Hailstones And Brambles

There are some days when you wished you could have stayed at home, instead of having to walk your dog. Today was one of those days.

I left the house with Ollie in bright sunshine, but seeing some dark clouds in the distance, I took my umbrella. Despite the sun, the wind was still gusting, and very cold too. Fifteen minutes after arriving on Beetley Meadows, I saw a lightly-dressed dog-walker running for the exit. Opening my umbrella just in time, I was suddenly battered by pea-sized hailstones, as the temperature dropped dramatically.

Moments later, it was as dark as night, with the coulds I had spotted earlier appearing to be low enough to touch the treetops. As the hailstorm increased in intensity, I clung desperately to my umbrella to keep the worst of it from hitting my face. Then I headed for a woodland area, to try to reduce the impact of the wind-driven icy projectiles.

By the time I got into the trees for some relief, the patch pockets of my coat were full of hailstones, and I had to stand and scoop them out before they melted. By contrast, Ollie was casually walking around and sniffing, as if having his back covered in hundreds of icy white balls was completely normal.

Then it stopped, and the sun came out.

Waiting a while to make sure no more threatening clouds could be seen, I took Ollie over to Hoe Rough. Despite the thick mud over there, it became quite a pleasant walk in the sunshine, with the temperature warming up considerably from earlier.

We had been out for just about an hour when Ollie headed into a deep muddy pool. It looked to be about eight feet long by four feet wide, and had formed in a natural depression in the gound. Seeing it didn’t reach his underbelly, I followed him in, and carried on walking. But unbeknownst to me, the murky water concealed the thick tendrils of some nearby brambles. I was over two-thirds of the way through when both my heavy boots slid under the bramble creeper, stopping me in my tracks.

More than that, the sudden decelleration pitched me forward. Dropping my umbrella, I spread out both arms, in the hope of stopping myself falling face-first into the quagmire. My right hand found some firm support, in the form of a grassy hillock, but my left hand disappeared into a clump of brambles and assorted spiky plants, offering only sharp pains, and no support. As a result, I ended up kneeling in the slop, my thick dog-walking trousers saturated at the knees.

Ollie looked at me as if I was playing some kind of game that didn’t interest him, and trotted off to pee up a nearby fallen tree branch. Before I could try to stand, I had to get the thorns and spikes out of my left palm and fingers, as they were incredibly painful. I used my teeth, carefully extracting each one. I counted eleven, before I eventually stood up.

That was enough for me. Hailstones and brambles had ruined my walk, and soured my mood. I strode off in the direction of home, and when I put Ollie’s lead on, he gave me a ‘hard done by’ look that we were leaving after just over an hour.

But I didn’t care, as I had genuinely had enough.

65 thoughts on “Hailstones And Brambles

    1. I didn’t want to use my other hand to pull them out, as it was very dirty. It rates highly in my top ten of worst walks, Jennie. There are a few that were much worse though. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  1. Commiserations there, Pete. Dogs seem to manage a blithe disregard of our weather-related vicissitudes! I had to charge my flat car battery yesterday, and of course, it was raining when I wanted to put it on first thing this morning. Not a long job though, fortunately. Down for my first vax in a little while, so wish me luck! Cheers, Jon.

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  2. Oh, that all sounds awful โ€” I hope itโ€˜s not going to have lasting aftereffects … and of course, your and Ollieโ€˜s next walk is going to be less eventful again! (Re: get a cat: My catsโ€˜ response would probably have been along the lines of โ€žclumsy human, *what* do you think youโ€˜re doing? Donโ€˜t blame *us* if youโ€˜re feeling miserable now!โ€œ Not sure that would have been more comfort than Ollie making you laugh by his own form of unconcern. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

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  3. Hope Ollie forgives you soon – hopefully by now! :D. I’m with you – long ago, while healing from health hit, i woke up and decided, “I’m going to weed whip the drainage ditch today! i have the energy too!” Was out there for only 20 minutes, about 1/2 done, when a large stand of (still soggy!) thick brome grass with one waterhog thistle weed in the middle, stalled the weed whipper, I pulled hard enough to have the ground under me (that had been ‘undercut’ from running water the day before) collapsed, about the time the weed whip string jerked free, and my finger on the ‘go-go’ button – and welll – whipper string, pulled out long by weed and self feed, wrapped it’s long length around my leg, left a little bit more than a paper cut type injury, deposited nice, stinging, plant juice into the fresh wound – – sigh – – after applying first aide, I limped over to my neighbor’s house, bleeding still on the one leg, muddy from face to feet, and when he answered the door, I said, “Sorry to bother you, but saw you had that handy little hand pushed bush-hog and what would you charge me to finish the last bit of my drainage ditch?” – – (I made a batch of cinnamon rolls and it was such an easy trade on my side of the bargain). But, well? Oakley? she didn’t forgive me for 2 days, cuz she tried to stand in front and lick my wound as I was limping back to house and I lost my patience and said, “get out of the WAY! THAT is not HELPING! MOVE! MY LEG IS ON FIRE!!!” – – yup – – – I hurt her feelings and I was in the doghouse for awhile – – ๐Ÿ˜€

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  4. Oh no Pete… a nasty spill that you couldn’t possibly have anticipated or prevented…what a mess! Hope you got home, cleaned yourself off, and did something good for yourself to take the edge off!

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    1. Well I got washed, changed into my dressing gown, then wote tomorrow’s episode of 3:17. ๐Ÿ™‚
      (Just watched the film ‘Margin Call’, with Kevin Spacey. Really good!)
      Thanks, John.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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        1. Yes, and ‘The Big Short’. All good films. I liked the performances in this one. Stanley Tucci was excellent in a small role, and Jeremy Irons pitched it just right too.

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  5. Oh, no! That sounds rough. I am so glad we didn’t decide to buy a dog. I’m quite sure I’d hate having to go outside for an hour or more on a day like today. And brambles often trip me up when walking on the hill, nasty vicious things!

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    1. They usually catch just one foot, and have torn open three pairs of wellies in the past. But this was a ‘full-on’ fall, and my back is hurting this evening. At least I didn’t go face down! ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete. x

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