Wednesday, April 14, 2010

End of a rest

Afternoon all,

Just passing time tinkering on me keyboard whilst deciding what to cook myself before the dreaded night shift tonight, so I thought it would a good time to fill you in upon the last day of our short break.

I’ve been looking for some suitable material lately to make myself a haversack after an inspiring posting by Australian blogger, Le Loup. For the last couple of weeks nothing has come forth that was either suitable or within my meagre price range (yes I know a very frugal price range indeed). Clare suggested we headed to the local car boot sale (always a source of cheap goodies) to kick start Sunday, so at an entirely unearthly hour on Sunday morning I was evicted from my pit with the slightest of thick heads, nothing to do with an over indulgence in cider, honest (well maybe a little then) and we trundled off to the car boot (didn’t realise just how many pot holes were in the road to Yr Wyddgrug).

Well after the third coffee at the burger van, and with the sun just beginning to climb high enough to warm my miserable face (Clare’s description, not mine) we began scouring the sale in earnest. A mere hour had elapsed and we’d covered ourselves in frugal shopping and bartering glory. For the princely sum of £4.50 we’d plundered the following; an extremely light but effective burner (burns mentholated spirits) plus kettle, a still 'in its packet' pannier set for me cycle rack, a lined leather drawstring purse for me air gun pellets and the best of all a haversack of perfect proportions – god pats me on the head and says ‘good boy John’.

We arrived home just after eight am, where I started cooking us a grand fry up whilst Clare provided mugs of steaming coffee. My somewhat smug mood was dented slightly by Clare mentioning that her parents were due a visit. Now don’t get me wrong the out laws are great, warm and caring people but I really didn’t fancy making small talk over Sunday dinner when the sun was shining on the trails and this was after all our last day off before the return to the grind (yes I know what your thinking, but didn’t I tell you before that I’m not a nice guy and just a tad selfish?). I glanced over at Clare, any objections buried deep ‘cause you all know that I’d go, when she burst out laughing, “gotcha, now go and take that slobbering hound of yours from under my feet”, Lucy does love bacon but not as much as I love Clare.

So full and once again smug I’m off to the woods with the bog monster in tow, and oh boy what a beautiful, sun kissed wander we had. We dumped the fun cruiser just outside Nercwys woods and headed for the recently cleared trig point that I’d mentioned in earlier musings. The short, steep trail, to the top reminded me of the desolation of Smaug with all the felling that had gone on previously, but a closer look showed that mama nature had not lost her foothold here and already there are signs of regeneration.

Once we gained the top the view was more than reward for the slight breathlessness that I felt (still not fit then fat boy?). To the south on the surface of the large pond spotted the other week the tell tale ripples of several feeding fish could be seen. I decided that further investigation was required. From this side of the wood no trail could be seen to take us directly to that fascinating piece of water. Fortunately though, this is a managed wood with trees well separated and at this time of year the undergrowth had barely raised its head above the carpet of pine needles. I noted the position of the sun in relation to my watch and headed into the depths of the wood.

Funny thing perception, I perceived myself as a quite walker with the lack of wildlife photo opportunity entirely and squarely laid down at the paws of that hulking beast of a companion of mine as she charged about me on the firm trails. Mmmm thing is as the woods closed in on us and the ambient noise level dropped under the shelter of the trees and foot falls were deadened by the thick carpet of pine needles it was not Lucy that made the din, but yours truly! Every swing of my arms or legs brought noises from my clothes that I’d never been aware of before, my breathing rasped out for all manner of critters to hear, I was making more noise than Hannibal and his elephants as they crashed over the Alps. I’m really going to have to rethink my approach including clothes, fitness levels and how I move if I wish to stalk successfully whether it be for the photo or for the pot! We finally emerged from the woods bang on target (at least I get something’s right!), where in the distance a sign could be seen on the boundary fence of the pool, fishing contacts perhaps thought I, nope as I focused in I realised that I’d been thwarted again!

I’ll have to leave the bog monster at home when I come for a closer luck, one because of it being a reserve and two because of the lambing season. We turned tail and headed for what I hoped would be the hard trail, bingo I think that I’m getting good at this direction thing. The rest of the walk was uneventful apart from the fact that the buzzards circled high on the thermals over head, their cries once more piercing the warm air above, seemingly to follow us for the remainder of the trek. We arrived home tired but happy, just as Clare returned from the out laws. The evening was spent in that comfortable, confident, silence of those who don’t need to voice their thoughts and feeling for each other at every chance just watching the goggle box over pizza and whiskey. A good end to a enjoyable and reinvigorating break. Mmm now for food…..

Your friend,


Wolfy has organised a fishing auction for a great and worthwhile cause over at flowing waters, get off your bums and start bidding – I know where you all live!


Leigh said...

What a great day and a great story!? I did have to look up exactly what a haversack was. :) I like the idea! I cant wait to hear of your next journey back to the reserve!
Thanks for another great read.

Anonymous said...

I am sad to hear that "the grind" is rearing it's stinking ugly head again at you, John.

But I'm very happy that you had the chance to sneak out and breathe the wind. Thank you for the story.

Does Wales have a re-planting program after clear cutting? It is good to see those little saplings popping up!

Wolfy said...

Sounds like another great trek, John. And, A VERY BIG thank you for he call out to my auctions. It actually feels good to do something for someone else for once. Maybe I'm not as much of a curmudgeon as previously thought. then again - probably not


Murphyfish said...

To be honest, before reading Le Loup’s piece I hadn’t really understood what a haversack was or it’s benefits (usually find me lumping a rucksack around). Glad that you enjoyed the post, your comments, as always, are welcome.

Unfortunately “the grind” is a necessary evil whilst there are so many bills to pay, but at least whilst ‘out there’ my thoughts are elsewhere.

At least in our local area these managed forests are replanted, usually with pine for future use in the timber/paper industries. Although there was rumour that more areas were to be used in the long term for native, deciduas trees to encourage wildlife, but at the moment there is no sign of that around here. Me thinks that I’ll try the forestry commission and see if I can get some answers – you aroused my curiosity with your comment my friend.

Hey Wolfy,
Didn’t really think that you were that much of a killjoy, I think that your right that we're two of the same! A pleasure doing the call out, always happy to help. Take care my friend.

To All,
Thank you for your input (oh tech jargon!) its always well received.

Bill said...

A very enjoyable read and I always get a chuckle out of hearing about the bog monster.

Murphyfish said...

Always happy to oblige Bill, glad your still enjoying me ramblings.