Given the above title, You’re probably expecting me to talk about the referendum. Let’s face it, it’s pretty gloopy, and who isn’t?

But I’m not. Couldn’t begin to. If I started, I wouldn’t stop. And I’m not going to drone on about Glastonbury either. All that over-excited ‘I was THERE!’ stuff people yell, while you had to make do with watching it on the telly, despite the fact that your view from the sofa was probably considerably better than theirs, given that they were standing on a small hillock three quarters of a mile from the stage.

No, this week I’m going to talk to you about my new fitness regime – which is called Trudging Around In A Lot Of Mud.antique mud

I’m an expert at Trudging Around In A Lot Of Mud now, having started Trudging Around In A Lot Of Mud at 6.30 am a week ago last Wednesday, and continuing to do so till roughly 3 am last Monday morning, apart from the odd mud-scented slumber.

That’s a great deal of Trudging Around In A Lot Of Mud, by anyone’s standards. Indeed, a fellow TAIALOMer (I’ll have to work on the acronym for the DVD, obviously) has been on facebook to share his impressive Trudger stats, and in the four days he was Trudging Around In A Lot Of Mud, like we were, he walked a cool 102 miles.

I don’t want to crow (I was that woman on the small hillock, after all), but since we were at that place that I’m not going to bore on about for FIVE days, I reckon we’ve topped even that.

Ah, I hear you say. But so what? Of what possible interest can your Trudging Around In A Lot Of Mud be to me?

Well, I’ll tell you. Trudging Around In A Lot Of Mud turns out to be one of the most life-changing experiences a person can have, particularly when done in tandem with a selection of enhancements, in the same way that you might use weights doing aerobics, say, or those giant elastic band things during yoga.

Trudging Around In A Lot Of Mud while dragging a weighty trolley that contains an imperfectly balanced, poorly bungeed cache of everything you need in order to survive for five days, for instance. It burns fat. Engages glutes. Achieves thighs of burning steel! And if you do this as a warm up, in the rain, through a haze of astonishment and consternation, the benefits can be enormous. No matter that the road to nirvana is paved with exploded flagons of cider, disintegrated wine boxes, and the mire-splattered shards of a million broken promises – you are at finally at one with your inner-dream-catcher. Booooooyah!

Trudging Around In A Lot Of Mud in the company of forty seven million other people all trying to go the other way is also particularly effective, bringing into play muscle groups you never even knew you had, let alone ever considered planning a workout regime for. And for extra effectiveness, try doing this while carrying a brimming cardboard cup of warm wine, while all about you are smoking the mood-enhancing substance of their choice.

People often underestimate the many benefits of Trudging Around In A Lot Of Mud in order to get to a distant bank of long-drop toilets which already have a queue of thirty seven people. One of my personal favourites (ladies! Work that pelvic floor!), this singular form of Trudging Around In A Lot Of Mud has much to commend it, not least (assuming you ARE wearing wellies – and, frankly, if you aren’t, you are probably still buried somewhere on Worthy Farm), that, if nature calls, you can just let your wee run down your leg, because the air already hums to such an extent that not a soul will even realise.

The best kind of Trudging Around In A Lot Of Mud, however, is that which you do when it’s dark. Trudging Around In A Lot Of Mud in the pitch black is especially thrilling, adding a little extra frisson of excitement to the already clear and present danger of finding yourself unexpectedly sans boot. No, it’s obviously not for the fainthearted or feeble, but, trust me, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. And remember – a mud pack is one of the finest beauty treatments there is.

So there you have it. And yes, I know, it might not SOUND especially pleasing. And, yes, other ways to spend five days of precious time are available.

But would I do it again? In. A. Heartbeat.

First published in The Western Mail Weekend Magazine July 2nd 2016

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