Monday, 11 November 2013

An Eventful Walk

Yesterday I decided to take Tara for a nice long walk to tire her out first thing in the morning. We'd been off the island on Saturday so she'd missed out on her usual long Saturday walk, and woke me up at 7am on Sunday to tell me about it, so I figured I'd give her a long walk for a bit of peace and quiet to get on with my knitting. Plus I had an idea of what I wanted to photograph for my Project 52 picture and if I was heading in that direction it made sense to carry round in a big loop.

The problem was that there had been a heavy frost and so a large portion of the ground was frosted up. Not too bad on the grass, but decidedly slippery on the road. I couldn't very well turn back with my hyperactive Labrador who was very excited to be getting her walk, so I headed for the back gate. A short way down the road things thawed out and I decided that maybe it wasn't too bad after all. Besides, most of the walk was on grass and track paths so that was unlikely to be an issue for us.

I was wrong.

There's a small set of stone steps that led down to a gravel path and those were frosted up too. I tentatively tested the top one with my snow-booted foot and realised that this could be a bit dangerous. Icy steps coupled with a Labrador who thought mum was going just a bit too slowly caused me to rethink the way down.

There's a grassy bank on either side of the steps. It's steep but I figured it would be easier to go down that than to risk falling down stone steps. I mean, worst case you slide a bit, maybe fall back onto your bum.

Which is what I did.

About halfway down the slope Tara gave a tug on the lead, I leaned back, slipped onto my bum with a nice bump and skidded down the slope. I picked myself up at the bottom feeling a bit bruised, embarrassed, and wet, and on we went with our journey. After all, that was probably the worst bit over.

I was wrong.

The slope down to the path running alongside the beach was covered with fallen leaves. Wet fallen leaves lying on top of wet muddy grass. You can probably see where this is going.

Tara pulled forward, I said 'Heel' and pulled her back, the Labrador acted as a kind of brake but both feet skidded forward at the same time. And down I went. This time onto my thigh and knee, and almost onto the Labrador who shot away from me, pulling the lead off my wrist in the process. Once she had established that mum wasn't in fact trying to jump onto her, she came back to check I was okay. I picked myself up, brushed myself down and carried on.

For about three feet.

Then I went down again. This time into a branch which seemed very keen to get inside my rib cage.

I picked myself up. Again. And assessed the situation; ahead was a walk alongside the beach, a muddy-ish track leading to a path and road, a road which was leading uphill, but which hopefully would not be too icy because the sun had been on it; behind was a slippery track which I'd already fallen down twice, icy steps and an icy road. I decided to keep walking.

Luckily I only nearly fell over once more, when I tripped over a stone. There was a little bit more skidding and some very wet toes when I got dragged through a large puddle by a Labrador who thought that this was the best walk we had ever been on. We got home, wet, muddy and bedraggled (and that was just me!) but in more or less one piece.

And I'm thinking maybe the Shore Walk is one I should put off until the drier weather returns!

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