Monthly Archives: June 2007

I have discovered that…

… when next-door’s cat activates the security light at about 11pm, I can see slugs and snails munching my plants in my front garden.
… after a bit of deliberation, I am barmy enough to put my shoes on in order to go out and pick said gooey invertebrates from the plants.
… snails make a kind of ‘squeee’ noise and retreat into their shells when you pick them up.
… if there are a large number of gooey invertebrates on your plants, the security light goes out before you remove them all.
… moving back towards the house for a few seconds and doing a little arm-wavy action reactivates the light.
… it is hard to work out what to do with a collection of slugs and snails when you are too soft hearted to kill them.

Well, do you want to know what I did?

Walking home from work

Okay, firstly, a confession. I have not yet managed to ride my bike to work. In all honesty, it has been years since I have ridden a bike and I am a bit nervous of going ‘wheeeeeee’ down the big steep hill. I need to have a test-ride first and, ahem, have not got around to it.

However, on five out of the six days worked, I have managed to walk home up the hill. The days have been sunny and the routes have been intentionally varied. I have been navigating by the ‘Ooh, where does this path lead?’ method. It has, on the whole, proved very effective….apart from last Tuesday.

My chosen route that day contained theopportunity to take a detour through an overgrown graveyard. So, true to my customary approach, I turned onto the narrow path cleared through the bracken. The path continued, parallel to the main road above it, giving way to patches cleared around graves. As I progressed, I noticed that it was apparantly turning up the hill towards the road. The ‘Where does this path lead’ principle seemed to be remaining faithful. It was soon to betray me though, quite spectacularly…

The apparant right turn transpired to be another grave clearance, and a dead end (oops, that pun was actaully unintentional!). I was a little annoyed at the thought of retracing my steps, so I decided to beat my own path through the bracken towards the clear field visible up on the slope beyond. Bracken was summarily despatched left and right and I arrived at the field, and the barbed wire fence surrounding it. This was not a good thing.

The results of the I-have-come-this-far-and-I’ll-be-damned-if-I’m-turning-back-now attitude then prompted a graceless scramble over the barbed wire fence, accompanied by bracken spikiness and wirey lacerations. Lovely. However, I arrived in the open field and thought to myself that I needed to find a convenient exit – especially as my bemused presence appeared to be drawing concerned looks from the busload of passengers passing on the main road above. This was not a good thing.

A quick reccee to my left revealed an enclosure, containing chickens that would probably not appreciate me using their home as a short cut. The only option remaining was to head right towards a five bar gate (this comprised the dreaded retracing of steps, but I was out of options by this point, especially as scaling the railings ahead of me was certainly out of the question!)

After trudging through the field, I arrived at the five bar gate. Unfortunately for me, it turned out to be two very rusty gates lashed together and resting very precariously on the ground. I am legendarily lacking in agility but the relatively easy challege of climbing a five bar gate would have been okay, I had mastered these in my childhood in the fields around my Nan’s house. No such luck. Given that the gates were not a viable option, I turned my attention the the barbed wire beside them. Someone had rested a broad post against the top strand of wire, forming a crude stile/ramp. I tentatively placed my right foot on this an pushed off with my left. The ungainly heap that I became then disentangled itself from fence, post, gates and undergrowth, emerging relatively unscated on the correct side of the fence i.e. the other one!

Brushing myself down and taking a few deep breaths to restore my composure, I emerged from behind the hedge that had, happily, obscured this farce of athleticism. I then began my progress along the path parallel to the main road above the fateful field and graveyard.

I was a little surprised to see a couple of Community Police Officers further along the path, looking as though they were watching the traffic. I was even more surprised, and a little alarmed, when they turned their attention to the field below them. They gazed intently into it, past the obviously very valuable (and utterly beautiful imho) horses and down the slope. This field was, worryingly, adjacent to the one where a nutter had been reported wandering randomly and perhaps a little suspiciously by a concerned mobile phone owner on an earlier bus.*

Contriving to look as innocent (fairly difficult) and sane (well-nigh impossible) as I was able, I strolled past one and then the other of the officerish-of-the-law. Keeping my tread stady, I progressed steadfastly on, deliberately not looking over my shoulder. It was only when I had reached a bench at a safe distance away that I sat down ‘for a rest’ and casually glanced back down the path in order to assure myself that I was not being followed. To my relief, I wasn’t. This was a very good thing.

Now, another confession. The strange frission I experienced from doing something admittedly pretty stupid (I could, after all, have been seen to be trespassing) and escaping any consequences was disturbingly exciting. On a serious note, I wonder if this is why some people do illegal things, for the sheer thrill of ‘getting away with it’. It is a little worrying that one conditioned to follow the rules very rigidly (I am, y’know) is not immune to that illicit buzz. However, I will not be taking that route home again!

*This, of course, is pure conjecture. Makes the story a little more exciting though, eh?