I’ve been keeping a low profile due to an unexpected interruption in the service that is life! I had an aortic aneurism, now I’m not telling you this for sympathy, I’m just setting the context for this walk.
Today is 20th October and it’s nearly 7 weeks since my encounter with the clever lady with the knife and impressive embroidery skills 🙂
I’ve been building myself back up again with daily walks with my two black friends in the fields and lanes nearby. A couple of weeks ago it was half a kilometre per day then a kilometre then two and today I’m planning two miles. To say I’m pleased is an understatement. So here’s what happens…
I’m sitting on my favourite chair in the conservatory with Millie draped along the back of it. She’s half on the chair and half on my neck and shoulder. She finds it quite comfortable that way and it also enables her to see the blue tits that have invaded her garden and this triggers a low growl which is about as much as she intends to do about it. In case you don’t know, Millie is a dog.
In the meantime Frank (his proper name is Bruno but Tom nicknamed him Frank) is bounding in and out of the dog-door trying to look hard. The birds totally ignore him so I suppose his attempt is a failure but he tries!
I get up to don my walking boots and as I tie them I say, “Anyone around here fancy a walk?”
There’s a flurry of activity as I suddenly have the undivided attention of two soft furry creatures both of whom are trying to point their ears to indicate their enthusiasm; sadly, they fail. It’s a sort of design fault, their ears just flop; however, their tails are now just a blur.
“A walk? Do you mean us?”, says Millie.
“Yes”, I reply.
“Both of us?”, queries Frank.
“Yes, both of you”, I confirm.
“Oooo, we’re going for a walk”, they say in unison.
They know the next step is to put on the retractable leads and for this to happen their bodies have to remain still so that this can be achieved quickly and the walk can begin. Their tails have now vibrated out of the spectrum of visible light, bypassed ultra-violet through x-ray and are now generating their own gamma rays such is the excitement; however, their bodies are as immobile as Trafalgar Square lions so that their leads are attached swiftly and they sit patiently at the door.
They jump in the well of the car talking excitedly about the rabbits and hares that they’ll be able to chase in the fields where we walk. They also discuss two or three places where a nice clean dog can rub his or her shoulder into a dubious mass, a sort of doggie perfume, a kind of Jimmy Choo “Elicit” of the canine world. To a human it smells like shit but oh, how doggies love it!
I haven’t told them that my target today is only two miles just in case I need to modify the plan, I don’t like to disappoint them.
I initialise the OutdoorGPS app and check the time, less than an hour should be good. The weather is fabulous with acres of blue and only the odd fluffy cumulus scurrying across the sky.
The hedges are beginning to lose their leaves but the oak at the start of the walk is still hanging on to its summer foliage although it is looking somewhat jaded. As we begin to walk I spot a single dandelion that looked even more yellow because it stands alone.
We pass a common ash; we don’t speak, if it had been a posh ash or a rowan tree then that would be different but we’re not speaking to something common!
Frank’s heard something in the grass and pounces on it. He does it regularly and if ever there turns out to be something really there I think he’ll need to be tranquillised. Millie is pouncing too but I think she just doesn’t want to be left out.
We turn into the field which has been lying fallow for over five years now and tends to get more than its fair share of thistles. This time of year isn’t too bad though and the going is what the racing fraternity would refer to as good to firm.
Millie is paying particular attention to an area of dubious origin and is just about to do the equivalent of a lady dabbing perfume behind the ears i.e. the doggie analogy being, lets smear this shit all over my shoulder and I’ll look and smell so glamorous. At this point I spot her and tug, not too gently on the lead. She’s seriously unimpressed,
“What you do that for?”, she asks.
“‘Cos you’ll smell like a cesspit”, I reply.
“What’s a cesspit?”, asks Millie.
“It’s a container where shit from lots of humans is stored”, I explain.
“Ooo, a sort of Jimmy Choo perfume factory”, she says and licks her lips.
She still isn’t overly impressed with the fact that I’ve stopped her but it takes only a few seconds to forget it and look for more mischief.
I walk across the field and settle into a gentle stroll adjacent to the hedge. The farmer has generously left a significant strip of uncultivated land that acts as a highway for my wet nosed friends and myself to meander without causing damage to crop or hedgerow.
There’s a gap in the hedge that enables us to continue into another field where the generosity of extended verge area has been applied and the beasties take full advantage of the width to sniff and listen for pesky rabbits.
After ten minutes or so I feel the lead tighten. Frank is standing rigid and looking out into the field of winter wheat. It’s not long germinated so there is no cover and the sight of the hare is unmistakable.
Frank turns to me and says, “Just let me off this lead and I’ll have that kangaroo”.
“It’s not a kangaroo”, I respond, “It’s a hare”.
“Even more reason”, said Frank, “I’ll kill the bastard for being an imposter, just let me off this lead”.
I tug on his lead and, like Millie, he’s forgotten about the hare within seconds. The hare, in the meantime has put a little more distance between him and Frank before sticking his fingers up in a very un-Churchill way!
At the top of the field I turn to return and the North Yorkshire Moors are framed in a gateway with the sun lighting up the gold’s of two horse-chestnuts. When you’re walking you get these moments and I stand for some time in appreciation.
The walk back is mostly downhill and always towards the moors so this wonderful sight remains with only changes to light and shadows.
I wasn’t sure whether this would be pushing me a bit too far too soon but I’m relieved that it’s not. Yes, as I said earlier, to say I’m feeling chuffed is an understatement. Hope to be with the YR team again soon!
A wonderful walk, only two miles and more than enough at my stage of recuperation – it’s also on our doorstep.
Enjoy the snaps…G..x
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This is life after an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm open repair. Don’t be afraid of the operation, it set me free. Please be encouraged and inspired to walk, it’s liberating.
You can read about it here: http://www.yorkshireramblings.com/short-stay-hospital/