Cycling back from the post-office, I passed a little boy skipping along next to his nanny (I think). It was a proper old-fashioned skip – I don’t mean the type with the rope – just used purely as a rococo means of ambulation. It was awfully charming. It made me wonder, variously, when skipping was invented – I don’t suppose early hominids skipped. Unless, perhaps, it turns out to be an efficient way getting about. Perhaps some university department of biomechanics has done some research…? Animals don’t skip, do they? There’s that lemur that sort of trips along on its back legs, but it’s not the true skip, which involves a series of short, alternating hops. And then I tried to remember when I last skipped. Not as an adult, I don’t think. Possibly 40 years ago. I once had a very petite girlfriend who struggled to keep up with me as we walked (back then, before weighed down by life and pies, I was a fast walker), and she’d interpolate a brief skip every now and then, to catch up. It was quite cute.
By this stage I’d reached home. I parked my bike in the basement corridor that runs the length of the building. It has a smooth concrete floor. A floor, it suddenly struck me, perfect for skipping. I leant my bike against the wall, and prepared to skip. And then the security camera caught my eye. It feeds back to the estate office. I imagined the guys from the estate having a good old laugh at the old bloke skipping in the basement. So, defeated, I came back upstairs.
Just outside our door, I performed a desultory little skip. More a sort of shuffling jump, really.