New Year’s Day

I’ve been doing a lot of walking in the last week, which isn’t unusual. A few years ago I was being interviewed for a photographic magazine and was asked to name my most useful photographic accessory and my answer was “a good pair of shoes.” It wasn’t the kind of answer he wanted  (though I think they did print it)  and he continued, “No, not clothing, what’s your favourite accessory“, so I told him it was my Brompton folding bicycle, which as well as getting me to places (and folding so I can put it on trains and the Underground for longer distances) also enabled me to see and photograph over walls and fences by standing on it.

But mostly the walking I’ve done recently has been in cities, often with a few hundred or thousand other people on demonstrations (and quite a bit of it I’ll be walking backwards, which gets a little tiring.) There are some streets in London where it now feels a little odd if I have to walk along the pavement rather than marching down the centre of the road, although when I’m on my own the traffic would make that suicidal.

But New Year’s Day I took a walk in the country with some of my family along a part of the Thames Path. There was a cold wind and the temperature was around freezing and I froze at times, despite a warm jacket, woolly hat, scarf and gloves.  I find it hard to imagine how (and even harder to imagine why) people live in really cold climates.

Our walk from Reading to Pangbourne was a relatively short one, though we made a few detours, mainly at both ends of the walk, giving us a total of around 7 miles. Mostly – as you might expect from the name – the path was alongside the river, although we did at one point have to make a rather lengthy detour through a rather boring housing estate at Purley.  And we were lucky it was so cold, as much of the mud that would otherwise have made walking difficult was frozen solid. Otherwise much of the Thames Path is best walked in reasonably dry weather rather than after some of the wettest months on record.

Thames Path at Pangbourne

I can never get too worked up about photographing landscape, and this certainly lacked the spectacular, though I’m not a great fan of that either. But I did rather like the sign on the bridge which states:







Thames Path at Pangbourne

Although given the weather I didn’t feel at all tempted to do so.

More from the Thames Path another day.

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