The Skinny Woods

I’m walking down a cobbled lane. I can hear the sea, smell it, taste it even but where is it…

Suddenly, a surge of saltwater across the cobbles in front of me, blocking the lane before slowly it recedes and my path is clear again. Wow that was unexpected I say to myself. I drop to the ground, just in time as a tram trundles harmlessly over my head. That too, I say, was unexpected. I get to my feet and walk on. Two women are mending the nets on fishing creels on the pier.

I wake up. That was one weird dream, I think to myself. Shitzu must sense that I’m awake and starts licking my arm. You can let me out now, shes saying. This is an improvement on, say, two years ago when she would have relayed this message by climbing on my head and licking my face at 6am.

But that dream wtf !! I sample it like I’m at a whisky tasting. Mmm, hints of Harris there, yes and maybe Crail and a longing to be by the sea. Fixing the nets for the spring that lies ahead. That tram tho….

Ten minutes later we’re out on the road, literally. The pavements are sheer ice still, despite it being mild for the first time in a week. The road is the safest option. At the bottom of Braemar Avenue, we go left then turn on Wallace Road. I dont know where I’m heading but suddenly I remember the field behind Anchorscross, no’ been there in ages.

But theres a problem. We have a problem. Shitzu is in someones garden running about frantically in circles. Aw naw, shes gonnae do a jobby on someones lawn, shes gonnae do a jobby…and I can see them looking out the window. Shitzu, I hiss, Shitzu !! Shes shoots across the grass/snow only to stop in the next garden. Too late now, she crouches down.

At least theres nobody awake in this house I think to myself, getting a poop scoop out my pocket. Someones walking past tho and I make a show of preparing to scoop up Shitzus jobby, smiling apologetically. Shitzu, yer a wee dick, I hiss at her. Shitzu cares not a jot, and runs off and along the pavement, skidding occasionally.

In the field there is strange raised ribbon of ice stretching into the distance. This is ‘the path’. We walk parallel to ‘the path’, crunching thru the snow and ice to the soft tussocks of grass beneath. This is safer although it does increase your chances of standing on a jobby.

We reach and enter the skinny woods and immediately the ground is nice and springy, grassy with pine needles under my boots. We wander down through the trees, past the BMX bike track the kids have made for themselves. Its impressive, some crazy jumps they’ve created, good on them.

At the bottom, the pond is frozen solid. This confuses the Shitzu. A sad looking heron stands on the far side, looking forlornly at the ice. This is unexpected, it seems to be saying. Its like some kind of weird dream.

We head back across the field. I check my phone. I must have done a million steps surely. My phone says Ive done 664 steps. I stop, stand and stare. Wtf! Fekkin technology, useless app. Noo am ragin’. Noo I’ll need to go out in the ice later to achieve my target of 12000 steps.

Shitzu looks up at me, laughing. Shut it Shitzu, I shout, and stop crapping in folks gardens.

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