Spurred on by reader emails, I have been forging ahead with Tout 3 in the past couple of weeks.
I've also spent a lot of time getting lost. Several weeks ago I decided to walk the 10 km to a nearby village to collect my car. En route I got lost but discovered at least half a dozen wonderful new walks in the process. (Whenever I see a country track, I have to know where it leads.)
My favourite is a narrow, tree-lined path that suddenly breaks out into an expanse of green fields stretching towards the horizon. It's a bit like stepping through the wardrobe in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe into a beguiling kingdom of green.
One lunchtime recently, I drove there planning to walk Biff for an hour but when I turned around I realised I had absolutely no idea of how to get back to the car since the path had forked many times and it hadn't occurred to me to check for landmarks (and in any case, there weren't any).
It was like standing in the middle of an enormous green salad bowl. In the end, I kept going in one direction until we hit a hamlet - where I managed to flag down a car to ask where I was- and then a main road which we followed back to my village. Biff couldn't believe his luck when it took 4.5 hours to get home.
Then yesterday evening while walking in the middle of nowhere I realised that I no longer had my keys. Realising I must have dropped them when I stopped to tie the laces of my walking boot, I retraced my footsteps. I walked up and down the same stretch of track four times, scouring the long grass like a forensic scientist. Eventually I found them, thereby saving myself from a 7km walk home and having to break in when I got there.