Stepping out of my apartment block a couple of weeks ago I ran into visiting colleague Dai Hounsell, an emeritus professor at the University of Edinburgh. As we chatted about the benefits of a brisk morning stroll, Dai quoted a Latin aphorism I hadn’t come across before – solvitur ambulando. Usually translated as “it is solved by walking”, the phrase is variously attributed to a nameless student in the class of pre-Socratic philosopher Zeno, to the ancient Greek Cynic Diogenes, or to the early Christian theologian St Augustine. It has been picked up by any number of modern greats – a terrific August 2013 post by Arianna Huffington takes the title “Hemingway, Thoreau, Jefferson and the virtues of a good long walk”, and also cites the contemporary science behind this timeless piece of wisdom. As for me, I need no proof beyond my own experience. I mention all this now because I’m getting ready to head down to New Zealand tomorrow afternoon for a little shy of two weeks’ tramping. Whether or not anything gets solved in the process does not matter. It’ll simply be great to drink in the beauty of South Island once again.