Living together is all about compromise, don't you agree?
Although I do not in all honesty approve of my owner's bicycling habit, I have come to appreciate that her unfortunate hobby is important to her mental as well as physical wellbeing and so we have made a deal.
For every time that Gail heads out of the house on two wheels to join her cycling buddies for the morning (and sometimes the afternoon too) it is agreed that the next day, or as soon as the weather allows, she will take me out to a place where I can have an exciting adventure, roaming unleashed in the glorious Scottish countryside.
So it was this week.
When Gail showed me this photo of her pals getting togged up to ride home after an elevenses stop at the 'Teacake' café in Chapelton near Newtonhill, I successfully negotiated a compensatory walk in the hills, setting off from near Ballater.
It turned out to be a pretty good deal.
Invigorated by the snow, I set a lively pace up the valley towards Morven*, our favourite hill.
A couple of miles on, we were out of the trees and our way was increasingly impeded by remnant snow drifts
So on reaching the deer fence, with the rounded slopes of Morven glistening white in the background, we called a halt, and after a tasty snack...
...it was back down the valley at pace.
Can you believe Gail could hardly keep up?
*Gail says: I haven't taken Bertie up Morven for at least a year, thinking this steep 2800' climb now too much for his 'not as young as they used to be' legs. But judging by the speed at which he raced up and down the far from flat valley on Friday, a round trip of over five miles, I began to wonder if I've been underestimating my plucky wee pup!