If I was a boy I would be Bear Grylls but with a slightly smaller nose. He and I share a love for going off-piste although I don’t fancy killing a dog, slicing it down the middle with my Swiss Army knife and waggling my hands around in its hot organs to keep my fingers from dropping off in the Yukon.
I wasn’t exactly in peril last weekend but I did go to Nyman’s Gardens and get a bit lost with Mr Tye the DIY. It started innocently enough; we admired a few big trees, I took pictures of wild garlic and Mr Tye, still in recovery from last night’s bean stew, let rip with some industrial strength trumps. Then I suggested we add a bit of spice into our ramble by leaving the track and striking off into a bush. Naturally, my big hair got caught up in some very angry brambles and I ripped the back of my jeans while hurdling a barbed wire fence. Following this, tempted by a plantation of giant cabbages. I tried to vault a stream but tripped, skidded through the mud and slid into the water. That’s when it got a bit Deliverance. Somehow, we’d wandered into some sort of game reserve complete with makeshift dens, tree viewing platforms, electric fences and men in black with guns. Tye, fearful of having his dark interior plundered by man flesh, quivered behind a tree. I took the hysterical route. Anyway, the upshot was, we were ‘rescued’ by two Chinese photographers who put us on the right track back to the grounds of the house where a couple called Richard and Alison were celebrating their wedding with a bouncy castle and the Buena Vista Social Club.
The next day, I went to a tango class in the Pavilion Gardens with a load of middle aged women and a teacher called Kirsty who had enormous knockers and very thin legs. There were way too many of us for the size of the tent plus there was a ruddy great sofa in the middle which meant we had to mince around in a circle to avoid treading on each other or falling over the furnishings. As per, I was playing the man but then, after we’d learnt a basic promenade, I got flung up against the real article, a midget of a man called Darren who had to take a very firm grip of me to stop me whizzing him off. The idea in tango is to lean in with your head at an angle while keeping your body away from your partner – easy if you’re both the same height but if you’re dancing with a circus freak, you’re prone to toppling. Next up was ‘Miguel’ who told me he was Brazilian but then his accent slipped and he turned out to be Michael from Portslade. Michael had the misfortune of clammy hands and an excess of saliva. Needless to say, I didn’t lock heads with him for fear of an invasion of his oral fluids.