Malvern Spine Walk: Part 2.

First of all I must congratulate the suppliers of the word prompts today, Fandango, Ragtag and YDWP, I had to look all of them up so I can work out a way to crowbar these into my story of the walk.

Full of Bacon, coffee, ice cream and home made rock cake, provided by M, we left the cafe buoyed and proceeded to knock about a bit of scuttlebutt verbally, walking a ridge like the Malverns gives the most amazing perspective on the world and just for these few hours we really are on top of the world but without the oxygen ossues of the high Himalaya and the sheer terror of the Crib Goch scramble which we attempoted last year in October, its on my blog somewhere if you can spare the time to find it, it was a terrifying misadventure which could have been so much worse than me shitting my pants (I didn’t just for clarity, but it was a close run thing). The misplaced hardihood of the Crib Goch yomp was a firm kick in the balls which put me in a place of uncertainty and doubt which I don’t want to repeat, maybe applying for this job just recently wasnt such a bright idea… More of that to follow.

I introduced the chaps to a game i sometimes like to play with myself when i’m walking alone. When you approach another walker I always like to say a cheery Hello, which may or may not be irritating to folk, but I don’t think it should be, i’m just being nice, but the type of nice that someone walking and drinking a can of cider pre opening time might scoff at. The idea is to say Hello as late as possible, the best outcome is to say Hello as you pass, forcing the other walker to blurt out a greeting in a panic, that is a win for me and I may award myself a point. The reason I play this game is not really known, but it tickles me and makes the walk a bit more than just that. So we were kind of playing the game, I don’t think M and N were too enthusiastic but were, as ever, gentlemen and as such tolerated my silliness. We passed a group of blokes, more than 6ix incidentally which I think is now a hanging offence in this country, and said Hello or some such and a bloke at the back, when we’ed passed each other said to his mates,

“There’s always some fucker that says Hello”

So we sent M back to go and sort him out and ended up in a mass brawl on top of the Jubilee Hill, when I say mass brawl I mean we sat down, had a pork pie and some apples, and enjoyed the hazy sunshine, the elevenses of champions. To the east we could see the Malvern County Show ground, a place where farming competitions occur sprinkled with casual racism and latent homophobia, next to which is hosted Britain’s largest Swinger’s festival, cancelled this year due to the pox, but I wish the farmers could see what goes on in those woods, it would make their cider pickled purple noses turn white with shock. Coming down to the Wyche cutting there are some public toilets, as a rule I tend to avoid public toilets after the shock of Dogging shenanigans on Fish Hill a few years ago, and so to confirm my fears the toilets were the metal ones with out a seat, freezing cold in winter with frosted piss ice providing a wretched laminate to the surface. I’ve been in some terrible toilets in my time over in the Indian subcontinent, but they are squatters and I can deal with that, there’s no touching of bum to seat, why anyone would use these metal monstrosities unless in absolute emergency is beyond me but does remain a constant fear for a man like myself who works around and about, fortunately I’m lazy, don’t get to work too early and so all the unpleasantries are done with prior to leaving for work. Fortunately being a bloke has certain advantages in the toilet department, but having said that the ladies is probably palatial compared to the blokes, certainly this is the case in my local pub, as my wife confirmed when I had to change my sons nappy on the window sill which was the least grim surface to do the deed after brushing off a massacred family of flies to the floor as the spider clung to the corner web eyeballing my son as he eyeballed the spider.

From the Wyche, its a 30 minute yomp to the top of the Beacon taking in Summer Hill where the view back towards where we had come from was spectacular, to the East the meandering Severn valley and the vast floodplains, towards the South May Hill with its top hat plantation of Pine trees and towards the West, the recondite and foreboding secretive Black Mountains, and beyond to the Brecon Beacons and Pen y Fan, our previously planned destination, which after the news today won’t be visited any time soon as Wales is completely out of bounds. Its a wonderful place to be, truly, especially when the weather is fine and we’ve a bag of apples to munch on. For one moment Misty, was the highest dog in Worcestershire, imagine how pleased she was with her self.

The route back was in the opposite direction but we took the slightly easier flatter route along the western side of the hills, walking through woodland and tracking the B4232 back to British Camp. This is where the problem began for me, suddenly my left knee started to ache and then really hurt before very quickly making efforts to stiffen up, so unless I continued to walk it would have seized up completely and N kind of promised to pick me up, in the ideal world that I have created, in truth I had about 3 miles left to go on a sore leg. This is a worry as it has never happened to me before, the outside of my left knee, any armchair doctors care to offer a diagnosis? I can’t have this happening to me I’m only still 48, maybe its all the chips and pork pies.Never was I so pleased to see the little red car we had driven to the hills in me cramped in the back, visible from the pink house as we descended down to Castlemorton common.

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