Bowery Mural

First Footing on Dumyat

Saturday, 2 January 2010

I sit here in the dimly lit room with Gregory Peck et al, put-putting away with machines guns in The Guns of Navarone on the telly.  (well it was on the telly when I started this post yesterday).  My knees are a little jaggy-tender, my cheeks are rosy and I'm sound in the knowledge that i've just climbed my first hill of 2010!


I set off earlier thinking I'd get out and get away before people came chapping on the door and you have to do the 'happy new year' handshake.  I had my bag packed last night, clothes were laid out and camera and iPhone were suitably charged.  As I drove the short 15 minute journey I could see my destination all the way and I wondered if the things i could see on the hill were just trees or was it people.  The hill being Dumyat, my local Ochil.  It's been covered in snow for a good few days now, heck maybe even a week!  But nonetheless I vowed to get up it today. 

After negotiating my way up the steep, icy hill to the car park I left the car and there was an eary calm about the place. 


I could see and even hear folks going up and down the hill but i thought it wasn't as busy as this time last year.  I set off in my cosy down jacket and it stayed on all the way up.  I did consider taking it off to swap it for the waterproof but prefered instead to be kept warm.  I also found out today that there are several layers of clothing that I could be doing with buying for these days.  Anyway as i entered the gate a guy held it open and wished me happy new year!  Very kind of him, i wished it him back and set on my way up.  Soon I was huffing and puffing like an old tractor that's been lying in an empty barn for a few months and needs a service.  That soon wore off once i got into my stride.  My stride being marginally faster than the tortoise... just kidding.

There was icy snow, ice, fresh snow and crunchy snow.  Once i thought i was high enough I stopped and looked behind me and there was the view. 


Stuc a chroin, Ben Vorlich all the way down to The Cobbler and Ben Lomond. 


You really do get a marvellous panoramic view from this ever so small and unassuming hill.  I plodded on not passing many people but there were some.  A few famillies too.  I was taking photos at every opportunity and view that I thought might be worthy.  There was a tricky section to be negotiated too, a tiny path with quite a step drop on the other side.  I did not want to be blown off here and down that hill, not today.  I stepped on carefully and got passed that section and then i was sure I was going the wrong way.  But the path of many footprints conviniced me to keep on moving the way i was going. 


As I got higher I could see the crowds at the top.  There seemed to have been loads of people up there and I'd passed a few on the way down too but it still wasn't as busy as last year. 


The wind was getting colder and it was time to put the beanie hat and pull the hood up.  I stopped at a little quiet spot where no-one was and took a few more photies.  I took a drink from my Wee Bru bottle and although I was nearly at the top i decided not to go on as today I didn't really want to be surrounded by loads of people. 


Anyway, this is my local hill and it ain't going anywhere and besides there are 364 more days in this New Year that i could pick to climb it.  It was a well trodden path by me now.

On the way down i managed to successfully negotiate my way down without planting myself on the ground - bum first!  But there were a few hairy moments.  There was also a lot of thoughts running through my head about stuff.  Well this is me, when is my mind not racing with thoughts, ideas, plans, memories... 


I decided that this year I am going to put myself first for a change, do what I want to do and not what I think I should be doing.  There are a few things already circling in my head and will fill you in in due course but for now...


It was back down the slippery road to the car park and home to a hot bowl of home-made vegetable soup, and dinner.

Ange xx          

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