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??)