Later, in some muddy field, me and L start together. Her on a Green, me and doggo on a Blue. Doggo looks particularly stupid at the start, barking, quivering with excitement, desperate to start. I try and pretend I'm not with him, difficult as we are strapped together.
The whole point of orienteering, it to orientate yourself when you start and then stay orientated throughout the course e.g. don't get lost. If you start lost e.g. not orientated, then you really are stuffed. When you have an overexcited dog with you getting started can be difficult and today it is so busy we waste time as I try and keep the rampant collie away from other runners, especially from a young lad who is petrified of dogs. L finds her first control close by and doggo wants to go there too but it is not one of ours.
I take him a long way round to our first control to take the edges off him and eventually we get into our rhythm. It goes well from there onwards until he picks up L's scent and is off. Nothing turns him round when he's got a whiff of his Mum. Hmmm hope this isn't something he's learnt from me.
Once reunited with my errant dog, he gets a quick slap round the ears but then I have to lift him over a gate which leaves me caked in mud and the other side of the gate, is his Mum, so he's off again. Cue another slap round the ears. He's back on the lead for the next few controls which means we get tangled around several trees and bushes, we then go straight past one control and have to go back. Once he's calmed down a touch, I let him off again and a form of normality resumes.
Then some psycho who is entangled in a gorse bush, frees himself just as I run past, the action of which flings the whole thing back at me, impaling me in half a dozen places. He mutters a half-hearted sorry before he is off, I assume he can't hang around to administer first aid or even to release me because it would have a negative effect on his time. After having disengaged myself from the bush I now have multiple lacerations down both arms. It now looks like I'm into self-harm in a big way, either than or people will think that L has had the cat-o-nine-tails out again.
All in all the courses turn out to be quite easy and L does well on her Green and me and Doggo do ok on our Blue. We have coffee and soup, as we debrief back at the car.
In the afternoon, we watch the Queen on DVD. We both expected to loath it but felt we ought to see it. We are pleasantly surprised and thought it was excellent. The copy, that was lent to us by a friend, has dubious origins but we wonder why anyone would pay money to buy it when the quality is so shockingly poor. We get good value DVD rentals through the internet, so it all seems pointless.
In the evening we swim at Clifton. Doggo insists on coming and guards the car. This is no mean feat in Clifton, he'll sleep well tonight. Then I check out Peter Doherty's drug addiction on TV while L and Doggo get an early night. AF today.
Alcohol units for the week: 30