There was good news and bad news on my walk the other morning.
Rain was pouring down, but I was well wrapped up and the weather had kept less hardy souls indoors which left me alone to enjoy the wet fields,overcast sky, trees that alternately gave shelter or dropped a deluge, and sad soaked sheep.
By the way, do sheep shrink when wet – like my jumpers? Halfway round I became aware of a strange sensation in my left foot.
Was it damp, or was I imagining it? But the evidence was incontrovertible. My left boot was letting in water and the foot within was squelching.
How depressing that boots that had allowed me to ford rivers and wade mountain streams with impunity – well, they had let me paddle through puddles – had developed a leak.
I had worn them five days a week for the last 18 months for my morning walk.
Saturday is day off and Sunday I tramp around Huddersfield for variety.
Was this a decent return on my money?
They have been in cross-country use 390 days. Should I have expected more? The good news was that my right boot was still dry and weatherproof.
Did this mean that the fault was with my left foot? Had it somehow put more pressure on the boot than my right ever did?
Was it a sign from a higher being, telling me I was meant to use one foot more than the other?
I was right footed during my brilliant football career (the older I get, the better I was, and I am now very old) although, aware of the criticisms levelled at one-footed players, I made strenuous attempts to also use my left, sometimes with confusing results.
If it worked, I was smug; if it didn’t, I blamed a divot.
I seem to remember a lot of divots.
Later, I embarked on a walking career in the Dales which was cut short when my mother cleared out the garage and threw away my left boot.
Had this happened by accident, as she claimed, or had her hand been guided by godly design?
Perhaps I had been ignoring what had been staring me in the face all my life: I was meant to favour my right foot to the exclusion of any other and perhaps now, this was my moment. I am considering using my right boot only and, instead of taking a morning walk, embark on a morning hop.
Who can forget the drama of the Hopathon in the Ripping Yarns episode of Tomkinson’s Schooldays?
And if one-legged hopping (alternate hopping not allowed under international rules) makes a return to the Olympics, I’ll be in good stead to be considered for the Great Britain team in Tokyo 2020.
Early morning walkers have been warned in case they see me and are tempted to send for the police or men in white coats.
Then again, I could just use my spare walking boots and use both feet.