Casting aside old friends is a painful experience. For years you believed them to be reliable; they would never let you down. Sadly however, time takes its toll on a relationship. I could no longer take any more of their nonsense.
Hating confrontation, I would have preferred to do the deed by text message, but decency got the better of me. Instead, after a stiff drink we had a face to face at Mission Control and I told them that they were dumped. It was all their fault and I had to move on. As I literally closed the lid on that part of my life, I caught a last glimpse of my leaky old Scarpa Nepals and Salomon Quests staring back up at me from the very bottom of the bin...
No more soggy tootsies for me. No more trench foot. And HELLO to these new beauties!
|SCARPA R-EVOLUTION GTX|
It's been a whirlwind romance. In less than a week my new slippers and I have been to heaven and back, *three* times! Well, Englemere Pond, Tescos and the long way round to Englemere.
But, it's important not to scare the horses. After a long period of slothdom with my foot (Yes, thank you, it's feeling much better now) I've had nine months with very little walking. We all know that soft tissues need toughening up, and this must be done gently to start with. So let's not go too mad.
Now, in your world, yesterday may well have passed almost unnoticed. But in every Challengers' calendar, yesterday marked just seventy seven days before setting off from the west coast of Scotland with some well-hard bastards, with the ambition of arriving at the east coast some two weeks later.
As keener members of the congregation will recall (Yes, that's you at the back: Sit up straight and stand in a polite line) this stroll involves Munros, Corbetts and all manner of wondrous ridge walking. Obviously perturbed, and perhaps some might unkindly say deranged, by this chilling statistic, one of the keener blighters in our team has taken to strapping his person into full Challenge kit, ballasted with a complete set of Funk and Wagnalls, and frog-marching himself some twenty European Kilometers! A risky strategy that, what with Brexit and all. This could end very badly.
To calm your nerves, dear reader, here are some settling photographs of gentle landscapes from my strolls this week. Of course it's nothing like Scotland in a hurricane, but there again, neither is sipping Champagne and nibbling tasty canapes in smart hotels. It's life, Jim...