Tuesday, 6 January 2009


Mostly at the moment I resolve to be warmer. Fortunately I have leg warmers, thermal socks, long-sleeved t-shirts and the fluffiest dressing-gown in existence (which sadly I cannot wear to work).

I make resolutions all the time - after all, an over-optimistic assessment of my capacity for self-improvement, competence and maturity is for life, not just for January. Obviously, as always, I resolve to eat better, drink less, read more, panic less and generally behave more like my aspired-to self, but this year there is also a more measurable target.

Despite the non-completion of last year's task (of which more later) I have high hopes for this one, which started by accident.

I like castles - ideally semi-ruined ones, the kind with no roof, some walls you can clamber over and others with a fireplace 30ft up, but with at least one spriral staircase leading to the top of a crenellated tower. I like exploring them with a map and perhaps the odd artist's impression on a plastic-covered stand. I'm not that keen on audio guides.

I like working out which bits were built when, trying to remember names of architectural features and reading about seiges, battles and Victorian romanticisation. Most of all (when no-one's looking) I like to have fake sword fights in an Errol Flynn sort of a way.

Anyway, in a closing-down sale we bought a book called "Walking the Castles of Sussex". Perfect, we thought: walks, castles, marvellous. When we got home we realised that it is in fact one long 181 mile walk, broken into sections. This is no longer merely a book of walks taking in 20 castles. It is a challenge.

Completing these walks (within the year, not a weekend or anything crazy like that) will tick off several sub-resolutions in one go:
1. Visit more castles
2. Go on walks in the country
3. Spend time with people (at least some people with cars preferably, as the walks are linear)
4. Complete a list-based task

0 walks done
15 to go

To be continued.......

No comments: