Saturday, 1 July 2017

Falling Down a Hole - With Style.

One weekend, in winter, on exercise with the territorial army, I was walking along a hill top near Loch Striven. It was completely dark even though it was early evening. The ground was gently undulating and long shadows were cast by the bright lights from below, and I mean bright lights. There is a base at the bottom of the hill and floodlights illuminated it. It was almost too bright to look down the hill.

Walking wasn't too hard, but I was carrying a large pack for the weekend ahead and a rifle. I stepped out onto what I thought was a shadow and promptly fell about six feet down a hole. I landed heavily on my knees and given the weight I was carrying I was amazed something didn't break. Being a good soldier I was still carrying my rifle, surprisingly!

Strewth. The pain. My knees were agony.

It took a moment to realise what had happened. I was kneeling by the side of a burn. Looking up the steep sides I saw where I had fallen from and it was quite a tumble. Rising, I clambered up the slope hoping no one had noticed. I was really embarrassed. The lights below had cast very dark shadows and what I had mistaken for a slight dip in the ground was in fact a not too deep ravine with a burn at the bottom.

Being the officer in charge of the platoon I did my best to ignore what had happened but snickering from behind revealed that others had seen. Damn. There goes my reputation...again.

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