I opened the curtains to be greeted by a light covering of snow.
"Good morning, big fat hairy vision of evil" it said.
" Bugger off" I responded wittily. The last thing you want at 6am is the weather quoting Beat Poetry at you.
I had needed a change of scenery, and planned a wee walk in the Campsies, an area with which I remain inexplicably unfamiliar.So, what about the weather ? Well, the bed was cold, and the piece was made, so might as well go for it, eh ?
I engaged with the transport network.
As we travelled west, it became obvious that there was significant snow cover above about 100ft. The weather changed from dark and snow-threatening to sunny/ blue skies. My mood fluctuated between "Doomed. Doomed, I tell you." and "It might turn out not too bad"
Arriving in Blanefield, I initially failed to find the "unmissable" war memorial, and sat down on the steps of a big marble pillar with names on it to have another look at the map! Senior moment over, it was onward and upward
The track largely follows the line of pipes bringing water from Loch Katrine to supply the citizens of Glasgow. This masterpiece of Victorian engineering was hugely successful, but, unfortunately, the follow up project to supply them with soap failed miserably
Breakfast time for the kye, with Dumgoyne and Dumfoyne, two volcanic plugs, in the background..
Just past this point I needed a pee, and discovered that the new (non breathable) underwear I was wearing seemed to feature unfamiliar access arrangements . This, combined with the natural effect of the cold weather, resulted in a prolonged period of fumbling and hopping.
There are a lot of these structures, where the pipes cross a burn
As I approached the distillery gift shop, I was assailed by several people in MacDiageo tartan eager to inform me that, as the millionth visitor, I was to be presented with 12 bottles of a special 27 year old single malt. I had to point out to them that I no longer indulged in alcoholic beverages and, no, I didn't know any one who would drink it for me. I settled instead for a rather attractive keyring. As I left, the disappointed PR people were pouring the specially bottled and labelled cratur down the drain, under the watchful eye of an exiseman.
Alan Sloman's TGO Challenge order is prepared for dispatch.
After crossing the road from the distillery, I wandered through the bond and onto the West Highland Way for the return on the opposite side of the valley. By this time the snow was melting like, well, sna aff a dyke.
The first section of the return was on one of these boring, hard on the feet, former railway lines. The mound on the right of the path is another buried water supply pipe. Ahead is another volcanic plug, Dumgoyach.
A tree graveyard.
Shortly after this the WHW swings uphill away from the railway track and continues "round the back of "Dumgoyach. Soon the path seemed to be going upward into increasingly rough country with no shelter. Not the sort of place one would like to be caught in a blizzard. At that point the sky darkened, the wind picked up, and it began to snow. God, it was hell. White Hell. I stumbled on with only a four foot wide metalled track to guide me.
Many times I felt like lying down in the heather and letting the snow blow over me, ending it all.
Only the thought of you, dear reader, kept me going.
And then the sun came out again.
But it had been a pretty nasty 3 minutes while it lasted.
I had lunch - a turkey sandwich and a Penguin. ( I'm on a large flightless bird diet)
Straightforward stroll back to Blanefield. Looking back to this mornings outward leg - notice how the snow had melted
PS. I made up a bit of this post to make you cry.