Well, not toxic, exactly... maybe just a little bit rank. But in a nice way. With a garnish.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

angels and demons

Bumpy, blistered and smelly, we squeezed into the tent.

The wind howled outside and the sides of the tent lifted violently. Outside the river raged and roared. We lay still, petrified we were going to be blown away or drowned… or worse, blown away and then drowned.

Naomi suggested we pray.
The rest of us froze… terrified. Trapped in a tent in the middle of bloody nowhere with someone who wanted to pray to angels.
Thus a major flaw in our research came to light. We hadn’t screened for Mormons.

Coincidently we somehow ‘simultaneously’ all fell asleep right that second. A miracle, indeed.

The morning arrived, brisk and blowy and lifting its skirts, flashing a bit of ankle. The sun blinked blearily as we scrambled across some scree and somewhere below, an old man walking his dog got nutted by a rolling rock.

Our trek was due to end some time soon, but not without first allowing me to plonk my face neatly into the carcass of a dead sheep.

It’s not something I’ve always wanted to do, let me make that clear. In fact if I had thought of it beforehand, it would be high up on the list of things that I would choose not to do. But I didn’t, so I hadn’t.

We slithered and slipped across a particularly slithery, slippy stretch of scree… and by now, under the weight of our waterlogged rucksacks and our leaden legs, we resembled a group of comedy rambling junkies. If there had been walls, we would have been bouncing off them.

Lurching forward as a cheeky bit of rock disappeared southbound from under my feet, I astonished, noticed a woolly corpse rushing upwards to cushion my fall.
I landed in perfect face-down-ness in its busily buzzing, rotting side.

Bronze bloody medal, my arse. I deserved a knighthood.

The Duke of Edinburgh wasn’t there to cheer us in as we arrived back, finally at our finishing point. I hold him personally responsible for my experiences and I still bear a grudge to this day.
If you see him, be sure to give him a sound beating for me.



  • At February 17, 2006 1:35 am, Blogger Kyahgirl said…

    I'd give you a knighthood ft. Perhaps SID could knight you with that rusty treasure of his!

  • At February 17, 2006 12:18 pm, Blogger Imogen said…

    So I take it you didn't go back for more lovely medals in silver and gold flavours?

  • At February 17, 2006 2:06 pm, Blogger Sniffy said…

    I came from such a background where it meant that I'd never even heard of D of E awards scheme till I met up with fellow students for the first time at university. It seemed that everybody from Northern Ireland did it. I could never really fathom out why anybody would want to put themselves through that.

    Still can't today.

    But well done anyway - did you not go for silver and gold? What do you have to do to attain that level, eat the rotting sheep that you stumble upon and make a homeless shelter out of its skin and skeleton?

  • At February 17, 2006 3:05 pm, Blogger funny thing said…

    I joined the ATC, which had a tired looking hut in our school grounds.
    Free flying and shooting were the carrots dangled before us.

    We were then herded like trapped lambs into the DofE Award 'persuasion sessions' whereby through a programme of electric shocks, submersion into icy pools of water and forced consumption of Pot Noodle, we signed up..

    Strangely enough, I didn't go back for more medals. In fact, I didn't do the write-up after the expedition and thus never completed my bronze.
    Apathy, and a developing taste for pain and Pot Noodle took over.

  • At February 17, 2006 4:45 pm, Blogger Inexplicable DeVice said…

    I saw Philip and kicked him in the shins. Will that do?

    P.S. That sheep's skull reminds me of someone/thing I know.

  • At February 17, 2006 7:58 pm, Blogger garfer said…

    I take it you'll be off for a hike in the hills this weekend?

    I'm sure D of E put most people who took it off outdoor pursuits for life. For that, the good Duke should be praised to the heavens.

  • At February 18, 2006 6:41 pm, Blogger Imogen said…

    Think they'll send the medal on to you now you've written such an honest and heartfelt account?

  • At February 19, 2006 4:56 pm, Blogger funny thing said…

    Hello, I'm back.
    Funnily enough, Imp and I did go off into the hills this weekend (hence the loads of no posts) and we did manage to bag a peak.

    I do like mountain walking but only with people that recognise my superiority.


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