Monday, January 14, 2013
Mules In Winter Wonderland
Today’s light snowfall presented me with an opportunity to test the Slippy Sole Factor of my new walking boots. Strictly speaking, they’re more of a summer leisure bootee — the leather is light and supple, the underside unrugged and unridged, and from the verandah you can gaze out over the rooftops to where the sea meets the sky in an impossibly beautiful melange of all hues azure. No, wait a minute — that’s the Montezuma Guest House in Margate.
What I can tell you about the countryside this morning is that curious mules abound. In the absence of too many striding old ladies with dogs and Manx-tugged wheel-less Hansoms, they’ve come sneaking out of their sub-equine hideaways to snort and frolic in their dinky thermal overwear. By the time I’d confirmed that my new boots were nowhere near as slippy as I’d first suspected, whole fields were a-ripple with a blanket of bounding mules — a spectacle as fascinating from a biophysical perspective as when I accidentally dropped an After Eight mint wrapper into a pan of bubbling custard just before serving up pud on Christmas Day.
Then it all changed. One minute, those ole mules were crazy for the whole “ground-based flock of birds” shebang made popular by the Jurassic Park film; the next minute they were rooted to the spot, bobbing their heads up and down like meerkats. I wondered if they’d taken a break from their romping to marvel at the flaps on my whippet fur hoodie, but as they sprang away one at a time, it dawned on me that a bloke wearing the latest hip street gear probably wasn’t that much of an unusual sight, even on a white-as-U-like Monday morning.
And I was right.