Pre-planned travel arrangements, combined with extended working hours means time off is a rarity of late. Today was to be a round robin drive of 500 miles, which was cancelled at the last-minute due to an unusual summer thunder-storm lashing the South of England. ‘Wahooo’ thought I – a clean humble abode makes for a happy humble abode, and I had a long list of admin chores to undertake, which I promptly attacked with great gusto. Having completed and secured my tasks by 12:00 hrs – I celebrated with a pot of tea, and a doorstop wedged sandwich of ham and Coleman’s mustard.
The canine alarm system went off just as I plonked my rear end down into a leather recliner, shortly followed by a feeble ‘knock-knock’ on the heavy wood front door. So feeble that I thought I half imagined it – then again ‘knock-knock’ which set the canine alarm system off again. Muttering under my breath I made my way to the main door, and peered through the heavy glass portal set within it – to witness an odd sight for these parts.
Two metrosexual males were stood well away from the main door, peering back at me through ‘fraidy cat Tom’ surprised eyes. I opened the door and they both looked down at my feet for the source of the canine alarm: “I’ve locked them in bonnie lads – don’t fret none.”
They politely asked if I could fill up their empty ‘Evian spring water’ bottles, which they removed from their small back packs (their only water source.) I bade them welcome and invited them both in, as they each looked as though they were ready for the knackers yard. “Do your dogs bite?” – “No, but they may well lick you to death!” (My standard response to the regular idiot question.) A storms a brewin…
Both young men had decided on a two-day adventure in the shape of ‘a walk across the Yorkshire Moors’ – of which, they were woefully under prepared for dressed in three-quarter length skinny jeans, canvas flat shoes, and T-shirts. No maps, no compass, no cookers, no outdoor rations, no waterproof’s, no idea, and certainly no common sense. Their tent being a two-man disposable pop up type, and their sleeping bag substitute – a fleece blanket each? As we chatted over a pot of tea and biscuits, I asked if they were aware of the Met Office severe thunder-storm warning for the evening? I was met by two sets of pained ‘Wile E. Coyote’ eyes – they had both run off the edge of the cliff, and just realised their error.
I urged them both to reconsider their adventure, and offered to drive them to the nearest village five miles away, where public transport could whisk them back into the City of York. They jumped at the offer. I was tempted to walk them across country to the nearest bus stop, which meant trudging through hedgerows of stinging nettles and chest high thistle patches. But that would have eaten into my slowly disappearing afternoon of leisure. It would appear that some 20-year-olds of today are sadly lacking the skills-set of a 10-year old of yesteryear. And I’m sure I caught Nipper rolling his eyes in disbelief… Yours_Aye.