Pictorial blethers

By blethers

Good call

I've become somewhat idle in my declining years. When I was first retired, I made a habit of going swimming (pool, not sea!) before breakfast three days a week. It was always a thought, getting up and out in about 15 minutes flat, but I loved the feeling of coming back for breakfast glowing with virtue as well as activity after 32 lengths. Then two things happened: someone I met at the pool, who encouraged me when I was learning to do the crawl after decades of breast stroke, died quite suddenly and I missed our shallow end chats, and, more frivolously, I began having my hair coloured professionally rather than slapping on the coloured mousse myself. Chlorine didn't preserve it ... Anyway, now I sit in bed drinking tea and reading blips and the Beeb. Bad.

However, today I checked the weather forecast - I thought I'd caught sight of wandering blue/white blobs coming our way on the TV weather last night - and in the light of the chances of snow suggested we had a hike this morning. It was glorious. The sun was warm on our backs as we climbed steadily up the forestry track above Glen Lean - when we go in the afternoon we're often in the shade of the trees - and the hill sheltered us from the wind until we were high up and warm from exertion. Often we go there and see no-one at all; today we met first a dog with a man whom we know we've known for ages but couldn't place (a very Dunoon experience) and had a pleasant chat about routes and paths and bothies; then a woman I know from Pilates with her husband and a grandson peching up on his bike. Another chat - we agreed on how much we miss random encounters, free-ranging gossip - before, by now starving, we headed down hill and home for a very late (and rather frugal) lunch.

My choice of timing was spot on: I tried a bit of ivy-hacking in the garden this afternoon but was discouraged after 45 minutes by a snowfall. The afternoon has been full of looming snow-clouds looking dramatic over the hills and the Firth, and you can actually see the individual showers as they fall on different areas. 

I learned something today: the lower back-ache at the beginning of a walk is caused by my not having warmed up before starting. I think some stretching might make all the difference ...

Photo of Loch Tarsan, with the dam at the far end, and the blue layers of hills off to the west.

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