In and out of the woods
Trip Start Jul 19, 2009
147Trip End Oct 25, 2010
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The weather has gone haywire here, hot, cold, rain, you name it. We are constantly adjusting, it is very unsettling. Anyway, the forecast for the next week was rain. Peter didn't mind that much, he is working on a commission and thinks it's a good opportunity to get some work done.
Well, that's him sorted, what about me?
I've been putting off tackling my book for ages so I guess this is as good a time as any to try and shape it up.
I can't find it. I spend hours looking for it on my pc, I'm sure I brought it with me. My computer tells me it is on disc /E, but where's that then? After frantic searching it turns out to be something removable
No, not great, I can't manipulate it, it is locked. All 8 versions.
By now best part of the day has gone and I suggest we go shopping for food and take a walk somewhere around Hautefort. Ok.
'Just stop anywhere,' I instruct Peter, who is looking for a good starting point. Everything looks the same; wet and bleak.
We set off walking down a slippery, muddy path, somewhere we've never been before, in the woods.
The ground and puddles are a funny colour orange, like the bottoms of the big brown slugs.
'Left or right?' says Peter, at a fork.' Right,' I say, 'Left,' he says. We crash into each other as we each turn to follow our instincts. Peter halts, I walk on. He comes after me, explaining why left is better, and though it makes sense, I have my heart set on right, for no reason at all.
He relents, saying: ' Look, remember we've got to get back. The rain's getting worse, you are not dressed for it and it'll be up-hill
But I want to see where this path will take us to, come on.
Peter sighs. 'It's gonna end with you face down in the mud, twisting your ankle or worse. What about Hadrian's wall?'
We struggle on and reach a small tarred road. Oh, good, this has got to take us back to our car, I reckon. 'It wont,' says Peter, 'we're going back same way we came.'
To cut a long story short, 3 hours later, semi-dark, I was soaking wet, cold, dragging along Sheppie by a piece of red plastic tape I found; he was limping, constantly looking back, wistfully, for Peter.
Finally on the main road now, and I luckily got a lift from a gorgeous man. Honestly, he looked like a film star, and I felt sorry knowing I must look like some deranged woman, my hands were red with colour that had come off the tape, for all he knew I could have just killed someone. Like my husband. I did have some murderous thoughts walking all those miles through the dark woods, not a car in sight, no money, no mobile, no proper shoes, nothing
'Get in,' he smiled, when I pointed out apologetically that Shep was going to mess up his Audi, while trying to hide my stained hands.
I told him how grateful I was, how the Gendarmerie was closed - I'd been there, actually worried maybe something had happened to Peter in the woods, maybe it was him lying in the cold mud.
I felt quite guilty.
But there was nothing but an intercom connecting me with the police in Perigueux, some 45 km from St. Agnan, where I was now standing, outside the shut police station. And though they couldn't understand me, they repeatedly asked if it was an emergency.
I was too embarrassed to answer that one and decided I might as well walk the remaining 8 kilometers home.
And then Clark Gable came to the rescue.
He joked he vowed never to pick up a lifter after seeing 'Hitchhiker' but took a chance on me.
I never saw that movie, and probably wouldn't have thumbed a lift if I had.
No, it was just fine, he was a really nice guy and got me home safely
Never mind, this gave me time to change into some dry clothes, pour a drink and get dinner going. Regain my composure and work out a strategy, an acceptable account for Peter so he wouldn't be raving mad after driving around for hours looking for me.
Poor man, he tried being angry for 2 seconds but he was so relieved he couldn't pull it off.
'How can it be that the one time I don't give in, I still end up running around, cursing you. Please, can you just do as you are told next time, save us all a lot of trouble?'
And I really wish I could say 'yes' and he knows that too, but we both know it's not going to happen.
On the bright side, my sisters will be happy to know I must have walked over 15 km, in unfavourable conditions, in less than 3 hours. Good practice for our hike - I am quite proud. Stupid, too, but you know me, and I always land on my feet
Later I called Dick to get help unlocking the documents. He is such a good son.
'Mam,' he sighed, 'Will you ever learn?'
He was not just talking about the computer.
'Ah, you're hopeless, but I love you for it anyway,' he said.
And I thought, I've got to try harder, I really have.
I'll start now, open the document and try not to get lost..........