Ordnance Survey Map: Explorer 181
Distance: 5 miles approx
Time: 3 hours (not including the time it takes to eat a poor treacle sponge in The Valiant Trooper)
Rating: Moderate Walk
We were all of a grump and a glumpf, and what with the weather forecast threatening arctic conditions on the way, the ChapDad and I decided we need to get out of the house before we have to bundle ourselves up in a million layers just to poke our noses outdoors.
Follow around the edge of the quarry and then follow the instructions as on this walk around the base of Pitstone Hill, but instead of turning right down the public bridleway, we turned left towards Aldbury. Not long after this you come to a crossroads and should continue onwards, joining the Ridgeway National Trail. This is very well signposted (black signs or white-on-black acorn markers), so even I knew where I was going.
This route takes you through the charmingly named 'Aldbury Nowers', which is a delight for all of us who like to verb things at will. (What does Aldbury do? Aldbury nowers. What does Jonathan do? Jonathan Frakes. Imagine our delight whilst on holiday in Brussels upon finding a lorry emblazoned with the name Marcus Vanderhoydonks.). Anyway, it's Chiltern chalk grassland and very good for butterflies and British orchids.
All this tramping across the countryside gives one opportunities to have a good rant, and I had found rantfodder this week whilst idly looking for amusement. Like many people on the Intarwebz, when I find myself with the odd minute of free time it often ends up being wasted finding vague moments of roflment on the wall photos of George Takei's Facebook page. I started doing so after I saw this video:
Now, in the interests of fairness, I must confess that I don't really like Twilight. I read the first one because everyone was going on about it, but it didn't work for me. This is going to sound horrendously shallow, but if you're going to market a love story to me, I need to find the male protagonist hot, and I didn't. I also watched the film in the interests of of fairness (really, everyone was saying how great it was), and my interest remained unpiqued. I didn't hate it (although I did hate the descriptions of Edward Cullen's clothes. Honestly, Bella, take the man in hand and sort out his wardrobe!), but I didn't think it was the best thing ever. Don't get me wrong, I do like a good vampire story, but I always preferred Lestat to Louise; Spike to Angel. I don't like the whiny ones.
So, like many people, I enjoy whiling away my time smirking at the memes people have created about Twilight.
There are the ones that just show horror at it:
There are the ones that have a feminist point to make about it:
There are those who don't think it's much of a romance:
|Hedgerows near Aldbury|
|The Valiant Trooper, Aldbury|
Aldbury Circuit Part II). Follow this path until you come to a wooden gate in the fence on your right. Go through the gate and follow the yellow arrows up the gentle rise along the side of the golf course. At the top of the rise there is another signpost - go straight ahead into the woodland.
|Just in case my mum reads this, this means|
'really, sir, I do believe you must be joking'
No, wait a minute, I see your point. Because really, we don't want to perpetuate this namby-pamby myth that men have feelings, do we? Only gay men have feelings, as well we know. If they insist in going about all queer then they need to indicate it in the camp, lispy, shiny suited way, because if they don't... if they just look like the sort of people who sit around drinking tea and eating toast, then... then... we won't be able to tell, will we? We might treat them like normal people, and that would never do. No, real men, that's what we want. Real men have guns and live in the Wild West. They don't speak too much, and if they do we can describe it as a growl, or maybe a grunt. That's a real man. We want, to steal a phrase from Germaine Greer 'the charm of a half-cured goatskin'. That's definitely the image I want my son to grow up with - you're only a man if you're unkempt, toting some form of weaponry, and God forbid you should demonstrate sensitivity (which we all know is a euphemism for 'as a row of tents') or wish to listen to women.
But hold on - Clint Eastwood is an actor. He plays pretend for a living.That's pretty gay. Oo, hold on. Let me consult the Real Man Handbook here - I need to look this one up.
This sort of retrogressive tosh helps no-one. The concept of a 'real man' is a poisonous as 'yummy mummy', and leads to misery for both sexes. It is a myth, a mirage, a lie as big as the beauty industry peddling that women need to constantly be primping and preening or you will be in danger of losing 'your man' (because you need to have one of those. Greatest achievement you can make, apart from the day you have a child, obviously. Obviously that is the same for everyone, right?).
You know what makes you a real man? Being in possession of the correct set of genitals. Everything else is just gender dancing on top. It is the frosting to your cupcake. You see those guns? Frosting. The swagger? Frosting. The much-lauded inability to cry? Frosting. Those lads strutting down the high street with massive pitbulls? Frosting. Teenage boys pretending to be gangsters? Frosting. Bankers making stupid decisions, risking too much because they got over-confident? Frosting. Feeling the need to perform your gender, feeling you have to be a certain way to be acceptable is dangerous to everyone, and it makes everyone miserable.
Things I Learnt
- What Aldbury does.
- I still don't really like Twilight (stop all this moping a fetch me Mr Pointy, I say, but maybe that's just my age talking), but I like the way it gets criticised less.
- Custard left under a heat lamp = regrettable.