There were many smiles when I told the audience they could literally walk into love, just like Geoff Jones and Sally in Norfolk did, and other couples that I have met while leaping across a stile. Small surprise then that at the end of the meeting, one of the bachelor members came up to me and asked about joining 😉
The joy of walking across meadowland and buttercup fields, snowbell woods and coastal paths, is unrivalled. No need for lectures from me about its benefits for your health and good companionship, they are fairly obvious.
I still havenâ€™t accomplished my goal of walking 20 miles per day with ease, or pounding the stunning Pembrokeshire coast path, but the fault is mine for spending too many hours glued to the computer instead; I hope to tell a different story this time next year. In fact, one of the main pleasures of walking is of being unreachable and I always switch my phone off, unless I want to take some pictures.
It now seems that walking could be the new rockâ€™nâ€™roll, and that itâ€™s appeal has won over earth loving rock babes and musicians who are attracted to peace and solace in fresh air and unblemished countryside. A report in the Weekend supplement of yesterdayâ€™s Times carried the front page headline, â€œWalking? Itâ€™s the new rockâ€™nâ€™roll.â€ Four rockers shared their favourite walks, including former Britpop â€œwildchildâ€ Pearl Lowe, and Blurâ€™s bass player Alex James, who is also introducing its joys to his four kids under 5. It all sounds very unrockâ€™nâ€™roll to me!
If you find yourself footloose and longing for a good stretch over the festive break, here is a list of 20 winter walks recommended by The Times, including two in East Anglia close to me: one along Snettisham beach in Norfolk which I can recommend, and the other closer to home in Welney, famed for the thousands of swans and migratory birds which seek refuge there each winter.
I often meet friends for a brisk riverside walk during the lunchtime instead of having a catch up chat in the pub. Itâ€™s far more invigorating, and costs nothing. If you find yourself in Welney, do let me know and I will try and join you for the magical swan feed.
And if you do have a favourite winter walk, please share it with us.
*The pic on the right shows me with two girlfriends on a short spring walk from Cambridge to the Orchard Tearooms in Grantchester.