Four months of living in London has put paid to that little bit of hubris.
To be fair, it's not all my fault. I'm more than willing to lay a large part of the blame squarely at the feet of the City of Westminster.
And the generations of brown-brogue-wearing British engineers before them.
With no car, walking is now my main mode of transport. So, with near-GPS precision, I am locating every wobbly bit of paving, each uniquely uneven cobblestone and any crumbling piece of street gutter in greater London.
And stepping on it.
Almost certainly with my left foot.
I am perfecting the art of what I call the half-faint-stumble. You know, that ever so elegant move where your foot (in my case the left but some of you may lead with your right) your foot spontaneously flips from horizontal to vertical, and you find that your ankle is now located where your heel should be. Indeed, where your heel was just a millisecond ago. With your centre of gravity momentarily in shock, you lurch gracefully into albatross-about-to-take-flight position in a bid to avoid the complete faint-fall-stumble face-plant.
At least, I do.
Every. Damned. Day.
|Two of Charles Darwin's walking sticks.|
Medicine Man Gallery, Wellcome Collection
Perhaps I should take my lead from the eminently sensible Charles Darwin, renowned scientist and exponent of the walking stick.
Apparently, Mr Darwin did his best thinking on foot. Such a strong believer in the power of the walking stick was he that a distinctive tappy-tappy was, reputedly, how others knew he was in the vicinity. But I'm afraid that, today, the approach of the great Grand Pooh-Bah of natural history would also be accompanied by a great deal of tut-tut and tsk-tsking.
His favoured aids-de-walking are made of whale bone, ivory and animal horn.
I have nothing but admiration for all those gorgeous young things teetering about the streets of London on their spike heels, playing peak-hour footpath chicken in stiff-soled wedges and dashing down to the Tube in their prodigious platforms.
|Indian fakir sandals, Wellcome Collection|
iPhone pic edited in Snapseed
But do you think maybe I could cultivate better balance by giving the world's least flexible sandals a go?
During the month of April, I am participating in the Blogging from A–Z Challenge.
My posts will all feature images of and by the Wellcome Collection, Euston, London: the free destination for the incurably curious.