Dear Doctor Heike
I have always had small boots. I have had little experience of hiking and cannot walk far or fast. I often end up walking alone and put this down to my having small boots. During the early 1990’s, when the fashion was for straight, shapeless feet, it didn’t seem to matter so much. But fashions change and I am afraid that I will never find anyone who wants to walk with me. I have become desperate and am seriously considering undergoing a boot augmentation operation but have heard reports of how dangerous it can be. What can you advise?
Vi Bramm – Seoul (2003)
My partner and I have taken part in the Fellsman Hike for many years and have been very happy with it. While tidying the house recently, I found some Malhamdale Meander literature (including pictures and route maps) that had obviously been intentionally hidden from me. As this hike is to take place on the same weekend as the Fellsman, I can only assume he intends to abandon our event. Have all those years been wasted?
Anne K. Schuss – Leeds (2003)
My wife has lost all interest in hiking. She turned 54 last year (I am two years older) and now thinks that we are too old for hiking. Not only does she refuse to compete but she will not let me enter either, telling me that “such nonsense should be left to young people”. I would like to think that I have a few hiking years left in me. I don’t want to stop just yet but cannot imagine hiking with anyone else. What paths are open to me?
Des Prate – Gloucester (2003)
There is a rumour going round the walking clubs that the Fellsman is soon to include a 3-legged element – presumably following the success of events such as the ‘Jake-the-Peg Perambulation’ and the one on the Isle of Man. Since hearing this, my husband has become enthusiastic about the idea and is trying to persuade me to try a ‘threesome’. To be honest I am not particularly keen. We have always enjoyed normal, healthy hiking but he is so insistent that I wonder if I should relent, if only to please him. What do you think I should I do?
Mrs. Pru. Dishe – Brigg (2003)
I think I have become obsessed with the Fellsman. I cannot think of anything else and spend all my time dreaming of taking part or meeting members of the committee. I am only 12 years old and don’t think I can wait until I am old enough to enter and get my gold badge. I have collected lots of items from the hike shop and have all the handbooks since 1995. When I heard that Tim was not going to be Hike Organiser this year I was so depressed and even considered killing myself. Luckily, I saw a photo of David in last year’s handbook and he’s quite a hunk, too! I can’t think of anything nicer than being married to the Hike Organiser and my horoscope says that this could be my lucky year. Do tell me he’s not already married. Am I being silly to hope?
Stella Ninfent – Rampton (2003)