Um…so…where to begin…ok…
…after about five wet and soggy winter/spring months of wandering around two empty fields (for reasons I won’t go into at the minute) the “pups” and I emerged, near brain dead, desperate to experience life in the outside world. This idealistic notion did not last very long.
Early March found us in the snow with the inestimable Mr.P on the Corbett, Meall na Fearna.
With two “pups” on leads this proved to be such an interesting experience I vowed never to repeat it and so…
…I ditched the doggies in favour of solo walking and had a rather enjoyable outing to the Marilyn, Bishop Hill, in central Fife.
I should point out at this juncture that to interact with the “great outdoors” in such a carefree and abandoned manner I was loaded to the gills with a combo of paracetamol and ibuprofen to counteract what one might call the less than carefree effects of my ever encroaching sciatica.
This short programme of Spring trials would determine whether or not my vision of full blown Munro bashing would begin in earnest come September, when the pups would be developed sufficiently to take on the big mountains on a regular basis. One thing I hadn’t considered when this forthcoming adventure was initiated (nearly two years ago now) was the fact that I might not be up to the task. The next hill on the list was to reveal my shortcomings.
On the 8th April 2014 I gulped down my pills, packed my rucksack, and headed for The Stob, a wee Graham near Balquidder. By all accounts an easy wee hill, a half day amble at most.
All it took was one very short, steep, section off-track at the corrie end to reveal an underlying problem…a chink in the armour of my great plan. Minutes into the climb the back rebelled. I made it onto the ridge but the problem was pretty apparent…I was not going to be able to manage any further steep-ish ascent. I had one short haul left to the summit – which I dutifully ignored and wandered round the back of the remaining section of hill to find a shallower amble to the top. The descent followed a similar pattern as I eased my way, rather carefully, back down the slope into the glen beyond. My final route plot is a homage to the artist, Jackson Pollock. Not even he could have imagined such a random splattering of lines on a page.
Crackin’ route plot eh! Can’t tell the difference between it and a Jackson Pollock? Told you it was all over the place.
Only a few days later my back demanded further recognition of its declining state and not even my overdosing on non-prescribed drugs could entice it in the direction of anything vaguely uphill. That was a couple of months ago now and the head scratching still continues as to a new direction for myself and my two thugs.
But, as ever, there are always things about which the odd word can be written and the odd photo taken. And so “Reservoir Dugz” will be creaking into life once more over the next month or so. By the end of the summer I hope to have devised a new series of adventures for me and at least one of the wee monsters…fingers crossed.
(title quotation – from A Knight’s Tale, 2001)