Mondays – I think most of us could say that this day of the week can be likened to a mountain. But I LOVE mountains. Chris loves mountains too. We like climbing mountains (although we haven’t done much of that this year), although climbing mountains is hard work – there is great reward once you get up there though (most of the time!). So I thought I would write a regular post that reminisces on some of our quality mountain days and reflect upon my pudding club hunt; and what better day to write it on than a Monday. Plus the post title alliterates (…got to love a bit of alliteration!). Introducing….My mountains – Monday Memoirs.
The Highlands, Scotland 2010
Hogmanay in bonny Scotland (i.e. New Years eve in beautiful Scotland). We planned an escape from the more traditional New Years Eve parties – i.e. get pissed/sloshed/leathered/smashed/plastered/hammered/wasted/trolleyed/spannered/wankered/battered/badgered/bladdered/fecked/lashed/legless/ming-monged/mullered/ratted/shit-faced/tanked/trashed/wrecked or put more simply – drunk. Yes, us Brits have many words to describe getting drunk! We decided to head off into the Scottish Highlands to see the new year in with a bit of peace and quiet.
After a night of Scottish dancing (a ceilidh) fuelled by haggis, neeps and tatties, we woke up bright and early on New Years Day. Not a hangover to be seen. We took to the hills with not a person in sight. It was bliss. We were spoilt to have the hills to ourselves. Our hike started off in the boggy marshes. There was no path to be found and we were pretty much hiking off our compasses at this point. After about 20 minutes we finally saw a sign, we were heading in the right direction at least!
It was a hard grog up the hillside in the tall marshy grass. But we had some fun along the way, and we took a timer photo that turned out to be one of my favourite pictures of us both – it is my screen saver and people always comment on it.
We had passed the steepest point, about half way up the mountain and so we took a breather – I had to strip down a layer I was so hot….I took off my glasses placed them on a rock beside me so I could pull my fleece over my head. And this was the last time my glasses were ever seen on my head (this very photo!!!).
When we reached the top of the mountain, it was beautiful, but windy and very very cold, I told Chris we had to keep going before my face froze off. We took one quick picture and started to head off down the other side of the mountain. We had planned a circular route around rather than go back down the same way we came up.
Half way down the other side of the mountain I realised I no longer had my glasses with me. FAIL!!!! It was only because of the photo above that we figured that I must have left them on the rock when I stripped down a layer. As you can see from the photo at the top, it was starting to get quite dark. Chris offered to run back up the mountain and get them, but that seemed quite dangerous considering the lack of other people around and the impending darkness.
So we stuck to our route, and I was annoyed at myself for a long time – they were quite new glasses as well. For months afterwards I kept an eye out in the ‘outdoors’ magazines in the ‘lost articles’ section just in case someone had found them. But alas. They were gone forever.
So here are the first of my mountain lessons from this trip that help me think about infertility and overcoming the mountains we face.
Mountain Lesson #1. Don’t let the bogs get you down or put you off your course. When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. We almost turned back after 15 minutes of bogging it…so glad we didn’t in the end!
Mountain Lesson #2. Sometimes things just get lost, it will make you mad and eventually sad. But losing Chris in a ditch somewhere and probably calling out mountain rescue along the way would have not been worth the loss of my glasses. I made a decision that was safer in the end. He was willing to put himself out there for me – love can make you blind to danger!