Remember the Fast Show?
The first characters that caught my attention were the Off-Roaders. Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson with a 4x4 at the bottom of a muddy bank or heathery slope. They'd psych themselves up in anticipation, geekily gloating over the tyre treads, the throttle and the gears. There was always an uncharted waste to cover, an expanse of bog or blasted moorland. They'd gabble excitedly and conclude that all was, 'gripped, sorted. Let's off-road!'
Then they'd jump into the vehicle, rev it up ... only for the wheels to spin, for it to slip back, get stuck. They were going nowhere.
I've gone off-road. But I'm expecting progress. I'm setting up my own business, launching out on my own.
This afternoon, in the snow, I left a familiar track and headed off into the woods. It was great. Bare, snow-laden trees, whiplash branches, iced-over ditches and ponds. It was Frost's Stopping By Woods, it was The Road Less Travelled. It was cold and wet. I climbed over a barbed wire fence and jumped across an icy stream. It was gripped. Sorted. I was off road.
I got a wet pair of socks but views of my adopted town from angles I'd not seen before. I exchanged pleasantries with dog walkers and dads and kids on sledges. It was worth the wet feet.
This is it. I'm doing it. Let's off road!