Monday, 5 July 2010

Speed Bonnie Boat

The Pirate jumped in the Bad boy at half past whatever o'clock.
I worked late, or was supposed to.
I waited up til 2am for him to arrive in the Land of Jock.

Early doors the next day we fill my motor full of enough camping kit to open Strathavens very own branch of Millets.
So me, the pirate, the two weans and a pal head north.
Our planned destination?
Sunny Skye.
Wtf? For a weekend that's too far.
That's what you think.

We have a wee stop off to make and it gives the weans their first taste of trotting on the WHW. My son, the big lanky dreip reckons he and his mate are gona 'do' it next year, ha ha we'll see.
Phase one of our secret mission is complete and we continue our journey. I opt to drive, not least as an act of kindness to the pirate for driving 400 miles through the night, but come on all those bodies squeezed into a sardine can Corsa.... I had the best seat in the house.

We finally arrive at our chosen camp site, only after 'sandal-gate' and pitch our tents.

Heaven on Earth.
It truly was. Almost midnight, the sun not quite set against the backdrop of Lewis and Harris. Camped in a large flat meadow. A wide sheltered bay to the left, a ruined castle perched precariously close to the edge of the cliff to our right. I felt lucky to be there. A spot I had often heard about over the past couple of years. And finally seeing it with my own eyes.

The sound of the children laughing hysterically as they raced each other in their sleeping bags, filled me with such a feeling of happiness. At 16 years old it's not cool to play with your sister, let alone enjoy spending time with your olds.

The Quirainge. Or Kerrang if you're 16. Spectacular. I ain't one for heights. Not so much the hight. It's the drop that bothers me. So the girls and I wimp out 2/3rds of the way up leaving the lanky driep to chase the pirates tail. They eventually return, the pirate with that tell tale sparkle in the eye that says my knees are hurting but I just HAD to run. The boy? The one that does hee haw exercise? Hardly broke sweat. Swine.

Next, The Old Man of Storr. WOW. It's amazing what a little bit of work will reward you with. Quite stunning. And a wee extra reward. A run back down the hill. Just for the record I most definitely had the wrong bra on that day. I had to tie my fleece round my boobs to stop them jiggling about.

Children (?) are rewarded with a visit to the pub and a perfect day comes to an end.

All too soon it's Sunday and it's time to pack up and head home. Much to the disappointment to all.
One last walk over some serious moorland leads us to the gob smackingly beautiful cliff top at the Lookout. Possibly the best kept bothy in Scotland. We were not lucky enough to spot any minky or killer whales but my son has found his new favourite place in the world.

Phase 2 of the secret mission is completed on the way home and it is with heavy hearts we arrive back in Strathaven. Tired but touched the weekend we shared.

Was it too far for a weekend?

I didn't work too late that Thursday. My Dad called me at work to tell my my friend had passed away not half an hour earlier. A young man in his prime with everything to live for. Gone at 33.

Don't listen to those who say it's too far, it's too much. If it's worth doing, do it now. You might not always have the chance.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Defloration of Virgin Backup

It was nearly two weeks ago and I guess most folk have already told their story, and much more eloquently than I will but this story needs to be told.

DNF??? who gives a flying foxtrot what its called. There are not many eejits out there who could complete 75 miles on the back of two 20 mile training runs. Just because you don't reach the end doesn't mean you've failed. 75 miles is a fuckin major achievement in my book. Some people need to learn it's ok to be proud of yourself.

I was bricking it big time. From a good few weeks before the race. I'm a planner I like to know about order, schedules blah blah blah. I know, I know all very boring but it's what makes me tick.
But when your runner; a particularly laid back pirate type subversive runner couldn't give two hoots about planning, it tends to give one the jitters!!

I waited with baited breath for Ali B's words of wisdom, and nuggets of pure gold they were too. Crackers like -
1.Accept that if anything goes wrong during the race it's always your fault.

Nuggets stored are ready for recall at a moments notice. I received some fantastic advice from an unexpected source. Real proper serious advice. No messin around jokey nonsence. Maya Lucas is a total legend very professional and maybe if I'd employed just one of her techniques we could have inched our pirate runner just that little bit further.

I wasn't on my own, obviously.?!? that's not allowed, against the rules, and there is no way I'd be involved in any manipulation of the law. No, there was me, the other Lee and big Chris.

My biggest worry was the chaps are used to a jolly boys weekend away with their mucker's from other fire-stations and generally cajagole some other firemen up the WHW. This year they would be stuck with a miserable old bint and their mates burd to boot for 36 hours straight. Sounds like a barrel load of fun, right?
I needn't have worried. They seemed to enjoy themselves. At least some of the time. Mainly around the time that Wee Hannah's home-made fruit scones got handed round.

I'll not bore you with the tedium of a blow by blow account of our weekend. But here are some admissions and highlights.

I packed a couple of tents and doss bags 'just in case' and didn't tell the Pirate in case he thought I didn't believe in him.

I fell asleep at Bridge of Orchy after a nice plate of stew and had to be woken up by my runner.

I was gutted I didn't get the chance to go over the Devils, and felt I had let him down by not getting my shoes on earlier.

After the prize giving I brought Fiona Rennie out to the car even though he didn't want to talk to anyone.

So that's it. WHWR 2010. Not a completion but most definitely not a failure.
Will I be back? Well that depends on my runner.