Have you any idea how hard it is to keep your ears in order and your beard looking neat when on top of a Scottish mountain on a windy day?
Oh the trials of being a wire-haired fox terrier with flappy little ears and a profusion of facial fuzz!
Gail and I ascended a 'Munro'* on Sunday. Ben Wyvis is the massive hill you can see on a clear day if you look northwards from Inverness. It was our first big hill climb for a while. It is all too common at these latitudes that benign conditions at the base give way to something altogether different, and almost always much windier, by the time one reaches the sub-Arctic environment of the summit plateau.
So annoying to be beaten to the top by this wee fellow (although I note he was not suffering from the same beard and ear issues as yours truly).
I should point out that Gail was looking every bit as dishevelled as me, although she seemed neither to notice nor care, perhaps because she is not the one who has to pose for all the photos in this blog! Anyway, she was too busy being enraptured by the panorama that opened up as we processed along the broad ridge, with the iconic outline of Suilven just visible in the far northwest, and nearer to the east a line of drilling rigs marching up the deep waters of the Cromarty Firth.
I'll be honest with you, towards the end of the nearly nine mile walk I was feeling a little weary, and so, I believe, was Gail. All that wind was really quite exhausting.
*In Scotland all the hills over 3000ft high are called 'Munros'. There are 282 of them.