Z’s boots are made for walking…

It wasn’t really the day for a country walk, but that’s what was on offer, so that’s what I did.  Our friends have a New Year’s Day party every year – first a walk, which this year was set for 3, 5 1/2 or 7 1/2 miles, then back to their place for soup and cheese.  Several people make soup and we try as many as we can manage – they’re all always delicious.

The weather was not good, but we loaded Ben in the car (plus towels and a blanket for later) and arrived in time for a stirrup cup of mulled cyder, Adrian being a leading light of the local cyder club.  They make gallons of it – literally, they forage for several tons of apples each year.

Only a dozen or so opted for the long walk.  I’d intended to do the short one, but a friend looked disappointed, so I changed my mind and scrambled on the trailer to be taken to the start of the medium one. Her husband lifted up Ben, which would be beyond my capabilities.  Later, seeing me being towed down a slippery path, he kindly took Ben’s lead and walked him the rest of the way.  I felt a wimp, but was immensely grateful by the end because I’d have struggled.  Mike and Ann, this couple are the people you’ve stayed with – as has Tim – at their guest house.  The short walkers missed a turning and went a couple of miles out of their way, so looked tired when they got back.  Russell intended to do that walk but changed his mind because of the filthy weather and spent an hour by the fireside instead, which was a great relief to me because I’d been worried about him.

It was so good to catch up with friends and talk to new village residents too.  I should add to my new year’s intentions: to join in with things more.  I used to go to WI, gardening club and other events at that village, but felt guilty about going out in the evenings and leaving Russell – but we don’t do anything here, we often don’t even talk much.  It’s friendly enough, on our his’n’hers iPads or reading or occasionally watching television, but not exactly vibrant.

Which reminds me, last night (sorry, Facebook friends, you’ll be reading about this twice – or you could just stop now) I dismissed most of what was on television and put on the DVD of The Big Sleep, on my computer because the DVD player stopped working ages ago and I watch films so rarely it’s hardly been worth buying another.  And within minutes, I spotted a detail I’d not noticed before, but which was very nice.

The film starts with Philip Marlowe (the peerless Humphrey Bogart) arriving at a mansion and being ushered into an overheated conservatory, where his employer is sitting amongst the orchids.  And you can see his shirt getting damper as he gets hotter – it looks completely genuine.  Then he goes out and speaks to the butler again and his shirt is still wet in exactly the same places.  After that, he goes into another room to speak to Vivian (Lauren Bacall) and the shirt is still sweaty, but gradually dries out during the scene, completely realistically.  This fantastic attention to detail , completely  unremarked – it was a white shirt, so wasn’t that obvious – made me very happy.

The film and the book have only a tenuous link, really, but I love them both.  And the book has one of my favourite descriptive phrases when, introducing Carmen, it says ‘she was … small and delicately put together, but she looked durable.’  Marvellous.

6 comments on “Z’s boots are made for walking…

  1. Blue Witch

    Happy New Year to you all. That’s a long short walk, particularly in the weather we had yesterday – it was bad enough in Mi1dred! Hope you’ve recovered.

  2. sablonneuse

    Thanks for your email, Z,. As you see, I’ve managed to read the instructions!
    Kica and I are wimps: we don’t go for long walks in the rain and wind so I admiore your stamina.

  3. Z Post author

    It felt quite an effort, in view of the pace Bobbie set me, but at least I could walk and talk, which I couldn’t always manage on those walks in Ludlow with Jon. I had a long soak in the bath later.

    Welcome, Sandy – I’ll put the link to your blog on the sidebar. I don’t normally do anything much in the wind and rain, except snuggle down by the fire!

  4. 63mago

    Do you like to watch film noir in general or is it because of Bogart and Bacall ?
    I would have opted for the small walk and then hung around the soup cauldron. At least I managed to have a small walk on New Year’s morning. And nice to learn that some gentleman took Ben’s lead, Ben must still have grown a bit since the last photograph.

  5. Z Post author

    They asked after you both, Mike and are very pleased to hear you’ve got the all-clear from the medics. Their second grandchild is due in February, all is well with them and theirs. B and I agreed to go for another walk (without Ben) soon, I’ll pass on your message.

    Ben weighs about 10 kilos less than I do, Mago, and he’s very enthusiastic. Simon certainly is a gentleman, and very strong – I can’t lift Ben at all, if I have to help him into the car it has to be half a dog at a time! There was no shortage of soup, about 10 large pans – the best efforts of at least 50 people couldn’t finish it all.

    I was raised on Cagney and Edward G. Robinson etc, love the films – though I have a particular weakness for Bogart and Bacall. I have a regrettable taste for a certain cynical charm and have no objection to a degree of violence, if it’s done with panache – strictly on screen, of course.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.