Mark plays Gandalf

I’m feeling a bit spoilt right now, not only did I get a week with my brother but I’ve just come back from a long weekend with Mark. I thought it was the most romantic holiday ever. I booked a wooden hut in the middle of a forest in the Lake District and it was amazing. Two small huts huddled together with a Nordic roundhouse and fire pit. What more could you want. A double bed? Sod that, I got three nights of unbroken sleep. We had bunk beds which I swear must have been sound proof because I didn’t hear Mark snore once. Yes it was small, yes I had to leave when Mark needed the toilet. His legs are so long that he couldn’t close the bathroom door, so every morning I went and sat in the garden and listened to my music. The first day over, armed with a bottle of local porter we retreated to the roundhouse and Mark played romantic folk music, whilst I tried to reconcile my fingers with the only four chords I can play on a guitar.
It was wonderful. Day one was amazing, we went exploring over hill and dale and I fell arse over tit. In my defence it was Google’s fault. Google may be the geographically challenged travellers God send, but you put that traveller in the middle of an unknown forest without a road and the thing lies. It lies and sends you anywhere but where you should be. So after Mark explaining that my sense of direction was faulty and taking us into the pit of despair, he consulted the Google.
“Don’t go that way, never go that way.” Google proudly declared. “Follow me, I will take you home safely.”
Yer right. When the track begins to move beneath your feet and the streams are too wide to cross, the undergrowth folds in and swallows the path we have left behind, you know something isn’t quite right. The fall came before a bright idea.
“Sod bloody Twat Nav, I’m heading for the main road.”
Reluctantly Mark followed as I scrambled up a steep bank. The bank ran up and over a tunnel that looked particularly scary and visions of night crawling vagabonds with pink eyes and skin sores crept into my mind. The light was fading and if there is one thing that wasn’t happening was me getting lost in The forest at night.
Scrambling out onto the road Twat Nav, gave us some sound advice, “Head East.”
Head East, head East, I’ll give that sanctimonious hitch head East. We walked on in silence. We weren’t going to have any dinner that night, we had been nibbling all day but now the tummy was grumbling. The only cooking facilities in the hut was two electric rings and a microwave. It said on the website that the hut was fully equipped. I wasn’t going to be stopped from cooking the pizza I had bought with us.
The brazier in the roundhouse would have to do. Man I’m good, I can now say that I can use a fire pit to cook a pizza, I also cooked a flan the next night. It took a lot of concentration, a nudge here, a poke there to stop it from catching on fire, but they both met my high culinary standards. Which they should have as they were home made.
As we settled down in the first night we decided that the world was a perfect place to be in. Despite Mark not being comfortable. I would liken it to watching Gandalf being trapped in a Hobbits caravan. It was funny.
We spent our second day ambling about the country side exploring the amazing scenery and headed home to our secret hideaway. The hut was ours, we had claimed it, owned it, made it our love nest, no one was going to ruin our holiday, until THEY arrived. You can always tell them, they are the ones that carry the bottles of wine with them wherever they go. THEY were no exception. She was celebrating a birthday. How lovely I thought, a romantic break. But THEY turned out to be my nightmare.
As you know I’m not a sit at home type of gal, and I like to have mini adventures and try out new hobbies. So what, I get bored easily. I knew that one day I would meet a like minded spirited individual that I could share all my adventures with.
This lady, whose name I have blocked from my memory, for reasons that will become clear, could have been my best friend. I paint, so did she, she tap danced, so did I. We both cooked cakes and shared a love of dogs. How wrong could I be. She was a perfect nightmare.
I don’t like people who drink in excess, and I especially detest women that use their drunkenness as an excuse to fondle my husband.
Yes, really. I don’t know how she managed it, when or what happened. One minute she was sitting there with her husband in between her and Mark and the next she was pressed up against him thigh to thigh, running her hands through the deer pelts inviting him to run his fingers through the soft fur.
Now I’m not saying that she wasn’t attractive for a woman of her age, (I hate that remark but in this case its perfect) but she definitely wouldn’t be encouraged to enter a glamorous granny competition. I didn’t know whether to laugh or just pity her, Mark was mortified. His face was a picture of panic as she suggested that the main lights be turned off and the single lamp be lit to give a more pleasing ambience.
Would we like to put on some music?
“No I think its my bed time,”
“No, its so early.” Her protest of my impending departure was as fake as her life history we had just had to sit and listen to, as her long suffering husband interjected with the odd “yes dear”.
“You might as well stay Mark, there’s no need for you to come to bed.”
Mark smiled and stated that he would join me, as I stood to leave. I got out of the hut down the path and suddenly felt a warm breathe on my neck. I turned to laugh at Mark who had followed me out to find The husband standing within my personal space, far to close for my liking.
He asked if I was going straight to bed. My instinct was to scream at him.
“Yes and I take a very sharp samurai sword to bed with me. I spent fifteen years in Japan learning the art of cuttiyoouppy.”
However I felt that if I had then his response would have been, “Yes we did that last summer.”
“Yes I’m tired,” I maneuvered my way out from under the arm that had appeared to lean on the tree blocking my path.
I locked the door behind me with as much noise as possible. As I turned to go to the bathroom the door rattled. Someone was trying to get in, that was the point at which I wished I had that sword handy.
“Jen, open the door.” Marks urgent quiet scream could be heard through the door.
Should I let him in? Should I? Would I open the door to find her behind him, clinging to his heels. My imagination was running wild. By the time I reached the door I was laughing uncontrollably. This was more than I could bare.
“You pulled,” I cried as I opened to the door to an ashen faced Mark.
“Sh, she’ll hear you,”
“She’s too pissed, she’ll not know what’s going on.”
We laughed as we realised we may have had a lucky escape. Our perfect romantic get away had been invaded by the elderly swingers. I’m sure that would have been the next conversation if we hadn’t left. Our conversation turned to how we were going to avoid our new temporary neighbours. This was the ruination of our holiday. I must say I did let it get to me. But also that I can be the cruellest of hitches when I want to be.
I don’t think I was being too cruel when I asked her in a crowded coffee shop if she had a hang over. We were having a quiet cuppa when they walked in. Having driven 15 miles from our holiday home we had settled in a small lake side cafe, and They walked in. She was loud and made a point of shouting from the door, “fancy meeting you here.” The strangest thing was that she didn’t have any ill effects from her night of over indulgence. Must have built up a very good tolerance to alcoholic.
We were able to avoid them on our last night as we found a Chinese restaurant in a quiet backstreet in the nearest town.
I’ve learnt my lessons; Mark is too big for cosy get-a-ways, so next time I go alone. Avoid alcoholics, get drunk before I go out, hey, if you can’t stand them, piss them off first, and take a bloody map, or hire a good looking sexy guide.


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