Sunday, October 30, 2005

Every Time We Say Goodbye 

I wonder if, during moments of stress whilst out and about in his Patmobile, Postman Pat ever uses intemperate language, shouting things like “Stupid fucking dog!”

We were back in the Dales on Saturday - me, Girlfriend, Leanne and Canoeing Instructor - driving along those steep, narrow lanes that wind up down, up down, down up, and which veer at unlikely angles all over the North Yorkshire countryside.
At the wheel of my recently re-vitalised Toyota Nosebleed - £800, by the way. £800!!! Grr. Don’t get me started, etc. - I mentioned that I felt like Postman Pat, bobbing cheerfully along like he does, when we passed a farmyard on the left where a sheepdog was sniffing about at the side of the road. I slowed down and gave it a wide berth and all seemed well until the brainless creature decided to lunge at one of my front wheels. I stopped just in time, but I’m sure that if not for my lightning reflexes and some extremely expensive brake fluid, I’d have killed my first ever sheepdog.
Hence my suddenly yelling “Stupid fucking dog!” If you were in the north of England on Saturday and you heard this uncharacteristic outburst, I apologise if I alarmed you.

We were there because, in exchange for teaching me how to paddle, I’m teaching Canoeing Instructor how to map read. We walked up - and down, funnily enough - Ingleborough. She did very well and I’m extremely proud of her.

Afterwards we had a drink in my favourite Dales pub, then when I’d quite finished shouting obscenities at sheepdogs for one day, we drove home for tea. Me and Girlfriend made chilli, and we all drank rather a lot of vodka, including some of the birthday Raspberry Vodka which Leanne gave me.
We stopped up playing board games, listening to music and generally chatting until about 3:30, or about 2:30, depending on whether you’ve put your clock back yet. It was good.

I had one of those incredibly annoying sleepless nights, staring wide eyed at the ceiling for what seemed like eternity, eventually nodding off at about 6:00 (or 5:00). I slept for three hours then went to buy a paper and a Dandy for Canoeing Instructor. She’d been saying how she used to read it with her Dad on Sundays when she was a kid, how it was their little tradition. It sounded lovely.
I wasn’t even sure if the Dandy was still published, and I had to try a few newsagents before I found one. I didn’t like to ask the staff in the shop just in case they stopped making it fifteen years ago or something. I wouldn’t want to give a false impression that I’ve just been released from a lengthy prison sentence.

I felt ridiculously sad when they left. I really like Leanne and Canoeing Instructor ever such a lot, but it’s not as if I won’t be having fun with them again soon, and I’m a grown man for goodness’ sake. This feeling sad has got to stop.
I mooched around the house, walked over to my Mum’s to feed her cats, played the piano and sang for them a bit, then shuffled back in the rain, kicking up fallen leaves, generally feeling a bit forlorn and accidentally knocking some kid off his bike.

Girlfriend has got up now and I’m alright at the moment, but I’m going to be completely knackered tomorrow.

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