Tuesday 25 January 2022

The best laid plans...

Apparently I am in disgrace.

I had hoped I could get away simply with showing you some photos from last Friday's walk up to the Queen's Well in Glen Mark, and thus make the lovely weather and glorious scenery the focus of this post. 

But Gail, who (unlike the UK's current Prime Minister) lays great stock on being honest and open at all times, insists that I also tell you about our encounter with the solitary mountain biker.

Well this is my version. 

About a mile up the glen from the car park we came across a youngish chap sitting disconsolately by the side of the track, his mountain bike on the ground beside him. He was holding a two ends of a broken chain in his oily hands. Gail, who will never learn that young men generally don't appreciate older women offering to assist them with bicycle repairs, said "oh dear, maybe I can help, I'm a cyclist myself, shall I have a look?"

Meanwhile, I had noticed a half eaten pack of chicken sandwiches beside the bicycle. Don't you just hate food going to waste? 

Really, why Gail was so cross with me when she turned around and saw the remains of the sandwich clamped firmly between my jaws, is something of a mystery. 

I was unceremoniously dragged away in haste, Gail muttering profuse apologies (unnecessary, to my mind) as we left a forlorn mountain biker alone in the wilderness with broken bicycle and no lunch.

Gail says: Oh dear! Trying to do someone a good turn does not always work out as one intended. In the immortal words of Scotland's greatest poet, whose memory we celebrate today: 

The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men
    Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain
    For promis'd joy!

(from To a Mouse, by Robert Burns)


  1. bertie you scored big!!! you are our hero of the day. well dogs and sandwiches, that is a like a chain too... right?

  2. Oh Bertie - you naughty boy! No wonder Gail was embarrassed - and she was just trying to help the poor chap! I don't know anything about cycling but don't they carry a spare chain with them on a long trip?
    However you certainly had a splendid walk - the weather was perfect, the scenery lovely, and you had some unexpected chicken sandwiches too!

    Inca xx

  3. I bet that chicken sandwich was so yummy. Good for you for spotting it, Bertie!

  4. Hari OM
    BOL...cough....splutter....ahem....bwwwhahahaha...ererrr.... (pull yourself together wummin)

    Oh Bertie lad, I can feel your indignation. Quite why the penultimate para of your own version had me in stitches of giggles is also a mystery...

    But let us not be distracted from the beauty that you showed in all those glorious photographs prior to said distraction! Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

  5. Bertie....omds to this I say, "waste not want not"! You were obviously trying to help too. By making sure the young man didn't have the extra weight of his sandwich to carry down the hill. Just Sayin'

    Gail were you able to help with the bike?
    Hugs Cecilia

    1. Gail says: as the young man was clearly not receptive to my offer of help, (especially after Bertie stole the last of his lunch) I did not to push the issue! The day after, as soon as I started to tell this story to some cycling friends, women of about my age, they all immediately anticipated the young man's reaction. The fact that I have nearly half a century of experience in maintaining and repairing bicycles is not something that, in the circumstances, I felt it would be useful to insist upon. And in reality, unless the mountain biker was carrying the right tool, I probably couldn't have helped with the broken chain anyway!

  6. PS: The photos are gorgeous and especially the one of the stone dome and cross. What a pretty day you had for you unexpected picnic. BOL BOL BOL. Gail this story ranks right up there in first place beside the Terrier Dash on the train platform and Hamish dining on your Mom's fine china while his paws rested on the lace table cloth.
    Hugs cecilia

  7. I started to laugh out loud as soon as I got the words prime minster and by the time I was at the part where you rode off leaving the man with a broken chain AND no lunch, I was howling with laughter and bob said what are you reading. when I tried to tell him he just shook his head. he just doesnt get it. but I do... it is true that men do not want help from women, they just can't abide it. I am want to say Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men a lot these days and i do say it

  8. It was so nice of you and Gail to stop and try to help the young cyclist, Bertie. How nice that you also got a little reward for your troubles. BOL! BTW it does look like that was a spectacular day for a hike.

  9. Well, an unattended yummy sandwich left within reach is simply an open invitation to a doggie! Hopefully that biker guy was able to fix his bike. We did enjoy the pictures of that amazing and beautiful place!

  10. Glad you scored the samdwich, Bertie. Maybe that young lad will learn to be more appreciative of a generous and kind offer of help in the future.

    Woos - Lightning, Misty, and Timber

  11. You don't know it was his chicken. It could have been a rogue sandwich. In nature if it is in the road it is yours.

  12. Foley does have a point. It might not have been his sandwich. But the inelegance of being hurried away…that’s just rude.

  13. We sure hope you at least got to finish the sandwich! ;-).
    Rosy, Jakey & Arty

  14. Very lovely photos.
    The young man clearly has not been favored by Darwin, as he spurned assistance and was stupid enough to leave his sandwich(s) on the ground. Who does that??

  15. So pretty where you were! And chicken sandwiches, unguarded? How could a dog resist? We wouldn't be able to either!

    Rosie and Redford