Well I was so keen to get going with my new AWGV* job, I said to Gail, look we can't wait until it's sunny, after all this is Scotland, we might be waiting, like, forever.
Finally she relented and we went, during a pause between heavy downpours, to investigate Ashentilly Wood, ten miles out of Aberdeen and just off the South Deeside road.
Now some friends have been trying to advise me on how to go about my new role. Advice which I considered and then rejected. (Apparently a friend of Gail's once described her as having an 'advice resistant personality type' and happily this is a trait we share).
Bossy Stella told me to "just try not to get carried away with your opinions". No opinions? Me? Can you imagine? Quite ridiculous. Stella, that's like telling the Tea Party in the USA to try to be tolerant for a change. Or George Osborne telling UK voters that "we're all in it together"....
I want you to know I consider it my role to provide the op-ed counterpart to the boring fact-based report Gail writes on the VisitWoods website. Clear?
Anyway, back to the woods.
I did come close to acting on Deccy's intriguing suggestion to pee only on yellow flowers. Too close in fact. Deccy have you any idea how prickly a gorse bush feels on the bum? Oh you do. It was a practical joke. I get it. Hardy har. Not.
Personally I find that a delicate cluster of wood sorrel provides a more pleasing 'facility'.
A mossy bank by the side of the track is just fine too.
Isn't it strange though, and rather sad, how humans seem to miss out completely on the best aspects of a wood.
One can have so much fun negotiating the muddiest paths ...
And rolling around in the less delicately scented woodland offerings. (Believe me friends, this isn't mud...)
...where a dog can be immersed in near freezing water and "cleaned up a bit" prior to being transported home.
*AWGV - Assistant Web Guide Volunteer for the VisitWoods project. See also previous post.