It’s below freezing…but that’s snow problem around here!

This week’s column has come to you from the top of a glacier in Zinal, a beautiful part of Switzerland.  The views are breathtaking and this puts me in the ideal mood to come up with some creative writing without any distractions.

We are 3000 metres above sea level, snow has fallen almost every day for the past month and continues to do so.  Transportation is good, buses and cars are running as normal.  The local shops are well stocked with fresh food.  Bread and milk are in abundance and there is no sign of any panic buying.

The temperature here is well below freezing, but the local residents and visitors alike are thoroughly enjoying the winter season and all that it brings.

Clearly, if this was happening back home, we would all be in shut down mode and a state of chaos and panic.

Right, that’s enough taking the piste, I’m off to build a snowman!

Step forward but not too far!

Last autumn, a friend of mine who (shall we say . . . ) was “a little overweight” told me he’d decided to do something about it. His timing wasn’t perfect as we were enjoying a meal of chicken tikka masala, onion bhajis, poppadoms and garlic naans.  It was the weirdest Italian restaurant I’ve ever eaten in.

Rather than take out a gym membership or sign-up for the London Marathon he was going to follow the World Health Organisation’s recommendation of walking 10,000 steps a day.

Last week, I saw him strolling along Fabian Way, Swansea and it was obvious he’d put on weight rather than lost any, so I decided to attract his attention in my usual subtle, diplomatic manner.

“Oi! Chubster!” I shouted – and, fair dos, his head spun around in my direction.

I couldn’t shake his right hand as it was gripped around a half-eaten Greggs pastie – and my right hand contained a half-eaten Greggs sausage roll.

I said, “I thought you were going to walk 10,000 steps a day?” as l brushed little flakes of pastry from my chin.

He explained “I intended to. But I couldn’t find one building in this city with 10,000 steps to walk up and down.” Which sort of made sense…

I did some research into this ‘10,000 steps a day’ idea to see if it was another number randomly picked out of the air like the ‘Five pieces of fruit a day’ advice of a few years back.

It started in 1964 when the Kyushu University Of Health And Welfare in Japan discovered that by walking 10,000 steps a day, a person could walk off 20% of their daily calorie intake.

So…if we took 50,000 steps a day we could walk off 100%of our daily calorie intake.

Trouble is, if we walked 50,000 steps every day, at the end of the first week we’d end up in Hereford.

I wonder if there’s a Greggs there?