Anyway, for the first time this year, we run into our friends George (genial human) and Darcy (lively black dog of mixed provenance). After exchanging New Year hugs, together we walk clockwise round the park. I can't tell you how confusing this is. I mean Gail and I always walk anticlockwise. What is Gail thinking in agreeing to this lunatic suggestion of George's?
Further evidence that George is not the gently spoken, agreeable and sane gentleman I had hitherto taken him for comes when my flappy little ears catch some of the conversation between him and Gail.
Oh yes, George had been visiting his son in Ullapool over the holiday period. Yes they had had a fine time, and, he mentions quite casually, as if this was something that a regular person would do, they had enjoyed the traditional New Year swim in the sea. And no, they were not wearing wet suits.
|Ullapool in Winter (photo by Graham Lewis@flickr.com)
Really, you just don't know what sort of a person you're going to meet in the park these days. You might have been happily accepting the odd dog biscuit from them for years, and then suddenly they reveal some deeply disturbing and unsuspected character trait.
Gail thinks I am over-reacting. "It was just a swim, Bertie, some folk enjoy this sort of thing, get over it. We are not all water averse. And it isn't as if there are icebergs in Loch Broom."
My suggestion that we steer well clear of George in the future is, I fear, going to be ignored.