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.