Having failed to find a room at the inn in Tarbert I managed to camp in a field about a mile to the south.
I returned in the morning to replenish my supplies of sunset yellow, caffein, sugary carbonated water and just a smidgen of salt – otherwise known as Irn Bru…
I got talking to a guy pushing one of those street cleaning trolly things – we talked about having a race when one of his mates laughed at Hubert,
“I see you’re goin’ at a snail’s pace,”
He pointed at the two slugs sliding (?), crawling (?), hopping across Hubert’s yellow raincoat.
This gave me the chance to tell them about last night’s campsite….
If you’re sitting comfortably, then I’ll begin…
I walked about half a mile out of Tarbert to find a place calling itself a campsite – but it only had fancy fandangled wigwam things and wooden shacks – they told me I couldn’t put my tent up…,
I walked on, found a marshy field full of midges and other flying biting insects. The tent (on reflection, it’s rather strange I haven’t given her a name yet) was put up in world record breaking time – but not before I’d been savaged by the little bleeders…
I snuggled up and began to gently scratch myself to sleep.
At about midnight a car drove past with loud playing young person’s music with an urban beat.
I was secure behind a wall and thought…”Goodness, I wonder what time it could be?”
There was no way they could have seen me, but they lobbed a bottle of Dr. Pepper over the wall, scoring a direct hit on the tent.
This did more for me than a lorry load of All-Bran….
They drove off.
Around 2am I heard a loud, honking, barking, groaning noise right next to the tent.
I clicked my heels together, saying, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home…”
But the honking – grunting continued.
Keeping with the Wizard of Oz metaphor, I began to think, “Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!”
My mind drifted as I tried to work out what could be addressing the tent in such a way.
I settled on a wild boar.
Bravely, I looked outside.
It was a stag, clearly, and in no uncertain terms, telling my tent to bugger off.
I decided that confrontation was not my middle name – neither was ‘the brave’, ‘stag beater’ or ‘venison chef’.
I lay for what seemed hours before this chap and his pointy antlers got bored.
I woke up after a short sleep to find slugs flying in formation all around the inside – but not right in my bit of – the tent.
I removed about twenty, each time explaining they’d be much happier running about in the wild.
Then I prepared for the mighty battle – I had to take the tent down and pack in what was bound to be swarms of midges.
So, in preparation I took my Avon Skin So Soft (what’s good enough for her majesty’s services is good enough for me) and sprayed with gay abandon over all my exposed skin – forgetting that I was still covered in bites from last night and a little sunburn.
In that marshy field, just south of Tarbert, no-one can hear you scream…
But I was prepared – so I leapt out to seize the day.
There were no midges. They were either in bed – or they’d migrated – or…
I wandered into Tarbert dripping with a lotion that smells like petrol with slugs all over my trailer…having had no sleep…a perfect advert for our little ramble…moving at a speed my passengers would like…
A snail’s pace.
Walk a Mile