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On her last outing, Andrea had got very wet and muddy wearing jodhpurs, riding boots and a long riding coat. Afterwards, several people had asked why she had not been better equipped for such a muddy adventure, perhaps by wearing waders, waterproof clothing, and such.
Andrea is always one to take onboard constructive criticism, and so she decided to return to the same muddy location but wearing the kind of kit that people had advised. She also decided to go there by a different route which involved the river, and a small pond which had a very spongy bog around it, just to make things a little more interesting, both on the way there and on the way back… 😊
As she formulated her plan, she was sitting at the kitchen table wearing her high-waisted button-top jeans and lightweight riding jacket . There was no need to get changed from these clothes, she decided: they would be fine as undergarments for this new adventure.
She pulled-on a pair of waterproof knee-high neoprene socks over her riding socks; these would make sure that her feet stayed warm, because the mud and water would be at only 4 or 5degC. Initially, she’d been tempted to wear a one-piece wading suit, with integral boots and latex wrist seals, but she realised that there was a real danger that she’d stay completely clean and dry if she wore this, and “clean and dry” was not the name of the game! So, instead, she chose to wear her bright yellow two-piece SeaStorm waterproof suit, the one that she’d recently worn to go swimming in the river gorge.
In terms of footwear, she selected a pair of extra tall Bullseye-Hood rubber waders. And finally, she pulled-on some arms-length latex rubber gauntlets and secured them with tight elastic bands around her upper arms.
Around her waist she put a strong elastic strap, not in an attempt to prevent the ingress of any mud and water, rather just to slow down the speed at which it occurred 😉. She fastened the waders to the strap, and she was ready. Now this is what you call “mudding gear”, she thought to herself!
Parking her car in the middle of the local village, and quietly hoping that she did not encounter either the vicar or the postman (😂), she set-off wearing her “mudding gear” down a footpath to the river. The river was still in spate and as she stood on the footbridge admiring the raging water, she made a mental note that it would be really good to clean-up in this torrent.
Heading uphill, she was quite hot and sweaty by the time she reached the small pond. The huge spongy mat surrounding it was just as much fun as she remembered. It was like an enormous waterbed that you could stomp around on, making waves that travelled for 10 metres and more. Of course, if you stamped too hard you broke through the mat and ended-up at the top of your waders in muddy water.
Continuing uphill she returned to the muddy bog where she’d been playing in her jodhpurs and catsuit, a couple of days earlier. It was probably even more flooded and muddy today than it had been back then. Note to self, she thought: trying to jump into a stream when the feet of your waders are firmly stuck in the mud on the bank is not likely to work 😊. But still, there’s no harm in trying…
Having fallen over several times, and filled her thigh high boots to the brims with muddy slop, she lay back, rolled around and completely immersed herself in the deep muddy water. She even pushed her hooded head back into the dirty water until it came over the rim of the hood, covering her face, soaking her hair and running in a little rivulet down the middle of her back. The mud and water oozed and trickled into her waterproofs, slowly but surely wetting her jacket and jeans; that elastic strap was doing its job perfectly… It ran down into her gloves and it found its way to her toes inside her neoprene socks. Yes, she thought to herself, this is exactly what you call “mudding gear”.
Stripping-off the waterproofs to examine the extent of ingress, she couldn’t resist getting completely soaked. The muddy water was really cold, so it was quickly back into her waterproofs and time to head to the river for a clean-up. Wading into the river she lay back and thoroughly rinsed her waterproofs both inside and out. After another emptying of her waders, she was ready for home.
She’d hoped to meet her bullock friends again on the way back across the flooded field, but they’d obviously found their own muddy patch to play in somewhere else…