According to the government, we can all go out once a day for the purposes of essential activities such as exercise. Obedient as ever - and with added pressure from Fergie the Fitbit - I take myself out for a daily walk.
If I were able to run, or cycle, or use a hoverboard (the latest “must have” according to the Not So Very Little Welsh Boys who were each gifted one for Christmas) then I could, of course, exercise in a much more exciting way. As it is, Shanks’s
Pony has to suffice.
I did, in the interests of accuracy (and because I do like the Daily Blog to come over all educational every so often) research the meaning
of Shanks and his pony. Disappointingly, there never was anyone called Shanks, whether owning a pony or not. The shank, it seems, is a name of Scottish origin for the lower part of the leg between the ankle and the knee - otherwise known as the shin bone or
the tibia. Such a very boring explanation of a rather poetic term.
I always prefer to walk with a purpose so since Mr B became a Most Reluctant Resident in a local
nursing home after being discharged from hospital, I have chosen to walk to and from his temporary home each day to take him a daily letter. This, I remind him, is a throwback to our early courting days when we used to write to each other every day while we
My walk takes me half an hour each way which keeps Fergie happy anyway. I choose to break up my journey into four stages. First there is the walk
from my house to the nearest parade of shops where I can always pause to post any letters or greetings cards I have written. This is called multi-tasking. The second leg is the hardest, as it involves walking up and over a railway bridge but as I huff and
puff along the way, I can reminisce on all the visits I have made to friends and family, starting from the railway station over which I am toiling. Trips to Cardiff for Nanna Visits to my Welsh Boys, journeys to London to meet up with the Youngest of the Darling
Daughters for a Lunch ‘n’ Theatre date, or to join my tribe for the annual Jolly Outing. None of which has been possible for the best part of a year - but one day, one day...
The third lap of my walk is my favourite part because it takes me past The Twittering Bush. Honestly, I can hear my feathered friends well before you reach the Bush though actually spotting them within the spiky branches is another
matter. There must be dozens of them in there, rejoicing in the fact that, unlike us poor humans, they can enjoy a House Party (or should that be a Bush Party?) any time they wish. No chance of their activities being interrupted by a Crow-vid Marshal. Perhaps
it’s not a party, maybe it’s a strategy meeting for the forthcoming Big Garden Bird Watch, working out the best route for access to the juiciest feeding stations. I fear, if past years are any indication, that I’m not on their map...
The final lap takes me along the main road to the nursing home where I can post my letter in the letter box and brace myself for the journey back home, buoyed up by the thought
of another visit to The Twittering Bush. If I am extremely fortunate Fergie Fitbit will trill to tell me I have reached my 10,000 steps for the day.
I will be dancing along the road. I am being allowed a half hour visit to Mr B, the first time we will have seen each other (apart from the briefest glimpse across his hospital ward on Christmas Day) for more than six weeks. We are meeting in an outside “pod”
and I will be kitted out in PPE so I can only hope he recognises me after all this time. We shall have plenty to talk about in our “pod”. I’m not sure what a pod is but it hardly matters.
It will be, as far as I'm concerned, our very own Twittering Bush.