I wrapped the plaster in a polythene bag, put on some waterproof trousers, and pulled a boot onto my good foot. I packed a flask of tea and few bits in my day sack and wrapped up against the cold.
I bribed Mrs P to take me to the edge of the most accessible woods and, after a few minutes under her watchful eye to see if I could negotiate the initial muddy ruts, I was into the woods. I’d escaped!
I hobbled in about 100 yards and sat down on a log. The first thing that struck me was that all the leaves had gone. I had trouble comprehending that it was at the end of October when I was last here. The sun was shining through the bare branches and I soaked it up as though I’d never seen it before.
I knew I’d get cold if I didn’t move around, so I set about erecting the tipi I’d recently bought from Dawn. I’ve always wanted one even though I prefer tarps, but I couldn’t help being impressed by this ultra-light Titanium Goat (the makers) Vertex tipi. It took a while, but I managed to set it up although obviously it wasn’t as elegant or as taut as it could have been. I’ll certainly make use of it and I’ll talk about it more at a later date.
It was too nice to sit in it and so I went back to the log and had a cup of tea and watched the wood. There didn’t seem to be a lot of activity although I did notice a pheasant, the odd squirrel and the usual noisy rooks. Although the sun was bright, there was a a cold north-westerly wind. I was glad I had my swaani underneath my old wax jacket and the shemagh wrapped around my neck.
I was conscious that my allotted two hours would soon be up, so I packed away the tipi and proceeded to go on a hobble-about. The good thing about travelling this slowly is that you don’t miss much and perhaps a lesson even for me who walks slowly anyway. The slower you go, the more you see. I picked up some old mutjac tracks and some smaller rodents, probably rat and squirrel tracks. I had to concentrate hard to make sure I didn’t slip but even so, after 20 minutes, I was surprised to see that I had actually come so far.
I spent the last quarter of an hour sitting down with my back to a tree as the light started to fade in the hope I would see some muntjac; but nothing emerged. I was duly collected and returned to base feeling elated. It was so great to be out in the woods again, albeit for a short time, and I’d actually achieved something by setting up the tipi. One small step… and all that.
Thanks for the visit.