Ready For A Fright?

Doh! There is nothing like bragging in cyberspace about how brave you are to be put to the test. When Tom announced that both the weather conditions and the tides were ideal for a run in the boat I went a bit deaf and pretended it wasn’t going to happen. To be fair to Tom he was quite prepared to go out in it by himself, but that’s a bit of a slippery slope. Pushed to the edge, you discover each other’s strengths and weaknesses and how you work as a team (or not, if you’re going to the Antarctic with James Cracknell) and we’ve always done very well together at sea.

So there we were, the one bright, sunny morning
this week, sitting in the car. I was speechless with fear, trying to control my quivering bottom lip (and my quivering bottom) whilst Tom gently explained the plan. I still couldn’t speak in the dinghy, and sheer terror meant I needed a wee as soon as we got aboard. It was after I’d had a swear at the loo, because it’s so difficult to flush, and Tom, sounding rather sad and a bit exasperated, said that that he hadn’t had time to get round to easing the valves, that I felt a bit ashamed of myself and decided not to be so limp.

And do you know what? It was great! We had a very gentle pootle up the river to St Dogmaels and a little potter to the mouth of the Teifi estuary (but not across the scary bar) and then returned to the mooring where I was back on my usual picking-up form (I’m rather proud of my ability to pick up buoys). We sat in a rare moment of sunshine feeling the warmth on our faces, drinking tea and eating stale Milky Ways (well, something had to go wrong). I even managed to duck out the way of the oars when Tom folded the dinghy back in the car!

I also had a bit of a trial by flying dog this week. Some of you may recall that I had a close encounter with a farm dog when it slightly tasted me just before the Llanelli half marathon. This week I was chatting to Mair, across the village, who also runs. I’m not huge, but Mair makes me feel like the Jolly Green Giant. Comparing notes, I learned that the same dog had knocked Mair to the ground where she was trapped for half an hour before help arrived. To add to her fears, Mair’s four months pregnant. Confronting the owner later, she was told that the dog was perfectly harmless, and it’s sad that we both know that’s not the case. As I said at the time I’m fond of dogs but it’s always best to be a bit a cautious with lone dogs round here when there’s no one in open space to hear you scream.

With that in mind I was running through another farm this week, where the dog which used to chase me now thinks I’m a tedious old bat and no fun at all, so I was a bit surprised, to hear a blood-curdling ‘Let me get at you’ yowling echoing in the air. More worryingly, I couldn’t work out where it was coming from. That was until I passed a battered Land Rover and a small wire-haired JRT flew out the window and jumped up the back of my leg. Fortunately, it seemed as shocked to have got me as I was to be got. No harm done but it certainly raises the adrenaline levels.

Cardiff Half Marathon Training
Runner’s World Smart Coach Programme week 4 = 16 miles, a dropping back week. The calm before a bit of a storm.

And finally...
The very kind Gaelikaa awarded me this which was lovely of her. Thank you so much, dear heart.

Painting is 'Newgale, Five Feet Blown Out' by Tom Tomo


elizabethm said…
Well I think that counts as a reward for bravery, supportiveness and general wonderful wifeness. And you didn't sink or throw up!
JJ Beattie said…
Oh dear, "my quivering bottom lip (and my quivering bottom)" that made me laugh. I've no idea what a pig boat is but I'm impressed at your bravery.
Celtic Heart said…
Nothing, bar nothing, is worse than needing a wee in any sea craft smaller than an ocean going liner. Well done you, and now that this token of support is done, need you really go out again?
Take me! take me! I love boats, but if you are afraid then you deserve something better than stale Milky Ways (do they go stale?).

Can you not carry some anti-dog spray of something when running - that would sort them.
Jude said…
Having sailed in the Bay of Biscay (things broke, I heard my father calling me!! and it was our first big sail without seeing land for days)Several large storms and nearly going aground (rocks!) in Corfu, yes, it strengthens a relationship, you have to work together or else?? Best times we've had,now, memories of the nasty moments fade and we remember the wonderful, wonderful adventures.
Frances said…
Chris, your week has been filled with adventure. How wonderfully you report boating and the flying dog!

Lucy Tom to have you as first mate. xo
Calico Kate said…
Sooo don't like unknown dogs and being chased barked at by them. SHould mine ever do such a thing I am hugely appologetic. Mind you with the big one people just look at her and get scared. I know better and am far and away more scared of the little JRTs and their ilk.
So pleased that the boat trip wasn't as awful as you had feared perhaps you will look forward to it next time!
Preseli Mags said…
Hurrah for the pig boat! Does it get a new nickname yet? I'm glad to hear that you had a bit of jolly sailoring and that you haven't lost your knack for picking up buoys!

Why is it that running inflames dogs so? I had three collies spitting drool at me out of the back of a Land Rover the other day and another pair (also collies) dragged their owner along the verge, such was their desperation to tear me limb from limb. And let's not mention Polly the Collie who jumped off a bank and onto my back. Collies, it seems can't take a woman who runs.
LittleBrownDog said…
Hoping that Tom's ideal weather conditions aren't the same as the ones we're having over here at the moment - horizontal rain and high winds. Well, you never can tell with men, but sounds as though sun was involved, so possibly not too bad. And, yes, loos on boats aren't my favourite thing either - it's the balancing that's always so tricky, and boats seem to suddenly lurch just at the wrong time, I find. So glad to hear it turned out to be a good experience - start with low expectations, I find, and occasionally you're rewarded with something not too bad. Ouch about the dogs, though.
Helen Ginger said…
I love stopping by here and learning new-to-me words like "potter." (Also, have no idea what a pig boat is, but it sounds small.)

I have several friends who walk a lot and they've started carrying pepper spray in case they get cornered by a dog. And take a cell phone with you, too.

Straight From Hel
Cottage Garden said…
Well done Chris for being so brave - both in the water and standing up to excitable canines! A great read as always!
Flowerpot said…
The sailing saga brings backmemories - I'm just like you Chris!
Pondside said…
If you were worried about owning the word earlier, you should now confidently shout that you are a Brave Woman. Pig boat and nasty dogs - you are a warrior!
ChrisH said…
Elizabeth, thank you (shall direct Tom to your comment!). I'm very pleased I didn't throw up - I hope I'm getting better.

JJ, the pig boat is a pig of a boat with a fat bum and stumpy legs. Ugly and moody too! (Although I expect people say the same about me).

CH, glad it's not just me. Yes - the next trip is Fishguard. If we make to Solva I'll give you a wave!

Rosie, you are very welcome! And yes, sadly, MWs do go stale... we managed to grin and bear them though.

Jude, you are truly intrepid - I would have been a gibbering heap by then. Huge respect to you.
ChrisH said…
Frances, thank you.

Kate, I'm sure you do have a care with your dogs and, as I say, I am a dog lover, but many of the farms here seem to let their dogs fly free so you have to keep your eyes open!

Mags, the story of Polly the Collie haunts me wherever I run! I half expected to have a jack russell as a back pack when it flew at me!

LBD, the low expectations mode is, I'm afraid, one I adopt on the boat whereas Tom's are always exceedingly high. And yes, there is a difference, you won't be surprised to hear, in our ideal weather conditions!

Helen, good to see you. See above for pig boat definition! I think that your advice to take a mobile phoe is good. Tom's been telling me to take one with me too. I've been a bit reluctant because it's one more thing to carry... but not much fun being trapped by a large hound either.

Jeanne, thank you very much.

FP, try not to think about them - and have a stiff drink!

Pondside, I think SBS would say 'mad'! Thanks anyway!
gaelikaa said…
Chris, sometimes you just have to go with the flow. Things can work out. Now me, my spouse is a man of science and sometimes keeps me up half the night - talking about some great new concept he's working on - when I'd rather crash out, no offence meant but I do find subjects of a scientific nature rather dry. But if I listen, and more importantly, stay awake, I find I actually do learn something interesting, maybe even something to write about. And I'm glad I stayed awake and listened. And both of us are happy! Better again! In India, they call this 'adjustment'. I think I've got an idea for another post. After I finish my last tag, that is (groan). Not to worry, I've been broadening my horizons in the blogosphere, I'll have a few extra friends to spread it out to this time! Great post Chris, thanks for sharing that experience. I feel I was there too! And I have been too!
Pipany said…
Good lord Chris, I think he owes you big time! Great post and you have my deepest admiration. xx
Fennie said…
You are so brave and dedicated both to boating and to running. No wonder the JRT's of this world are trying to put you down.

I wonder if you could devise a sort of inflatable leg that you could drag behind you when passing through farms? You know - like fighter jets throw out strips of tinfoil to confuse enemy missiles? You could even patent the idea and make enough money to buy a new boat.
Something that looked like a leg, but wasn't.
MelRox said…
congrats on your award, dear!
Debs said…
Well done for being so brave. I'm glad you had a lovely time in the end, despite the Milky Ways being stale.

I love dogs too, but it drives me mad when owners don't keep control of them.
ChrisH said…
Gaelikaa, 'adjustment', that's a good way to put it, but it sounds to me as if you and your husband have got the 'adjustment' thing cracked. From what I've read of about your marriage the two of you have put a lot of work in over the years to make it what it is. And it was lovely of you to tag me, always flattering if someone is kind enough to express an interest, so thank you.

Pip, ah, but he has to live with me!

Fennie, I'm so glad you included 'eccentric' as one of your 7. That is a crazy, but ingenious suggestion!

MelRox, you too, dear!

Debs, good, you're back... I want to hear bout your writing week! Yes, shame about the Milky Ways, but you know, any port in a storm!
Fia said…
Is it the results this week? Waiting for results from the Booby Bus too.
ChrisH said…
What a fun week you're having, Fia - good luck!
Liane Spicer said…
You've got me laughing here, what with the quivering bottom and the flying dog and all. Love the art!
ChrisH said…
Liane, thanks for visiting and for your comment.

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