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12 March 21 – Rafting 1

Hi Everyone,

Hope you’re having a good week.

I was on the phone to my best bud the other day, reminiscing about this incident several years/decades ago.

We found ourselves in a hotdog in the middle of a river in the Morvan National Park in Central France, twirling at an alarming rate amid a rabid froth, yes, a rabid froth. The above sketch makes us look like we were going forward, but I could’ve just as easily shown this instead

At this point, I discovered that rocks are hard, hotdogs are soft and my friend couldn’t steer a Tesco’s trolley up the beans and ravioli isle. Always blame someone else.

I’m telling you this as a precautionary tale. This occurred before the fake news era, but that brochure we read in the gift shop two hours earlier was all fake news.

The tissue of lies, aka the brochure, was a collection of superlatives sprinkled among laughy, splashy, foamy scenes. Sadly, the pieces of honed flint slicing up the water ahead of us had been carefully air-brushed from the photographs, giving the river a false cuddly, fluffy feel, instead of this.

It was too late now. Our hotdog, need I say, was out of control (from the side our two man raft looked similar to a … hotdog, it’s a technical term). As we spun, the guide in front, ensconced within a large, well-protected, eight berth raft, shouted over something about several dangerous areas and to stay right at ‘Dead Man’s Fall’. Dead–Man’s–Fall? – that was not highlighted to us in the brochure.

I remembered words like: ‘great day out’ and ‘incredible fun’; there was no Dead Man’s Fall.

I’m going to flash forward now to the moment we didn’t stay right at Dead Man’s fall.

This was one of many potential futures and the most likely.

The river surged and swept us left, our paddles as useful as three-day-old baguettes. As our speed increased, all I could see was a series of alternate river banks. It was a river, for god’s sake, there was only so many directions you could go and we’d done them all.

I looked back at the Steve Redgrave-like figure behind me, crying like a baby. He said it was spray, but it wasn’t. Then it was my turn. A rock smashed into the front of the boat, and the inflatable bow of our hotdog just crumpled. Any cushioning effect was supplied courtesy of my kneecap and the cartilage and ligaments beneath. The complimentary headbutt was provided free of charge by my blubbering friend behind me. Here’s a closeup of what my leg looks like to this very day.

‘Try to avoid the rocks,’ the instructor called from his inflatable cruise liner. Good advice, if only he’d said… Do you remember bagatelle in the olden days? That’s what it was like.

You know what, I’m getting a bit carried away with this story, sorry. I don’t want to go on too much, in case you’re hovering over the unsubscribe button. Maybe, I can leave it at this cliffhanger (literally) and get on with what I’ve been doing this week instead. Tune in next week to see if we died in the Morvan National Park twenty years ago (Spoiler alert: we didn’t).

Or did we???

That’s it once again.

Just to let you know, we dug the Wii out of the cupboard this week and I kicked some butt at Wii Dance. I’m told you’re supposed to move other parts of your body, but that’s just jealousy and bitterness on their part.

Have a good weekend.

Take care and all the best,

Ian

12 March 21 – Rafting 1

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