Welsh Wales!

Sadly no photos of this but Myrtyle is still carrying half a forests worth of pine needles and bits and bobs from our WelshWales adventure!
Grumpy-dad and I set off, he on his bike and me aboard Myrtyle, at first erroneously up what turned out to be some forestry tracks -things got a little too exciting a little too quickly as we reached the top of a hill and realised we ought to be at the bottom, so set off down a new, steep down hill track… to cut a long and slightly screamy story short, no body died but when we reached the bottom, having negotiated two very steep drops, two large fallen fir trees and some horrible areas of track where the surface was washed away by run off, we found… dah dah dahhhhhhh.. A Locked Gate.

 

Locked gates are the bane of my life, there is nothing more likely to cause an Ems based explosion than a locked gate, however on this occasion we probably weren’t supposed to be where we were (yay, trespassing!), and now we had the prospect of getting back UP those horrible steep drops..

 

Welllllll, I wibbled, I must admit – I know Myrtyle is robust and capable, but those tracks were STEEP, and the surface loose and wet, and horribly uneven. I had my doubts, I have to say, but Myrtyle did me proud and we positively ZOOMED up the hills and back to the safety of the tarmac track we should have been on!
We then played it safe and stuck to the tarmac’d route of an old railway line (which we had intended to do in the first place), and safely negotiated various anti-horse/anti-motorbike gates. It is worth noting here, there appears to be no fixed standard width for these things – some where wide enough that, with the seat reclined right back, I could drive through if I was very careful – and some so narrow I had to get off and squeeze through with tyres squeaking against the metal!

 

All in all though, the most annoying things were that none of the road barriers were RADAR key enabled (bloody stupid as they all were using a captive padlock system ANYWAY, just one of a different kind!) and whoever laid the path clearly never envisaged anyone using either an electric chair, mobility scooter or all terrain style pushchair, as there was usually no room to negotiate various obstacles without dropping a back wheel or two off a four inch or more drop. Its hard enough to steer a big chunky scooter through a tight bendy space anyway, for all her joys and skills, her turning circle resembles that of a small elephant, but when you have a wheel hanging in space or are also trying to climb a step at the same time it gets nigh on impossible.

I would DEARLY like to meet the owner of the dog that left what seemed like several gallons of bright yellow shit, just off such a drop by a gateway as I describe above – having got into position to get through the gate, I got wheelspin in the turd and eventually left the area liberally sprayed with it, not to mention it all over my wheels and the undercarriage of the scooter.

You, sir, or madam, are an inconsiderate arsehole and I fervently hope you fall face first into a heap of dog shit yourself – I manage to clear up EVERY SINGLE TURD my five dogs produce, whether thats at home or out on a walk, if I can take the time to do so, so can  you!

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Weeeeeee…

 

 

So – today I sent The Boy out to investigate The Gate. This is the non-accessible gate a mere two minutes from my house, that gives access to miles and miles of footpaths across arable fields – perfect for walking doggies and getting out and about..
I contacted the ROW officer about this gate back in March, as it seemed very silly that there was not a RADAR lock on it so that one could open it the other way to give access to scooters, pushchairs, powerchairs etc, and they agreed and earmarked it for ‘immediate’ action, changing it for a RADAR gate.
Anyway it turns out that ‘immediate’ for these purposes, means several months, so when nothing had happened a couple of weeks back, I emailed again and was told actually it SHOULD have been done and now WOULD be done.. and whaddya know.. it HAS been done. So i zoomed out with my RADAR key and off we went.

Kelda and Dilly accompanied us – Kelda found it amazing, though didn’t like the scary woods (lots of trying to climb in my lap in case of monsters), Dilly found it amazing because of the range of dead things in varying stages of decomposed and mangled by the recent harvesting, which he rolled in with huuuuuuuge enthusiasm!

One slight error in choosing the way home, I picked a path that turned out too narrow with a ditch on one side and a really deep rut on the other so I had to go across the stubble (don’t worry folks, I would never do that on a newly seeded crop, or a grown crop, but it was stubble and an emergency!)… not all stubbles are equal though and I can safely say that maize stubble, that has been harvested with a huge combine.. thats NOT fun to ride a scooter across. Bumpy is NOT the word for it and I am amazed I didnt wobble myself to death (Myrtyle handled it FINE though, despite it being seriously abusive to small purple scooters!).

Old Hills – a trundle around the common.

Lovely sunday lunch at the Old Bush (sniggergiggle), today was one of those bizarre few days where its suddenly high summer…at the end of March. Weird or what, but who am I to question the weather Gods, so we packed up Myrtyle into the van, along with a dog or two and off we went to find somewhere nice.

One of the joys of living here (Malvern) is that I am surrounded by Common land, most of which is totally accessible and open, not a stile or a gate in sight. Bliss.

There are some steep and rutted tracks though – this is what my sister thought I ought go up. I wasn’t so keen, but Myrtyle shot up it like a ferret up a trouserleg (though I have never seen a ferret quite that size, nor in purple).

 

 

Everyone had fun, no dog based disasters either!

Wood St – and then we got lost. And how much I hate stiles.

I have these urges (no.. shh. I’m not talking about those urges!)..

 

Urges to get out and explore and trundle about – whilst I used to be happy (and more mobile, and more stupid) to do these things alone, now I have reached the days of official, card carrying raspberry ripple-dom, I drag The Boy with me.

 

So we set out, Myrtyle, I, a fat grey lurcher and a short black and tan job, and The Boy, to see what we could find. I had seen a bridlepath marked on the map, and my general reckoning is, Myrtyle can do owt a horse can do. Well, except jump, she can’t jump. But she also doesn’t tend to throw a hissy fit at daffodils or fling all her legs in the air because a sheep said ‘baa’, so I’ll forgive her for the non-jumping.

Off we went, negotiate some of the delightful wide grass verges Malvern goes in for, in a big way around here.. then negotiate a narrow lane with no verges at all AND people driving at what seems from my point of view (ie, doing 3mph and with my arse much nearer the ground) a reckless and unnecessary rate of knots (probably about 40mph).

Then negotiate a faster road, but yay.. a pavement! And finally turn off down an unmarked road and pray fervently that my map reading skills are up to the job, and finally I locate the bridlepath.

 

Lovely it was, very lovely indeed. A wide grassy track, trees either side, some gentle slopes, some slightly less gentle slopes, smashing views over to the Malvern hills – oh so lovely.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zkZIp0NDnI

 

Sadly what is NOT so lovely at all is all the inviting looking footpaths leading off, across arable fields… with buggering effing c**ting stiles on them. Arse. But ho hum, I might annoy the ROW lot about this later (shelving plans to return with a chainsaw and render the stiles squeeze gaps of approximately three inches wider than the scooter).. and then we reach the end of the bridlepath. Which ends in a footpath.. which has a gate I can get through.. yay…

 

Another half mile on though and our fun is over, Wood St meets a foot path, which meets another footpath which has a horribly narrow gate, all cluttered up with huge tree roots and thorns and walkers we had passed advised me that the other end of this, separating me and civilisation is another buggering bloody stile.

 

So we went a bit off-piste, with some possible minor trespass involved, trying to find one of the other footpaths marked on the map. We failed completely, two of them ending in nothing at all (barbed wire, stock fencing or hedges) and one ending in a double span galvanized gate with a combination padlock on it. Grrrrrrrrrrump.

 

I turned around to come home.. and then noticed the odd thumping rattle from my front left tyre.. oh no.. oh yes. I have a flat. 4 miles from home and some very narrow bumpy footpath to negotiate. Would I have to abandon Myrtyle in a field and scrounge a lift from a tractor driver? Would The Boy, already into full on Whinge Mode actually implode in frustration?

 

No – dear sweet Myrtyle dragged me home on three wheels, not even tipping me off on nasty slopes or balking at narrow gaps with tree roots everywhere. She’s a good girl is Myrtyle and I will be exploring the options for tyre liners as soon as possible (Hey… lovely people who make Thornguard.. sponsor me??)

The lovely Myrtyle!

scooter, dog, The Daddy's legs

Here she is, star of the show – the very lovely Purple Myrtyle. This pic was taken along the Black Hills ‘easy access’ trail on the Malvern Hills. We had a nice trundle out, I had a bash at getting Myrtyle up to one of the peaks – we did fail but I think only because the ground is very slippy (all that grit and gravel) – Myrtyle would have gone right to the top but the surface was just sliding under us and we started back-sliding so decided to quit before I shit myself!

Heres how far up we got though…

Halfway up

Pretty impressive yes – you won’t be doin’ THAT with a mere smear Pride Shopmodoodah now will ya!

Introducing the Cast.. particularly Myrtyle

Well hello you, thankyou for popping by!

If you aren’t sure why you landed here, a short check list for you:

  • Do you like dogs?
  • Do you like the countryside?
  • Do you like slightly random rantings?
  • Do you have any mobility problems?
  • Have you got a slightly off-kilter sense of humour?
  • Do very rude and random sweary words offend you?
  • Cockwomble.

If you said yes to most of those or at least not ‘hell no’ to any of them, stick around. This blog will detail my adventures on my scooter Myrtyle (the extra Y is important, shes that kinda girl!). Myrtyle is my amazing and zoom-tastic mobility scooter.  Before you have visions of something foldable and dainty, for popping to the post office on or a quick zip round Waitrose… think again.

Myrtyle is  a custom built off road scooter,  built by the lovely lovely chaps at Horizon Mobility (www.horizonmobility.com)  She will carry over 60stone (so thats me, a friend and a HECK of a lot of shopping), for the mechanically minded she has an AC motor and can climb some astonishing gradients. She has a top speed of 15 mph (on private land only, naturally <ahem>) and loves nothing more than a trundle through the countryside, preferably getting her huge knobbly (ooh err) tyres mucky.

For the none-mechanically geeky types – shes a big girl, she goes like the clappers and not much stops her! (Yes, I AM talking about the scooter, not myself!)

So thats Myrtyle, shes really the star of the show.  I do the driving and we are usually accompanied by a selection of dogs – we have many, short ones, tall ones, frilly-eared ones and fluffy all over ones. A dog for pretty much every occasion in fact.

There is also my boyfriend, we will refer to him as The Boy. His role is general whinging about how far he has had to walk, why does THIS walk not end in a pub, that he needs a wee or is hungry. He also drives the van that takes us to further flung places, so we tolerate him and buy him steak every so often (thats clearly not all I do to keep him sweet but this isn’t that sort of blog!).

An occasional special guest appearance will be made from time to time by The Daddy – this is my Dad and he bankrolled Myrtyle so gets a guest spot every so often. He’s in his 70’s and you’d think he would be old enough to know better by now but as time will show.. he isn’t and he doesn’t.  He can be recognised by his dreadful socks, (with sandals, of course), mountain bike and generally disreputable air.