On the way into town.  A row of cottages in an alley passageway in Richmond.
On the way into town. A row of cottages in an alley passageway in Richmond.

I am sure that even my personal trainer – well, the ex-personal trainer – would be proud of me.  I am walking like never before.

After a week living here, I am getting used to the routine of catching buses and walking everywhere.  Even catching the tube requires a 20 minute walk each way.  A week later, and I’ve noticed the hike up the hill being a little less intense. Well, it helps not to buy too much at Tesco’s, and to spread the weight of our groceries over several runs.  Some thought and planning before you leave each day is definitely required.  My feet still hurt from all the walking, but not as much as it did when I first arrived.

And, once our bikes arrive, we’ll be able to check out the cycle paths by the river or through Richmond Park. (No cycling on main roads for me.  That’d would be a death wish.  If the buses and cars don’t run you over, the exhaust fumes will get you instead.)

People have asked whether we will be buying a car. Cars, I’m told, are actually quite cheap at the moment. But the standing cost of a car can be expensive (registration, insurance and parking). Then there’s the ongoing cost – petrol, maintenance.  Plus, if you park in the wrong spot, the clamping fees are around 150 pounds. That’s about AUD$350 in the “old” currency. (Yikes!)  And you see council officers everywhere.  So the chances of getting caught are quite high.  Also, traffic can be very slow going, and frustrating. Imagine a Sydney bad traffic day, only every day.

Anyway, the good thing about walking is that we get quite a lot of exercise, and it’s very environmentally friendly. It’s our little way of doing something for climate change. … And maybe in a few months, the novelty will wear off.