Friday, 8 May 2015

Everyday Adventures: Picnicking on the Grimpen Mire

Hi hi.

Get your winter coat on we're going for a drive ...

For James's birthday we planned a 'nice drive' out to the nearby moors taking with us the simple pleasures of a picnic, a blanket to sit on and a book to read. And, apart from the picnic ... the rest didn't quite turn out as planned ...

From the time we woke up it wasn't a particularly promising day, but [a] we're British, and [b] a person only gets one birthday a year and so ... grey rainy weather or not ... we decided to carry on regardless.

But as the car climbed higher and higher on to the moor, where usually we'd have a wonderful panoramic vista, the mist grew thicker and thicker until we couldn't see more than a few metres ahead ...
Eventually we stopped and had our picnic - in the car - naturally. Which was lovely anyway, because it turns out that, a passion fruit, lime and coconut tart tastes just as delicious with or without any accompanying scenery.
And here - having a [very brief] post-picnic stroll - is the birthday boy himself ...
 Will you look at how much fun he's having? See just how relaxed he is! If you can see him at all that is.

Truly, visibility was just around zero. There could have been anyone or anything lurking anywhere ...

While I daydreamed about finding Sherlock on a rocky outcrop in his Caspar David Friedrich 'Wanderer Above the Sea Fog' pose ... James joked about it being like Conan-Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles; a film which had terrified him as a little boy.

And the spooky viola music on Radio3 didn't help the situation any ...
It began to feel creepy, lonely, and claustrophobic. I even took to instinctively wafting my hand around in front of my face as if trying to sweep away the annoying dusty white cobwebs from of my eyes.

But to no avail.

Then, after downing a travel mug full of hot tea, another natural biological reflex began making itself known ...

Me: "Where does one go for a wee out here?"

Him: "You could go 15 yards down there, behind the car, and no one would see, not from the road. And anyway, there's no-one about."
Can any one say Famous. Last. Words?

Perhaps two, three, four minutes had passed ... I mulled the idea over ... I assessed how easy it would be: eg: how long was my coat? How strong were my thigh muscles feeling? How much would I mind if my jeans took some collateral damage?

And then ...

... out from the mists ...

... out from those exact same '15 yards behind' the car where - apparently - there was no-one around ...

... there came ...


Two in fact!!
Well, OK, so 'gigantic' may be exaggerating things slightly ...

... but I'm sure we can agree that there came two averagely sized dogs. On a lead. Held by a jogger.

But they did suddenly emerge from nowhere. And they were barking at our car. And I did almost jump out of my skin and/or wet myself.

And if I had been 15 yards behind the car, on my own, crouching with trembling thighs and my coat between my teeth  ...

... then you can take it from me that whenever I repeated this shaggy dog story, whenever I re-told the tale both now - and forever more - it certainly would have ended with me having met the hounds of the Baskervilles and having lived to tell the tale!

Julie ;-)


  1. Thank you!!! first for making me really laugh out loud, especially at James' face when listening to the music and secondly for bringing back childhood memories of travelling down to Cornwall with my parents and my Dad stopping the car on Dartmoor for a few hours sleep before continuing - in the 1950s it took a very long time to drive from Newport to Gloucester and then back down the west country so after six or seven hours we would stop and sleep - or lie awake listening to Dad snoring and shivering with cold and fear. Thank you, made my day

  2. A great story Julie! made me laugh out loud too!!

  3. Another one here sat laughing at the PC screen! That video is brilliant! As was the mental imagery (you know what ones!) and the PHOTOS! Great post - really made my lunchtime!

  4. Add me to the laugh out loud group as well [was just glad that I didn't have a mouth full of coffee as I read that. lol]

    You have such a way with words and always a wonderful story ... have you ever thought of writing a book, I think it'd be a fantastic one if you were to write one and you could count on me to buy one, for sure!

    Thanks for making my day. : )

  5. Oh Julie that is a hilarious story - I quite literally laughed out loud! Especially as you aren't exactly the world's best dog lover. I just have visions of how things might have looked - oh thank you for a good laugh!

  6. Ha ha ha - such a funny story; thanks for sharing. I shall never look at mist in quite the same way again....

  7. OMG I'm laughing with gusto. Such a great story and the call of nature thiung has happened to all of us.
    Jo xxx


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