A is for…..

…and wouldn’t you know it, my mind has gone blank! I had a busy morning as it was wednesday. Well of course it was and is wednesday, silly chump. What I mean is, every wednesday, I go walking with a group of friends. We met three years ago at a gym for women only. Well, I met them three years ago. I gather that they had been going to that gym for a year or two before I turned up.

The gym closed after I’d been going there for a year. Which was a shame as I’d actually enjoyed it. I know, me! With my knees and my aversion to exercise more energetic than jumping to conclusions. It was a complete surprise to me! I was going three times a week: mondays, wednesdays and fridays. But I found it was all too much for my damaged left knee and I was spending the intervening days in agony. (Hey, that’s what a is for, “agony”!) So after a while I switched to just going on wednesdays.

Wednesdays were special as that was when the regulars all met up. We did three circuits of the gym, instead of the one or two we would do when we were there on our own, on other days. (A convoluted sentence, but you can see what I mean!) In between each piece of equipment, the gym owner, Karen, would lead us in exercises. We worked hard, had fun and afterwards we all went across the road to a cafe for coffee and a gossip. We’d discuss what appalling things the town council were up to this week, criticise the tourists’ strange outfits and generally put the world to rights.

But after that year, the gym closed down. It wasn’t making enough money and the owners lost interest. A month went by, and then someone, Ann I reckon, had the bright idea that we should meet up once a week for a walk along the Promenade. Genius! So, we meet up at the same time as we would have been going to the gym. Usually by the bandstand on the Promenade. Though at the moment we are having to meet elsewhere as the bandstand is being pulled down and then rebuilt. Most weeks we walk towards Constitution Hill, kick the bar, turn and walk back along north beach and south beach, to the wooden jetty, and kick the bar at that end. Then we decide which cafe we’re going to for a good gossip. That’s not to say that we hadn’t gossiped our way along the way too!

Kick the bar? No one knows exactly why the custom started, but what you do is, put your foot up on the top metal run of the fence at the end of the Promenade. Take your foot down and do the same with the other. There is a theory that some King or other was walking there, noticed that his shoelace was loose and he put his foot up on the bar to retie it. Then laughed, and did the same with his other foot. Of course, his entourage copied him and from then on, it’s been the custom to kick the bar for good luck. There’s usually some bemused tourist wondering why these six women of a certain age are all kicking the fence.

We part company at noon and go our separate ways, until the next wednesday. All in all, it’s a good two miles or so. Which is not bad for a group of grey-haired women in their crone years. Once or twice we have switched to going to the outdoor gym. But that’s a story for another day!

So, A is for AGONY!! My knees, and my aching legs that I have to put up with for the rest of the day. It’s worth it though!

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