From little acorns and all that.
On 7th April Debbie came through to meet me, ostensibly for a walk in the Pentlands, but as it happens the cloud base was very low that day so I suggested we go to Arthur’s Seat instead . By gum! The pair of us were ‘peching’ as soon as we started on the Radical Road but, whereas she soon got in the zone, I was utterly useless. I could not breathe properly at all. I kept taking nice big breaths but letting it all out again before I could use it! It was crazy and meant I had to stop every few steps during the walk up. (I had pneumonia is September 2010, which didn’t exactly help with my lung capacity, but I suspect my problem was more in my head than my chest.) Once we got on more level ground I was fine and we had a lovely time, so we decided to try again the following week.
For our first proper hillwalking session we drove out to Nine Mile Burn to go up West Kip via Monks Law. Huh! It started off ok but very soon the rain came in – then the hail – and the wind – then more rain and more hail. Nevertheless, we are made of sterner stuff and were determined to do what we set out to do and had a great time giggling and braving what Scotland could throw at us.
My attempt to convince Debbie that the top of a fence post could double as a lunch table made her suspect she had come walking with a severely delusional woman, but she humoured me and we ate soggy butties with relish – hahemm.
I still struggled to breathe effectively but it wasn’t quite as bad as the previous time and I started to acknowledge that if I relaxed it became a lot easier. It was tricky underfoot because of being so wet and it was not easy for me to see through heavily rain splattered glasses, so Debbie scrambled up the last few feet on her own and I took the ‘proof’ photos.
At this point I started getting some of my old feelings back and realised just how sorely I had missed being out in the hills. I had to get back in the habit. We agreed to make it a regular one. If at first……..