Dog-poet tries a Cinquain

Dog-poet tries a Cinquain for Colleen’s Tuesday Tanka challenge – joy and fury, synonymously

A little dog-poet licence perhaps but this is the basic formCinquain



By Ben, the dog-poet © 2018

I was so scared of the water and it took a lot of coaxing to help me overcome my fear but I love chasing ball more anything in the world. Throwing it just out of my reach got me – eventually – plunging. Then I was out of my depth and had to cope (swim) and I haven’t looked back. Show me a circumference of water and I will drag any human holding my lead to it, with a fury, based on joy!

Love Ben xx





Well that’s my seven days done and it’s a long time in the life of a dog. Mind you, with such an exciting challenge to complete it just flew by. I started this challenge tummy deep in snow and the yesterday all the white stuff mysteriously disappeared. How does that happen?

Thank you very much to Luccia Gray for nominating the dog-poet, suggesting he turn his paw to this photography challenge. Luccia is a writer, and exponent of the best in Victorian literature. She blogs at 

I’m a bit in awe of this challenge business because I’m only really good for the odd  family snap. Being a dog, it’s a bit fiddly with the paws and the press button, so don’t expect anything grand. The camera’s not up to much and it’s only basic editing. It’s a bit of fun and I’m so pleased to take part.

Here’s the job. Black and White Photography Challenge: Seven days. Seven black and white photos of your life. No explanation. No people. (and, Ben’s rule, no dogs) Challenge someone new each day.

Today I nominate just anyone who fancies having a go at portraying an aspect of their life, in black and white every day for seven whole days. Hope you enjoy it.


Love Ben xx 0


Thank you very much to Luccia Gray for nominating the dog-poet, suggesting he turn his paw to this photography challenge. Luccia is a writer, and exponent of the best in Victorian literature. She blogs at 

I’m a bit in awe of this challenge business because I’m only really good for the odd  family snap. Being a dog, it’s a bit fiddly with the paws and the press button, so don’t expect anything grand. The camera’s not up to much and it’s only basic editing. It’s a bit of fun and I’m so pleased to take part.

Here’s the job. Black and White Photography Challenge: Seven days. Seven black and white photos of your life. No explanation. No people. (and, Ben’s rule, no dogs) Challenge someone new each day.

Today I nominate Ewan who blogs here, Wild About Scotland. Ewan has a passion, like me, for the amazing place that Scotland is. He is a bit more adventurous than my person. Accept the challenge if and when you like.


Love Ben xx 0



Review of 2017, the year of the mouse

Friends, collies, fellow travellers,

I ended last years annual review by wondering if life could get any better for a young, sometimes troubled, rescue dog. Well, have I got news for you? However, I had a dilemma – where on earth to start. David said I had to mention how high I’d climbed and – quick as a flash – big border collie brain in gear.

Now, with the help of another great thinker, a certain Mr Maslow, I can let you know what I’ve achieved in 2017 and also, why I was able to. According to Abraham – a 1940s scholar and not a biblical one, despite the name – we’ve all got needs that have to be met and they come in a lovely big colourful triangle.

Maslow needs
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

It’s a bit like a game of snakes and ladders. You start at the bottom and once these needs are met you get on the ladder… this takes you up to the next level. Then, Holy Moses, you can be nearly at the top and still come a cropper, doing a big slithery thing down a venomous snake. As far as I can ascertain, with a bit of insight from my friend Google, I seem to be the only dog writing on this subject at the moment.

Level one – basic needs

Mr M says that I need my tummy full ALL THE TIME and I can personally validate the reliability of his research. Andy (the best vet in the universe), put me on the scales only today and confirmed that this joyous need had been met; a little too well met as it turns out. Apparently, I also need a supply of fresh water constantly at my disposal. Two ceramic bowls that decorate the bedroom and living room floors, full to the brim and accounting for the thread bare carpet around them –  fulfil this need, with the dog beer in the fridge being – it seems – just an added extra.

On a more delicate note and still in the red zone, I also need frequent visits to the garden – if you get my drift – and I’m happy to report that there haven’t been any accidents in the house again this year. That’s more than you can say for the old girl. What with the mind falling apart and the body disintegrating, we are experiencing a few whoopsies here and there. Though it’s not all bad news, I hear the profits on pet deodorising spray at Tesco have shot up.

Level two – safety needs

Keeping Ben safe, now there’s a story and it is BIG on my people’s agenda; something to do with the ankle nipping tendency, me thinks. Hats off to them, they do their best and, even three years down the line, are still coming up with creative ideas to help me focus my anxiety on more socially acceptable outlets. In pursuit of this lofty ideal, 2017 saw the pointing of nozzles – attached to tubes of Primular – right at my mouth, whenever anyone passed; nothing wrong with that. 🙂 Perfectly timed and – squeezed with a nice even pressure – they have proved spectacularly successful, also giving witness to the astonishing length of my tounge.  Timing sadly, isn’t always top notch, so we have also introduced a rather moreish little herbal remedy called ‘Complete Calm’, my medication of choice. It has a mildly tranquilising effect and makes for a rather mellow Ben, most of the time. However, it isn’t up to the mark when ankles pass at speed, or when they are close to a couple of wheels travelling at speed. Desperate remedies accompany these extremes, including restraint on a leash, to save me from myself and make sure I am able to fulfil my safety needs.

While on the subject of level two needs, I must say that – even if I am just a pooch with a laptop – I rather take issue with old Abe, as we like to call him, about an important omission. He is – quite rightly – big on safety and security. However, he totally misses the importance of comfort needs and so doesn’t give the physical and metaphorical significance of the soft furnishings a look in. I knew when, within 5 minutes of arriving, I was tucked up beside B on our sofa with my own – rather attractive – throw, that I was going to have all my needs met at this strange place I had fetched up in. To prove my point, and to amuse my good friend Mary McCarthy, I have inserted a little moving gallery.

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Level three – Social needs, all about Ben belonging

2017 has really cemented my journey from orphan pup to happily ever after, via the dedicated work of Animal Concern West Cumbria (Click Mickey), and my wonderful temporary accommodation with foster people, Gavin and Wendy. Admittedly, living with 2 legged things is a v. v .v odd and sometimes alarming experience. I mean they spend all day putting things on and taking them off again: whey they get up, go out, come back in, when the fire is hot, when the fire is cold, when we go to bed… Why would you do that? I’m not even going to mention when we go out for our walks, dizzy doesn’t come anywhere near it. Then there is this small room, that I never go into, but which my people spend hours in in, all on their own. Sometimes, when I snuggle up close to the door while waiting, I get the benefit of a Turkish bath from the steam that creeps out from under the door. Having settled into this weird and wonderful place, with the ever mysterious human race – and not forgetting the old girl – I have somehow become confident of a place where I belong and now call home.

And that really is just the start of my social life. I’ve got a little mouse called Mickey, who has taken a shine to my van, and a feline friend from Devon that I correspond with now and again. Then there’s my trio of loyal canine followers from Norwich and a few pals from my old dog obedience class. Topping it all, there’s a whole bunch of us who meet in the forest most days, on our morning constitutionals, which includes my very best pal Oscar, who I introduced you to in my review of 2016. I have an internal struggle when I see him, because his person comes with a nice succulent line in treats. I’m never sure who to say hello to first, Angela for my level one needs, or Oscar for my level three ones. Our games are still just magic, and the electricity generated really should be sold off to the national grid as a substantial contribution to the renewal energy strategy.

To top all this I’ve got a whole band of two legged things who are friends, fans, followers and supporters. 2018, is going to see me and my young cousin Bobby making headlines, when he comes to visit me in the Lake District and I just can’t wait – watch this spot. Then, of course, there’s Bumble, as ever making my tummy go all fluttery and my heart beat faster.

I think I can say, with a degree of confidence, that level three needs are done and dusted so… going up.

Level four  –  esteem needs

Well, with all that going on I’d have to be a bit soft in the head not to feel a bit puffed up, wouldn’t I? Anyway, soft in the head is Labrador, not Border Collie territory. As a result I’m something of a buoyant little fellow, though sometimes – I’m told – my head gets a bit too big for my walking boots, then I need to be taken down a peg or two. The big names who didn’t respond to e mail quest (enabling me to name drop through tagging them, and thereby getting tons of followers) did just that. Therefore, my blog still isn’t a viable proposition for would be advertisers, paying lots of dosh for my fundraising. I know B meant to be consoling when she told me they might have thought I was a bit of cheap meat – spam I think she actually said – but, quite frankly,  I didn’t find it in the least reassuring. It has dented but not altogether destroyed my faith in the two legged variety because, BIG BECAUSE,  I did get a few responses with kind and encouraging words and they were from v. v. v. BIG names: Roy Hattersley, a mystery celebratory, Elton John and, Julia Bradbury who just recently sent me a present to thank me for being friends, how cool is that. Julia and her team at The Outdoor Guide, are doing their best to help me get recognised and I am v. v. v grateful to them. The comments of my celebrity fans are at the end of the welcome post that fronts up my blog. With such warm sentiments ringing in my ears how could I not be elevated to the very top of the triangle, with the best of them, going for gold.

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Level five  – self-actualisation needs

I’d say this is a work in progress, 47 Munros down and a mere 235 to go. I did manage to climb the height of Everest this year and, of course, I have my literary ambitions – to get a book of my own published one day.

With such a lovely life and so much going for me, I’m looking forward to doing a bit more of this self-actualising stuff in the coming year and, guess what, I’ll let you all about it. But, not before…

And so to bed








Love Ben xx


Munro post – 08/07/2017 – The Glen Shee Six (37)

Friends, collies, leather pawed dogs,

Staying at the ski centre was meant to have given us a great advantage, hopping straight out of my van and onto the path which heralded the start of our walk. However, I wasn’t feeling right but couldn’t quite put my paw on what it was. Before we had got to the end of the car part B had turned back and then it dawned on me. My tummy was EMPTY. B had FORGOTTEN to give me my BREAKFAST. Having averted the mood altering drama that could have unfolded, we were then on our way for what promised to be a v. v. v long haul and the possibility of 6, yes SIX more Munros, in an increasingly heavy bag. Today we were heading off to conquer the Munros that sit on the east side of the ski centre by the A93, having done those on the west during our first 2017 weekend. All the skiing tackle, described in my last blogs, littered these hills too but we were soon up above it all, turning South to traverse the grassy flank of Glas Maol’s western aspect, with Creag Leacach, our first target well in view. As we approached grass gave way to rock and, by the time we were flogging up to the summit, my toes were ouching every time I put them to the ground.

Imagine, if you will, a bone china ornament in the shape of a dome. Now pretend it has shattered but a sticky core remains, supporting the top of the dome. All the splintered fragments have tumbled down over each other, sticking to the sides like a skirt fanning out in the breeze. Now magnify the image by about a million times and that’s what my paws were having to contend with as I approached my first summit of the day. Up on top the wind was fresh and strong, though not unwelcome. Bits and pieces of blue were gathering pace and beginning to dominate the sky and, if it weren’t for the cooling properties of a stiff breeze things might have been hoting up just a bit too much.

As we retreated, the grassy prominence of Glas Maol was a blessed relief, much like walking  off the chippings of our forecourt and onto the carpeted interior of home. This time our route took us over the top and that was No. 2 in the bag. Now all we had to do was hop up and down a few hundred metres another 4 times, while we marched across another 10 or 12 miles, then we were home and,  hopefully, dry. Onward and upward then to the highest point of the day on a northern trajectory. The Cairn of Claise, whose summit cairn seems to grow out of the very wall that crosses it, stands at 1064 metres. From here both Tom Buide and Tolmount, the next two on our itinerary, could be clearly seen beckoning us on. Seen from this elevation, lower in height by more than 100 metres, they looked too diminutive to be Munros but they were in the book and… if they’re in the book… you bag them. What they did seem was a very long way off and far apart. Apparently, this is nothing by Cairngorm standards but I wasn’t going to think about that today. My legs were already feeling tired and we were only half way around.

Now a crow would just have flown east, swooped down 100 metres and landed on old Tom’s cairn. But me and B had to descend further than that as we stuck off in the direction of No. 4 and then consequently, clamper up again to gain the top of the beast. So far the paths had been reasonably dry but I could sense a bog in the depression and what with the achy legs and splintered paws, I couldn’t own up to attacking this part of the walk in a burst of  joyous humour. However, we were saved from the worst of the wetland by the services of a half descent path and hence I escaped the indignity of a beautiful tri coloured collie turning into a mono shade of murky brown .

Having introduced ourselves to Mr Buide we were four Munros up and the last two now seemed well within our compass. Setting off again, after the photo shoot, I was light of heart and fleet of foot, geared up for the next descent and ascent, eager to great our penultimate summit  in the fashion of, ‘hail the conquering hero’. The journey had got a little more spongy but nothing a meandering path couldn’t skirt around and so, with our 5th in the bag, I felt on top of the world and began to fantasise about my dinner bowl and some lovely zzzzzzzzzzzzs.

Oh, silly old Ben. Who spoke too soon? They say it’s never over until the fat lady sings. Well that could be a very long time in the Munros because you don’t get too many fat ladies up there. Fat ladies not withstanding, we weren’t home and dry at all and had the worst to come. Descending from Tolmount had been a piece of cake and we turned to the west to meet the ridge that would take us towards Carn an Tuirc. All day we had struck out on reasonable paths, not all of them the nice big tracks that I favour, but you could decipher their direction and, with the high cloud base, all had been plain sailing walking. Just here though, in the hinterland circled by Munros, on the last leg of our trek, we were pathless  in a swamp. Me and B were trudging through muck, making for a ridge that seemed to get further and further away. Suddenly, the days endeavours caught up with us in the extra effort this took. From a state of near euphoria we were suddenly overwhelmed by fatigue, as we plunged in bog hole after bog hole, of feet sucking peat.

The hags, that interspersed the bogs, gave more substance to the ground but their classic mounds meant lots of ups and downs, like mini Munros, but more of them. They had another function though and we were soon utilising it, as we slumped down on one for a well earned rest. Sitting here a little forlornly we wondered when would we ever reach the ridge and was that really the next summit way across to the north west. Wondering and munching went hand in hand to refill energy banks that had gone well into overdraft and, though a little snooze would have been a wonderful experience, I was trying to do my bit as buddy to let B know that, when the chips are down, we are in it together. Of course, had there been any real chips about it would have been my head that was down, buddy or no buddy. Though the temptation to linger was compulsive we knew that we had to prize ourselves from our perch and tackle the rest of the pathless moorland, hoping for something dryer and more defined on the ridge, if we ever made it.

In fact, in less than twenty minutes after alighting on the ridge we were capturing the happy faces of four companions at the summit cairn. Then they, in turn, took our mug shot as we looked – for all the world – as if bog, slog and near exhaustion had never been a feature of the walk at all. Well, what would you expect. We had done all six and were smug in our achievement, only short of a bottle of champagne to shake and offer to the gods in a lava of fizzing celebration.

That may have been a tad premature though, because it took us over an hour to follow a delightful path, descending by one of a clutch of streams that ran off the mountain side into Cairnwell burn, in the glen below. Tumbling waters, gurgled and splashed as they gyrated and diverted over and around rocks in the river bed, like gymnasts going through their paces. They had an energy to spur us on to what was very nearly the end of our walk, at the car park 2 kilometres north of the ski centre.

Now the sad truth of the matter was that my van was still at the skil centre. There really was nothing for it but to put two paws in front of each other, with the other two behind also going hammer and tongs, for the extra half hour it took to follow the road back up the hill. The main road through from Blairgowrie to Braemar was something of a culture shock after the peace of the hills. A constant stream of those noisy four wheeled things sped past us at a rate of knots. However, they were nothing compared to the vehicles that were two wheels short of a chassis. I started to tense as their mounting volume approached till as they past us, and several cars, in a roaring crescendo of turbo charged testosterone, my nerves were shot to bits. Half an hour can be a v. v. v long time in the life of 3 year old border collie with a nervous disposition.

Of course we did get back to my van eventually and the sight of it (though it might be considered a little tight of space in the sleeping department) was – after what I had just  endured – pure heaven on earth. 9.5 hours after nearly not getting my breakfast I was tucking into dinner with a gargantuan appetite and, before the 10 hours were up, guess where I was?

Oh dear, you know me too well know.

And so to bed

Love Ben xx


Munro post – 07/07/2017 – Glas Tulaichean & Carn an Righ (31)

Friends, collies, commuting dogs

Our misfortune in getting held up in traffic on our journey to the Munros a couple of weekends ago, and the slow progress along minor roads before we got anywhere near to donning our walking boots, got B thinking . The radical fallout from this cognitive  endeavour was the decision to drive up the night before our first walk. It confused me no end. B went off to work as usual and I had my lovely gentle stroll in the forest  with David and the old girl. Once home I was biding my time on the soft furnishings till B got home, praying with all my paws that it was going to stay fine so we could play some ball in my garden. Therefore, excitement was upper most when B arrived early. Her arrival was followed by a lot of activity and within 15 minutes I was in my van heading north accompanied by a lot of butterflies, who might well have been playing ball in my tummy.

Luckily, this time, we had a better route to Edinburgh, via Biggar, on a much smoother road. I don’t think I could have coped with my van bouncing over pot holes as well as the butterflies chasing ball. Unfortunately I was given cause, once again, to question B’s ability to plan our travel. Now I’m only a dog, albeit a border collie, but it doesn’t take a genius to predict the time all those people – who drive into Edinburgh for work across the Fourth Bridge – will be driving out again. You guessed it, we arrived at the Edinburgh by pass at that precise time. So, there we were, once again, in a long line of stationary traffic, going nowhere fast. By the time we passed the crook of Devon I could well believe that we were in the west country. Eventually, we arrived and were drawn to the lay by on the A93 we had become so familiar with last time. It was early to bed that night as B was v. v. v  tired, what with the working and the driving, and I wasn’t sorry. Given my nervous disposition I was exhausted too. This Munro project was certainly playing havoc with my equilibrium.

In my lay by

The next morning reared it’s ugly head long before my body clock had time to adjust. If one of my eyes accidently opens at 5.30am I like to greet the world with a big stretch and then roll over and go back to sleep for a good few hours. Not so for B; her motivation for being up and doing was both admirable, in an objective sense, and lamentable for me as her buddy. By 6.30am we were legging it up yet another track into more hills, with summits  stubbornly veiled in what was becoming their traditional headgear.

The notices around the baronic pile that is now Dalmunzie hotel – where we had parked – told us what to do, what not to do and when to do it, like similar notices on so many estates. That got B going off on one. This diatribe featured the genuinely complex relationship between rights and conservation, in comparison with chauvinistic types who think that shooting at wildlife is something to be proud of, pay loads of dosh to keep the estates just viable, and then hold up their ‘sports’ as acts of conservation. Meantime, I’m not allowed to go anywhere near nesting birds that are only going to see the end of a two barrel, as the end of their lot in mortal coil.

Our track did a few demi wheelies, crossing the river each time and we so pleased that it had been dry most of the summer (up to early July) otherwise we would have been in big trouble. Up and up we went, as the cloud vaporised about us and the temperature dropped dramatically. It wasn’t anything that couldn’t be expected in a cool April but, in July, it really didn’t cut the mustard. Jacket, waterproof trousers, gloves and hat all got an airing before we had reached the first summit of this weekend. B seemed to be reasonably water tight but not me. I was exposed the vagaries of the elements and I began to pout a bit, not the least inclined to put on ‘a face’ for the camera. I wanted to be seen cutting a dash in this year’s collection of doggy outdoor gear. We did the usual Munro selfie but, in all honesty, I can’t say that B came out of it cutting any dashes at all, so I’ve cut it out (hee, hee).

 Glas Tulaichean

We didn’t hang about around at the top of Glas Tulaichean and we avoided the temptation to follow the ridge between two corries, heading south (thank you guide book). Instead we followed a northern trajectory with what the Munors often throw up as navigational aids; those rusty old fence posts. Though they had seen better days they were nevertheless, hanging about for the long haul and did us proud. Our next move involved cutting down to river and then up onto the – currently invisible – stalkers path on the other side. Cutting down and river aren’t words that immediately conjure up feelings of rapture, accompanied as they usually are by vast hinterlands of pathless, boogy trudging and today was not exception. I particularly don’t like this when mist is hanging about as it stirs up my anxiety juices, with the words lost and forever, reverberating in my ears. Luckily as we descended the mist lifted a little and the path we wanted became clear. Though this didn’t stop me getting in an awful mess I was at least, no longer in fear of my life. As we left the path, making for the top of Carn an Righ, the weather closed in again but not before we had seen a parcel of deer against the rocky outcrop. We got to the top but with the rain and the cold, and generally being in a bit of a state, I was even less inclined to be the stooge in the photo, proof of another one in the bag.

Just then clouds – that had been fiends – began to scuttle across the sky, chased by a more benign force that promised a brighter afternoon. A battle then played out above us with light and dark in frequent bids for ascendancy, like a troop of old geezers playing tug of war to see who could topple who. Our walk under Mam nan Carn through more boggy territory began to seriously dampen my spirits until, oh lordy me, 8OO metres above sea level, there was a wonderful expanse of water nestling in the mountains, casting a magic to compensate for all my woes. I could sense B weighing it all up: how cold, how deep, how much time etc. but, I was having none of it and put considerable strength into my own tug of war until B could hold me no more. Boy oh boy, you should have seen me go. Pathless route, no problem. Peaty hags, made for leaping. Squelchy bogs, a mere trifle. I was down by the waters edge, looking for my ball, before you could say, “mind your feet”.

Loch nan Eun

After an invigorating dip, and much retrieving of my ball, we set off on the last leg of the day, the long stroll down the length of Glen Taitneach. Finally, when down in the Glen, the brighter forces won the battle of the skies as evidenced by the slimline figure B became, when relieved of multiple layers of protective clothing. Of course, I had nothing to take off but it was lovely to feel the sun on my back and sense the steam rising from my inner being.

Gleann Taitneach

My spirits had been restored up at Loch nan Eun and now, with the late afternoon sun beaming down on me, I could reflect on the glory of 2 more peaks to my name. B was made up because we were staying in the car park at the ski centre and she was assured of hot and cold running water in the loos up there. So endeth another happy day of Munroing.

And so to bed,

Love Ben xx

Munro post – 25/06/2017 – Cairn Aosda , Carn a Gheoidh, The Cairnwell (29)


Friends, collies, sleepy dogs,

Strong winds were forecast again for the next day, our last, but not the pulverising gale force bruts of yesterday. This caused for celebration in the guise of a nice lie in or, to put it another way, B’s idea of a joke. 6.30am is NO WAY, a reasonable time for getting up, as far as I’m concerned. Regardless of my feelings on the matter and before I could say “objection”, we were back at the ski centre embarking on another walk, with a mere 3 Munros the target for the day. Such a feat was helped admirably by the altitude of our starting point so that amazingly, staggeringly, me and B were well into our Munro summit ritual just 45 minutes after leaving the car park and, I promise, we didn’t get the chair lift that goes all the way up. Descending South towards the col, our acquaintance from yesterday, we came upon a curious feature. There was a sign post to the Munro we had just bagged. Never, in all my born days, had I seen a signpost to a Munro before.

From the col we continued Southwards a little and then turned West heading for Carn a Gheoidh, our next conquest. Having finally left the unattractive paraphernalia of the skiing fraternity behind we passed the sequested beauty of a pair of unnamed lochans, their waters rippling sedately even in these untamed winds, cosseted as they are by the protective qualities of the hillocks that circle them; a little amphitheatre set just to the side of our path. I decided these waters of peace needed an identity and so I named them ‘BenzieB’ lochans. I got the idea from a tarn in the lake district, that my peoples’ great nephew Thomas, named ‘Taisie Tarn’ after he and the old girl (Maisie) had come across it, the day Thomas climbed Place Fell for the first time.

Although the winds were still mightily strong the sun put in the odd appearance bringing the hills to life and igniting our senses, making us feel so alive. On the way to Carn a Gheoidh we wove around Carn nan Sac, where we could see directly over to our last Munro for the day, The Cairnwell. Oh my goodness me, what a big drop and steep climb. I was overwhelmed and needed a sleep. After that B told me she was only teasing and, though it would be a great route for a crow flying, we were going to take a longer less arduous route by going back to the bulldozer track and then up to the summit. Phew, phew, phew. However, we hadn’t yet completed our second Munro and so we continued on our march.

One thing I have noticed on the Munros is that, when the weather is bad, everyone just keeps their head down, grunts a little in passing, and then strikes off with their bag. But, when the weather improves it’s smiles all round, comparing bags, lots of encouragement and fond wishes – in farewell – for a good day. Obviously, the good weather greetings are more of a challenge for me, given the opportunity for lunging and nipping but, today I was magnificent. I coped with the meet and greet with astonishing magnanimity, which did wonders in the treat department. What with the sunny weather, the good behaviour, three relatively easy Munros to bag and a full tummy, I was on top of the world, striking out to get to the next summit with joy in my heart and a song on my lips. It has to be said that the composition of dog lyrics are indecipherable to the average human ear but, it could just be, they owed a little to the song we had named our own, on the journey up… ‘You say it best, when you say nothing at all.’ Just so.

Coming back from Carn a Gheoidh, we by passed Carn nan Sac and, wanting to leave BenzieB locans in their tranquil state, I didn’t even suggest a swim to ruffle their undisturbed waters. Back at the bulldozer track it just one more plod up to The Cairnwell and then the journey home.


By this time, although we were well back into all the ski clobber, The Cairnwell was – aditionally – crested with a mass of transmitter equipment adding further scarring to the Cairngorm mountains. Today’s winds whipped around and over the masts producing eerie musical reverberations that didn’t harmonise with the song on my lips but sent a shiver down my spine  instead. Today had been magical, despite the debris around the ski centre and, once we were back at my van after by-passing the closed cafe, we were homeward bound.

What a weekend: 7 more Munros in our bag, ending in exhaustion and such a lot to tell David when I got home – I couldn’t wait, though somehow I missed the journey back and only came too at the gate of home, around 6.30pm.

A very sunny evening of carousing and general excitement followed so that, next day, it was a lot of hard work for all of our eyelids.

And so to bed







Love Ben xx