But that was rural Italy. Most people in England have never seen a snake in the wild.
The next morning I lay in the silence of nature, next to my daughter. The early morning sun warmed our faces and she smiled silently at me - the smile of someone who has (for once) slept well in a tent. This incidentally is quite possibly a major turning point as getting a decent night’s sleep has been tricky for her in a tent, but more of that another time.
The bite marks were weeping and walking was painful.
I had forgotten about my snake encounter, until I moved my ankle and felt some pain. The marks were red but there was no swelling. It wasn’t until we had packed and started walking back to the car that it started to stiffen and the pain started rising.
By the time I had got home it was aching and slightly swollen. It was at this point that I began to accept what had happened. It abated after a rest in the afternoon but by the evening, having worked a few hours in the garden, it was throbbing, and sore.
My wife convinced me to go to A&E where they didn’t feel the infection was visible enough to prescribe antibiotics. By the next morning I knew I needed something more than a painkiller. I was confident there was no venom (even if it had been an adder I ought to have reacted by now, unless it was a dry bite) but my ankle was red and tender and although the swelling was still minimal, the bite marks were weeping and walking was painful.
I have never got an appointment so quickly in all my life. Perhaps it was from curiosity, rather than any real sense of urgency, but I must thank my local surgery for seeing me immediately and prescribing antibiotics instantly.
As I have mentioned before my wife has an irrational fear of snakes, so this is a particularly bizarre thing to happen in our household, especially only a week after Emma and I were looking at snakes in the local nature reserve. Four days have passed now and the antibiotics have kicked in and, whilst Emma and I have found it all to be a bit of an adventure, the chances of her mother ever spending a night out with us in the wild has receded further.
At least it's something to tell the grandchildren. Of course I may dress the story up by then...