The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

The Power Of Feet …
August 20, 2010, 6:08 am
Filed under: Comment

So for the first time in my life, I can walk to work.

Let’s put that in context … this is the first time since I left college way back in 1989 that I’ve been able to get to my place of work without needing to take a bus/taki/car/boat/train, and to be honest, it’s a wonderful feeling.

I don’t say that because of any environmental benefits … nor because I like the idea work can call me in at a moments notice … I say it because it has made me happier.

Yes I know I sound like I’m back at Google or something … but the thing is as I walk to/from the office, the issues, tensions, pressures and deadlines of the day drift away to be replaced with feelings, images, sounds and smells of the environment around me.

In the past, going to/from work felt like I was on automatic pilot … often reaching my destination without actually knowing how I got there … whereas today I notice all that is going on, from the people walking their dog who look shifty when you walk around the corner because they were obviously going to try and make a break for it rather than pick up their pets shit to the street traders who shuffle their feet to the left or the right in a bid to increase their odds of catching your eye and try to sell you something weird or wonderful.

[But never weird and wonderful, ha!]

Seriously, it’s like I’ve woken up and am seeing things I haven’t seen for almost 30 years.

OK, so I’m a newbie in China so there’s lots of new things to see and discover which means that in all liklihood, the novelty will pass – especially when winter comes [though walking to work in 39 degrees is hardly much fun either] – however the effect a simple 10 minute walk has had on me has been nothing short of a revelation.

In some respects, it takes me back to when I was a kid and would walk to Heymann Primary School.

I know Shanghai and West Bridgford are about as different as you can get, but back then, the journey to/from school was less about going to a destination and more about building anticipation.

You see for me, going to/from school was like an unsaid countdown … a countdown towards a period of wonderful social interaction – either with my friends or with my parents.

It was exciting.

Every week day, where Greythorn Drive meets Waddington Drive, I would either meet or say goodbye to my friends and know that I was heading to happiness – either because I’d be meeting and playing with my friends or talking to my parents about my day and my hopes, dreams and thoughts.

And whilst some may say W+K is a bit like a kindergarten, the reality is it isn’t – but that walk to/from work has ensured, at least for now, that when I reach the destination, I’m always in a better mood than from where I left.

36 Comments so far
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for fucks sake campbell, have you been on the glue. again.

the power of your feet isnt about them walking you to fucking work its that they havent repeatedly smashed you in the fucking face for encasing them in camo fucking birkenstocks come rain or shine or snow.

and if youre saying walking to and from work makes you a happier person, then i darent fucking think what a miserable angry bastard you must be the rest of the time because when i called you mid walk home, you didnt sound like mary fucking poppins, you sounded like a suicide bomber on jerry fucking springer.

you do sound like youre back at the goog and that makes me fucking sick.

lots of ungay love.


Comment by andy@cynic

I must admit it’s a bit weird hearing you positive and happy but it’s a good weird, not bad. I totally get what you mean about the work commute feeling like you’re on autopilot, the mundane routine puts you in blinkers and switches off your senses from everything other than the road ahead.

I like this post. It is a bit “Rob @ Google” mode, but I like the way you talk about your old school days and how it was a journey of excitement rather than something you begrudged. Hope it continues to feel that way for you.

Is it really 39 degrees? 10 minutes or not, you must turn up at work and home looking like someone poured a bucket of water over you.

Comment by Pete

he looks like someone poured a bucket of water over him when he comes off the shitter, let alone a walk in 39 fucking degrees.

Comment by andy@cynic

Thank you for that wonderful image Andrew. I am now unable to comment about a post I found rather enjoyable to read.

Comment by Lee Hill

dont fucking shoot the messenger lee.

are you in my neck of hell or is your boss making you pull a late one trying to work out the optimum number of peas needed on a plate to balance passenger hunger and va profit?

Comment by andy@cynic

The former. To do the latter. I will see you saturday evening.

Comment by Lee Hill

better get the expense card out then, all my fucking cash is being used stopping fucking woodworm.

Comment by andy@cynic

Isn’t Rob being a happy up there with Santa, up for it soccer moms and WMDs?

Comment by Billy Whizz

an absofuckinglute myth. known him 20 years and the only time ive ever seen him smile is either when hes fucked someone over or witnessed someone elses misfortune. he is catefuckinggorically, a miserable, evil bastard of walter matthau meets rupert murdoch proportions.

that is why i like him.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by Rob

With all this walking you’ll soon be able to see something else you haven’t seen for 30 years – your feet.

Comment by John

I tell you what, let’s have a race … me to see my feet, you to have a woman see your penis. Not very

OK, sorry – that’s very mean – that would be like taking candy from a baby and you need to feel you have a sporting chance to win. Boom Tish.

Anyway I don’t give a toss, I’ve just walked to work and feel full of the joys of whatever ‘joy’ is.

Comment by Rob

you evil sick bastard fucker campbell. well fucking done.
nice to know the real you is still there and not this sanatised google kennedy version youve been peddling for the last few months. you had me worried for a while but i should have figured satan wouldnt let his #1 henchman fucker go nice.

Comment by andy@cynic

Pedantically speaking I’d win that race every time – though i would of course risk arrest.

Enjoy the joys of life. see the inherent good and potential in all that is around you, but don’t let the euphoria prevent you from seeing the other side of life on your walk.

Comment by John

You’d only win if you had a pair of tweezers on hand and a magnifying glass.

Fuck me, I’ve suddenly become 15 years of age.

Comment by Rob

I’d love to be able to walk to work… It’s over an hour in traffic for me right now. Fucking HATE HATE HATE it. On another note, the house I grew up in was on Greythorn Rd, Melbourne 🙂

Comment by Age

does australia have cars now? well ill be fucking blowed.

Comment by andy@cynic

preferably by some hot babe with bad morals.

Comment by andy@cynic

I think that is even worse an image than the one from page 15 in yesterdays post.

Comment by Rob

Stop trying to copy me Age, it will only end in tears. And your career suicide.

Comment by Rob

I was waiting for the “and that’s what planners can learn from..” bit, that always makes me skip the rest of the post and go and see what Andy has written in the comments. It didn’t come, which means that I was FORCED to read the whole fucking thing AND Bouchers comments.

Comment by Marcus

Which is something planners can learn from. 🙂

Comment by Rob


Comment by Marcus

Andy thanks you for taking his place while he sleeps, haha!

Comment by Rob

I agree. I had one year of having to commute by bus.
I turned into a robot.

Comment by jonathan

This is actually a variant of a well known management technique – it should be known as PBWA – Planning By Walking Around. And everyone should do it.

Comment by John

Be careful not to wear out the Birkenstocks then.
And let me get this straight, walking has become a revelation? Exactly what kind of life have you been living for the last twenty years?

Comment by northern

1/ I have stocks of Birkenstocks that would put Imelda Marcos to shame.

2/ Walking to WORK has been a revelation.

Comment by Rob

Getting the train every morning was horrible. I learned to sleep on the train or else end up falling asleep everywhere through lack of time to sleep and do stuff!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

i’m walking all over london. i’m not working. i don’t know what feels better 🙂

Comment by lauren

what the fuck are you doing in blighty?

security? where the fuck is security?

Comment by andy@cynic

She alarmed parents with her swearing and confused me with the use of words like interstitial so I have had her deported.

Comment by John

just like her fucking forefathers did to her eh.

Comment by andy@cynic

i’m leaving tomorrow andy, so don’t worry. your precious little mother country will be fine – i’ve hardly made a mess.

Comment by lauren

make a mess, the state the countries in no one will take any fucking notice.

Comment by andy@cynic

[…] In Shanghai I was a 10 minute walk to work. […]

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