The camera never lies (or so they say).  It maybe never lies but with a moderate touch of editing you can bend the truth just a wee bit.  In my last post “The Weather Thieves” I alluded to the fact that I could be somewhat prone to exaggerating the difficulty and indeed the jeopardy involved in our walks aided by a careful piece of photo editing.  I think the greatest photographic liberties were taken after a little stroll on a clear November day in 2009 when FD and I tackled the Munro Binnein Mor in the Mamore Range.  I don’t recall any particular “squeaky bum” situations although the summit itself was a bit small and what you might describe as “sharp”.  In reality I was in greater danger from the Fatdog’s obsession with my fruit scone/strawberry jam combo than I was from the mountain itself.

Anyhow, in keeping with my original theme of misleading photographs and exaggerated storylines I have revisited an extract from the original “tail” and edited it to include even greater photographic shenanigans and a now almost unbelievable storyline. Ironically it now more accurately describes the actual events of a thirty minute period in that six hour walking day.  As we join the hike FD and I are about three hours into the walk and are about to begin the final part of the ascent.  The route ahead looks…educational!

Outside the window I’m watching occasional flurries of snow build, then vanish as if they’d never happened.  We had a “dump” of the white stuff overnight but luckily it only built up to about 150mm max.  It’s a novelty in this part of Scotland so anarchy reigns here every time it appears in any quantity.  With snow very much in mind I thought I would once again dig into the back catalogue and rework another of my favourite hill days – the day myself, Cap’n Jack and the Fatdog tackled the Corbett, Mam na Gualainn, above Loch Leven.  Snow, sunshine and amazing views – what could be better.  It was February 2010 – it was bloody cold!

This piece comes with a warning! You might say it is a reflective tale, its focus (or lack of it) on where your brain might choose to wander when out for what you thought was a very ordinary stroll in the countryside. It has taken me 3 years of head scratching trying to figure out how to introduce this brief half day excursion in the way I wanted to portray it. Almost 9 weeks of “groundhog day” lockdown has proved to be the clincher…my brain has melted to the point where all has become become clear…although, in this case, “clear” might not be the appropriate term.

We’re now two and a half weeks into lockdown.

A wet and dismal winter’s end squelched its way into a blossoming Covid 19 spring and, as March rolled into April, the weather in Scotland began to improve. And we have a great view of that weather…we can see it from a whole variety of windows in the house. It seems to have been ages since I’ve been anywhere and it’s beginning to tell.

To briefly take my mind off my captivity I’m going to travel back to last July; a time when it wasn’t illegal to venture beyond the front of your driveway more than once a day; a time when great herds of canned tomatoes grazed peacefully on the vast expanses of supermarket shelves; a time when majestic columns of toilet rolls stretched infinitely upwards into…um…yes, methinks it’s definitely beginning to tell.

To brighten the mood I thought I might tell you about another of my ‘Ridiculous Hills of Britain’, one of those little bumps on the landscape that some kind person has taken the trouble to categorise. So let’s head back to July 2019 and see where we ended up…

Welcome back folks.  I hope all of you are still keeping healthy.  Myself,  J and the two hairy reprobates seem to have adjusted to life under lockdown and have lapsed into a relaxed daily routine.  Life nowadays seems to revolve around waiting for deliveries – whether it’s groceries, Lego, dog food, gardening ‘stuff’; virtually anything you can have dropped off at the house.  As far as today’s blog post goes I had been going to write about last year’s solitary hill adventure but other “stuff” got in the way.  Such as…