Monday, 11 July 2011

Stinging Nettles and Jam

"Go on Amelia, it will be fun"........ok.....let us just concentrate on that word.....FUN.
'Enjoyment, amusement or light hearted pleasure' it says in the dictionary, all of which
appeared perilously absent during my sojourn into the North Devon countryside.
My two best friends in the world had suggested that I joined them on this activity, the
activity that is (cue dramatic music) dum de dum dum........geocaching!
That is the name that is given to this particular pastime by those who enjoy it.....
or mooching about, seemingly lost in the great British countryside in the hunt for
small grubby boxes filled with an endless supply of tat, which would be the 
description applied by those who don't.
We had chosen the hottest day of the season which instantly put me in a grumpy
mood as I had to use factor fifty on my delicate complexion due to the fact that my
  parasol had gone on a journey of it's very own. 
After several hours of extreme 'fun', I became aware that it's practically impossible
to appear natural to the casual passer by when you are loitering in a suspicious 
manner by fences, trees and styles as it's not recommended that we drew any sort
of attention from the general public to the hidden treasure that we sought, well
that is the lawful requirement from the 'high gods of the cache'
This one occasion saw me standing on a small tree covered lane with my hand 
in a bush as I reached for the tupperware bounty that was hidden from view.
There was a house to the left of me that had a lot of children playing in the garden, 
and it wasn't long before they had suddenly noticed me. As I glanced over, there were
about five kids standing on the roadside driveway all pointing and whispering, and
moments later it appeared that the whole family had come to gawp at the goth girl
standing outside their house, elbow deep in a great british hedgerow.
The eldest of the group who I assumed was the dad as he was the tallest and 
beardiest, smiled and nodded his respects as he roughly ushered his still staring
kids back in the direction of the house. I did the same.......MISTAKE, my hair got
tangled in the hawthorn which made me yell out "aaaarrggghhh....hawthorn!"
and all of a sudden, the whole family were back on the road again, staring
and pointing. As before, they were rounded up like sheep and sent in the direction of
the house again. "Get me out" I cried, and it wasn't long before my friends had 
extracted me from the bushes.
After a long Sunday walk with Moomin, we were perilously late with our return
to the cream tea emporium which clearly stated that it closed its doors to the
general public at five o was eight minutes to. After asking nicely, it was
agreed by the cream tea ladies that we indeed had time. This particular place is
in an old church hall and boasts bone china, vases of flowers and starched
linen tablecloths. Tea, bread, butter, cakes and jam were brought to us as we sat
there alone in this huge hall at the only dressed table. Remembering the 
Houndtor tea incident with the purple mug, we agreed that best behavior would 
be observed at all times. I managed to pour both teas, with no drips...happy, then
I managed to cut the cake with no crumbs....very happy, then Moomin put jam
on her bread and butter......happiness over!  There was quite a loud 'donk' that came 
from her direction, I quickly looked up from my tea and noticed the wide eyed 
stare of horror coming from Moomin's face. I followed her gaze of terror back 
down to the table to the enormous spoon full......or rather the 'started off as a spoon
full' mound of blackcurrant jam that had now set up home on the extremely clean and
starched linen tablecloth. We both gazed at each other with open mouths and
I did what any well bred girl would do.....I put the vase of flowers over it.
So then......I think that we will leave the next visitation to this cream tea venue for a 
few weeks so the guardians of the cake and tea will have time to forget us...
although on second thoughts we do tend to get's an appearance 
thing you see......and next weekend, well I have to admit it.....I shall be probably
up to my shoulders in hedgerow again.