Sunday 11 August 2013

A very special walk up Morven

Just over a month ago (July 2nd to be precise) Gail disappeared off for the day with some of her oldest friends. I was most put out later to learn that they had all been for a walk up Morven, one of my favourite hills, and was not at all satisfied by being told it had been a "very special walk" and that my presence that day would "not have been appropriate".

Well I'm pleased to report that this weekend Gail decided to revisit Morven. This time I was allowed to accompany her and along the way I learned a little about the earlier "special walk".

It was disappointing to have to start off on the lead. Gail seemed to think I might chase after the sheep in field at the base of the hill, but I only wanted to commiserate with them over their terrible haircuts.

I regained my freedom when we started climbing the steeper slopes. I even stopped to pose in the heather, although, not being a Westie, this is not part of my contract.

Near the top Gail told me that the "special walk" in July had been to scatter the ashes of her dear friend Kate, who passed away earlier in the year in Australia, but who wanted to be laid to rest on this particular Scottish hill. A group of nearly twenty, led by Kate's husband Henry, had taken part in a simple but unforgettable goodbye ceremony on the windswept summit, on what would have been the twenty fifth anniversary of the only wedding at which Gail was ever a bridesmaid. 

In the summit cairn there is a visitors book, hidden in a waterproof plastic box, behind a wooden door.

Gail showed me what was written on 2nd July 2013.

After adding a brief note to record our visit today, we headed back down.

An off piste diversion to chase some noisy, low flying grouse (I SO nearly got 'em) led to an awesome patch of ripe cloudberries.

Gail would have been picking them all afternoon had I not pointed out the deteriorating weather conditions and that she already had enough for a nice 'multekrem' anyway.

Luckily we made it back to the car before the rain set in. Although not before I had been required to do yet more posing in the heather...

PS from Gail: Thank you for all your wonderful suggestions for a hard hat for Bertie. Please keep them coming!


  1. What a wonderful place your Gail's friend to have her ashes scattered at.
    Beautiful messages in the book too.
    What, no paw print from Bertie?
    I'm ashamed to say that I've never heard of cloudberries before. They look excellent as does the sound of the Norwegian dessert.

  2. Dear Bertie and Gail....what a lovely post to honor Kate's wishes. We are so very sorry for the loss of Gail's friend....truly a beautiful place to rest for eternity. Mom got a tad teary at Henry's message.

    Doudberries? OMDs/OMCs....crazy mom thought they were weird tomatoes.
    Hugs madi your bfff

  3. What a beautiful and touching tribute to Kate. It is a beautiful spot to say goodbye. Glad you got to visit even if you didn't get to go to the formal goodbye ceremony.

  4. that is such a wonderful place and love that they have the book up there - a wonderful way to remember Kate for sure. Was that heather growing all over - the purple stuff?

  5. Hari OM
    Bertie, you look absolutely stunning in the heather, so have no envy of the Westie! That 2nd last shot is simply gorgeous.

    So sorry to hear of the loss of a good friend, but this was a wonderful tribute. I am sure you now appreciate Gail's need to leave you behind just that one day? Well done on find those 'evron'. mmmmmmmmm. Hugs and wags YAM-aunty xxx

  6. This is a LOVELY Post about saying a heartfelt fare well to Gail's Long Time Furend.

    the CLOUD BERRIES look Gorgeous. Mayby Kate arranged fur them to be Ripe... just fur THIS return Visit.

  7. Hi Bertie, Eve here!
    What a lovely place, I've never been up there but we probably will one day, just withOUT Pippa! The car journey would be too much for her. I hope you left your blog address in the visitor's book!
    I'm currently in the North Sea on my way up to Orkney with the Guides, on a ferry of course. I've managed to get the wifi password, so on my iPod I decided to have a look at your blog! Pippa was at Fittie with my Grandma and Grandad waving us off, it was quite upsetting for Grace and I! I've brought a "Flat Pippa" with me, so we'll probably do a post on Flat Pippa's adventure when I get back. We're due in Orkney at around 11 o'clock.

    1. P.S. So sorry to hear about Gail's good friend. I'm sure that was a beautiful place to send her off though.

  8. What a most wonderful and beautiful time to share with Kate's friends. The sweet tributes, and the pictures just take my breath away.

    Cheers, Gail,


  9. I like that secret book for you to write in whenever you visit the mountain. Great job with the posing. I know it isn't always your cup of tea, but one must choose Inez's battles.


  10. At first we were incensed that you would be considered inappropriate. But now we understand. We think you look handsome in the Heather.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & roxy

    Those sheep probably needed to be chased to warm up.

  11. I can see why moms friend would want to be laid to rest there. What a beautiful mountain. I bet you understand now why you could not go that day with mom and her friends. But you two had a great walk there by yourselves. Have a nice week Bertie.

  12. The scenery is so beautiful. Mommy loves when you find cloud berries, since we learned of them only from you. I am glad you had such a special day with Gail. I would love to be there wandering right along side of you.

    Loveys Sasha

  13. What a beautiful place to say farewell to your friend Kate.

  14. Dear Bertie,

    Thank you for sharing your walk up the summit and showing us the scenery. Our condolences to Gail - we know Morven is always going to be an extra special summit and Gail's long friendship with Kate will be one of the main reasons for taking you on walks there in the future.

    Love and woofs,
    Riley (and his family)

  15. Such a lovely thing to do for your friend. How sad but she rests now in a beautiful place. Love your pix in the heather Bertie.
    Have a marvellous Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

  16. What a great hike, Bertie!
    I can't believe you didn't get to go back in can a special walk be special without you???

  17. What a grreat walk! I'm glad you got the opportunity to go as well.

  18. It certainly is a place 'Where the earth meets the heavens'. What a beautiful tribute to Kate.
    With love