Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Crap Shots Can't Stop A Trot Into The Bog

Living on the edge of the moors in the North of England teaches you to expect the unexpected. Over the past decade, since the Foot & Mouth outbreak, more signs have been posted on gates and by public footpaths. The language used has been getting more direct and aggressive.

This sign is the most threatening yet. Bellicose yet whilst a moderate stab at humour. Yet behind the words is the clear message - 'Walkers Go Home'.

On the next gate there was a sign telling people to put their dogs on a lead and to make it a short lead - omitting the underlying sentiment that if this wasn't followed that your dog may well be shot. There was solace to be had in the fact that they had already announced that they were crap shots, so they wouldn't have a hope in hell of hitting a running dog.

None of that took away from the magic of the colours. This was the first nice day for a while. The colours were dramatic. The clouds looked like puffs of cotton wool. The wild flowers were rife. the smells of the drying moor were aromatic.

But then the enjoyment was curtailed. With one final look across the horizon for a hillbilly with a blunderbuss, I failed to notice the deep bog to my right, swayed and over balanced in a futile attempt to jump it and ended up face down in the bog water.

As I went in head first, at least I cannot be accused for putting my foot in it again. As I write I can still smell the remains of the stagnant water. A strange looking beetle has just crawled from somewhere behind my ear and landed on the laptop keyboard.

That must be worth seven years good luck.

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