Tuesday, 14 March 2006

Turf

The Turf Tavern in Oxford is one of my favourite places; I have the coordinates plugged into my GPS so wherever I am in the world I know how far in what direction it is to the Turf. The GPS is a clever device and also lets me know how long it will take to get there at the speed I am travelling at the time; this function can be a bit depressing if you are struggling up a mountain at 0mph and it accordingly will take an eternity to get to the pub. On Saturday I got there via the magic of the Oxford Tube and it didn't take long at all, I had some beer and some quality burgers from their barbeque out the back and then at about 10pm I suddenly started flagging. This was, I said at the time and maintain now, not due to the Guiness or the vodka but was entirely down to the fact that in order to get up in time to go to work I go to bed at 10 every night, I was I'm saddened to say ready to call it a night.

On getting back to Lewknor and waving goodbye to the nice girl I had been pestering I discovered two things, it was very cold and it was further to get home than I wanted to walk. As tempted as I was to sleep where I was it was far to cold for this to be a viable option so I donned my coat and balaclava and started to walk. After about five minutes I woke up and realised that it was a really nice night and I might as well take advantage of it by going for a walk before bed. It's amazing how quickly a walk in the fresh air can wake you up. On my way I found a swath of land beside the path covered in long dead grass from last summer, just the stuff to light a fire with, normally I collect a couple of pockets full of the stuff but on Saturday night I was a little more enthusiastic. By the time I continued on my walk I had my arms full of dead grass, and I sang a little song to myself about being a scarecrow. I don't remember the words but I'm sure it would have been a chart success had it been caught "on wax". Not much later as I walked along by the light of the moon I spotted four torches coming my way and before I knew it I had been blinded by them tripped over a branch and stumbled into a puddle, shielding my eyes behind a hand I got passed the torches to discover four people in yellow high visibility vests attached to them. How very odd. Not much later I was again blinded by another 4 torches borne by 4 people in high visibility vests and then again almost immediately after. This was getting a little tiresome and not a little worrying, what kind of people walk around the woods by night dressed in high visibility vests? In the distance I saw yet more torches and decided to take action, I left the path and went and hid behind a tree and waited for the people to be close. Once they were within earshot I let out the most blood curdling wolf impression that you ever did hear, apparently this wasn't the most blood curdling a howl they had ever heard as one of them asked if they were supposed to be scared. Feeling rather sheepish I gave up on the night and went home.

When I got back I discovered that I had had a visitor, the tin that I keep under the bed and use to store butter and cheese in was lying out on the ground catching the moonlight. I got down on my haunches and stayed dead still for a minute or two in case whoever had moved it was still there. Hearing nothing but my own breathing I investigated the tin, it had been pulled out by some animal which had bitten it so hard the lid had popped open, the cheese and butter had gone. Blimey, must have been a Badger, or a fox or maybe a runaway dog. It reminded me of the story I heard of Bears in California that have learnt to recognise coolers as a source of food, they used to break into SUVs by smashing the windows but now they clime trees and jump down on to the roof, this pops the doors open and gives them access to the picnic.

In the morning I had a bit of a realisation, the coat I was wearing had been bought in an army surplus store; I figured that if I wanted to stay dry I should really get military kit as it is going to be good. It\'s also a lot cheaper. So when these people with their torches and high visibility vests bumped into me coming the other way without any torch at all, I was wearing a camouflage coat, balaclava, shielding my eyes and carrying a massive bundle of dry grass, think that must have been a lot more disturbing than the wolf impression.

2 comments:

bushled said...

LOL!!! It's odd isn't it. If I'm out in the woods late at night and see anyone else, I immediately think that they are the wierdo freak for being out in the dark, not me.

fjl said...

Nice girl you're pestering again? ...:-) x glad you had a good time sweets. As long as you don't die of pneumonia at this stage I think we're all happy to entertain you x