We try to make sure that everyone gets a day on the holiday where they get to choose what to do and today is Millie’s turn so we are going to a tree top Parcour (Go-Ape). As this is high season we booked it weeks ago from the UK which was, it turns out an utterly pointless bit of planning as the weather today is decidedly Scottish and as such we are the only climbers as we meet at 10:00 in a wet forest…

Following an EXTENSIVE briefing our guide, who I will call Heidi as I’ve forgotten her real name, then stalks us round the course. As we bravely struggle with the treetop obstacles she remains at ground level, shouting at us.
“Use both carabiners,”
“Pete you are doing it wrong!”

Part of the “enjoyment” in these things is the challenge in working out how to get round but this is somewhat spoiled by a having a young German woman telling us alternately how it should be done and how we aren’t doing it right. All whilst our monkey like 10 year old openly laughs at us for our incompetence. Heidi is quite an impatient woman and if I’m being honest she is starting to annoy me until eventually she gives up on us as a bad job and hands us over to Karl.
Inexplicably Karl is from Yorkshire and equally inexplicably thinks my day will be enhanced if he starts shouting at me like Heidi did but louder, in a Yorkshire accent from the other side of the forest. If it was annoying coming from an attractive German girl, it is much more annoying from a heavilyset Yorkshire man. I may have suggested at one stage that if I ever got down I was going to hurt him.
“You! Not like that, use your other foot. And your hand.” He bellowed across the forest just first before, and then after, I fall for the umpteenth time.

When she isn’t actually climbing Suzy is hugging a tree and laughing as she is finding the whole day immensely entertaining. Not only do I keep falling, and there are few things as funny as folk falling, but she can see how annoyed I am getting at Karl’s words of ‘encouragement’ which is just adding to her enjoyment. I, on the other hand, am doing my best to support, inspire and nurture my wife’s attempts so before each obstacle I look deep into her eyes and whisper in a mystical manner “Be the monkey, be the monkey.”

Thus hypnotised Suzy begins climbing only to dissolve into paroxysm of laughter when I started shouting “YOU’RE A MONKEY” at her and falls off.
This was less funny when she repeated the same trick on me minutes later, closely followed by Karl bellowing, “YOU. WHY HAVE YOU FALLEN OFF. STOP LAUGHING AND USE YOUR RIGHT HAND NO YOUR RIGHT HAND. WAIT.  YOUR LEFT HAND. NOW JUST PULL YOURSELF UP. ”
Often in broad Yorkshire.
Once in accidental German.

He was lucky to escape with his life.

Millie had an ace time.

Bikes in the Forest

Scottish Weather

Pilgrims This Way Come…


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