THE TICK BITE:
In the TGO Challenge Final details it states:
“Ticks tend to secrete themselves away in warm areas of the body and their bite is not normally noticed. All Challengers should be very vigilant, examining themselves and their partners every night, carefully removing any found on the skin.”
I reached Braemar as a solo walker, Bob having dropped out at Corrour Station with feet resembling chopped liver. I have to say, we were not in the habit of checking each other over for ticks but by the time I arrived at the Fife Arms I knew that something was not right “down below.” I checked in at reception and rather than nipping straight upstairs to my room to check out the discomfort, I was waylaid by Terry & Keith in the hotel’s main bar, who had seen me arrive.
Quite a few hours and many rounds later, I eventually extricated myself from the party. Once in the privacy of my room I began the search for the cause of the irritation. This involved staring into the small mirror of my sighting compass at the reflection of my undercarriage. With my balance slightly altered by the application of severalteen pints of Guinness, this inevitably led to frequent tumbles onto the bedroom carpet.
This obviously was not working. I solved the falling over problem by taking myself off into a full-to-the-brim bathtub with my sighting compass to have another look. With my feet up on the far end of the bath and the compass under the water I could spy the trouble: A big fat tick, delicately positioned between balls and bottom!
I don’t know if you have ever tried to perform this operation under water with one hand holding a compass and the other the tweezers. It is jolly near impossible. For a start, everything is the wrong way round in the mirror and after the Guinness, the problems seemed to be insurmountable.
Having jabbed and tweaked various dangly bits with differing degrees of pain, I gave this up as a bad job and decided to seek medical help after smearing myself liberally with half a tube of Savlon.
By now it was getting towards time for dinner and so I dressed and slid down the Fife’s wonderful bannisters to pop into the bar for some uncomfortable food. It was whilst finishing off my pudding that I made the fatal mistake. I asked Terry if there was a Doctor in Braemar.
Before I knew it, the whole bar knew of my delicate predicament. Tomorrow was a Sunday and everyone assured me that the Doctor didn’t have a surgery that day. But apparently, I was in luck; Keith worked at a hospital and had just the equipment for the job: a pair of long-nosed tweezers.
At this point, I should make you aware that Keith & Terry had been in the Fife Arms all day, having arrived the evening before.
A head-torch and the long-nosed tweezers were produced and it was as I was bent over the back of a settee, with my trousers around my ankles in the lounge bar of the Fife, with Terry and his head torch & tweezers extracting the burrowing beastie, that the late running Wallace Arnold coach party burst through the front doors of the hotel to check in.