I’m sure there’s a shortcut around here somewhere…

So yesterday the little yellow Peugeot 107 needed its annual service, new brakes, tyres, and an MOT and because I fell out with Peugeot big style when they refused me any more finance earlier this year (fook you Peugeot I still seeth), I had to find a garage that would do the work.

Step forward Motor Marque of West Park, what excellent people they are, I read the praise on their web site, liked the cut of their jibs and so off I drove to drop the little yellow car there first thing.

There is a problem when you are no longer a two car family of course.

When you are a one car family and that car has to go to the very excellent Motor Marque people for their loving care, you become, in short, a no-car family.

And so I had to walk home.

OK, so it doesn’t look very far on a map and I admit, its not like its a days trek away, it would have been nice to have called on someone to give me a lift home but there was no-one around when I looked, the very nice people at Motor Marque actually offered me a lift home but I refused, stating that I’d walk, it would do me good, in the rain.

And while it might not look far on a map you may also notice on the map that there is a large wood in between the road to my house and the very excellent Motor Marque people, a very large wood that you have to walk around, so that makes it even further to walk then – and its all uphill, did I mention that before, no, its all uphill, all the way.

Yes I know, its still not an 88 mile Hadrians Walk walk, but as I made clear some time ago, I do not walk very well, I cycle all day long when I have to, but I don’t walk very far at all, in fact walking from West Park to my house was my very own Hadrians Wall walk, Jesus I was knackered when I got home, 40 mins good walking up hill all the way, did I mention it was up hill, all the way ?

And of course I would have to walk back when the car was ready but at least this time it would be down hill all the way, and then I recalled something that my posh Uncle Ken told me once – my posh Uncle Ken used to work for a printers on the same industrial estate as the excellent Motor Marque people and he used to walk the same distance to work every day – but he used to take a short cut though the wood in Little Red Riding Hood stylee, and if you have read any of my blathering about our posh Uncle Ken you’ll know that the reference to Little Red Riding Hood is not accidental.

So I looked on Google Earth and sure enough it certainly looked to me that you could walk through the wood and come out the other side right on the industrial estate – Bobs your uncle, I’ll do that then.

So I walked down the hill until I got to the woods and instead of walking for twenty minutes to get around them, I stepped inside and looked for something that might resemble a path, I found one, it seemed to be going sort of downhill in the right direction and so I followed it.

A scant few minutes later and I could see the top end of the industrial estate exactly where I thought it would be and exactly where I wanted to be, but there was a problem for the developers of the industrial estate had dug into the hillside to build their warehouses and the road ended in a wall that was at least twenty foot high, and there was I stood inside the woods looking down at a twenty foot drop onto the road where I wanted to be, hmmmm.

I went further into the woods, there must be another way out of here I thought, after all, my Uncle Ken had talked all about this fabled short cut through the woods to his place of work and its his wife thats gone dool-alley not him. Then the thought dawned on me that our posh Uncle Ken has been retired for at least fifteen years and that most of this industrial estate won’t have been built then, this explains why this top end of the estate is dug into the hillside and protected all the way around by high steel security fences to stop people like me, some of them bad people with things like robberies in mind, remember Robin Hood, from rushing out of the woods onto their new industrial estate.

Bugger I thought, I’m going to have to retrace my footsteps all the way back through this wood, all the way back up hill through this wood and then walk the twenty minutes all the way around it again, who’s stupid idea was this anyway.

And then I stumbled upon the quarry, theres been a quarry in these woods for fifty years or more, its disused now and then I remembered what my posh Uncle Ken had told me, he walked through the woods every day until he came to the quarry access road and then he walked down the quarry access road until it came out further down the industrial estate – excellent, I’d be a bit further down than I thought but still just about quicker than walking all the way around, not by much though.

I found the quarry access road, I walked down the quarry access road until I found the industrial estate again, but there was just one more problem.

An eight foot high security fence with spikes on top and a matching eight foot high security gate, also with spikes on top and a big padlock locking it shut presumably to stop people getting into the quarry anymore – unfortunately I was inside the quarry trying to get out, damn my posh Uncle Ken.

I was just about to turn my pockets out and look for a nail file with which to start dismantling the eight foot high security fence with spikes on top when I glanced to my right where the eight foot high security fence with spikes on top disappeared into a thicket, and just there, inside a spiky thorny bush there appeared to be a gap in the fence. Sure enough, after five minutes of kicking my way through a very spiky thorny bush I reached the broken gap in the fence and at last I burst through onto the industrial estate like Livingstone emerging from the jungle, flushed red with effort, caked in clay and mud and covered in scratches.

Still, I found the short cut that my posh Uncle Ken talked about, I re-blazed his trail.

I’ll walk all the way around next time though.

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