Monday, 22 December 2014


My brother and my husband are, it must be said, the most heterosexual men I have ever met. However, they do have a very special, close, (some would say too close) relationship. 

I won't spare you the details. It involves sheep, a river, a tripod and many cameras.  Oh, and wet trousers. 

It was a wonderful day. Sunshine, the Welsh mountains, our cameras, a hill walk along a river, waterfalls. 

Perhaps I should explain. One of my favourite activities is, with my brother, climbing up or down to very secluded waterfalls, along sometimes death-defying rocky precipitous 'paths', across rivers, through satisfyingly gloopy mud.  In the Welsh mountains.  With heavy bags of cameras on our backs. Preferably very (very) early in the morning.  It's great fun and we laugh a lot. 

On this particular day, husband John decided to accompany us, and we promised that the day would not be too boring for him. And it wasn't. Cross a river. Bit of a climb. Beautiful little waterfall. Another climb ("that looks interesting up there - there, look, just through that cloud cover..."). We got some lovely photographs. 

Then we climbed down. All well. Until we got back to the river. There was some discussion about the best way to cross. My suggestion was dismissed. They knew best. Nick set off into the water, balancing on the stones. D'you know how slippery ancient (literally - these mountains are millions of years old) ancient algae-covered stones are?  And the water was running very fast of course. 

You know when you see something happen and it looks like it's in slow motion?  Well .. that. Nick slipped (rather gracefully I thought) and fell face down in the water (this was important - on his back he had a bag full of thousands of pounds-worth of camera equipment!). He was clinging on valiantly to whatever he could find, to keep those cameras dry, but he was losing the battle. 

"Save him," I shrieked. "The cameras!" I shrieked. 

So my gallant husband waded in, on the same stones ..... with the same result. Not so gracefully this time, but he did land in exactly the same place, so right on top of my brother. Etched on my memory forever (if I get Alzheimer's I really think this is the one memory I will keep) is the sight of my husband looking extremely intimately connected to my brother. 

I think it was the flailing arms and legs and the grunting that did it. I confess that even before I knew they were safe the giggle started in the pit of my stomach. I think even the sheep were laughing. They certainly stopped eating to watch. 

When I at last stopped crying with laughter (it was like watching two Charlie Chaplins without the stick - but there was the tripod) and knew they were okay, I walked a little further down the riverbank (to the place I had suggested and they had dismissed as a crossing point) and crossed safely to the other side, dry. Except for the tears flooding down my face. 

John and Nick didn't talk to each other for the rest of the day. There was no need. 


  1. can't remember a thing about it.....

  2. Ah, selective memory loss I see, Nick! Funny story! ;)