Drifting and striding with Geoff Nicholson - author of The Lost Art of Walking, and Walking in Ruins withcholson, author of Toff Nidrifting and stomping withcholson, author of The Lost Art of Walking, considers the narrower and wider shores of obsessive pedestrianism.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Readers of my book The Lost Art of Walking will remember my story about going walking in a wood with my dad and being accosted by the land owner.  I've found something oddly similar, and truly wonderful, in a short story by PG Wodehouse, who was also an enthusiastic walker.  The story is The Autograph Hunters.

A couple of paragraphs run as follows:

"On the afternoon of the twenty-third of the month, Mr. Watson, taking a meditative stroll through the wood which formed part of his property, was infuriated by the sight of a boy.
"He was not a man who was fond of boys even in their proper place, and the sight of one in the middle of his wood, prancing lightly about among the nesting pheasants, stirred his never too placid mind to its depths."
Safe to say that my dad and I weren't "prancing lightly about among the nesting pheasants" - my dad was a serious Yorkshireman, after all - but a part of me wishes we had been.