Posted by: Linda Proud | February 9, 2011

West Virginia via Summertown

I’ve passed Charlestown now, in the virtual walk across America, and am on a forty-plus mile stretch to the next place in this apparently uninhabited country. I was very pleased to see a recent Time Team on Jamestown. All I knew of the place, following my recent ‘visit’, was the same old piece of tarmac I’ve been on since the beginning of this epic walk. But Tony Robinson and team took us into the history of Jamestown and put names to the men who built the houses and even perhaps to the owner of the child’s shoe found down the well. So people have lived in America! I wonder if they still do. By the evidence of google maps and its photographs, there is absolutely no one alive in West Virginia.

(In my researches, I must find out where East Virginia is. By my reckoning it must be under the sea.)

Roll over, Imelda Marcos

I’ve recently added to my choice of walking footwear by hoiking out my hiking boots. They have transformed life. The day before yesterday I got to my philosophy class (two and a half miles) without running out of time and having to take a bus. And yesterday I got to Summertown and back in two hours, and that’s four miles. Oh God, isn’t it pathetic – two miles an hour! I suppose I should add in the half hour having a cup of tea at Joe’s.

The goal of my quest - Joe's and a cup of tea from a teapot.

Still, Sir Roger Bannister can enjoy his old age without any sense of threat from me.

Leafy North Oxford

Summertown lies on Banbury Road; where I live is just off Woodstock Road; between these two great arteries into Oxford is a grid of streets which qualifies as being part of ‘North Oxford’ – the land of well-heeled academics. I passed a good many very beautiful houses, villas and cottages and would have liked to have taken a good many photos, but I felt embarrassed standing there in woolly hat and hiking boots, definitely suspicious, taking pictures. Neighbourhood Watch would have been down on me like a ton of Victorian bricks.

winter aconites

So I took a few quick snaps of leafy suburbia, fully inhabited, with the first flowers of spring, to make up for the vacuity of googlemaps when I logged in to the walking site later to proudly add my 10,877 steps, which translates as 4.18 miles.

A new pair of shoes arrives this week, lighter and bouncier, so perhaps Sir Roger should actually begin to stir in agitation.

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