Do not stand in the middle, go to the right or to the left’. – John Lydon
Cracking quote from one of Musics Finest but just a question John what happens when choosing your direction is the wrong one ??? Right when you should go left or in my case Left when when one should have gone right ??
Ok by now you will have realised that todays jaunt a la mutt was overshadowed by yet another navigational faux pas and a crucial left /right decision that somewhat cocked up a pleasant meander .Add to that an encounter with the Dog Owners from Hell and a miserable old fart that nearly caused World War Three on the Bus home and another day turns into an epic …
Anyway School Holidays ,and it has been fair to say motivation has been somewhat lacking on the blog front – best laid plans and all that , gone to pot in a week of soaring temperatures and a nation on social media being tormented by the doom mongers that predict any mutt seen out in public in daylight hours will immediately self combust in the heat . The then biblical like thunderstorms that didn’t really buck up my mojo but with the knowledge that my six weeks of freedom was gradually eroding away and to be honest having caught up with sleeping , drinking and everything watchable on Netflix it was time to hit the road .
Fair to say that the decision was met with the approval of the fluffy one – (who’s it has to be fair taken the metrological extremes in his stride in his own unflappable way – snoring gently on the sofa with his nose up his arse till it was cool enough to saunter off to the local in the evening ) – chucking himself down the stairs in excitement as soon as the boots and rucksack arrears from the cupboard to be dusted off ..
A reasonably simple wander through Thackley (Buck )Woods twixt Bradford and Leeds with a short canal stretch and some ‘research’ on two new micros’s opened up at Greengates was the plan , something not too taxing in the summer sunshine . Route planned ,destination read up on and an easy 45 two bus route from Chez Rach n Bruce took us to our start point in a reasonably un style
The Woods (sometimes known as Buck Woods ) it has to be said are a cracking place for both dogs and people but , unless you are from the local area or done some research first you wouldn’t know that they are there with no signage off the main road . A 10 min amble from the bus stops on the A657 brings you to the wood entrance through a stile .
There are 45 hectares of woodland to explore , paths are many and varied ,verging off through the more tender forestry and through more rugged terrain . One thing to note with the woods are that they are much used by all outdoor types with both horse and mountain bikes taking advantage of the facilities and his is reflected in the conditions underfoot – even in the height of summer it was only suitable for walking boots underfoot with the paths muddy and sticky even on the main routes through .
With my boring head for knowledge on now , (occasionally intellectual thoughts do occasionally slip through this ‘slighty more foggy since I hit 50 ‘brain ) its fair to say the woods have a inordinate amount of local history linked to them. Fair play to (be it the Council or local volunteers ) whoever put together the interperative info boards around the place well done – they are superb .Personally I loved the tale of the first Bradford Open Air School from the early part of the 20th Century – more radical thinking towards educating Children from disadvantaged backgrounds from a City that was the first to introduce school dinners – shame some of those self promoting’ in- it – for -themselves ‘ current lot of idiots at City Hall couldn’t be as forward looking in their thinking ! (Random political rant over – apologies ).
Fair to say the FW was enjoying the terrain – lets face it undergrowth and numerous trees are the perfect enviroment for the sniffing , pissing machine that he is – bit of a shame that yet another dickhead dog owner had to screw it up . If you’re a regular reader of the blog you’ll know that the boy’s off lead time is strictly controlled due to his occasional ‘red mist ‘that descends in relation to other dogs – a canine version of small penis syndrome if you will and yet again we had to run the gauntlet of some unleashed mutt with owners out of sight and no recall whatsoever . The culprit this time was a young eager staff who decided sticking his nose up Bruces nether regions on the blindside was a good idea …erm maybe not , much gnashing of teeth , exit one slightly less exuberant pup to behind its now appeared over the horizon unless owners legs , owners who flatly refused to accept any responsibility for the situation their own dog found himself in – the ‘well he only wanted to play ‘ excuse – well love Bruce didn’t and that’s why he’s on a lead …simples … (random crap dog owner rant over -apologies )
Anyway onwards and our next encounter was far more pleasant , a young lass about 7 or 8 sat on a log immersed in the latest David Williams Kids book , Mum stood on 50 yards away explained that it was part of the young uns latest Brownie Challenge that involved reading in an unfamiliar location – fabulous stuff ! Mum was also weighed down with a carrier bag of highly colourful decorated stones that her offspring would be secreted about the word for others to find – another challenge ticked off and no doubt another badge to sew on ! Simple things sometimes make you smile and for this old soppy sod that was one of them :-
The trail through the woods pottles on for around a mile and half – watching the summer sunshine come through the carpet of tall tree tops was pretty amazing , not that any spiritual calming zen like moments had any effect on the small scruff who was more intent on watering ever tree stump and expanding his range of ‘grass types I like to munch’ As the woods clear the Leeds Liverpool Canal comes into view and here beignets my massive cock up – for some unknown reason I without any thought turned left , happily wandering the canal bank expecting my turn off to the Harrogate Road and the delights of The Cracker Barrel And New Line Micropubs to soon come into view . …
Errm nope … My seriously first inclination that anything was wrong was when I turned a corner and suddenly the view became more than a little familiar and that sudden realisation that you’ve made one massive cock up ! Well it could have been worse – if you are going to get lost anywhere , happily Saltaire Brewery Tap Room I would somewhere near the top Well the micros can wait for another day a much needed pint of blonde in the Tap and then one in another perennial favourite The Fox made a decent end to a cracking wander …( you can read all about them both in this blog post here )
All good day out have to end with another bit of entertainment and Mr Miserables ( a raft of Aldi Carriers , flat cap and about 15 pints ) anti – world rant to anyone who dared walking past him to get on the bus home was pretty impressive as was his alighting said transport in a hail of 4 letter words and saliva as he realised the entire bus population was about to assist the driver in his forcible ejection