Today, for the first time in my pitiful, post Peru period, I felt reasonably happy at being back in Engerland because I went walking with the usual suspects (plus Sarah, Roger and Mal) and our route was much hillier and scenic than last week’s pathetic effort had been so I felt that the satisfactory status of my Sunday sojourns had been restored. But I’m not going to say any more about it because it was exactly the same route as we followed on Sunday 7th May in the Woodchester, Selsley Common and Coaley Peak sort of area of the Cotswold mountain range in Gloucestershire. I even had another Magnum lolly from the same little lolly shop at the mansion in the middle of the woods on Woodchester Estate. I would add, however, that Simon, our walk leader for the day, did a magnificent job and can only be described as the Indiana Jones of Chippenham but with a much better hat.
The big difference today though was that our walk was much, much muddier than first time around. In some places the mud came right up to the top of my boots, so much so that I wished that I’d worn my black, thigh length PVC boots. What made it even worse was the fact that much of the fluid in the mud was the produce of bovine bladders rather than cumulonimbus clouds. So at the end of the trek I had the usual smelly feet but instead of them smelling of roses, as they normally do, they smelt of cow piss. But, being in the trade (of feet that is, not cow piss) I happen to know that urea is very good for foot conditions and many curative preparations on the market contain a significant amount of urea.
It’s a well known fact that one of the main constituents of Flexitol Heel Balm is horse urea. Flexitol (tested on Australians so that no animals are harmed) is incredible stuff as it works wonders on cracked heels in less than a week but even more so because I can never understand how they manage to get a horse to wee into such a small hole in the top of the tube that it comes in. It would be much easier to get a horse to wee in your walking boots and even easier to wee in your walking boots yourself, which I often have done on windy days in the Cotswolds, but purely by accident. Suffice to say, my feet are blemish free.
This next bit has got nothing to do with travelling or walking or owt but I really need to mention it so here goes. Our Seán, my second born child, got his degree results at two minutes past midnight on Friday morning and his level of achievement was equivalent to what I am expecting from Glory Glory Leeds United in the Championship next season, i.e. first. Extremely well done our Seán. I am incredibly proud of all three of my lovely offspring but Seán’s success was beyond the call of duty and it made me prouder than ever, but I wasn’t surprised because I already knew how much effort he had put into it and he deserved nothing less. He hasn’t got a job yet but I’m sure that once he does get his foot into the sports journalism door he will flourish. I bet Jeff Stelling is already nervously looking over his shoulder, for all intents and purposes.
And while we’re on the subject of football, Engerland lost on penalties to Italy in the Euros tonight. If they’d won it would have been a travesty because they played like morris dancers. I’m pretty sure that two years on from tonight they’ll be weeping again because they'll have just been knocked out of the World Cup, no doubt on penalties. So my blog post for 24th June 2014 will probably just say ‘ditto.’ But at least as a consequence of this, as they are singing Football's Coming Home (to Gatwick), all those tosspots with crappy plastic Engerland flags stuck to their cars will have removed such abominations by the morning and re-installed the usual nodding dogs, fluffy dice and 'I ♥ wanking' stickers on their back windows.
Love’s got the world in motion and I can’t believe it’s true. I really, really can't believe it.