“Paul, be careful and try not to do anything stupid”...
These were the words that my girlfriend Millie said to me with some zest as I left the house to go sledging.
My retort was “I don’t need a bloody risk assessment every time I leave the house.”
Four hours later I’m sneaking down our back path with a well and truly knackered knee, trying to figure out how to get into the house and then back out to the hospital without Millie noticing that I couldn’t walk.
It didn’t help that Pete was with me sporting a lovely black eye from his own sledging accident.
The thing is, it’s not really the first time something like this has happened, which would explain Millie’s concern.
A few years ago some friends and myself thought we would have a bash at canoeing. So we got hold of a couple of canoes and off we went to find a river. In fact that’s all there was in most places, roads and fields had disappeared and most of the bridges were underwater due to a severe flood. To our untrained eyes it just looked like a bit of a laugh, kind of like a rollercoaster or something.
Fast forward three minutes and we’ve hit a tree and I’m now travelling downstream, underwater, collecting branches and trees, and just about drowning.
Dai, who I was in the canoe with, is standing on top of our upturned craft, white as a sheet and screaming my name (he didn’t jump in and try to save me though).
Then there was the time we decided to paddle over to Caldy Island – which is just off Tenby where I live – in a little homemade catamaran.
We got the tides a bit wrong on that one though and turned what should have been a twenty minute jaunt into a nightmare four-hour marathon.
And then last year we got hold of a couple of very cheap sailing dinghies. So far we’ve sunk one, due to a big hole that none of us saw and had the lifeboat called out on us three times due to concerned well wishers thinking we were in trouble.
That’s just our style of sailing.
If you take into account the times I’ve come home with lacerations and twists due to skating and surfing you can plainly see the need for concern.
The thing is, I can’t see myself or my friends changing that much.
I’ve just turned 35 years of age and I’m itching for my leg to get better so I can go and have a bit more fun.
It’s either that or betting shops and pubs, or whatever it is that grown-ups do these days.