only vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself and falls on th' other.... (Macbeth, somewhere)
I did get out for a walk after lunch in spite of the frost still lying on the ground, and the ice still in place on stray buckets of water. A whole 200 m - but before you say 'was that all?' let me explain...
I thought it would make a change to go out of our back gate, along the secret path we hacked through the dense laurel hedge at the bottom of the garden, and down the steep bank to reach the footpath/cycle track running along the stream. Then I planned to stroll along the path until it connects with the road, and I would be able to complete the circuit home walking on pavements.
|Arthur Rackham illustration|
The first part of the plan was a great success; and I reached the bottom of the bank without losing my balance on the slithery slope, or tangling my feet in the brambles. The path, however, was lost in a sea of mud... The river comes up out of its gully and floods the path given sufficient cause - like storm Bella, maybe? - and I think this must have been what had happened.
I picked my way along one direction, far enough to know that my red suede shoes were no match for this terrain, and made my way back, past our house as far as was reasonable (not far, then!).
Never mind. I had had an outing and some fresh air, and now I would return to central heating and sitting around at home.
This is where my problems started; I couldn't find the place to enter the secret path back to our gate. After a couple of exploratory scrambles halfway up the bank, I selected the most likely route and forced my way up, clinging to branches just about strong enough to assist. Disaster - I was too far over; but there was no way was I prepared to go back down to mud level and try again (and again, and again).
I had my mobile with me - I could phone for help! as in 'ring ring, ring ring, I'm stuck at the bottom of the garden'?
No. I'd got myself into this ridiculous predicament, and I would get myself out of it.
I went down on my hands and knees and crawled through the branches, rescuing my hat before it was seized from my head by the hungry grasping laurels. Eventually I reached a space where I could stand upright and wait until I had caught my breath... then walk on towards the gate and catch my breath... then slowly walk up the path to the back door... then go upstairs and change my trousers...
Maybe it was a mere 200m today, but it involved a good deal of physical effort... at least I stayed warm!
New Year's Eve is a time for looking backwards over the past year, and forwards to the next. If 2020 has shown me anything, it has been to not fix my heart on plans for the future. That's why, looking ahead to 2021, I am not making dreams, setting goals, thinking about ambitions. Not a one.
Last Year's Resolutions also went by the board quite quickly - two bags of 'stuff' to the charity shops every month, for example. Not a chance. I did keep the daily diary, and the 'eat chocolate at least once a week' resolutions except when lock down severely impacted my chocolate supply.
I'm mulling over suitable resolutions for this coming year... I have bought a new daily diary so that's definitely going to happen...