Walking for pleasure is a favourite past time for both Bryony and I. Tyrell’s Wood is one of those magical places that enthrals children and adults alike. We set off yesterday wondering whether we would escape the inevitable showers. In fact at the start it was beautiful sunshine creating dappled patterns through the woodland canopy.
Tyrell’s Wood is not huge but it has many interconnecting paths. It is usually easy enough to keep one’s directional sense. Also,we’ve had a very wet spring and early summer. Hence, we were prepared with gum boots rather than shoes or trainers. There were two good reasons for avoiding the inevitable mud. It was mucky and my balance was still fairly naff. I did not want to fall over. This is a real issue with slippery footing.
We opted for the smaller, drier paths. These had many twists and turns. For all that I was sure I still knew which direction I was facing. I have always claimed to have excellent directional sense.
[Dear reader this is based on the fact that little over 41 years ago, whilst on Dartmoor in mid- November (our honeymoon as it happens), we were coming to the end of a longish walk around 3.30pm. We faced a T junction in the footpath. Bryony felt we should turn right, whereas I had been following the map fairly closely and was certain that we should turn left. It was getting late I insisted I was right. Fortunately, we got back to the car just as it was getting really dark. I have relied on this correct decision for 4 decades or so. It has been backed by other directional decisions most notably while trekking in Australia, but the original trumps everything else.]
On arriving at a main path, I decided that we should turn to the right. I had past experience behind me and Bryony followed my lead. After 15 minutes or so the wood narrowed down to a narrow tract of trees and Bryony insisted we were going in the wrong direction. Reluctantly, I could see she was right. We about turned. Silence reigned for a while.
The tension was broken by finding some wonderful fallen trees, entirely suitable for our two granddaughters to climb on. They were coming to visit in less than a week’s time.
Curiously, we chose a much muddier route back to the car than the outward journey. But we also kept on the main routes so as not to lose the way again.
I attempted to pass off my error as that of being over confident in a Putin-esque kind of way. Bryony preferred the concept of the error being a product of the love child between Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson. Given the bullish insistence that each of these politicians knew best in the face of some fairly trenchant criticism, it was hard to deny that the comparison had a degree of validity.