Imagine my surprise to find this solid chap living in the beer garden at the King's Arms in Bowness-on-Solway. An incredible character, he'd been brought up with the pub's dogs. He's a Kunekune from New Zealand, apparently. A Maori pig. Where do I get one?
It was a hot, summer's Monday evening, and it seemed like the right time to start swimming in the mountain becks. The water was still a bit cold for it, but by exercising beforehand to get warm, a swim would be a chattery, but fun experience.
Clattering on mountainbikes along the stoney singletrack to Skiddaw House in the clefts between egg-box mountains, anything could have happened. Our skills are still a bit ropey, and it was a tight track.
On to the River Caldew in full spate, with luck on our side. Into wetsuits and into the raging flume spewing from the mouth of the falls. It was as plump a river as I'd ever swam in, and it seemed like a good transferable skill to practise darting in and out of the boiling white mass in case we got flipped out of our kayaks in a raging sea at some point in the future.
This, too, we survived. Later on, whilst taking off a sock, Stu managed to snap a tendon in his finger. Not falling off a bike at the back of Skiddaw. Not smashing into rocks lining the river. Just yanking off a sock. He's got 'Mallet Finger' and can't climb, kayak or mountainbike for 6 weeks.
Still, the splint looks like just the job for planting seedlings in the garden...