Walking to the pub I take a shortcut marked “Public Footpath to Main Road”.
The path leads into a farmyard where a young farmer is at work. I cannot see the path, so I interrupt him and he points it out.
“Is the path marked all the way to the main road?” I ask. “Oh aye” he replies “just go through the gate and you can’t miss it.” He glances briefly down at my trainers, but I think nothing of it, thank him and leave.
The path becomes wet, and then very wet. I think about turning back, but do not want to face the young man on the way back - or do I mean “lose face”? So I press on and in no time am floundering through six inches of slurry.
The Manx are generally very polite to visitors, and will give you a straight answer to any question. But you have to ask the right question.
There was quite a buzz in the pub that evening.