As you may have read in my last blog my wife passed away in the early spring of this year and it’s not difficult to imagine the impact that had on my life. I was shattered. Still am of course and it will take a very long time to recover and find my feet again in this new empty reality. At least 3 years “they” say! Even Scotland’s Finest fell by the wayside. I simply couldn’t be bothered less. Instead, funny enough, I embarked on a number of private ‘projects’, simply to ‘not think of my new situation’.
Yes, it was full blown escapism and only now, almost 8 months later, I’m slowly starting to emerge from the fog of grief.
I keep kicking myself in the butt to ‘get on with it’ and it does help.....sometimes. Grief counselling helps, talking about it helps, forcing oneself to eat well helps and also writing this blog helps.
Another thing that really seems to work is planning for the future. Planning in the sense of setting up my next walking trip in Scotland. Walking is such a fantastic tonic for the spirit! It certainly clears your mind and, although one can never escape that dark hole in the soul, it does help a lot!
In August I visited my brother and his family in Devon. The Covid rules were a royal pain in the ass. It cost me a small fortune to get the required tests and, once in the UK, the results (negative!) were not even checked by security or the airline! That's absurd!
From Bristol I took a bus to Bridgwater and from there walked via Taunton and Wellington towards Tiverton.....and beyond. During that walk I started to unwind completely and in the 2 weeks that followed, while staying in this incredible farmhouse cum fortified manor house, this relaxed feeling never left me. Walking does that for you I can tell you.
So.....depending on Covid it will be Scotland again. It'll do me good! This time I’ll take a friend along. We’ve done a walk before back in 1995 (Northern Highlands) so it’s about time for an encore.
The plan is to start from Peebles, stay at Hartleap B&B, visit beautiful Liddesdale, Hermitage Castle and Langholm, than up to Stables Cottage in Eskdalemuir and Moffat and from there to make our way back to Peebles.
Personally I‘d love to continue on and aim for Perthshire, the incomparable Cairngorms and even the far North West but that’s not to happen in 2022. Maybe, just maybe in 2023 a longer 4 or 5 weeks walk, but we’ll see what happens. There is however the pecuniary aspect to take into account. I don’t fancy sleeping in a tent (never did) and most certainly wouldn’t like to carry the whole kit on my back all, each and every day. This would mean B&B’s or the occasional inn and that adds up.
Let me just think about that a bit....... Plenty of time.