‘Solvitus Perambulam’ was a favourite phrase of the Roman’s, which roughly translated means ‘solve it while you walk.’ And by Gawd did they do some walking around dear old ‘Provincia Britannia.’
When ever life throws up a brick wall I tend to follow the Roman’s train of thought. Problem solving whilst walking is different to walking for pleasure, as I tend to do it at a faster speed to get a rhythm going forcing the heart to pump faster, while the senses take in the surrounding countryside subconsciously. It normally involves a route local to my humble abode, of which I tend to head out an hour before dawn breaks. Returning from this mornings perambulation I sat upon the tree logs and watched the swallows expertly skimming at grass top-level, feeding on insects warmed by the suns rays. Just as I poured a hot wet of tea from the flask, a shot rang out, followed by another…Both ’rounds’ came from a firing point 300 feet away, the kinetic energy being well and truly spent as they flicked through the hedge-line into the air over towards my spot. Then another ’round,’ which lifted a leaf from the lightning tree – scattering the birds within. The spent ’rounds’ being .22 lead pellets, and the ‘blapp’ of the rifle meant some f***wits were on the other side of the hedge with air-rifles. Or as I was about to find out, they refer to themselves as ‘air-gunners?’ I stormed over to their firing point bellowing out “Stop-Cease-Fire” (range officers rant from my previous life), before jumping through a gap in the hedge to find two f***wits dressed from head to toe in camouflage, yet sporting brightly lit faces and bare hands as they wriggled about on the ground puffing and wheezing (shape, SHINE, shadow, silhouette, surface, spacing, MOVEMENT.)At this point both portly built ‘air-gunners’ stood up looking coy and embarrassed, as I went into rant mode, giving them both a point-blank ‘spitwash bollocking’ whilst reciting the code of conduct for countryside shooting. My point being that Hannah and Nipper often mooch around my side of the hedge while I sit and ponder with a mug of tea on the logs, a pellet close up would take an eye out. Besides which, I take an instant dislike to any barsteward who kills for the sake of it, especially those incapable of making a decent shot, and more so when they hunt small birds!
They both informed me that “air-gunning” was a recent hobby, which inflamed the situation even further (1). Air Gunners were brave young men who sat within perspex bubbles at 20.000 ft gallantly defending their ship. (2). My 3 acre field is my open air temple, that has brought forth untold pleasurable canine adventures that is not for the use of two grossly over weight wannabe hunters…
My grand finale was a gypsies whisper in their shell-like ears, which they both hoisted aboard, and departed at the rush with their camouflaged tails between their legs. It was only after they trundled off that I realised I had a stout blackthorn walking stick in my hand, which I must have been waving around like a ranting raving mad man. By the way, I solved my original brick wall problem, and the rest of the day has gone really well. Yours Aye.