… it was a wild and windy day d’ye ken? There’d been rain for days off and on, of the thick mizzly sort that gets everywhere, no matter how well you wrap up, and whether or not your garb was made to go up Annapurna, or out on’t Ilkley Moor with your (matching) beanie hat on. It was a foul afternoon in other words and I could see that there were pools all over the sheep-shorn grass on Davidstow Moor, but – I did it anyway…
I went down a little track I hadn’t gone down before, because there were no sheep out to bother and it looked nice and flat for the throwing of balls for dogs for ten minutes. I went a little further than I meant to and decided that I needed to turn around, and so I reversed up to the corner and off the gravel – because the grass didn’t look too soggy and I avoided the standing puddle… Then I couldn’t go forward or back to turn onto the path again, but I thought I’d be able to push the car a few feet away and that’d be OK. So I got out and I threw the balls and Toby and Benji had great fun getting wet and muddy. I put them back in the car and prepared to push. It wouldn’t budge.
This is when I was forced to consider the efficacy of –
- always taking your mobile out in the car
- wearing proper shoes for wet ground
- heeding several days of heavy rain and the propensity for mud to occur, even if there was a promising dryish slope beckoning…
This was because –
- I’d left the phone at home
- had gone out in my (hard, but smooth-soled) slippers because I was only getting out of the car to sit on the boot and chuck a few balls, or so I thought…
Remember those hard soles – things could have been a lot worse!
Anyhoo – I got good and stuck, and although I was able to start rocking the car to push it onto the hard standing that was only feet away, said soles were already too slippery and wet to get enough purchase on the sodden grass, so I had to give up on trying to get it moving with extreme force – I needed help to push the bugger out!
I wasn’t that far from the main drag onto the moor, about a half mile at most, but as I need to use a walking stick and really can only walk a few yards without needing to stop and draw breath (accursed COPD), only the fact that I was actually hidden from view off the road had me galvanising myself for a walk along (thankfully) fairly flat terrain through medium drizzle. Plus it was then well past 3 pm and people stop coming across the moor from work after about 5 ish, so the choice to walk to the road to flag somebody down was really no option at all – I had to do it, no matter how wet, hot and uncomfortable I got.
Good things I discovered about myself –
- I can walk further than I think I can – so long as I take my time and take regular breaks to control my breathing and panic levels
- I’m quite resourceful when I need to be – I’d got so far as the rustic air-strip where cars sometimes turn onto, but was exhausted so I found 3 bald tyres that some cyclists had been using as a slalom course and stacked them up to make a fairly sturdy seat so I could rest for a while
- I’m not afraid to make a right prat of myself, jumping up and down, waving my stick and blowing on the dog whistle like a steam train in order to attract attention to my dire plight
Bad stuff –
- I’m so unfit my balance is completely shot and I’m like one of those old-fashioned round-bottomed dolls that roll around out of control when they’re knocked… Slight upside to this is that, being so fat, I kind of bounce, or at least have a good bit of padding when I overbalance and end up on the deck a couple of times…
- my faith in others is patchy for a reason – I tried to attract attention to myself with three vehicles and was totally ignored (2 of those were a good way off though and may have thought I was a very slow and friendly hiker *blushes*)
- my stamina levels are non-existent – when I was finally rescued I had to literally crawl into the 4×4 by dint of lying across the seat and pulling myself into the car because my legs had nothing left in them and I couldn’t push off enough to get in tidily – I was past being embarrassed by then. And the seats were heated which was bliss because by then I was getting wet and numb!
OK – so I was really silly and most of this adventure could have been averted if only I’d remembered to take my mobile with me (having had a similar experience involving mud and no phone a few years ago), but, importantly, I had remembered my asthma inhaler and that was the crucial thing that stopped me spiralling into a total blue funk of a panic attack. It also helped me to keep calm and breathe properly, and so hobble my way to the proper road to flag down a local taxi driver who happened to live just up the road and had towing equipment and a 4 x 4, so once I’d done that bit, things improved rapidly and I was on my way home in about 20 minutes. To a very long lecture on going out without the phone in the 1st place and how I should have just put my rubber car mats under the tyres and drove off slowly in 2nd gear… Hindsight is a wonderful thing of course! The dogs? Well aside from thinking they’d been abandoned for best part of an hour they were perfectly happy aside from a spurt of over-excitement when mummy finally made it gasping back into the driver’s seat – it was nice to feel wanted at least! 😀
This all happened 6 days ago – it’s taken me that long to stop hobbling around with aches and bruises. Curiously my upper body ached more at first – my lower half is obviously used to the daily strain of my staggering from bed, to sofa, to bathroom, to car to take the little darlings out for play on the moors – thank the gods it’s an old airfield and not the real mist-shrouded Wuthering Heights variety. Things could have been sooooo much worse … 😉