Once again we were waterlogged. Knowing, when I set out to walk the Emery Down loop via Mill Lane, that I would encounter an otherwise impassable road and some pretty soggy footpaths, I wore my Wellington boots. These, as we shall see, came in handy.
Sporting yellow-rimmed dark glasses, Audrey was gamely trying to ensure that her ponies, Primrose and Champion, enjoyed a feed of dry hay. When I passed them on my return, a little over two hours later, Primrose was stuffing the last of it inside her. Champion, who was now showing little interest was probably already stuffed.
The pool that was Lyndhurst Road at the point at which I had once, un-wellied, turned back, was full to spraying. Some vehicles slowed down to a snail’s pace, others went tearing through showering all about them. I wonder whether a snail could actually have made it through.
As I neared the highest part of Mill Lane, a trail of bobbing antlers glided silently past, just beneath the brow of the hillside slope. On the far side of the field they gathered into seminar formation. I became quite excited when, changing my angle of vision, I realised that the course facilitator of this stag party was the legendary white one. I rather blew it when I got a bit too close and they elegantly pranced off with the poise of Kate Moss on the catwalk.
Walking past the Mill Pool I encountered a young man pushing a wheelbarrow down the muddy track towards me. Once I had realised that this was not Robert (see 17th February), I carried on a conversation with Barry, who had been given the night off by his wife. Barry was not surprised that the brief respite we had had from the rain ended as we stopped to speak. You see, his wheelbarrow contained his fishing gear and his tent, so, of course it was bound to rain. There must be worse ways of spending a night, but offhand I can’t think of one.
As I neared Emery Down I rather rashly took a diversion onto a footpath. Well, if truth be told, I needed a pee, and reckoned no-one else would be daft enough to venture onto it on such a day. There I saw a sign which gave me some insight into the farmer’s perspective on the availability of ramblers’ footpaths controversy.
Throughout my walk I found myself seeking out the puddles on the road, so that I could walk through them and clean off some of the mud from the more cloying footpaths. I began to feel like a three year old trying out his new footwear and stamping in the pools sending up his equivalent of the car spray mentioned earlier. Many a time have I offered a remonstrating parent the opinion that ‘that’s what wellies are for’.
On my return I decanted a few more items into the garage, then rang the Apple Help Line. This required two calls of approximately an hour’s duration, one of which required me to spend some time listening to music which I completely failed to categorise. I expect it is up to the minute. I was guided to downloading the relevant software. James and Joseph, the two young advisers could not have been more helpful. Unfortunately the problem, even after half an hour’s downloading, remains. I expect I will have to talk to Epson, who make the scanner. Another day.
This evening we both ate more delicious Chilli con carne; I drank more zinfandel, and Jackie abstained.