Anyway, all I can remember is that I was high up in the mountains, all alone, which is a stupid thing to do when you go up mountains, and it was getting dark and it started snowing .. again.
I was getting colder and colder and I hurried here and there to find some shelter. The blinding snow was making it difficult to see far ahead, and I felt my body freezing from head to toe and all the way up again. A cold frisson of foreboding ran up and down my spine.
I like that last sentence, "A cold frisson of foreboding ran up and down my spine." I may yet become a literary genius after all. Notice how I said "frisson" instead of shiver. Maybe I was in France after all, or some other French speaking country.
As I was saying, it was getting dark, and cold and very dangerous. I had to find shelter soon. Fortunately, about a hundred yards ahead, up a perilous incline, I saw a hut. Maybe it's some shepherds' shelter, or some small hostel or other. I hope they let me in without a tie!
I struggled up those last few feet and I was at the door of this broken down and abandoned shack. I opened the door against the weight of the snow and got in. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness therein I realised that it was empty save for an Alpine horn left there by its previous occupant.
A very long conical shaped tube with a large opening at one end like those ancient wind-up record players that had a big horn to amplify the sound. This horn was in two pieces which, when put together, made the whole instrument so big that it would not fit inside the small hut.
An idea came to mind. You know how it is, when desperate you try anything.
I opened the door and slid out the large end of the instrument, then inside the hut I attached the second part. Basically, most of the instrument was outside the hut.
Now, I have never played the Alpine horn before or ever since. I play the harmonica a bit, but I did not have one at the time. Besides, I don't think that playing "Home on the Range" on the harmonica would have carried the sound very far.
I'd seen people playing the Alpine horn on TV. It's one long monotonous sound that carries very far. I believe it was used as a communications system. How difficult would it be to play it?
I blew hard at the mouthpiece end and my ears popped. No sound came out. I tried different lip movements whilst blowing and eventually got a sound ... of sorts.
I persevered in the hope of blowing a Morse S.O.S. message. Do you realise how difficult it is to blow dot dot dot dash dash dash dot dot dot down an Alpine horn?
First you need to fill your lungs with a lot of air to sustain you throughout this long message which should be delivered loud enough down this long pipe to be heard more that three feet away.
Secondly, I have found out to my great chagrin and sartorial cost, that as you blow hard a certain amount of air escapes from another orifice in one's body.
I had to stop and reconsider. I certainly did not want to contribute more to global warming by adding to the malevolent noxious gases already produced by our bovine friends.
I decided on a strategy of long and slow monotonous sounds. That should attract the attention of any passing mountain goat or ferocious creature.
After about an hour or so of blowing at both ends, I heard a sound outside.
"HELLOOOO !!!" they shouted, "We are the Red Cross!"
I shouted back, "I GAVE AT THE OFFICE !!!!"
Typical of these people, going out collecting money at a time like this instead of rescuing people stuck in a snowy mountain.
Anyway, they got me home safely even though I had lied about contributing at the office.