Monday, 12 July 2010

Exploration Fawcett: Adventure's Inspiration!

Warning: This has nothing to do with wargaming. Now read on.

First, read an early twentieth century account of a chap's adventures in South America. Second, get yourself very drunk. Then go for a walk.

I walked along a track, took a slight detour, came back toward home, then decided that it wasn't long enough and that I wanted to see the regular and silver pheasants who were way down by the river. So I climbed down the slope. Climbing down a slope when drunk is fairly close to falling down it. Fortunately, I banged into a felled tree, and straddled it, slowing my descent. Then I fell down a bit more, and determined I would cross the river. I forget what motive impelled me. I know I wanted to get on the other side for some reason. Anyway, I ended up in the water a bit muddy and scratched. I gave up on my iPod at this point. I also removed my thick socks, which I was wearing with sandals because I'm a Tory (or because it was cold) prior to traversing the streamlet.

So I'm attempting to cross the River Dane - a grandiose name for a mere rivulet - and I am somehow atop a tree which has fallen across the river. I see that I'm not going to get across thus, and lower myself into the water with a splash. Striding is what some idiot would do, but since the bottom is unclear I pick my steps carefully. Given that I am drunk this evens out and I only fall a few times. I come out on the right bank and shout at some distant horses for some reason. That'll teach them not to aid my crossing!

Stumbling out of the refreshingly cold water onto the muddy bank I see the angle of the slope I must remount to get back to the path. There are nettles everywhere on it. Well, bugger that! It's amusing how the human mind fears short-term inconveniences and puts up with long-term ones. I turn about, cross the river again and end up on the far bank. By this point there are no pheasants about. Who could expect it when a drunken idiot has been splashing and swearing his way across the river.

I forge across the river but now, I'm sorry to say, my narrative breaks down. Crushed by the weight of the booze I have drunk my memory gives up the ghost. I shall reconstruct as best I can, but fancy may enter this account. I surge up the opposing bank, brushing past trees (and let's say discovering a colony of elves hell-bent on defeating mankind. I vanquish them. Give me your plaudits.). Breaking forth from the cover of the trees, I find myself in a luscious, dew-soaked green field. Here our certain narrative may recommence.

So drunk was I (and indeed am I now) that I misplaced the traversing of the field. At the time and subsequently I thought I must have veered to the right of the original path. In truth, I was way over on the left. Be that as it may, I gaze warlike across the field, ready to engage in fisticuffs if any bull should consider this his home. As you can guess, there was no bull or I'd be dead or severely injured and you'd not be reading this. So I cross the field and drop into a hollow where runs the fence, crowned with barbed-wire, which separates this field from that. Especially because I am drunk I am wary of barbed-wire.

All too conscious that I could rip a hole in my bollocks, I place my rucksack of waterlogged electrical goods and sodden papers atop the wire, and straddle that. You can rejoice in my falling skewiff to one side in good heart. I merely shredded one leg of my shorts, and my testes remain attached. I storm aggressively up the hill in the direction of a farmhouse I have seen. Since I am labouring under the misapprehension that I am to the right of the track, I veer to the right of the farmhouse, aiming to rediscover the track.

Again my memory breaks down. But I find myself eventually at a minor country road, near some llamas which I fail to look for or photograph. Though I expect that my camera is very dead. I had earlier tried to use my mobile telephone, and it had flashed at me, crying out in a proto-semaphoric way that it was cruelly abused by its current owner and that it needed to be rescued from being half drowned and dragged up and down hills and valleys. As its current master I irritably ignored it and pushed onward, deprived of my only means of securing help.

I veered left on the country road, passing a large plastic tree, probably, and I drunkenly stumbled down a road, passing morning commuters idiotically contributing to the economy. Fools. I don't recall my descent of the hill and ascent of my drive. I do recall Mum's shock on opening the front door. You see, I had forgotten my key, and so rang the doorbell. I do mean forgotten. My key was in my rucksack, but I was too inebriated to know it. Picture the scene. Your son, staggering, soaked to the skin, spattered with mud, with two small scars on his face and his body covered in others, stands before you. You ask in concern what happened! He, completely unaware of his appearance, says, "I fell over." Then he ambles off and has a shower. Truly, mothers are ill-treated by their sons!

So I had a shower, fell into the second guest bed and awoke to Dad solicitously asking if I was ok. Again I just said that I had fallen over. I stumbled about, peering into a mirror and staring at the scars on my legs - for in my exuberance I had forged hardily through nettles, which raised a fetching rash, through thorns, which greeted me with scars, and into this and that, leaving me with two bruises on my upper left arm, the precise cause of which continues to puzzle me. The nettles even now make most of my legs, all my hands and part of my arms tingle. There is no pain unless I flex my hands, which are pock-marked with thorns. In fact I notice now that a thorn is still stuck in me. I shall end now and go remove it.

I want to see the rest of you doing such idiotic things while drunk or I shall be most displeased!

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