I Know A Shortcut

We’ve just had a weekend away on our own in the New Forest in Hampshire. It’s only a couple of hours from London so we left on Friday evening despite the hideous traffic. We set the sat nav (we call ours Betty, she sounds like a Betty) and off we went.


Approximately six minutes into our journey I heard the familiar words

“I’m not sitting in this traffic, I’m going to take the short cut”. 

The bloody short cut.

Me “No way, it’s not going to get us there any quicker and Betty says there’s no alternative route”.

Rob “Well Betty’s wrong, she doesn’t know where she’s going”

Now, I trust Betty. She has guided me around England for the past five years and has given me no reason to think she’s a liar. Rob, on the other hand, thinks he knows best and for some unknown reason questions Betty’s vast street knowledge of a country that is foreign to him.

Needless to say, our trip took us almost three hours. Rob thinks his short cut saved us time. I think we just drove around in a few unnecessary circles before we reached the motorway.

Fast forward to the next day and we decided to go on a 12km walk through the New Forest, which is the main reason you would visit there. There are hundreds of horse trails and well established walking paths and because England is pretty much flat, it’s an easy and beautiful thing to do any time of year.

Nice and easy GRAVEL walking trails

We set off after breakfast and walked for a couple of hours through the falling autumn leaves, looking at the wild ponies standing by and it was simply stunning. The path was gravel and despite the recent rain there was no mud. Which is good because I don’t do mud in any way shape or form. See the photo above, does that all-weather jacket look like a colour suited to someone who goes near mud? I think not.

About 7kms into our walk, Rob decided he’d had enough. He whipped out his iPhone and went to google maps before I heard those awful words “There’s a short cut straight through there and it’s almost directly back to the hotel”. 

Now I don’t know what happened to my judgement at that point, maybe it was the fresh air and my brain got confused, I’m not sure. However I stupidly went along with it, but not before he assured me he knew exactly where he was going.

We left the lovely wide, flat, dry, gravel, mud-free road we were on and descended down a dark and tree canopied path for a while, noticing the ground getting slushier and slushier. My heart rate started to escalate as I peered down at my new £160 Camper boots that I was wearing, fearing for their safety.

Rob “We’re really close, we just turn right up ahead and we’re right behind the hotel”.

I started to lose it at this point “I swear if you have taken me on another of your short cuts that are always wrong I’m not speaking to you for the rest of the weekend. And if these boots get mud on them I’m going to kill you”.

By this point we were so far from the dry track that we had no choice but to keep going, and we ended up in this.

Mud swamp

If I’d had a sharp object on me, Rob may not be alive right now. Any ounce of self-restraint I’d shown at this point evaporated and every profanity in my vocabulary spewed out like venom.

My violated boot

I nearly cried. My beautiful new boots … vandalised.

We had the most enormous argument. I told him we are never EVER going walking together again, we are never EVER taking one of his short cuts ever again and that if my boots didn’t come back to as-new condition then I was going to buy them again. Plus a handbag to match.

So guess what Rob spent some of his saturday evening doing?

Yes people, that would be HIS toothbrush

And he redeemed himself, using his own toothbrush to clean my boots. How cute is that? I might still get the handbag though.



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