As I write this, we are still in the second lockdown and I’d be lying if I said that the months of social distancing, mask wearing and general social seclusion haven’t taken their toll a little. I’m fortunate in that we live in an area that has access to parks and a small community with shops so, if we didn’t want to, or have to visit a large supermarket, we can choose not to.
Fortunately we also have a great home and a garden big enough to potter in and get some fresh air and listen to the birds. I feel for those who don’t. It must be hugely challenging.
One of the things… actually let’s not beat about the bush here, the ‘thing’ that has contributed positively above all else is walking. Walking has kept me sane. It’s also stopped my weight from spiralling which, believe me, it could so easily have done. Baking has also been a godsend, but it comes with a high price and walking has been its counter when the cakes, cookies, pies and a bewildering selection of breads had attempted to hide their calories upon our person.
Cardiff is full of great parks and we have the Bay and barrage which has also been a regular walk. Our favourites are loops. We’ll look on Google maps and try to work out a loop that’s about three to five miles. usually we bank on a mile every twenty minutes – that’s a decent pace for someone in their late fifties. On occasions we’ve done ten miles but the weather hasn’t been brilliant over the last month so we’ve opted for shorter shower-dodging strolls.
One thing about walking is that you do meet people. Even if you stand several feet apart, it’s been nice to briefly connect with walkers, and dog walkers particularly.
The other thing that has improved is air quality. During lockdown, there have been less vehicles on the road so the traffic odour that usually sits in the air in Cardiff has all but disappeared – for now anyway.
Sadly litter appears to be everywhere and it’s hard to justufy why there is so much. Some of us are dropping it = perhaps, while we’re out walking, we could be picking it up. We’ve started to do that. Taken a bag and just filling it as we go. It feels good to contribute positively anyway.
Images copyright Mark Roberts
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