Friends, collies and the love of my life,
My next adventure – after bagging Munro number 46 – was not dangerous at all but, it was no less exciting for all that. At long, long, long, long last, a meeting of the giants in Bellahouston Park. I have been in love with Bumble since I first saw her photo over two years ago. My affection has only grown, as I’ve heard all about what a calm and loving dog can do for it’s person, when they need a bit of a paw up.
For all my faults, my fidelity has remained in tact, though I understand that Bumble has many admirers and, to my grave disappointment, I’ve also heard that she goes in for a bit of doggy flirting. Well, at last, I was going to be able to plight my troth and swear my eternal love and I was fighting sleep all the way to Glasgow. Just north of Stirling the rain came on but I wasn’t going to let a little thing like that – or the visit I’d had to the vet some time ago – dampen my ardour. Anyway, I imagined, Bumble would be sporting a rather nice little waterproof number and this would give me something to bark about, breaking the ice. That and a nice bit of sniffing around the rear end, before a game of ball; just the usual stuff. Tiredness after the wind battering walk, blinding spray from the motorway traffic and B’s navigational skills – no more accurate on the road than on the hills – meant our journey was prolonged and I just had to give myself up to sleep, reluctantly.
Having already done one big turnaround, before dropping off, I was woken up by the sound of strange voices in one of those hand held earpieces that humans seemed to be so attached to. Seemingly, this strange electronic appendage has evolved as if it was the Holy Grail but – like the fruit of Adam’s downfall – it only excites a continual desire for the new Jerusalem. All this just because two legged things don’t have the sensory acumen that helps me cope with life and – personally – I think that Mr Darwin should have warned us about it.
( An aside – Now, I might have just done a bit of an
ox dogsbridge, but I am – after all – a Border Collie; maybe I’ve mentioned this before. Anyway, the last paragraph forms my Christmas competition. The first person to rephrase it in plain English – to my liking – will be the winner of my v. v. v generous prize. Just ‘post’ your answer as a comment below. The winner and the prize will be announced on 24th December 2017, from the Tower Bank Arms, Near Sawrey, Cumbria.)
Back at Larkhill, about 15 miles South of Glasgow, when we were plainly going in the wrong direction, it was raining cats and dogs and they were crashing onto my van, making an almighty din. I hoped they didn’t want to come in because it sounded like there were an awful lot of them. The noise was making it hard to eavesdrop on the conversation – something Mary, my person’s sister, taught me to do quite a while ago. I put my ears up very tall, strained every auditory nerve I have, and could just pick up the gist. By the time we got going again I was distraught. Because of the wet, wet, wet and B’s erroneous geographical location, our people had decided to postpone the close encounter yet again. I was powerless to alter the course of events so I slumped down, beside myself with grief, and didn’t even try to resist the sleep that overwhelmed me and which I had been fighting earlier.
Then, when I next came too, B said that magical word – David – and immediately I knew where I was and my spirits were restored and uplifted. We had just turned off the motorway and were going on the windy road down to Ullswater and to our caravan, which boasts some very acceptable soft furnishings, equal to anything we have at home. There is a particularly comfey cornice where I can cuddle up next to B when she falls asleep, while pretending that she is watching a DVD.
Of course I would never forget Bumble but, keeping all my paws crossed, I was hoping that absence might make her heart grow fonder.
My pressing need was to express my absolute joy at seeing David again, in a frenzy of uninhibited love and devotion; something we dogs do so much better than our people. Meantime, B & David did that slightly less over-the-top leaning thing – that Millie had done her best to coach me in. The old girl – despite the great age – did her best to get in on the act and – I have to admit – did a half decent job of exhorting her own joy and devotion at seeing B.
Oh, I was holding in such a cacophony of barks that would tell David all about our weekend but… just as I was about to get going… I fell into a deep, deep, contented sleep.
There endeth my Munro walking for 2017
Lot of love Ben xx