It has been suggested that my views on paying for doctors and vets (see previous post) are overly simplistic, and that I should stick to what I do best. Which is accompanying Gail on walks in scenic places, and sniffing things.
Just for once, I'm going to follow the advice (it won't last, after all, what's a blog, if you can't be a bit controversial now and then......?)
Well this weekend, I decided I had something to prove. You know how us older fellows can find it hard to accept that our glory days are behind us. I certainly resent any implication that I am fit these days only for short strolls to the park and back.
So I persuaded Gail to take me up Millstone Hill. Just south of that famous Aberdeenshire landmark, Bennachie, it's a favourite haunt of my youth, and I knew that the heather would be looking pretty at this time of year.
I was so sure I could still manage to get to the top.
At the start, you have to climb some steps up through a conifer plantation. No problem, although the steps do go on for quite a long time....
A bit higher, the trees are mostly birch and Scots pine, and you start to see the heather.
A granite boulder makes for a good vantage point from where to admire the view over the valley. And if you're thinking that maybe I needed to stop and catch my breath at this point, well you're JUST WRONG.
In fact, I was going so fast that I had to keep stopping to look round and check that Gail was keeping up (she is fifty you know...)
As you can see here, I had absolutely no problem scrambling over the larger rocks on the path.
When you get even higher up, there's more heather and fewer trees. So much heather in fact, a small dog could almost disappear in it.
Gail kept making me stop to pose for photos. I didn't want to stop, really.....
Approaching the top, I was still going strong(ish).
Eventually I reached the summit. As on most Scottish hills, you can tell you're at the top 'cos there's a pile of stones (technical term, a cairn, as in cairn terrier, Petey). OK, I'll admit, I was by then ready for some refreshment.
And as it was quite a warm afternoon (for Scotland that is...), and the pool was so handy, I felt the need to cool off my underside. This was the result...photogenic or what?
I really don't understand why Gail had a problem with this look....
But for some reason I was banned from the next photo on the way down.
Then forced to sit so that the muddy bits weren't too visible.
Now I will admit, that by the end of the walk, my paws were getting a little sore, so it came as a relief to find a soft grassy stretch.
Then, just before we returned to the car, I saw a building that looked very interesting, and went straight inside. They had all sorts of fine animals in there. I felt right at home.
Well all in all I had a splendid time, and the fact that it took us nearly three hours to complete a walk of under four miles was of course due to Gail taking all those pictures and ABSOLUTELY NOT ON ANY ACCOUNT because I'm old and slow....