Friday, 27 July 2012


I have lived in Ruralish-shire for longer than I've lived anywhere else.

Unless you count the 6 months I spent as a Redcoat at Butlin's Bognor Regis (oh the heights to which I've climbed...) I have actually only ever lived in two places.  Here in Ruralish-shire, and also the town where I was born and grew up - Romford
This, my friends, is variously described as being in Greater London, Essex or, more baffling (to me at least), the East End of London.  I give you this information to highlight the fact that I am basically a Townie.

You might think that 24 years spent in the countryside would bring out the Wood Sprite in me, but no.  I'm still bothered being in a field I can see no end to - and absolutely terrified of livestock.  (And I include bugs, insects and some plants in that category).

All this may go some way to explain the following...

Our Not Very Successful Walk. Or How I Excel at being a Townie Living in the Countryside

We (Mr W, Kids Nos. 2 & 3, The Dog and I)  drive to our favourite walk spot.  I notice the next field is Jam-Packed full of cows.  Root myself firmly to the spot.
Mr W is uncommonly happy to Abandon Route.  (Normally he tries to convince me not to be such a woosie).

Turns out he'd seen this...

Attempt different walk, following footpath signs.  Kids and Dog happily bound off.   Mr W and I skid down the sloping 4-inch wide 'path', which is nothing short of a quagmire surrounded by overgrown brambles, and worse - Butterflies.

I am wearing White Plimsolls.

Spot the Townie

Abandon ridiculous route and retrace steps.  Kids alternate between disappointment in me for being pathetic and laughing uproariously at the amount of times they slip over in the mud.

Return to car.  Eat Chocolate Biscuits thoughtfully packed by Daughter Aged 9.  (She also packed a Spiderman Lego Minifigure).

Drive around picturesque Cotswold villages, sigh wistfully at beautiful houses and muse that only the people with cars too big to fit in these teeny winding lanes can afford to live here.

Continue to drive - Mr W on the lookout for more of those infernal Footpath signs.

Sign is spotted.  Double Darn It.

Car is parked on the verge.  Front wheel promptly sinks deep into it.

Family abandon ship and Assess The Situation.

Me 'Assessing the Situation'
...I can't believe I go out in public looking like that...
Donning Resourceful Head, I grab some flattened cardboard boxes from the back of the car, and place them behind stuck wheel.
Put car into Reverse Gear and imagine the accolades as the car glides back up onto the flat.

Car sinks deeper into hole.

Ask ourselves if Breakdown insurance covers This Kind of Situation and decide to ring our Insurers.  We don't have their details, so ring Directory Enquiries to text us the number.

Play the Glad Game while we wait. 
Glad it's not raining, Glad it's light, Glad No2 Son is happy to give his little sister his hoody as she came out inadequately dressed for 'summer'...

Ok, so it wasn't raining on this occasion...

Directory Enquiries never text the number. 

Decide to call our Friend With Van (previously known as our Friend who Saved us from Disaster when we fitted a new shower and drilled into a water pipe) to see if he can help.

Mr W investigates the Footpath and discovers it hasn't been a footpath for some time.  It now appears to be someone's garden. 
We also spot what looks like an intimate part of a Badger's anatomy on the path.

Moments later, over the horizon comes Friend With Van...

...complete with tow strap and neat line in Sarcastic Comments.

 Thanks entirely to him, we are free in a trice and on our merry way home.

Over the Two and a Half Hours we were out we managed to walk for about 15 minutes.  Tops.

Could've maybe done with a few more of these dotted around..
Hmm?  Eh?  County Council....?

And finally, found this pic of me at Butlins...
I'm in there somewhere


  1. Stay at home! Haha, maybe you should hey? Er, thanks for sharing the picture of the badger part ... and the picture of you at Butlins, blast from the past! I think you should come out here and have a 'country' walk here. Only here they call it 'the Bush' and you're likely to come across much more 'interesting' wildlife. Baboons in our garden once, I swear. Think I'LL stay in xxx

    1. Too much with the sharing, hey? :) Sorry about that, hope it didn't put your off your breakfast. Bush and Baboons!?!? I'm in a cold sweat just thinking about it xxxx

  2. Forever the townie Kate ! at least you got home safe. I live in the middle of a field, with cows, sheep and horses all around and so long to be in London, or dream of being in Paris, I just love Paris ! but eh we are where we are - carry on taking your country walks and putting a smile on my face this Saturday morning. I have photos of you at Butlins, will dig them out, I seem to remember that you had a yellow jacket on though, or has my fuddled brain now completely shot to pieces :-) xxx

    1. Ah Mich - how do you cope? Especially horses! They are my absolute worst nightmare. Paris...just makes you sigh saying the name, doesn't it? Although it's a long time since I was there - most of my memories morph into scenes from Ratatouille now.
      I remember you visiting me at Butlins! As far as I recall I never wore a yellow jacket - perhaps memories of 'Hi-De-Hi' are messing with your head? :)

  3. Thank you this made me laugh. Have had many unsuccessful walks (4kids and Dog). Recognise cow problem - once trusted No.One Son's judgement on whether picnic spot/field was clear of Cows - ended badly with us all running away from large herd with picnic and baby in pram.

  4. Hello SLP - and thank you too. Nice to hear I'm not alone - and I have to say you have trumped me...picnic and baby in pram..! I laughed, I did. Glad you lived to tell the tale x

  5. Oh good lord! It's just grass and animals! Now I understand why the Grizedale Wood walk was such an Ordeal for You last visit. My house must be hell for you. Did I ever tell you about the time an escaped cow knocked on my door with it's head. Now I think about it, it did moo "where is Kate?"

  6. If any escaped cows come a-knockin' next time I visit, I fully expect you to keep them talking while I make good my escape. Thank you very much :)

  7. Oh no! Have I wasted my time training them to follow your scent?