Little and Often: Progress Report


Somehow the end of February slid by without any mention here of my progress, or otherwise, towards the target I’ve set myself of walking 1000 miles this year, above and beyond the pottering about I do at home and at work. This wasn’t because I’d fallen behind; I didn’t quite match January’s total, it’s true, but with a little over 120 miles logged, I had much more than I need to reach my, admittedly arbitrary, target.


These photographs are from one of my ‘little and often’ strolls. The day after our friends left us was once again wet, but it briefly brightened up in the afternoon, so I took my chance for a standard wander to the Cove and across the Lots.

These are the benches where I sometimes sit to watch the sun set, currently graced by an entourage of Daffodils.


I’ve been enjoying a website, Other-Wordly, “about strange and lovely words” and one of the words which I hope will stick with me is smultronställe, a Swedish term,

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Maybe these benches are not wild enough, or private enough, to match that description, but otherwise they’re a perfect fit.

The rain may have paused for a while, but the evidence of it’s recent ubiquity was everywhere to see…


Even on the Lots, which usually stay reasonably dry…


By the time I came back through the village, the skies were leaden again, presaging the imminent arrival of more wet.


Here’s my calendar for February, from Mapmywalk…

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By contrast, March looks a little spartan…

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..and it’s true that illness and general busyness did hamper my efforts somewhat. In fact, at one point, I did find myself bitterly contemplating the possibility of a blogpost entitled something along the lines of ‘Too Little, Less Often’, but despite my misgivings, I still just about crept over the required mileage for a month, so that’s okay then. In fact, as of today, I’ve just passed 400 miles for the year so far.

In a similar vein: last night I was updating my ‘Birkett Tick List‘ page, essentially a list of the hills in the Lake District which I’ve climbed since I started to write this blog, back in 2008. I was engrossed in the technicalities of editing the page – something I’ve had trouble with, which is why it was almost two years behind, but it was quite enlightening to look back at two years of walks and realise that in that time I’d actually climbed far more hills than I expected. At one point, A was looking over my shoulder and pointed out to me that the list has become quite a long one. And she’s right: without ever really applying myself, I do seem to have accumulated a fair few ascents. Now, admittedly, the Lakes are compact and it’s often possible to tick-off several hills in a single walk. And also, it’s taken me 10 years to build-up a substantial tally, but I still feel like this is another victory for the steady , softly-softly, tortoise (rather than hare) approach.


Blea Tarn Hill – somewhere I might never have visited without Birkett’s list to encourage me. Not a lot of effort being expended here, but we actually managed to claim a fair number of summits that day.

Little and Often: Progress Report

13 thoughts on “Little and Often: Progress Report

  1. Oh my. How lovely! Your photos and the word “smultronställe” are just wonderful! I think your daffodil-flanked benches work perfectly for that word. Thank you for the link to the blog…cartophile AND logophile. Excellent. What a wonderful walking goal! I started out at the beginning of March well with walking and then tapered off considerably when the weather turned bad again. This is so encouraging and a push to get out there again. Wish I had a few fells to climb. 😉 However, I live in a beautiful area with many pretty hills and copses of trees and gorgeous fields. I have a little hill that I call my “fell”, so I’ll be ok. Thanks for sharing.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Your ‘little hill’ might well be higher than our fells. The UK doesn’t have huge mountains. It’s all relative anyway – some of my favourite hills are the tiny limestone outcrops around home, which are of a very modest height, but have great views anyway. I look forward to seeing more photographs of your area as the wether improves and you are able to get out again.

  2. Given your weather and flu, you are keeping up the miles well.
    Smulstronstalle is very apt for that bench and view, particularly with the ‘host of daffodils’. It also matches beautifully, your final pic.
    Earlier this year I came across ‘coddiwomple’ – to travel purposefully to an as-yet-unknown destination.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Coddiwomple – I love that. I often travel purposefully with an as yet unknown route (my destination will ultimately be to return to where my walk started). I like setting off not knowing quite where I will go.

  3. Blue Sky Scotland says:

    Far more miles than me per month. I only feel motivated to go out if its fine weather then its usually a case of maybe too much- not often enough but at the moment I have a knackered knee and cabin fever setting in.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      That’s hard to stomach isn’t it? I’ve had various enforced periods of inactivity – due to anaemia, a dodgy knee, turned ankles, minor surgery etc. I soon get stir-crazy, in fact I’m not very good at recuperating sensibly. Last year at this sort of time I was out walking the day after an operation, which probably wasn’t too wise. I hope your knee is soon better, or that there is some relief in sight.

  4. I try to get out every day I’m home although mostly on the bike for knee related reasons. I have a target of 1000 miles a year on the bike from lots of short rides rather than longer ones. I may start tracking walks as well now with the app.
    I had to look back at the post to work out where that day was spent. What a cracker it was and pre my own blogging. Bagging summits whilst a bit sad is a great way to see different places. I’ve noted with interest that my OS maps software shows Marilyns – plenty of local ones I haven’t done. I also need a Welsh tick list of hills to bag

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      That was a cracking day wasn’t it – and a brilliant weekend. I’m finding it quietly satisfying keeping an eye on my miles. Also quite motivating. The Nuttalls (John and Anne) have a two volume set of books of hills over 2000 feet, one for England and one for Wales. I have the English one, as well as their Lakeland Tarns books. I really like the latter. I haven’t really used the hills book because I’m ‘doing’ the Birketts. They use a height separation criteria and it’s very modest, so a lot of tops get included, but at least it’s not arbitrary. So for instance, Round How, above the Corridor Route, is in there. I’ve been up it years ago, it has a challenging scramble which I probably wouldn’t attempt now and it’s well worth climbing, but probably very rarely visited.

      1. I find it interesting that even though, here in Oz we think of England being flat, there are actually so many peaks to ‘bag’. Not too many around here and all far too steep, rocky, thickly forested and poorly blazed. I’ve read about the 10 peak, 3 day challenge down in our Snowy Mountains and would love to give it my best, but it is so far away.

        1. beatingthebounds says:

          Perhaps that’s it – our peaks are modest and relatively safe and accessible. I was once taught by a chap who had climbed all of the 4000m Mountains in the Alps. I think he was the first Britain and he wrote a very good book about it:
          But I imagine that’s a fairly exclusive club he belongs to. I’ve climbed a handful of them, but most are beyond my limited skills and nerve. The hills here are much more approachable and friendly. Although, I should probably add, they can be dangerous and deserve respect.

        1. beatingthebounds says:

          Also – some of the unlisted hills in Scotland are excellent and it does no harm for some not to be on lists.

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