I don't really believe in new year's resolutions, but as I am a hot, steaming pile of hypocrite, my new year's resolution is going to be to write more. I found writing about my brain misbehaving the last 18 months helped. So I have decided to start a diary/blog on this shiny new sister blog to my other ramblings.
I was reading some of the wonderful Alan Bennett's diaries over Christmas, and rather like the idea of writing a diary again (something I haven't done since I left high school, mostly ramblings about how miserable and misunderstood I was - so no change from now really). Rather than write every day, Alan Bennett will write when he chooses on topics he finds instigates inspiration - and that is what I am going to attempt. Therein ends the only comparison I would ever dream to make with the legendary national treasure of uber treasures that is His Royal Highness Sir Alan of Bennett (he really should have those titles). And then reader, we began.
Today was a gorgeously blue, bright January performance - one that would razzle and dazzle even the most Scroogey of couch potatoes. I love crisp sunny winter days, and especially as its the last day of the holidays before we go back to 'school', I headed early to the countryside to get muddy on the bike trails. I am happiest outdoors and amongst the trees and mountains. It is the only thing that effectively fights back at my self diagnosed brain cataracts. I picked a random and obscure trail deliberately in the hope it would be devoid of humans. And it mostly was.
I usually call these hikes, trails, runs or outdoor explores etc. my '999 routes', as when we or I set off, I can always hear in the back of my head Michael Burke narrating the reconstruction of a hugely catastrophic random accident involving maiming by a lost javelin. "It started off....just a fun afternoon hike, but little did they know the horror that was awaiting...". Now I tend call them my 'Murder Podcast' trails. Having been obsessed with true crime podcasts the last 18 months, all I can think about in these desolate and barren areas is how many dead bodies are buried underneath my feet. All that runs through my mind is how easy it would be to knock someone over the head with a hiking stove, stuff them in a biffie bag weighted down with kendal mint cake, and toss into the lake before you can say 'north face jacket sale'. So as I set out on my routes, I now start filling my head with how the podcast about my untimely disappearance would narrate the theories on how I might have disappeared. It's enough to make me leave breadcrumb trails (or the modern day version - squillions of instagram photos if we're lucky to get signals).
Luckily none of that happened today. And it was jolly good. Instead, I got a lot of mud in my eye and kept thinking I was going to die on the ice.
It is remarkable how much ice resembles cling film; until I did disappointingly keep just finding abandoned cling film. Usually next to the bags of dog poop that dog owners think in their infinite wisdom [sic] that its somehow ok to just leave on the side of a trail. There are, of course, many good dog owners. I saw some today towards the end, a middle-aged couple - the gillet-clad lady stood in a field whilst the man barked directions to her from the side where he thought their poochie off lead had left his present. It was a bit like the retro kids show Knightmare, only searching for doggie doodoos. Their determination in discovering the dog dirt amongst the boggy mass was heart warming, but I can't help feel they're still there looking for a poopy needle in a haystack when it probably didn't even exist in the first place. I just hope the dog was called Schrödinger.