Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I felt like Gollum but looked like Compo

Coming back into work after being on a vacation is always messy.
Firstly, there is the unnecessary and thoroughly over friendly remarks from my colleagues who all suddenly express a n interest in my goings on. "where did you go?"
"what did you do?"
"how was the weather?"

Then there is the work you need to catch up on thankfully this only took a 10 minutes.

In regards to the former, I did my best to evade the majority of the pointless questioning before I managed to divert the conversation back to the usual topic of the previous night's football, which considering the foxures was easy peasy japan-easy

The weekend retreat was of course thoroughly pleasant and most enjoyable. It highlighted some alarming changes in my life style that perhaps I wasn't ready to accept.

For I am now a city dweller.

This perhaps ought not to be so surprising, after all I have resided in the fair city of Liverpool for nearly 10 years but I don’t like it. Granted, I’m not exactly born and raised in the wilderness, but I hail from a small town and spent the remainder of my youth (when not watching TV) being the outdoor type. I did as a youngster, never want to move to the bright lights of the city as the mere idea of would have been thoroughly repugnant, however once I had tried and failed with most of the women in my home town of Harrogate, the odds of success on this 'front' looked a lot greater once I decided to move to a larger community.

I lost my trusty penknife years ago.

My Hiking boots were binned after they started to rot.

I no longer own a fleece.

I am now a city dweller, and I don't like it.

A partially blame Murray (my Tumor) and a practically blame my piggish insistence on wearing these god damned contact lenses.

To reinforce my love for all things outdoor, we took part in a great passion of mine that I had long since forgotten; making and playing with fires.
The childish delight in my eyes was there for all to see.

I was a bit rusty but I'd lit a thousand fires before. This was day 2 (proper) and we had driven out to the Campbell Family Loch. Its location was top secret and Lisa and I were forced by Messers Stock and Jeeve to wear blindfolds.

When we arrived and the cholorphorm had worn off we found ourselves amongst the trees and sheep. The weather was cool but not cold, but I chose to remain under the comfort of my lucky Spurs Bobble Hat (sans bobble). After negotiating a stile and a waterlogged field, we were waterside. The loch's tranquility and stillness was a refreshing sight to behold.

It wasn't long before Steve started to collect twigs and branches in order to make a start on a fire and piled them up in the designated spot. I found a lighter and the bracken and newspaper used as kinderling was soon slowly smoldering away. The wood was mostly damp so it took a while for it to get going. Lisa, Stock and Jeeve spread out foraging for firewood whilst i designated myself the role of chief watcher of fire, ensuring that it is kepy going. This wasn't laziness, despite it no doubt appearing this way, I was transfixed by flames as they licked into the oxygen soaked air. I felt like Gollum but looked like Compo.

It brought to mind a plethora of fire related anecdotes, that despite not wanting to witter on in my usual way for sake of annoying the hell out of my companions I was unable to stop myself.

We sipped ice-cold cans of Miller ingeniously left in a carrier bag under the water by Lisa.

A short while later once enough wood had been fetched, our hosts appeared on the Loch in a small row boat. Huzzzzar!

I was convinced that I should vacate my fire watching post to participate in a bit of rowing with Steve. It was very romantic.
As we slowly glided across the still water all that you could hear was the oars splashing into the cold lake and the distant murmur of the lady companions, oh and my Captain's dismay of a faulty rollicks. After successfully changing sides on the boat it was my turn to row.

Once back at the fireside and my beer, it was all hands on deck to get more wood. Well when I say all hands on deck, it was just Steve who bravely ventured into the foreboding woods nearby. Lisa was incredibly useful at poking and containing the fire with her stick. Her enthusiasm brought out a new side in her I'd never seen or perhaps I was just giddy from the smoke, either way she impressed us all.

There is few better experiences a man can savor and enjoy that making fire and then pissing into a sheep's footprint left in the mud. It must have been cold as the steam from my piss rose almost as high as the smoke from our ever impressive fire. After my second can, I had filled up three hoof prints with my urine.

So how does the sophisticated city dweller that I have become convert himself back to the bumpkin he once was? And how much of a bumkin would i wish to be?

I would like to think that I would draw the line at bestiality- but if you haven't a got a Starbucks or Subway nearby, how else do you while away the hours?

The sky had already started to get darker by the time we trudged back to the car, and we all stank of smoke. We were once again blindfolded and sedated, and woke up as the car pulled into the driveway. A change of clothes and footware and we were in the local hotel for a few ales. Kronenberg was the beer of choice.
I discovered in the hours that followed that I have absolutely no talent at darts, despite convincing myself that perhaps I did.

Perhaps my lack of darts playing ability stems from my newly found city dweller status? After all both Steve and Lisa excelled at it?

Of course there was more noteable moments whilst away, and this will of course feature in due course, but I wanted to convey I wish to return to my more rustic roots and shun my metropolis.

A goat and a monkey indeed.

1 comment:

McParty said...

Another side splitting adventure... hoof prints - hahahahhahaaaaa