Take someone for a walk and you might just shape the way their life unfolds. To prove it, deputy editor Nick Hallissey tells the story of the people who did that for him…
’M ASLEEP. The blast of cold air hits me like a slap. “Come on lad. Letsby Avenue.” From somewhere in the cosy back seat of a 1984 Honda Civic, I make a noise. Somewhere between a grunt and a mumble. Literally, a grumble.
And then – oof – the boots are thrown at me. Jazzy charcoal Dachsteins with purple trim. Bought from Gaynor’s of Ambleside in a bid to make this moment somehow more palatable. It isn’t.
Bleary-eyed, a youth of somewhere between eight and 15 hoists himself up out of the seat and looks out of the rudely-opened back door. Cold. Windy. Early.
And then there’s dad, bearing overly strong, unsugared tea in a flask from the Seventies.
“Come on,” he says again, before invoking the Yorkshireman’s Mantra: “’Appen it’ll brighten up yet.” And then I remember. I love this. I have no idea where I am. It might be Edale, it might be Seathwaite, it might be Lower Peover (ten points if you can put that on a map). But wherever it is, I’m about to go for a walk with mum and dad, and that means everything’s okay. It means funny stuff will happen. It means we’ll see something interesting, possibly even amazing. It means we’ll eat cheese and pickle sandwiches by a trig point or under a tree. And it means that one day, a few decades hence, I might get a job on the world’s greatest walking magazine.
Can’t be all bad.