Sunday 29 August 2010

The impatience of youth

Hey Gail! I so want to bag a Munro. Please please please. Why not next weekend? Let's go up Beinn Alligin. I know I can do it!

Why Bertie, what ever put that idea into your cute little noddle? Munro bagging indeed. You know you're still far too young to be climbing up our highest Scottish mountains. 

Cute little noddle? Oh puh-lease. Don't be so patronising, I'm not a baby any more. I'm getting quite the big and strong young laddie. You said so yourself, only a few days ago. I've got loads and loads of energy. I wasn't even tired after that five mile hike last Sunday.

But Bertie, you're only just over six months old. And that outing on Sunday was on the level, on nice smooth tracks and soft grass. It's a whole different proposition, climbing a Munro. 

But, but, but...I've already been up Scolty. And Millstone Hill. And Hamish climbed lots of the biggest hills. And my legs are longer now than his ever were.

Yes Bertie, but on a Munro there'll be lots of rough ground and boulders to clamber over, and steep slopes and ledges where you need to be very careful to keep your footing. Remember how you jumped right onto that cattle grid last weekend and fell in between the metal bars, and then got into a tizzy and I had to rescue you? You must learn to look before you leap. Hamish now, he was always careful to assess how safe it was before proceeding. But with you, it's all a bit 'fools rush in' at the moment isn't it Bertie?

Hamish Hamish Hamish. I'm so fed up of hearing about him. I'm ME! And anyway, why is my 'posh' name Beinn Alligin if I'm never going to be allowed to climb it?

Bertie! Don't be a silly billy! I didn't say never just not yet. And it's only because I love you so much, you're so precious to me and I don't want you to come to any harm. Your half-year old bones still aren't so strong, you see, and you haven't yet learned to judge things very well. Then there's the weather. I couldn't help but notice that when we turned around that headland on our boggy walk last weekend, and we were suddenly hit by a 30 mph wind, you were just a little bit frightened. As you indicated by all that nipping at my ankles.....

Oh that. Well OK, yes, I was sort of scared. I didn't think you'd noticed. Will it be very windy on the top of a Munro then?

Almost certainly, Bertie, almost certainly. Now listen, we'll do some more practice hills this winter, and then next year, when the snows have gone and you're past your first birthday, I promise you, we'll go over to Torridon and climb Beinn Alligin, all the way to the top. 

Promise? Really?

I absolutely promise Bertie. 


  1. Digby a 3000 mate? We're stat at terra firma we are.

    Bobo and Meja

  2. Ah, yes, we can attest that it is important to gain your climbing legs before scrambling over boulders and up steep trails. We have all been known to slip once or twice.

  3. Oh Berti
    You gotta listen to Mom. I have learned that being 4 yrs old. You hafta be able not to fal or get scared. Dont worry your time will come and you will be smiling real BIG from the top just like Hamish did!!


  4. Bertie, it sounds like a plan. We'll help you hold her to it.

    Lilly, Piper, Carrleigh and Ruairi

  5. What a nice conversation between you two! I am glad for you Bertie, that you chose a Mum who would watch over you. You don't want to have alllll that energy AND a broken leg! Your time will come!


  6. We think you'd better work up to that huge climb. Gail gives you good advice (and she probably doesn't want to carry you.)

    XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

  7. It sounds like you are half way up that mountain Bertie!

    You just keep practicing there you handsome boy you and you will be climbing the highest ones around!

    woo woos, Tessa

  8. DarLing boy listen you know we ALWAYS take your side but with this one we kind of agree with your PL.What if you got swept up by the wind or something? Listen it can get creepy in the bad weather ( don't tell anyone but we are a alittle frightened of thunder and stuffKEEP THIS UNDER YOUR HAT reputation and all) love and kissedA and A

  9. Oh Bertie, you really must learn to be more patient.
    On this occasion we think you would do well to listen to Gail.
    We ourselves have ventured some of the way up several 'Bens' and we can tell you there are many obstacles to overcome!
    Also it can be very windy, very wet and very soggy underfoot.
    You will notice when you go to do your walk up Beinn Alligin the humans have stout walking boots on!
    They will have weatherproof jackets with them - even if they are not wearing them!
    Yes a great deal of preparation is required for these ventures and we insist you wait until your older!
    Your adoring Aunties xxxx
    ps and not to scare you but our humans had a friend who had to wait for a big helicopter when she toppled off a ledge..............!

  10. It does sound fun. I would be chomping at the bit to go too right away. Look at the view. Happy climbing dreams til you get to go!
    Sir Salty and Candylei

  11. Gail knows best, Bertie. We were gonna suggest a backpack ... but you'll be much happier climbing that mountain on your own four (strong long) legs ... when you're ready. Really ready.

    So. For now. Moma'll wipe the tears after seeing dear Hamish. And then she's gonna make plans for OUR next hike. You just motivated her ... and we really appreciate that!

    Hugs and wags
    Jake and Fergi xxoo

  12. Hey there Gail...
    Just catching up on all my reading! I can't believe that Bertie is already 6 months old! You are obviously loving him to bits! I am so happy for you - you make a great team!
    Sending lotsaluv

  13. Now I don’t blame yea if you don’t take this bit of advice, considering yours to me fell on deaf ears as in Folk Dancing! But I had been working up to it for months, which is why you must do the same with your walking, you will enjoy it more. Plus its something to look forward to, and we will all look forward to your post about it.
    By the way yes you were right about the gents, trees are the best : )
    See Yea George xxx

  14. Bertie my boy. Gail is right. You need to look after those legged bonios of yours. or they'll go all wibbly and unwired.

    But of course nipping at Gails ankle bonios is good for getting those new big nashers of yours bedded in. Do it as often as possible.

    Wiry love and kisses Uncle Eric xx

  15. We hate to agree with your Mum, but we think she might be right. We have pushed Mum to take us on some walks/hikes and she has ended up carrying me the last quarter mile home. (And she kept using the most indelicate language under her breath and ranting on about about a "diet" and "hernias".) Still, if you keep your workouts up and that fine form you have, we know next year you will be hoisting the family flag atop your mountain! Three Cheers for Bertie Boy!

    Love, Dozer and Cooper