I blame Johnnie Walker

The famous brand of whiskey united their logo image and wordplay on part of the brand name with their slogan “keep walking”.

Somewhere between the clinking of the ice and the drinking of this golden liquid surpassed in its glory and purity only by water itself, “keep on walking” became one of our slogans. The pronoun “our” here signifies what was common to me and my recently deceased partner of almost thirty years, João.

Sure, we liked whiskey back in the day, as they say, and could knock ’em back with the best of them, but I do find it surprising that it has taken 24 days since her death to remember this little saying. It was linked to so many things which had to do with determination. It was linked chiefly to the very real necessity for João, as a Person with MS, to keep on walking. The idea was that as long as she kept on walking, she had not given up, and she would have “a chance” if the researchers actually did come up with a real cure for that fucking disease.

Fast-forward, rewind, and fast-forward again. Okay, I have found the spot: about two weeks before João died, I saw an announcement that a group in my village do night walks once a week. I have always liked walking. I used to go for long walks on my own as a university student, walked around many a golf course, and generally do more walking than anything else when visiting cities and places new to me.

Suffice to say, I am now an enthusiastic walker. In between these organised group activities, where the length of the walk is normally between seven and ten kilometres, I go walking daily for four kilometres with my neighbours. This is Portugal: all these excursions are quite hilly.

Here is a picture of part of the crowd down at Quarteira on Saturday. The event was part of a worldwide walk in solidarity with those who suffer endemetriosis. I could be disparagingly rude when describing this photo, but let’s just say it is of me tying my shoelaces.

my backside, quarteira, 25.03.2017
Tying my shoelaces. Photo by Jorge Lopes.

I am quite proud of myself. My laces did not come undone once this time.

Anyhow, I will carry on walking. Even though I am on the water these days, I will say cheers to Johnnie Walker for the idea.

©2017 Allison Wright

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