Tuesday, July 29, 2008

South Downs Way

I know, I know, I'm and bad person who has been A.W.O.L and not left so much as a post-it of info about my activities....well for the most part my activities has been turn up to work, get on till, fake smile at customers (who mainly act like idiots by the way) listen to them moan about the price of the food as I scan their shopping (which consists mainly of junk food by the way), face up and rotate stock (which is the pinnacle of tedium), go home and veg in front of the TV.....and repeat.

Now....I hate the rainy/cold/overcast weather with which the green and pleasant land I was born into is blessed....and I become rather grumpy and melancholy when this delightful gloom resists the factor that it is in fact supposed to be summer....grrrrr.....the last two week however have resembled something on par with those summer days which you remember from childhood....obviously most of which has been viewed through the glass from my till point. But I do get days off and a wonderfully well trained father who jumps to attention when I shout 'walkies' at the first sign of sunshine.

Dad goes beating during the winter months...this, for those not in the know, involves trudging through woodland and fields in wind, rain and snow persuading pheasants into the air so blokes with guns can shoot at them.....the plus side of this is that dear 'ol dad knows all the interesting routes up on the Downs (yes I’m aware of the contradiction) of which we made a beeline for twice this last week.

The first walk, an easy 4 mile I was assured, began with a gradual climb to the top...during which we were passed by several 'serious' cyclists, complete with spandex togs (not exactly what one wishes to see on a Sunday afternoon)....a few minutes later a straggler who had given up trying to cycle the hill asked as to the location of the South Downs Way to which my father kindly pointed out he was already on it...'and how far does it go' the puffing cyclist inquired....'all the way to the pub' my ever helpful father assured the man.My main stipulation as to the location of our route from me to dear 'ol dad was to see some 'wildlife', because the glorious English countryside aint enough for a fussy madam like I. So at the top of the track we clambered over a fence into a field (something incredibly difficult to do whilst looking ladylike) and ventured across a field to a hidden style positioned in the corner…dad assured me this was still part of the maintained route and that there would be a short walk through a fairly steep wooded area in which we would possibly see some deer if we were quite…..dad’s first mistake here was that when he usually ventures down this track it is winter and therefore devoid of the foliage currently growing around the style (which was also ridiculous high)….he’s second was the pair of shorts he had decided to wear as he jumped down into a bed of brambles and stinging nettles.

The ‘fairly’ steep wooded area actually turned out to be ‘ridiculously’ steep and involved much grasping of tree limbs whilst less than elegantly sliding across loose soil on hands, knees and occasionally arse, much to the amusement of the small herd of deer who passed effortlessly across the track a few yards in front of us.

After pausing for sustenance (consisting of sausage rolls, pork pies and cheese) eaten while balancing on a fallen tree trunk…we slid (dad deciding to use the trunk of a dead tree as ballast…providing the comedy moment of snapping and the flash of pensioner plus tree part overtake me on the slope) our way down to a barb wire fence, which dad insisted included a hole….right up to the point I tore the crotch of my jeans while clambering over the darn thing….’guess they fixed the fence’ dad surmised…..merciful Zeus!

So, anyway….the return to the car was uneventful, wandering past so less than bothered cows in a field and then down a couple of country lanes before heading back to the car the final half mile uphill….joy. Here's some pics from that day:

The Route From Cocking

The view from the top of the Downs

Coming out of the woods

The woods slid....er....walked through

Bepton Church

That was walk one…walk two a few days later was considerably hotter though less eventful…..but still provided many postcardy type moments…..see below (again I've marked the route...gotta love Google Earth):

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Simple Things

First thing in the morning I am not best known for my perky demeanor, have lackluster enthusiasm for activity (especially work related), the ability to do long multiplication in my head is nil (this actually transcends the day) and to get more than a grunted response before 10am is a small miracle....today however I did find a few minutes of animation to chortle to myself, due to the signage of a passing lorry. The sign read 'Bumblehole Foods' and my brain, which was running far behind my eyes at the ungodly hour of 8am, managed to omit a few letters (if you need help working it out it was the middle three of 'Bumblehole').....yes, I known, as a mature and recently graduated academic....such basic and vulgar humour should have been beneath me.....but the five year old brain is way more fun.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

And The Beat Goes On

I have come to the conclusion that weather people are a lying bunch of bastards....this week the weather has been on top form...clear blue skies, warm with a coastal breeze (ok so it was sometimes a strong coastal breeze).....and of course I've been inside a shop....working my butt off....without air conditioning for the most part.....Thursday is my day off (since I work Saturdays) and from Wednesday the weather forecasters said heavy rain was heading our way....Wednesday came and it was a lovely sunny day......due to people quitting, people being fired, people on sick leave and people on holiday, we are a tad short staffed at work at present and so when Rich asked me if I could work on Thursday....and me knowing that the forecast for Thursday was 'heavy rain'......I reluctantly agreed, since I would probably being doing 'owt anyway.....1pm-10pm were my hours and I spent them pondering all the things I could have been doing on the warm, clear and sunny day it turned out to be......Friday and Saturday were again forecast as rainy days and were again sunny....Today....Sunday....was forecast as a rainy day.....and indeed is a rainy day.....bah humbug!

Right rant over....whilst reading a daily rag this week I came across a story which suggested scientists have discovered that the common-a-garden Watermelon has properties similar to that of the fertility drug Viagra when eaten every day....is it then mere coincidence that the sales of the large juicy fruit have tripled this week?......I think not.

And while we're on the subject of customers, let me share a particularly gooey encounter......which I have entitled 'Cotton-top Gent With Drippy Nose'......'Hello' (my god, that's a big dew drop of snot hanging from the end of his nose....don't look at the nose....concentrate on packing the shopping).....'do you have a Co-op card?'.....Gent shakes his head, the globule swings....(ignore the nose.....and for god's sake don't laugh).....'would you like the receipt?'....shakes head, glob swings, strangely in slow motion, and almost detaches.....(ignore the nose....don't laugh....bite lip)....I guesstimate just how long before glob of drippy snot either a.) looses it's fight with gravity b.) ascends back from whence it came or c.) the gent in question sees fit to finally assert the use of a hankie....the answer my friends....d.) the drippy glob stands firm (so to speak) and departs the shop with its owner to pay visit with other sales assistants, take in the scenery and quite possibly end its days in the lap of an unsuspecting cotton-top on the bus ride home......it's a ponderance.

I leave you with the continuing saga of the ever-so-handsome green-eyed fella which.....er.....continued on Monday. At the end of a particularly dismal and difficult day he swooped in all sexy lookin' and emitted a smile which dang near had me all fainty on the floor.....putting my sudden flusteredness down to the busted air-con I fluttered my eyes, put on my sexy voice and demonstrated my agile scanning abilities....alas the offer of a drink remains allusive.