(Lots of photos, note for my e mail followers it will be best to click on the link below and get the photos in their full glory on my site!)
In this year alone, on 1st September, me and B had walked as high – while doing our Munros – as if we had climbed Everest, joining the Everest Anywhere challenge. On the way we passed all the v. v. v. biggest mountains in the whole wide world. Just feast your eyes on this.
Just over half way around the Glenshee six:
DBE7JK Europe, France, French Alps, Haute-Savoie, Chamonix, climber on summit of Mont Blanc (MR). Image shot 2012. Exact date unknown.
Very need the top of Ben Vorlich (Loch Earn)
AC7H1M Mount Kilimanjaro Amboseli National Park Kenya East Africa
While finishing that second weekend and between An Caisteal and on Beinn a’ Chroin
BJY6J0 Aconcagua National Park, Argentina. Image shot 2008. Exact date unknown.
And about 1/3 rd of the way up Geal Charn
ATN51J k2 from concordia, baltoro glacier, baltistan ,pakistan.
Then just before getting to the top of Geal Charn, Monadhliath, on 1st September – with B’s knee in a bad way -, we conquered our Everest. (8,848 metres).
How’s that for an orphan dog, with a bad start in life 🙂
The story so far… Micky has worked out how to get the peanut butter and avoid being caught (see last post).
Sonic waves, in a sort of rodent ghetto blaster, haven’t worked either. I think Micky beds downs inside MY passenger seat during the day, with his paws (and foam) over his ears to keep the noise at bay. I reckon he slips out at night for a bite to eat and then, dives back into his nest v. v. v quickly, letting Torpor subsume him, until he gets hungry again.
On the way in and out Micky leaves little messages, denoting squatters rights, all over our seats. The peppermint oil, at a cost of £2.95, was a complete waste of time, as he left the biggest message ever, like sticking up two paws at our attempts to ask him to move on nicely.
In the meantime B – fearful of a moose, loose aboot the hoose (my van) – hasn’t done the driving out that my van needs, to keep it going over the winter. Now it won’t start again and we are back to where we were this time last year.
My headspace is all sad and messed up; I need the comfort of my soft furnishings.
It isn’t because of Walt Disney that I have called our mouse Micky. It’s because the cunning (deceptively clever) little blighter is leading us a merry dance and taking the Micky. The story so far:
No of closed traps = 5
No of closed traps with no mouse = 3
No of times mouse evacuated from trap = 2
No of times mouse got back to my van = 2
No of open traps with peanut butter gone = 4
No of times mouse has manage to eat my peanut butter = 8
We caught the thief in the act last night and one (almost) has to admire his ingenuity. Because it was the smaller trap we could see what he was doing through my van’s window. While 2/3rds of his body was in the trap as he tucked into the feast, his back leg was stretched out behind him. B said she could actually see how taut all it’s little sinews were as – in this way – he kept most of his weight outside of the trap and avoided it tipping, with the trap door shutting while he was inside. On retreat the door sometimes closed behind him and sometimes not.
I’ve been let down by my feline friend from Exeter who – apparently – finds plenty of ‘presents’ for his people in the garden at home. But me and B haven’t given up yet. Our next strategy is to employ a…
Friends, collies and the wonderful feline species,
As you know my Munro days are over this year and so B was bringing all our gear in for the winter, a week or so ago. She opened up the back door of my van and there it was, everywhere. Evidence that a moose had been having a rare old time, all over my hoose. The horrid little creature did it business in all our bits and pieces and it’s all B’s fault.
Further investigation revealed that one of our boxes – one with food in it – wasn’t properly shut, but the blighter didn’t stop at that. It had a good old nibble at B’s sleeping mattress and the self inflating bit of it might be damaged now. Luckily my bed was OK, otherwise I might not want to sleep in it again. I go all yucky when I even think about it.
Then the cheeky so and so got through the grill to the drivers cabin, and into a bag hanging behind B’s seat. First it had a nibble at the purse where she keeps small change, for phone boxes. I think it wanted to phone a few friends and invite them to a party because next, it did it’s best to get into the small bottle of malt whiskey that she keeps in there too.
For the past 10 days, we have been fighting a loosing rear guard battle, to rid my van of the impish rodent. First of all a spider went for the food and triggered the trap door. Next ‘our’ mouse made it’s way back when it had scooted out of it’s trap near the van, and did the same again when we let it go a few 100 metres away. Next, it worked out how to tip the trap on its side so the door couldn’t shut. Then yesterday, when we had the trap propped up – to prevent toppling – it seemed like we had succeeded. B took it for a midnight drive and even sang to it (poor thing!). But… it seems like she was singing to an empty trap because, in the field of great release, no one could see any mouse scampering off when the hatch was opened; though plenty of peanut butter was gone from the trap – my peanut butter too, if you don’t mind.
Of course what I really need is a feline creature to do patrol duty for me. I’m thinking of having a word in the ear of those cat protection people; see if we could come to some sort of deal. That is unless you fancy a holiday Tink. Come to think of it, I’m not that happy about sleeping in my van when we go away next year now so… how about a six month sabbatical next spring. Then you could come to the Highlands with us. I’m sure we would get on OK, but I’m not convinced sleeping in my bed would work. My natural instincts might out themselves in my dreams and then all hell would let loose in a small space.
Anyway, let me know when you are coming and I’ll get the food in. We can celebrate with a midnight feast in my van once I’m convinced you have seen off the imposter. Perhaps you could bring up some malt whiskey from home. I’ve been told your person often has a bottle or two stashed away somewhere.
Though perhaps, on second thoughts, I’d better stay off the booze. I’ve been having some very odd dreams lately.
When I wrote a post about this time last year, I was all upset because B had gone off and done some Munros without me. Now – because I’m growing up and getting more mature (though I seem to be the only putting these words to this phase of my development) – I have become quite sanguine the whole going off and leaving me behind thing. A little disappointed perhaps, but accepting that circumstances will arise when B has to do some without me, to try and make sure we get them all done in our ten years.
Anyway, she was at it again a couple of weeks ago, putting number 25 this year, 47 altogether, in the bag. I haven’t got so laid back that I’m going to let her write up her escapades on my blog but, I have consented to put a link to her own blog in. Be warned tough, if you are inclined to read on, there won’t be any touching doggy moments in it.
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