The Diary of Bertie “Wrong-Hill” Brown – an extract

Mr.P basks in the best bit of light of the whole day - the ascent of Monamenach

For some weeks now a gleeful MrP has been reminding me of a trifling navigational error I committed en-route from the Corbett, Monamenach, to the Graham, Meall na Letter, just to the east of Glenshee.  At the start of March, having persuaded me to break my exacting training regime to do some gentle walking, Mr.P then proceeded to drag me up hills covered in manky cloud – a pointless exercise if ever there was one.  In the interests of getting a bit of peace and quiet I have decided to “come clean” over this minor mistake and relate the sorry “tail” exactly as it happened…(ahem).

So, with a nod to the most excellent P.G. Wodehouse, here’s a brief extract from the diary of Bertie “Wrong Hill” Brown and his most(ly) capable manservant and erstwhile travelling companion, Parkes.   Having completed the mighty Monamenach our intrepid adventurers have just reached the summit of an intermediate hill and are at present trying to establish a downward route to avoid some crags that they remember from the map; except that they can’t see any…


“What ho, Parkes!”  “I say what a dashed spiffing little hill that was, eh?  They don’t  come much better than that!”

“If you say so sir”

“I jolly well do, Parkes. Perfect little hill – path all the way- damned fine little path too if you ask me.  Now…where next?”

“Might I suggest that this would be an appropriate time to peruse the map, sir.”


“That would be the piece of coloured paper you inadvertently scrunched up and stuck in your pocket a mile or so back, sir”

“Of course I knew that Parkes…just making sure you were on the ball, as it were.”

“While there is no doubt that your map reading skills are beyond reproach sir, I fear that conventional wisdom comes down in favour of holding the map in such a way that the writing is legible without the need to invert ones head.


“No matter sir, I expect we can retrieve your hat at a later point in the proceedings.”

“Jolly good show, Parkes, so…from this hill here [points at map] all we have to do is toddle down this slope here…cross over the squishy bit of bog there…then it’s jolly well off up that ridge and we’re at the top!”

“I have to agree that that would be an undoubtedly excellent plan sir…should we ever find ourselves starting from that particular hill.  Sadly we do not have that singular advantage in this instance.

“What do you mean, Parkes?”

“Well sir…you were most intent on exploring the aforementioned path which has led us to, I have to admit,  this most splendid of hills.  Sadly sir, it’s not the hill from which you might have chosen to advance along what had been your predetermined route.

“Dash it all Parkes, that’s a bit of a rum do.”

“A rum do indeed sir.  Might I suggest we have a spot of luncheon. I’m sure the situation will resolve itself on a full stomach.”

“Damned fine idea, Parkes.  Break out the hamper and the bubbly!”


Here’s a few photos (sigh).


Mr.P and The Fatdog head upwards…towards the “manky cloud”.


Mr.P basks in the best bit of light of the whole day – the ascent of Monamenach


Aimless wandering on the Monamenach summit.


Now! The hill (just visible) to the right of Mr.P is where we wanted to be. The hill to the left is where we ended up. The hill just right of centre (Meall na Letter) is our ultimate destination.


Deer on the “diversion” route


Huffing and puffing at having had to bag an out-of-the-way additional Graham top, MrP takes us back on course.


Mr.P takes a photo of my blunder for future reference and dart throwing practice.


Let the doggy-woggy see the bunny-wunny.
The Fatdog “relentlessly” pursues the mountain hare up the gap between the wall and the fence towards the Meall na Letter summit. I have a video where she turns her back on the hare…and ignores it!