Maggie and I were out on our Sunday exploration, on a jaunt around Oxenholme. We were following a guide book and gradually began to realise that whoever wrote it didn't quite see the world as we did. So, for example, after about half a mile of 'I think this is right' we approached a stile in a wall leading into a large field. The instruction said something like '...tend half right to a stile' which, when you're presented by a dirty great field with hundreds of yards of wall isn't the most helpful of guidance. If it was me, I'd have written something like 'Cross the field to a stile just an arm's length to the left of that humungous great electricity pylon that even now you can't help staring at, such is its overwhelming visual domination of the scene ahead of you'.
Shortly after this, we had 'At the second gate go right following a wall on your right' which was fine except that a) you're never quite sure what 'second' gate means. What if you've missed one? What if the gate no longer exists but the gateposts do? Do you count it? and b) if you went right you'd be following a hedge on your right. No wall. Left wasn't an option as it led into somebody's garden. Straight on was a path - but again no wall. Retracing our steps to a previous correct instruction led us once again to the same place.
Then it started to hail. We'd been out for nearly 2 hours. We had had only a rudimentary breakfast. The map showed we were near a road that took a short cut back to the car. No contest.
And so ended one of the most frustrating of runs. Lots of muddy farmland. Lots of back and forth. Lots of anxiety and irritation about quite where we were meant to be. Grrrr!
Smile rating 2/10. No, make that a 1.