Just recently, I was advised by my GP to lose some weight. Yes, like approximately 65% of the rest of the population I was officially overweight and like the rest of the UK he was very gently advising me to lose a bit of it, please.
Of course it didn’t help that the doctor in question, like all doctors, looked about age thirteen and if he had just been pulled out of a drainpipe somewhere.
“I’m not very sporty doctor” I muttered, remembering organised games at school as being more like organised torture and not being ready to unleash my acres of white, wobbling flesh on others’ delicate, sore eyes.
“Oh there’s no need to do anything drastic” replied the chap “just get out and walk a bit more. You know, around the park maybe”
Well, there was an idea. So I resolved to give it a go and get out to my local park right the next morning. The next morning was about as pleasant as it could be and was soon congratulating myself for having got up so early.
Of course I wasn’t completely alone, the numbers of people jogging in groups and walking with terrifying big sticks was slightly awe inspiring. But all the same, the sunrise was glorious, the birds all cheeping away and I was beginning to feel that maybe the doctor was right and I had done myself some good after all, when something sharp hit me on the ankle.
I looked around to discover, and this is no word of a lie, that there was this tuft of fur wrapped around my left ankle, which after a bit of kicking and shaking, appeared to be a squirrel.
By the time the rogue rodent kindly detached itself from my tibia there was quite a gash there that bled through my fourth band aid without cessation.
Being British, I would of course rather have died than made a fuss, but eventually hobbled off to a and e only after my partner pointed out the number of horrifying diseases I might have actually caught off the filthy creature. And how embarrassing dying from one of them would be.
“It’s the third one this year I’ve treated” said the nurse who stitched me up “they’re getting bolder in that park”
And apparently it is true, tamed urban squirrels are in fact becoming more menacing. Maybe not quite the ‘crack squirrels’ of South London infamy, but attacks are not unknown.
Maybe that is why people band together in big groups to do parkrun or Nordic Walking, maybe you need those sticks to knock the little blighters away?
As for me, I think I have decided to keep my walking feet firmly on my couch in future.