Thursday, 8 September 2016

head for the hills


A long time ago Mary and I used to spend most weekends in the Pentlands. We swapped that for Gullane and the tidal varieties that mean there's always something interesting there. The Pentlands are usually pretty much the same, the only change being windspeed and amount of precipitation. Lack of the former and absence of the latter encouraged us to pull on the nobbly shoes and head for the hills.

It was great day for being outdoors and I even managed to persuade M to have a quick lap round Red Moss boardwalk. Mary was NOT in an upbeat mood. We tried to replicate the lift normally attributed to Falko's by dusting off the Bialetti coffee maker (out of bounds since they replaced Mary's heart with a small roughly-carved wooden one) but perhaps the aged coffee had gone bitter, which was the dominant emotion from at least half the hill team. Which was surprising as there has been a quite joyous arts and crafts revival going on chez nous and just that morning M had been sat at the piano playing "pingu joy of man's desiring". 

Re this, I have bought paints. Only time will tell whether they make it out the tubes and onto their final resting place (possibly in representation of things moth and buttery) or whether (like my (and my brother's) collection of Ikea photo frames) they remain in mint condition promising everything and without the inevitable disappointment that the realisation could easily provoke. While you are watching this space, here is a picture of a Bialetti which wikipedia tells me is called a Moka Pot. (As if.) It is included here because it (the coffee) follows the exact same cut away animation, once consumed, except upside down.

Since the car park had been absolutely jam packed we thought we might have to queue to get round the boardwalk but apart from a family picnic-ing at the small pond where I'd normally interfere with the residents and try to get them to interact (no sign of damselflies and frogs said the family but it was like they hadn't really noticed there was water or grass or sunlight until it was pointed out) there was nobody. Where was everyone? Well they also weren't up the high tops apart from about 6 ramblers and as many non-hill runners (you can tell from their road shoes) so we guessed they were all washing their dog's arses in Threipmuir Res prior to our planned swim there. 

We planned to follow a similar route to the Red Moss Kips race: a long climb up to W Kip, then E Kip and as many of the tops as possible before descending to the Howe and returning to Red Moss.

Now this certainly looks promising and it was lovely. But the lack of wildlife (only one grouse) even on a low wind perfect autumn day such as this, makes me reluctant to return every weekend. Back in the day, when we spent all our time running here, we became proficient hill runners and the lack of time here these days really does show. I was gasping up West Kip (although in my defence it was pretty humid). What it made me think was: "whatever happens do NOT sign up for the Skyline!"

Howes fire

purple heather

new bridge

Mary smiling - can't all have been bad mood

Back to the car without a second lap of Red Moss. (You can but try.) So no photo of the HUGE emerald dragonfly that leapt up and zapped across the reddish heathers before I could even switch on the camera. Maybe next time. Judging the occupants of the car park (still heaving) to be down at the reservoir, we chose not to swim.

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