On Monday I went out in the early evening, dutifully clad in my hi-vis reflective shield of protection and wondered why I bothered. The dog walkers lurking in the undergrowth didn’t bother, neither did people walking home from work and the kids hanging round outside Spar certainly didn’t. The nearest I spotted was a lad with fluorescent toggles on his duffle coat, which hardly counts. The only non-runners I ever seem to see in hi-vis are a couple of dog walkers (who seem to wear it in the glaring sunlight, which seems a bit pointless) and crocodiles of children being a walking bus. I’m in a well-lit place, not crossing any major roads and I stick to the pavements – I only go marginally faster running than walking, so why do I wear it?
Because it turns out that I feel vulnerable and apologetic if I don’t. A quarter of a mile from home I realised that the ‘there’s something missing’ feeling was down to the fact that I was dressed like an amateur mime artist and I had barely any reflective surface area. Too late to return home, I carried on, sticking resolutely to the hedge side of the pavement and crossing roads with a level of care of which Tufty himself would have been proud. Despite getting back in one piece and barely seeing any traffic, I still feel slightly guilty and ashamed.
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