Friday 11 September 2009

that sinking feeling

Ever had that sinking feeling? Shep had a sinking feeling on numerous occasions whilst out - bye gathering last week. The hill ground was saturated. Being peat it is naturally boggy anyhow, with all the wet weather we have suffered recently it has naturally got boggier.

Now you lot won't know this but Shep isn't the bravest of souls on a quad bike and it is a standing joke that if I can find a wet hole to sink into then I will - almost guaranteed. So when the hill ground is basically just one great big wet hole it doesn't bode well for good ol' Shep.

I had a fresh bike to use, a bigger version of the last one. Bigger in size (I felt like a pea on a pod), bigger engine and bigger in weight.................... Ugh, I set off to the hill with my heart sinking to the bottom of my boots, memories of the week previous when I managed to have a quad on another farm floating (yes, that's what I said - floating!), were fresh in my mind.

Obviously on that occasion I wasn't able to sink and get bogged. I gauged the depth of water wrong and did quite honestly begin to float - exceptional, even by my standards! I had the presence of mind to remember to keep the throttle on full to prevent water running into the exhaust as I jumped off to push the offending article in the direction of dry land. My wellies filled so quickly I barely had time to gasp, the bike was rescued, wellies taken off, water tipped out, socks taken off and rung out and I set about my way.

With these thoughts trundling about my head I almost had a bet with myself, ' how long 'til, you're bogged then?' Would I be able to get un - bogged? This bike is heavier and being bigger there was more of it to sink......... Oh, heavens above, give me a pony any day (except I did once bog one of them too - that's another story!)

Usually when I come to a drain, burn, crossing point, boggy hole or what ever I pause, weigh up the pros and cons and progress with caution, if you travel cautiously you sink slower, giving you time to hit reverse and mebbes get out of the predicament - very rarely works but there you go, that has always been my logic.

I had a fresh approach last week and to my surprise seemed to get away with it. If in doubt hit the throttle and go for it................ The logic being, if I went fast enough by the time the bike decided to sink it would be past the obstacle anyway! And hey! It worked!

I didn't have to wring my socks out - yipee! Unfortunately I did have a very wet arse (bottom to those of you that speak properly). I've mentioned earlier in the year about my summer leggings, they were the none waterproof variety, y'know, the ones with a big tear in the knee. Anyhow, I had to give in and get out the lambing leggings which I had been saving for inclement weather. Washed and put away after lambing time they looked as good as new. Now they say looks aren't everything - too true!

These waterproofs seemingly are no longer waterproof, they just look good - huh! What a way to find out, away out - bye in a monsoon! It became apparent in no time at all that the water running off the top coat was sitting in a puddle between my legs as I sat astride the bike, then soaking through the 'waterproof' trousers and very kindly soaking me. On arriving at the sheep pens two hours later, I dismounted and found myself to be walking like John Wayne. Soaked through to the knicker leg didn't have a look in. Before you ask, NO, I didn't take everything off and ring them out, I nonchalantly wandered around all day in an uncomfortable fashion!