On Wednesday, blizzards permitting, I’ll be leading the Wednesday Walkers, or as many as turn up, on a little trundle around Crow Coal Hill.
Me and Lucky did a reccy of the route a day or two ago and found slutch. Lots of slutch. Slutch is a Lancashire word for the particular mix of water, soil , and, in this case, cow poo, which makes the particular sound which sounds like “Slutch” when you pull your foot out of it. (Note carefully that I used the word “foot” here since the continued attachment of footwear to the foot after immersion in slutch is not necessarily guaranteed where slutch is concerned. Indeed, the foot may well be sripped to the skin, although the slutch itself could have certain beneficial properties providing you don’t drink any of it.) It may also refer to the sound made when you put your foot in it, too.
This slutch was deep slutch too. Too deep for the diminutive Lucky.
Its on the Weardale Way between Eastgate and Stanhope – a normally benign and quite pretty ramble when the river’s not in flood, in which case it gets a bit desperate. The cows who are contributing to the amount of slutch are still present, but the farmer, who’s tractor has deepened the slutch into a brown moat, probably full of all kinds of horrors, including the bloated cadavers of missing members of the Crook and Weardale Ramblers and their bobble hats, cheese butties and walking poles was absent.
We won’t be going this way incidentally, since me and he dog had to trespass onto the nearby railway to bypass the slutch and the cows. This wasn’t too bad because the railway hasn’t seen a train for years and years and years…..
Here’s a nicer bit of the Crow Coal Hill route, though….
Slutch – I want you to practise saying this at every appropriate opportunity – just to enhance your vocabulary. You may apply it to sloppy mud, the horrid contents of a nappy or to badly made gravy. Use your imagination.
Slutch, that’s onomatopoeia, that is. We know a song about that.