Given that I live in the west of Scotland it's a good thing that I like walking in the rain. Whilst I do subscribe to the saying "there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing" it seems to have become my life's mission to find the most appropriate clothing! I own a lot of raincoats. Several of them keep the rain off my top half but leave my legs soaking wet. So then I purchased a pair of waterproof trousers. They left my legs dry but channeled the rain down my legs and into my boots. (I'm not an idiot, I wasn't tucking them into my boots, it was more a flaw with the type of boot.) This morning I tested the latest combination and the rain didn't even seep in around my neck. On Monday I discovered that not having a beard was contributing to the water getting in. (My partner has an identical raincoat and a beard and did not get wet. I do realise that this could be a post hoc fallacy.) Incidentally, the author Simon Barnes says that waterproof trousers are the next best thing to a super-power and I'm inclined to agree with him. I am however in the market for waterproof, or at least water-resistant, trousers that are also cozy, yet appropriate for non-outdoor activity, if anyone has any recommendations!
Anyway, the rainy season seems to have started. That's three mornings this week that I've had to waterproof-up before my walk. A dog walker I met this morning predicted that this was going to be it for the next couple of weeks. I felt she was being rather optimistic. Let's face it, it rains a lot in this part of the world. I'm not really sure that this is a good introduction to what I am about to suggest.
Our friends at Go Jauntly are encouraging all of us to get out every day for a walk during #Walktober and here at Get Outdoors Lanarkshire we've signed up. (You literally can sign up: download their app and click the challenges button.) If you're not someone who takes a walk every day then October is a great time to start, the mornings and evenings are still relatively light for most of the month here in Scotland, and being exposed to some morning sunlight has all kinds of positive benefits, including improving sleep. Perhaps that alone is enough to spur you on to take a quick spin round the block before you start work, or that old chestnut, getting off the bus a stop early. Talking of chestnuts, I'm making an effort to visit as many horse chestnut trees in the neighbourhood as possible, and in the breezy weather I've been rewarded with a very fine conker collection, which makes a wonderful autumn display. Don't write off a short walk - everything counts this October, you don't have to go on a hike. In case you need some added inspiration, we'll be making daily walking suggestions over on our social media, and if you sign up to Walktober then you can collect the daily badges on the Go Jauntly app too. I guess what I'm saying is there are at least 31 reasons to get out for a walk this October and we're aiming to prove it! We'd love to hear your walking suggestions too, so join us on facebook or twitter to tell us your thoughts. And now, day one: to paraphrase a popular book, I'm going on a conker hunt, I'm going to catch a big one, what a beautiful day!