The Hazards Of Being A Pensioner
The hazards of being a pensioner creep up on you. However, at 75, I am now quite skilled at avoidance techniques. This really started after we did a long walk in London and stopped at a cafe advertising all day breakfast. Eating outside, my plate sneaked closer to the table edge. As a result, it tipped, dropping into my lap. With some adroit movement, I stood up and flicked the food back on the plate, and back on the table. I carried on eating, confident nobody had seen this faux pas. Seconds later, the young woman on the next table said, “excuse me sir, but do you realise you have a sausage on your lap”. There it lay, the floppy, guilty sausage, which I promptly ate. Then, it was into the toilet to wash tomato sauce off my shorts. I had a wet patch all over the sausage zone for some miles.
Consequently, aware of my hazardous state, climbing rules now strictly apply. The grading is from moderate to difficult and then severe. No, not that sort of climbing: this is just getting over stone stiles. For certain, a stile will be the death of me. As a result, the approach is all about scanning for hazards. Tall, rough, upright stones, take no prisoners. Ann clouted her knee as we passed through a simple squeeze stile. However, its the up and over that we really worry about. Stone steps are attracted to the human knee. For certain, the stiles on the edge of a bluff register severe. You climb, look over and the other side falls away. That perilous move awaits, the leg transfer to the other side. Once done, you clamber down perhaps six protrusions that some call steps. If these are wet limestone then you are glad you wore your brown shorts.
The hazards of being a pensioner
The moderate ones are wood stiles, perhaps even small latched gates. For certain, you can relax, but the fingers stay on high alert. Latches trap fingers. Likewise, the wood is always loose, somewhere. It moves when a foot lands or when you transfer weight. However, if the wood is coated in wet mud, the stile jumps to severe. Here in the Peak District, death by stile ought to be ranked along with heart attacks and strokes. That said, perhaps it was seeing the stile, just one too many on a walk, that caused the stroke. Stiles, you see, are a hazard to pensioners!
PS Just look at those stones in the wall – an amazing build