way and sitting in meditation in the lotus position and going to yoga classes too much and then there are the diseases that go through your mind like arthritis and their consequences like hip-replacement and stuff like that.

Anyways, like I say, it’s long gone.

Now I have another niggle: a pain in the groin on the right-hand side.

And the search for a cause is in progress. I’ve nearly got it.

A Rattle in my Left Leg

Something’s been bugging me over the last few days, and it’s taken me until a few minutes ago to figure out what it was. Let me tell you the story of the rattle in my left leg.

I thought it was my bag. Sometimes, the banana de jour is smaller than the banana case I carry it in, which makes my bag rattle. I held the bag close, I moved it from side to side. I Listened carefully with my head cocked like a blackbird hunting for worms. It wasn’t my bag.

I thought it was something in my pocket. I have a pebble called Gilbert that I carry in my right-hand jeans pocket. Gilbert looks after my money. He only has fifty pence at the moment because the rest of it went into a little bag that my wife uses to buy things at the car-boot. I clamped my hands over all my pockets in turn. It wasn’t my pockets.

I thought it was my foot. But that was plain ridiculous. Feet don’t rattle!

I thought it was one of my boots. I walked funny. I walked on one leg and then on the next. I scuffed my feet. I tried to baffle my left boot by walking slowly on it (and then quickly on the right one). I tried to silence my right boot by sneaking about on it (and then marching on the left one). I couldn’t decide which one was rattling.

I was walking indoors just now. Down the corridor at work. And I heard the rattle as plain as day. So I took my right boot off and walked on. Still rattling. So I put my right boot on, took my left one off and walked a bit further. No rattle! Hurrah!!

I shook my left boot. Rattle, rattle. I turned it over and shook it again. Rattle, rattle. I looked closer and found that I have a slittly little hole in my boot and it’s been letting in little pieces of stone. Rattly stones! Hah!!

I left them there. I’ve kind of got used to having a left leg that rattles.

Mission Impossible – ACCOMPLISHED!

Daddy Long Legs:

cellar spider closeup photographyPhoto by Mircea Iancu on

I know daddy long legs (dll) from way back. Used to try to catch it in my cupped hands. And it’s easy to do. Kinda. Except that when you let it go again after it’s done tickling your palms, it always (always (always)) leaves behind a leg or two or three. I don’t know – maybe they’re meant to be detachable. Maybe it’s something to do with remembering and not forgetting. Who knows.

Anyways – my mission (impossible) today was to get dll out of the bathroom without detaching any of his legs.

Cue the plastic beaker and flat cardboard technique. Probably the cupped-hands method of my youth was fatally flawed.

Whop! Pop the cup over the dll. He never moved.

Sleee! Slide the cardboard slowly under the cup. Now he decides to move!

And lift! Pick up dll, cup and cardboard and carry them to the window.

Whoosh! Off he flies into the pale-blue distance of the English morning sky.

I checked the beaker. No legs!

Mission Accomplished! 😀

(And yeah, I know – it’s really a Crane Fly, but “in colloquial speech, crane flies are sometimes known as mosquito hawks or daddy longlegs” (Wikipedia))

My Evening S20170716

Here’s a picture of my feet. They are feeling utterly relaxed as they hang out with my legs on this lovely, sunny Sunday evening.

Although it’s not the end of the night and I can’t really tell what the future holds I’m going to tell you about my evening.

And even though the future is uncertain, I can assure you that whatever happens, my legs and feet will not have a concern in the world.

As for the rest of me …

Well, my thumbs are busy on this magnum opus, my eyes are similarly employed in a supporting capacity, as is my brain. My mouth is anticipating getting acquainted with the half a big, fat orange I have in my bag – peeled and ready to go and my nose is busy channelling air into my lungs.

When the orange is done, or perhaps even during – let’s see how daring I feel, I’m going to read a bit more of the excellent How To Build A Girl by Caitlin Moran. I only started it at midnight last night and I’m already on page 123, so that’s how good it is.

There’s a disclaimer on the first page that says “this is a novel and is fictitious”, but I don’t believe a word of it.

Then after that I’m going to walk and read until it either gets too dark or too cold to read at which point I’ll head home and go to bed.

Hope that at least one of your dreams came true today, and if not, then tomorrow brings you wonders.

P.S. I have cooked and eaten good food. My tummy is happy.

And now – the orange.