I shall start my writing from the previous weekend, where I joined my mountaineering club for our annual Christmas dinner trip to our club hut, Inver Croft, up near Achnascheen. The hut is a 10-minute walk from the road along boardwalks, carrying all your kit, and it has solar panels for electricity (not much use in the winter) and no hot water, so its always a bit of an adventure. Saturday saw my first New Munro of the challenge, done in quite some style with an 11-hour day up the remote Maoile Lunndaidh. It started in the dark with a 9km walk-in along a track, then some step-kicking up snow, with an exciting (if unintentional) icy, rocky, snowy, heathery, grassy scramble at the top, before a long walk along a broad ridge to the summit. We were completely blessed with a stunningly sunny and still day and views stretching into the distance of the snowy mountains all around. Perfect after a month or so absence from the mountains! The walk out was then 11km along the same track, finishing a good 2 hours into darkness, but rewarded with a spectacular meal of smoked salmon starter, venison stew and Christmas pudding. I also managed to try a Salted Caramel Liqueur, adding to my 30 types of alcohol item.
I was only at home for a few days during the week, but I did manage to squeeze in a new film on a night in by myself: the rather cheesy musical Walking on Sunshine. I can’t particularly recommend it unless you want some nice eye-candy to look at. I’m sure Matt is gutted he was away for that one…… I also visited my friend Lindsey for some more work-related activities for our joint yoga retreat, and I’m sorry to report I missed an ‘Opportunity’ that I could have taken……I was playing with her son Bram (who is 3) when he asked me ‘Do you want to smell my feet?’ – the words ‘No Thanks’ were already out of my mouth before I remembered my challenge…..
I also sent another letter – maybe not quite in the spirit of the challenge, but it was the challenge that prompted me to do it when I otherwise wouldn’t – I completed a postal entry into the Loose Women competition to in £200k. If I don’t write any more blog posts, its because I’ve won…..
I also popped in for a nice quiet chat with my aunty away and bumped into my cousin and her boys again there who were ‘just leaving.’ Instead, I took another ‘opportunity’ to step into their world for a 30 minute war, complete with a protection wall built from yoga mats to hide behind. My aunty and cousin also joined in and the five of us spend a happy and noisy time rolling around on the floor.
I really enjoyed seeing my family and am once again so grateful for the way all of my extended family get on, support each other and have a jolly good time full of laughter when we all get together. It was great to spend time with my Gran in particular, as despite a 60-year age gap, we can gossip like 2 teenage school girls. She’s my inspiration.
I’m now away for the next 2 weeks with family for Christmas and leading on a Scout Mountaineering course over the New Year, but will hopefully get a chance to update on the next few week’s adventures.
This week’s learnings are:
- Family is so important to me. Cherish the time you have with them, let them know they are loved and that while you might not always physically be there, you’re only ever a phone call and a short plane ride away. I consider my Gran one of my best friends despite a 60-year age gap!
- Kids ask random questions. No, I do not want to smell your feet. Yes, I would like to shoot my aunty with a bazooka.
- Sexism and role models in film stars have come a long way since 1977. I always used to fancy Hans Solo but didn’t realise he’s such an arrogant pig!