Modern life seems to be more and more associated with screens, we spend hours looking at them, avoiding exercise and making ourselves unhealthy. But the simple act of going for a walk away from your screen can have lots of benefits, especially if your walk takes in the natural world. Kate Humble is a big fan of walking, so much so that she ranks the importance of having that morning walk alongside her first cup of tea.
Her busy life of filming means that she is not always able to walk from her home in the Welsh Hills with her beloved dogs, but when she is away she takes every opportunity to get outside and see the are she is staying in.
Written in a diary form and set over the course of a year, she tells us of life’s ups and downs, the places that she travels to all over the world and most importantly the walks that she undertakes, both long and short. These are often taken alone with her dog, Teg, or with groups of friends and their children and hounds. When she is away from home she doesn’t miss the opportunity to take a walk, as she has concluded that this is the best way to understand a new city or region as you pace its streets.
A cancelled assignment means that she has an opportunity to walk a long distance footpath close to home and spends nine days walking the Wye Valley Walk. She also meets people who have used walking as a form of coping with the trials and tribulations of life, from cancer survivors to a soldier recovering from PTSD and a guy who conducts therapy sessions whilst walking around Central Park.
Being a diary it deals with the mundane, she goes through the routines of home life, putting the washing in, squeezing in more things in than time allows, to the significant events that happen over the course of the book. But primarily this is a book about walking and Humble is a big advocate of that act of putting one foot in front of the other and enjoying the natural world.
Paul Cheney 3.5*
Thinking on My Feet by Kate Humble
Aster 9781783253159 pbk May 2019