Friday, 13 January 2006

Daper Denizen of the Ditch

Walking in the woods one day over Christmas with my pack on my back and the wind in my face I started to feel a little warm, walking along with a backpack on can do that to you. I was wearing a fleece and a Helly Hansen, I’m sure this didn’t help. I could have taken a layer off but that would have taken a bunch of effort that frankly I was not prepared to put in. The best way I have found to cool down is to place my hands in the small of my back as this moves the backpack away from my back and thus allows air to circulate to my back thus cooling me down. This is also quite a comfortable position to walk in; I can see why the Duke of Edinburgh is such a fan of strutting about with his hands behind his back.

On this particular day it had just rained and the track I was walking along was covered in puddles and a layer of mud. The mud along the Ridgeway is quite contrary for it manages to be both sticky and slippery at the same time, walking can be quite hazardous as feet slip in all directions; at the same time it can be quite tiresome as huge amounts of said mud cling to boots and succeed in weighing the innocent walker down. I was considering this very fact when I came across a puddle, nay a lake, that quite covered the path the depth of which was unknown and I fancied the unwary could sink to their knees or encounter any number of waterborne predators in such an expanse, I was put in mind of the Great Grey Green Greasy Limpopo river. Not to be outdone by such a hurdle valiantly struck out to traverse the easterly bank, a small slippery strip of land caught as it was between the sheer drop into the lake and the thick tangle of bushes to the side of the path. I have to say I must have cut a rather nonchalant figure, bravely taking on such hazards with hands still stuck calmly behind my back and pinned in place by my rucksack.

Girls are, quite frankly, a rather marvellous invention I won’t here a word against them. However, they can be quite distracting. The odd whisper at the crease about a lady in a batsmen’s social circle can quite put a chap off his stroke. Living in the woods is all well and good but it does not provide much occasion for fraternising with the fairer sex, any such activities tend to require a trip into town. You can imagine my surprise then as I looked up from my feet of daring-do to find see a rather attractive lady on the far shore of Lake Dread waiting for me to cross over so that she could do likewise.

“Crikey!” I thought to myself. I am lucky; I have developed over the years a look that women find quite irresistible, if I shoot that look my quarry becomes quite overcome with emotions. Why it is not unknown for a recipient to be so awash with passion as to break into fits of spontaneous laughter or even to run away so strong is the feelings that ‘the look’ stokes up. This was obviously an occasion on which ‘the look’ had to be brought out. ‘The look’ should you be interest is equal parts cheeky grin and suave sophistication with just a dash of mystique, a rather cruel ex-girlfriend said it made me look constipated but she just obviously afraid that I would use it on someone else. I fix the vision on the far shore with a steely gaze and start to move my face in to the all conquering ‘look’ so hard am I concentrating on this that I have quite forgotten to concentrate on where I am walking. As my right foot comes forward it fails to gain purchase and slides quickly on the chalky bank across my left leg and into the void. This movement is so sudden as to throw me slightly over my centre of gravity and so off balance, the weight of the backpack is enough to propel me at no mean rate of knots towards the bushes. I attempt to arrest my fall my clinging to branches but I can’t, my hands are pinned to my back by the same rucksack that has by now ensured I have fallen head first into the bushes and down a slope. From where the lady is standing all she could possibly see of me is my legs from the knees down sticking up into the air.

Now this might seem rather a failure from an impress the member of the opposite sex point of view but I swear after I had picked myself up out of the bushes she smiled at me, in fact it looked as though she could hardly contain an almighty grin spreading across her face as she feigned interest in the sky.

Who the man?


steph said...

Ha! Ha! You are!

Penny Munn said...

It's about time you had a mrs ditchmonkey to talk to over the campfire. Keep up the falling-into-a-nearby-puddle antics. I'm sure the ladies you meet in the woods will be unable to resist your display of boyish helplessness.

Jessica said...

wow. i'm hot and bothered just reading about the look.

ODM (Original Ditch Monkey) said...

Do you come here often?

Anonymous said...

Ha haaaa!! You rock :)

Jessica said...

Ha ha...didn't mean to sound like a hussy. New Years resolution: less lurking, more commenting. Been reading your blog for a few months. Good stuff.