Here is my friend Charlotte and I pictured just after our 'interesting' walk with the dogs today. Now we both walk everyday for an hour with our 'dogs from Hell' in woodland/farmland named 'Gravelly Hollows'. Now I have always thought that name sounds like a great title for a horror movie...well today it was.
We usually stick to two main routes that we alternate daily that take us around an hour. Today we were nearing the end of one of these walks when my dog (who hates everything) decided to chase after a flock of birds closely followed by the other two dogs, right across the beautifully ploughed farmland the farmer had just spent hours ploughing. If you live in the UK you will know that Mr Farmer 'aint gonna take too kindly to this sort of behaviour and is within his rights to shoot the dog. Since he was at the bottom of the field witnessing this horrific act of violation (and not looking too happy from his posture) we decided that we didn't have the courage to walk past him and get the royal rollocking of a lifetime. So, we decided to backtrack and find an alternative route around to our cars. Charlotte said we had to get to the ridge at the top and work our way round from there. I would like to point out at this point that our navigation skills are worse than useless and mine are even worse than that. For example- we managed to park our car on holiday in Florida in a shopping mall only to come out and spend an hour looking for it as we had forgotten where it was parked, what the number plate was and even unsure of the colour. Even worse is we did it AGAIN the very next day!!! Yeah, so now you're getting the idea. So off we go in the opposite direction to where we need to be going for miles. We have no water (mine leaked out in the car tray AGAIN) and the weather here today is as hot as Dubai - I know this is true as it was on the radio on the way out. On and on we kept going in search of a path that would take us up to the ridge way up on high so we could backtrack to our original destination but there wasn't one. Eventually we saw a man with his dogs and decided to ask him how we could get up there as it was now futile to turn back even though at this point I would have happily took a shotgun in the face from the farmer. The man told us to keep going and eventually there would be a hole in a fence and an unused pathway and we'd find it. NOTE: Men do not explain, describe or tell the truth. I did say to Charlotte that we should just romp through the bracken and trees away from the path as I can see where we need to get to. She said we'd be the wrong side of the fence and she hadn't brought any wire cutters. Eventually we came to what can only be described as a dead end with no path..NOT EVEN AN UNUSED ONE. I seriously didn't know whether to laugh or cry until Charlotte said "Oh my God have you seen that?" I turned to see a 1:1 hill that can best be described as A WALL. So steep you need proper climbing material. At this point I was hysterical and could not stop laughing. I was laughing so much that Charlotte actually wet herself laughing. This is the woman who will not use public toilets and can fly 11 hours to Florida after bottles of Chardonnay and not use the loo. We decided that having come this far we needed to climb said hill/wall just to see if there was a path at the top along the ridgeway. Halfway up I considered whether or not to just lie down and die and wait to be found by starving crows or some other halfwit who had made the same mistake when Charlotte wailed "Noooo, the dogs are on the wrong side of the fence!!!" I looked with despair at the stupid animals running carefree on the wrong side of the hill from Hell. I was halfway up with no breath, no will to live, parched to death,with a sore throat and cough and made the executive decision that I didn't care. Thankfully at the top (and just before I suffered a major heart attack) there was the ridgeway path. Well thank you God. We managed to pull the dogs through a wire fence which I made Charlotte hold as I was sure it was electric. At this point Charlotte told me that we had just spent 55 minutes walking just to get to a point where we could go back. Zero ground covered in 55 minutes. We decided that in future we really needed to be carrying more appropriate things with us incase of such emergencies. All I had was as set of car keys and an iphone which serves no purpose when there's no bloody signal. Not as if I can ring a rescue team or even look at google maps to see where on Earth we were. Charlotte had a rope lead around her neck and I wondered at times if she was going to hang herself from a tree by it! She was most upset that she had no lipstick on her lips (trust me if you know her than her lips are NEVER without lippy) and her lips were sticking together. We managed to laugh our way the two and a half hours back to the car on a walk that should have only taken one. "So Char, same time same place tomorrow at 10?" Yes of course but we're sticking to the path, we will have lippy, water, stash of mars bars and enough money for a shandy on the way home!!