Saturday, 20 February 2010
the ballad of cursed anna
Ironically, I have wandered from my path. Mrs Dave and I bought each other new walking boots for our birthdays this year. Now you may think that that doesn't sound like a great present but what do you buy the man who has everything (besides penicillin)? Boots, of course.
As we arrived at Flatford Mill car park to meet our new friends at the inaugural meeting of a new walking group stemming out of our involvement with the DofE - I jumped out of the car to put my new Brasher boots on for their first ever proper walk. I did try them yesterday around our town - a walk by the sea to check them. Lovely; soft leather, very comfortable. As I started to tie up the laces, a riveted eye-hole (technical term) pulled out of the boot! "Oh dear!" quoth I, "That's annoying." Or words to that effect. A hundred+ quid and the first time to be used . . .
One of our new companions was watching. "Where did you get them?" he asked.
"Blacks," I replied.
"Take them back, they'll exchange them," he informed me authoritatively.
"Well . . . shouldn't I get in touch with Brasher?"
"No take them back to Blacks," he said.
"Are you sure? You seem well informed."
"I'm the manager at Blacks, I'll sort it out."
Can you believe it? The first time we've ever met and he witnesses boots his shop sold break before they've even been used? Classic.
Hopefully, I'll have a new pair of Brashers by the end of the week. Further detailed discussion suggests that now that the boots are manufactured in China, the quality has gone down. Typical - I've waited donkey's years to afford to buy decent leather boots, and as soon as I can afford them, it's because the quality has sunk down to my level!
The tree is on the Suffolk/Essex border (By the way, yesterday's is from Winchester). I can imagine being challenged crossing this footbridge - I wasn't, but as the rest of the group had gone on, I was alone for a few minutes there. Jonathan Kelly's Ballad of Cursed Anna came to mind:
My path led to a woodland
Far behind a rusted gate
I knew it was a shortcut
If I kept my walking straight
But then like out of nowhere
This wizened old man appeared
Holding high his one hand
While the other stroked his beard:
Beware the cursed Anna's stare
This warning do I bring
For no one makes it through this wood
Coming out as they went in . . .