The etiquette of hello
Why do we say hello to people we meet in the countryside, but not in the towns and cities where most of us live? In our everyday lives, travelling to and from work, squeezed into trains and buses, we never make eye contact with our fellow commuter inmates. In fact, there’s some hostility simmering beneath the surface, even though – to coin a mind-numbingly over-used phrase – we’re all in it together.
But put the same gaggle of passengers into the countryside – open moorland, a mountain path or a muddy track past an orchard – and we’re more than likely to smile or nod at them. Or at least – we do most of the time…as I’ve walked around the UK, I’ve realised the conventions of hailing and greeting total strangers is a little more nuanced than I’d expected. I got stuck into the idea for the Ramblers’ website – please take a few seconds to
read my blog here
. And don’t worry – if you say hello to me on an upland footpath, I won’t call for the men in white coats.
In other news…you can still download my hikes for the National Trust’s Great British Walk, which looks at their
top 10 secret places.
If you want to walk further afield, then why not try another hidden gem, the unknown region of Lungau in Austria, which was the cover story in the Independent travel section.
And here’s a couple of walks from somewhere that could be a foreign country by the autumn…
Monster-free Loch Ness and, from the magical Outer Hebrides, postman’s trail on Harris.
Elsewhere, my feature on why
child labour just won’t go away (and why some multinationals could do a whole lot more to tackle it) has appeared in Geographical magazine. And you might want to take a look at my feature on coastal erosion for the same magazine. Get walking that coastline while it’s still here.
If you want to know the bit about me,
please click here.