Like all of my best laid plans nothing ever goes quite the way it should....and the cluster fuck that was this particular weekends plan was A. not my fault and B. still not my fault.
Having decided that I needed a recharge and some proper time off I booked a weeks holiday from work, and headed off on one of my lengthy roadtrips to see the kids.
Before I left I donned my ministering angel hat, (as you know I don't own one of these and it was a witches hat; badly disguised) and accompanied Lovely Friend to a hospital appointment...from whence he staggered an hour later feeling violated and questioning how people can do 'that sort of thing' for pleasure.
Once I had stopped laughing I duly commiserated, as all good friends should do. By the way for all of you that have enquired, there is no appreciable thawing towards him from his ex despite his now impressive repertoire of delicious sustaining meals and epic painting skills.
Good Friending completed I threw my stuff, including the dog, into Gertie and headed off up to the Aged Parentals, in order to abandon Dude for a sleep over.
I set off slightly later than planned around 5 pm and blithely unconcerned headed off up the road.
After about 15 minutes I began to get an uncomfortable clenching in my midriff , and realised that it was getting dark. Now I'm an intelligent woman and one would have assumed that I had considered this. However, I'm also a bit of a twat and had completely omitted to consider that I hadn't been in a car at night, in the rain, since January when I nearly killed myself on the M42.
When Mothers was finally achieved Wine helped!
Later the following day Gertie lumbered to a halt in the center of Tynemouth. Despite having lived in the North East for donkeys years, Tynemouth is a place I had never visited. It sounds awful 'Tyyyne moooth.'
Reader, I was astonished, a lovely little market place greeted me, surrounded by beautiful, lovely shops and eateries finished off by a ruined castle or priory or such like at one end. Bec would have been bedazzled by the artisan nature of many of the shops.
Lady Wycombeee had directed us there and the strain had told on both of us, (his ability to deliver understandable directions is akin to Bec's ability to read a map) he clambered into the back of Gertie as SPB claimed his accustomed position in the front.
After some too-ing and fro-ing and spending the gross national debt in ASDA, we sailed back to SPB’s flat looking forwards to champagne, wine and yummy food.
Then DISASTER struck. We could not access the flat! The door had, in some dark magic way become completely fucked. There I was, poised on the doorstep with a lorry load of groceries, with two gay men standing either side of me, clutching their foreheads and bickering all over the place.
How the fuck can you break a door?' SPB said through gritted teeth. He wasn’t hiding his feelings at this point.
'I only locked it!' Lady Wycombee wailed plaintively.
I calmly suggested that we put all the food back into the car. And then sighed a deep sigh.
There was a slightly longer bicker about who should call the locksmith (note there is still much clutching of foreheads occurring). A locksmith was duly located and instructed to arrive with alacrity as
'My Mother in Law needs a wee.' Thank you Lady Wycombee....a wholly unnecessary piece of detail that the Locksmith probably didn’t want to hear.
So there we were, huddled in Gertie, wondering what to do with the next 2 hours of our lives, when I remembered that we had new glasses, wine, champagne, nibbles and dips, so we cracked open the Champagne and the Doritos, put the music on (Malmsteen on CD oldie but goodie) and partied in Gertie.
Just as we were getting happily pissed, the Locksmith arrived and disrupted our drinking, within nano seconds we were in the house, which was both wonderful and a touch annoying as emergency locksmiths are not inexpensive things to organise, and I would feel my £234.00 quid (including VAT - I should fecking hope so!) had been better spent if it had been slightly more difficult to gain entry!
Lady Wycombee has sworn never to lock the door again....
Two cluster fucks down - how many more can occur in a weeks holiday?
A couple of days later sees me in Edinburgh, wholly unprepared for any sort of walking at all.
Bec had a huge walk up hill and down dale planned. As we arrive at the destination - this time it has to be said without any trouble finding the car park ( I should have known then) the black storm clouds are rolling down the hills as Storm Aiden looms large complete with gale force winds and sharp, pointy rain heading directly towards us.
Nothing loathe (still don’t know what this word means) off we set full of hope and with back packs full of peanut butter and marmite sandwiches. Half an hour later we are back at the car - walking into that weather would have been ridiculous!
Some ridiculous weather
I have some comments on this, but am keeping my powder dry ready for next week’s blog. Suffice to say, I was not impressed.
After some chat, a minor temper tantrum from Bec, and various down loading of apps, we set off again for a different walk.
I did indeed have a bit of a paddy which involved foot stamping and gritting of teeth.
Again a wonderfully accessible car park with signs, toilets and everything - plus the bonus of a functioning coffee shop - happy days!
By this time the sun has come out and although blustery, a lovely walk was ensuing, until about half an hour in the weather gods look down and decide that we are far too happy chatting and the heavens open. The wind and the cutting rain is hitting us at 90 degrees and after not very long at all I am really pissed off!
It is Scotland and it was October. What did Pip expect?
Bec is however made of hardier stuff than I and is striding along shouting bracing bollocks like -
'Its only weather.'
This is true. It is only weather.
'Skin is waterproof.'
This is also true, it is waterproof.
'It’s blowing over.'
When you live in Scotland you realise that if you don’t like the current weather, it doesn’t matter because it will always change in about ten minutes anyway. So, it was indeed blowing over, mainly due to the gale force winds.
Some ridiculous women of a certain age in the ridiculous weather
It should be noted at this point that I totally lost it and demanded that we turned around and headed back to the car.
Pip did lose it. It was quite funny in hindsight. A bit like watching a toddler refusing to eat their crusts, Pip saw her arse and stomped off back to the car park.
A proper 'Woman of a certain age' fight ensued ..... which I won. We headed back to the car: As we rounded a corner, the fucking annoying weather gods changed their fucking minds again and blue sky and sun appeared.
Told you so. Smug face.
Another 'Woman of a certain age' fight ensued....which I lost well and proper...we turned around and much to my despair headed further away from the car...towards 'The Hills'
I had to do quite a lot of shouting at Pip at this point. Things like “you know there are lots of hills in Nepal and you’re going to have to climb them whether you like it or not.” And “get a grip woman, stop being such a wuss and get your arse up that fucking hill.” Etc.
We quickly settled into a steady pace, laughing about hills, weather and tantrums and after much wandering, started chatting in our usual manner;
'Jenny Agutter - you know her of the perky tits.' said Bec chattily.
'Not so perky now though I bet.' she continued.
Pip has failed to mention how Jenny Agutter’s name came up in the first place. It turns out Pip’s middle name is Logan. I helpfully pointed out to her that this was a boy’s name and then laughed at her for having a boy’s name for a middle name.
Pip thanked me for reminding her of this and commented that absolutely no one ever at all at school had ever mentioned this or taken the piss out of her for it.
I quickly changed the subject and added that “Logan’s Run” had been a great film.....now you see how we got to Jenny ‘get your kit off Agutter’ as I affectionately refer to her.
'Is she dead?' I enquired.
'She’s in call the midwife.' Responded Bec helpfully.
I have no idea why we thought Jenny Agutter’s tits were a valuable topic of conversation but its indicative of the level of discussion.
After some further walking, we reach the resevoir dam - as with all dam/resevoir combos impressive and eerie at the same time, with vertical hill things on one side, looming in a glowery way above us.
We tootle across the walkway bit and then agile as mountain goats 'scamper' (for those that don't recognise it - this is irony) up the 90 degree hill on the other side, the sound track for which was my panting, puffing and swearing. I have to admit here to a real and true desire for Bec's stupid bastard walking stick things.
Once we reach the sort of top of the bit we are on we start the sideways journey towards the pre agreed descent bit.
Pip has an O’Level in orienteering. She has such a command of the topography, it’s uncanny.
Bec several times tries the whole;
'We are so near the top, if we just go up that bit?'
'No' - unequivocally stated with a level of grump not normally associated with me.
We do head downwards at this point...
As Bec is wielding her walking sticks with gay abandon, my normally nimble feet disappear from underneath me and I hurtle feet first down the side of the fucking mountain only to be saved by hitting Bec's wonderful walking stick.
As I lay on the ground covered in mud with a somewhat sore arse and listen to Bec choking with laughter and gasping that she couldn't move as she was in danger of actually wetting herself I decide that it wouldnt be a proper walk unless I fell over and got covered in mud.
Next time I swear to myself I will be properly attired, with an OS map in one of those plastic packet things that keeps everything dry, a dangly compass thingy and some fucking stupid bastard walking sticks.