Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Walking Home by Clare Balding + Giveaway

Walking Home: My Family and Other Rambles by Clare Balding
Published in September 2014

Featured in Cover Characteristics: Dogs

How I got this book:
Purchased the Audible download

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the Audible version of Clare Balding's My Animals and Other Family back in the summer and so have been looking forward to downloading her newest book, Walking Home. I got this one on audio as well. Balding reads her own words and is a very professional narrator.

This memoir is based around Ramblings, the Radio 4 series that Balding has presented for many series. I don't think I've ever actually heard an episode. I go through stages of being a Radio 4 listener and my most recent phase must have been over a decade ago. However, I got the gist pretty quickly - Balding goes on walks all around the UK and chats with Interesting People. I particularly enjoyed hearing her talk about her experiences making the programme and the places she has walked. Perhaps someone should have had a quiet word about attempting mimicry and accents though - most really didn't work for me. I listened to practically every word through headphones whilst walking around Mojacar in Spain - there's some fab walks here, Clare! - so I felt particularly inspired. Not having a convenient notepad and pen was an error though. I can now only remember the names of St Oswald's Way in Northumberland and the Wayfarers Walk near her family home as ones we really must do too! Maybe there is an index in the printed book edition?

Balding's attempts to get her family to do various sections of the Wayfarer's are humorous to listen to and I recognised several situations in which Dave and I have also found ourselves - what do you mean it's flooded? How flooded?!

Balding does also ramble in the other meaning of frequently going off topic and I did find this irritating at times. Her other subjects, including a long section on the London Olympics, are probably interesting in their own right, but when I was being inspired by walking tales, the sudden veers away were distracting.

And now for the Giveaway!

I have a unique handmade Shimmering Sand Water Bottle Bag to giveaway simply for answering the following question on this blog post. How easy is that?!

The Question:
Name a book, fiction or nonfiction, which includes someone going walking?

Comment your answer on this post before midnight (UK time) on the 15th of June to be in with a chance of winning.

Water Bottle Bags are for those occasions when you just want to go out light - an evening beach walk, a woodland stroll, a lakeside wander. A Twitter follower suggested they'd be great for Amusement Park visits too. The carriers are just big enough for a 500ml plastic water bottle (not included) and you can discreetly hide a car or door key in the bag under the bottle too.  (Other designs of Water Bottle Bags are for sale through My Blog Shop)

This Shimmering Sand Water Bottle Bag is hand-crocheted from a gorgeous sand coloured Spanish cotton which has a slender metallic thread running alongside. I love how this thread shimmers and sparkles when it catches sunlight! The bag measures about 5 3/4 inches / 14 cm high by 3 inches / 8 cm across. The strap, when stretched with the weight of a full water bottle, is 34 inches / 87 cm long and 3/4 inch / 2 cm wide so it won't dig into your shoulder.

The Giveaway is open worldwide. Answers must be commented by midnight (UK time) on the 15th June and I will randomly pick a winner on the 16th. The winner will be notified by replying to their Comment so if you think you might miss this response please also include other contact info such as your blog URL, twitter name or FB page. If the winner does not respond within 7 days, they will forfeit the prize and I will re-offer the water bottle bag in another giveaway.

Good luck!

Etsy Find!
by Flopseyboo in
Northampton, England

Click pic to visit Etsy Shop

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Clare Balding / Biography / Books from England


  1. Starting the Giveaway ball rolling with Told From The Hips by Andrea Amosson. In the story The Blood And The Change, Teresa walks barefoot to a railway station to escape.

    Looking forward to your suggestions ...

  2. What a great bag, I try to walk every day and often end up just carrying my water bottle in my hand. My book is Tony Hawks', "Round Ireland with a fridge". Walking involved....

    Here is the book bio;
    Have you ever made a drunken bet? Worse still, have you ever tried to win one? In attempting to hitchhike round Ireland with a fridge, Tony Hawks did both, and his foolhardiness led him to one of the best experiences of his life. Joined by his trusty traveling companion-cum-domestic appliance, he made his way from Dublin to Donegal, from Sligo through Mayo, Galway, Clare, Kerry, Cork, Wexford, Wicklow--and back again to Dublin. In their month of madness, Tony and his fridge met a real prince, a bogus king, and the fridge got christened. They surfed together, entered a bachelor festival, and one of them had sex without the other knowing. And unexpectedly, the fridge itself became a momentary focus for the people of Ireland.

    You can find me on Twitter @rosieamber1 or my blog;

    1. Great choice! Tony Hawks is brilliantly funny.
      Thanks for entering the Giveaway :-)

    2. Congrats Rosie! You're my giveaway winner! I will message you via Twitter. Thanks for entering :-)

  3. This Water Bottle Bag giveaway is now closed. Congrats to Rosie Amber! My new giveaway is for a handmade red hat and you can enter here