Really, I should have known better. For pity’s sake, it’s not like I’m a kid any more – I’m 39 years old – hardly a spring chicken. And aren’t we supposed to get wiser as we grow older? I’ve heard about body parts “heading south” when you get to this sort of age, so maybe the same thing is happening to my brain.
Perhaps it was a reaction against my age, a vain attempt to prove that I’ve still got what it takes, that I can still mix it with the young guys. After all, it wasn’t a big slope, and I’d already sledged down a few tricky descents with nothing more serious than a bum-crack full of ice to show for it.
Of course, Newtonian laws of physics did play their part, and, being rather tall, I do have a somewhat higher centre of gravity than your average middle-aged dork. So, it was hardly surprising that, on reaching the bottom of the slope and raising my hands in readiness for a self-congratulatory salute, I began to topple backwards.
It was at this point that I began to hear cries from my onlooking wife and kids. This was strange, as they had hitherto remained very quiet, particularly about the ditch I was now heading towards, and the icy-cold brook that was babbling along it. As I tumbled backwards I remember how appreciative I was that they had decided to offer these late warnings.
Thankfully, the fact that I am about as agile as an arthritic walrus meant that my gymnastics display stopped just short of a self-baptism in the wilds of Northumberland. Even worse, those few inches of water could have done for me – a point which will not be lost on Mrs Bogsey over the coming months, believe me. I’m sure a guide dog would never have let that happen to me.