Little and Often: Fall Down at Your Door


In Eaves Wood.

But I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walks a thousand miles
To fall down at your door

I did it! At some point during October half-term I reached the completely arbitrary target I set myself, which was to walk 1000 miles during 2018.


Silverdale from Castlebarrow.

I was talking to my old school friend JS about the thousand mile challenge when we walked on Whitbarrow back in September. He has subsequently joined the same Faceache community which I joined, in a fit of enthusiasm, last January, but then religiously ignored for the rest of the year – the kids are always highly amused by any engagement on my part with social media since they have decided that I am essentially anti-social – so, anyway, JS has joined the group and committed himself to walk 1000 miles in 2019. All to the good.


I think this must be the spring, bizarrely quite high on the hill on which Eaves Wood stands, which feeds the large water-tanks by the edge of the wood which once supplied Hill House, now the Woodies pub.

JS asked me, during our walk, whether I would be repeating the challenge in 2019? I told him that I was undecided, in fact, that I was struggling to make my mind up. Now, since I finished in 2018 with room to spare and have really enjoyed getting out regularly, that equivocation probably requires a little unpicking.


In Eaves Wood.

It doesn’t require a maths teacher to work out that, in order to reach a thousand miles in a year, you need to walk roughly 20 miles a week, or an average of 3 miles per day; actually, slightly less in both cases. Bizarrely, my highest mileage months in 2018 were January and February, in that order. I did just about make the required total in most other months, aside from November, when the wheels came off a bit.


Eaves Wood.

January and February went so well, despite the lack of daylight and the miserable weather, because, in the first flush of enthusiasm, I really took the ‘little and often’ idea to heart and tried to get out as often as possible, including regular lunch time walks from work, which prompted, incidentally, the Listed Lancaster posts, some of which have become almost the most popular posts in the ten year lifetime of the blog, rather annoyingly.


But when I was talking to JS in September, I had already realised that, because our circumstances have changed somewhat, the lunchtime walks are not really feasible any longer and I anticipated that I was going to find it very difficult to maintain the kind of mileage I had hitherto achieved.


Ironically, September turned out to be one of my better months, and I did well in October too, but December and particularly November have gone on to confirm some of my worries.


By the end of November, I was finding my relative inactivity that month exasperating. When I chatted to JS, I had been anticipating that, should that happen, then tracking my mileage each month and watching myself fall behind schedule would only exacerbate the frustration.


Sunset from the Cove. The photos here were all taken on either the Saturday or the Sunday at the end of our October half-term.

That still is a bit of a concern, but I’ve decided that I am going to aim for a thousand miles again, and continue to track my progress on Mapmywalk. The reason, simply, is that I’m feeling pretty fit, by my own lax standards. Towards the end of our night in Glasgow, when TBH took me to the Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show, a guy in a donkey jacket (how the heat in the room didn’t melt him I don’t know) came over and shook my hand, congratulating me on dancing through the entire show. At that point we’d been dancing for something like four and a half hours, fuelled, in case you were wondering, only by curry, tap water and euphoria.  What’s more, I was full of cold, but would have happily carried on dancing for at least a while longer.


In retrospect, I’m quite chuffed with that: I don’t think I would have managed it a year ago. And since walking is pretty much the only exercise I get, the little and often approach has to be working. It’s going to be more difficult this year, I’m going to have to box clever and be creative in finding opportunities to get out, but hopefully the target will spur me on, as it did at times in the rain and the dark last year.

Onward and upward.

Having begun with a quote from a Proclaimers lyric I really ought to end with one of their songs, but then I was intending to work in some more of the tunes from our night at the Glasgow Academy. So, two for the price of one:

Not, 500 miles, but the boys from Leith at their witty best.

And, hard to dance to, and played by one of the DJ’s who preceded Mr Charles…

When I saw them at the Lancaster Music Festival, the Hackney Colliery Band finished with this, leaving the stage and wandering around mingling with the audience. Bizarrely, Weezer have also recently covered this song, after a concerted campaign by some of their fans. Their cover is very faithful to the original, which is not a good thing as far as I’m concerned.



Little and Often: Fall Down at Your Door

11 thoughts on “Little and Often: Fall Down at Your Door

  1. Thinking of signing up for this myself this year. Not sure what exactly to count in the totals though. Walks into town for shopping etc, don’t seem appropriate but walking round Manchester in Liverpool during days out probably are OK. But country walks should be the staple I think

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      It seems to me that you need some rules, but that those rules should be whatever you feel comfortable with. Some people do ‘boots on’, which is leisure walking only. Some people, I suspect, track every single step. I fall somewhere between: I’m on my feet a lot at work, but only moving slowly and I don’t want to include that, but most other things do get chucked in, including shopping, but only when it includes walking from store to store.

  2. Ok, so now I’m listening to Craig Charles funk and Soul mix on you tube…. I bet that was one fab fab night so another ‘one to look out for’ for me. ..and one for you (maybe) DJ Maseo aka de la soul (given you like night mares on wax)
    Congrats with the 1000 miles. Myself and running buddy signed up but by Feb it was obvious that we wouldn’t hit the goal. 3 miles a day doesn’t sound like much (probs because in human evolution terms it isn’t) but sedentary lifestyles mean that if you miss a couple of days the catch up becomes daunting and eventually unsurmountable. So hats off to you for not letting things defeat you.
    Fab pics as usual 🙂

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      It would be an entirely different thing with running: much harder. You can walk at any time, don’t necessarily need to change before or after, or shower, can walk several times in one day, can use holidays to get out repeatedly for long walks to catch up.
      I’m already looking at up and coming Craig Charles dates. I love De la Soul, so will check out the DJ Maseo set.

  3. That’s amazing, Mark! Congratulations! What a wonderful goal you completed last year! I do very well walking in the 3 or so summer months and am terrible in the colder/icy months. You are an inspiration!

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      I’ve been called many things, but I think that’s a new one! If we had proper winters here with deep snow I imagine that would make an annual challenge much, much harder to accomplish.

  4. I had been wondering how your challenge had gone but didn’t like to ask. Congratulations for 1000 miles. I made 1255 kilometres [780 miles] and am pretty proud of that, as nearly half of it was from my early morning walks around my suburb. Thankfully it is a very ‘green’ walk.
    I too think you are an inspiriation. With your busy family life and work you still manage to achieve this and photographs and blog. Keep up the fantastic work.

  5. Well that was an unexpected cover!! I actually quite like the original (I know harking back to days of poor quality taste in music that you slowly weeded out of me) but this one is much better. I won’t congratulate on you distance covered. It’s all about obscure summits these days.

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