The classic English Summer is upon us with a vengeance. Late on Thursday afternoon, it started to rain heavily. It continued to rain all night, and was still raining when I got up on Friday morning. Almost fifteen hours of relentless, stormy rain.
It finally stopped while I was having lunch on Friday, and I was quick to take the chance to get out with Ollie before it started again. It was too humid to wear waterproofs and boots, so I went out wearing shorts and lightweight trainers, carrying my umbrella. Sure enough, five minutes into the walk some gusty winds heralded the return of the rain, as it blew black clouds around Beetley like aircraft stacking in the sky waiting to land at an airport.
Up went the umbrella, and on we trudged.
Approaching the river bend and picnic area, I waited on the bank for Ollie. He usually goes down the slope into the river for a drink, but he was still a couple of hundred yards behind me, sniffing shrubs and grass. When he still hadn’t arrived, I turned again, to see where he was. That was a fateful turn, as I immediately slid down the rain-sodden muddy bank.
My umbrella flew into the river and I landed on my right side, with my right hand undermeath me. Both feet were in the water, over my ankles.
I managed to get up with some difficulty, to discover that my shorts and my right leg were covered in mud and gravel. Inspecting my hand, I found gravel embedded in the palm, and blood running down my arm from small cuts and abrasions near my wrist. As my shoes and feet were already soaked, I waded in and retrieved my umbrella, which had fortunately not floated away.
Ollie appeared moments later, giving me a quizzical look. I wandered off reluctantly, to continue the walk. As Ollie ran past, I shook my head at him.
“I’m seriously getting too old for this, boy”.