The origins of “Where the Fatdog Walks” are stranger than it might seem at first. The Fatdog first appeared in emails to my Canadian cousins over the winter of 2005-06 and when we met up the following summer on the north shores of Lake Superior we were greeted with the banner you see in the photograph above. A slight reworking of its text saw the emergence of the tagline “…for this is where the Fatdog walks” appear in my early trip reports in the scottishhills.com hillwalking forum. A couple of years later “Where the Fatdog Walks” appeared as a full blown blog. All from a kids welcome banner in backwoods Ontario.

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…

With a nod to the blog of old I thought I would kick off this year’s re-boot by heading back to its hillwalking roots. Some of you will be very familiar with the website http://www.hill-bagging.co.uk/ . I have to admit to having spent hours there over the years looking for hills to climb. More recently I noticed classes of hills that I hadn’t been aware of in the past. Some of these classes take account of hills so small I suspect a number of them may only be bumps in the middle of a farmer’s field. There are those who might say this is categorising things to silly extremes. Me, I am not proud and thought it might be a good wheeze to visit a few and produce long winded accounts of their ascent detailing exaggerated (slightly, of course) levels of exhaustion and cliffhanging suspense.

Then that sodding virus appeared.