Saturday, 4 December 2010


Another fabulous run up Arthur's Seat today at a very easy pace. I feel I should apologise for being so unadventurous as to keep going up the seat but I worked from 7am til 8pm yesterday and was knackered so only surfaced pretty late today. After a leisurely breakfast the long blue shadows were stretching across the street and the sun had ducked down behind the chimney pots. No point in going far.

And its another world up there anyway. There weren't so many people and those that were were dressed for it. The snow was very deep in places making us slow to a high-stepping walk on the steeper bits. We went up behind the crags where people were being careful to keep away from the cornices curling over the edges.

We went up the gutted haddie and although it was reasonable there were times I wished I was wearing my Mudclaws. I had worn Inov8s that are more for trails (can't remember which ones they are) for the rather fatuous reason that they needed a good clean and nothing deep cleans your shoes like a run in the snow. I felt very tentative on the rather slick icy slope however. It was apparent on the faces of the other few people up there that they were also taking it all just a bit more seriously. Going down would have been a lot harder.

We crested the hill without incident anyway and then harrumphed our way through deep snow down to Whinny hill. At Whinny hill we climbed up to get back into the sunshine and to find some shallower stuff that would make for better running. As we were dropping down to the foot of what we call 'Hell Hill' (I can't even remember why), we came across the rather perturbing sight of two quite young children in the snow. There was no sign of an adult anywhere and the younger one was calling something out and seemed upset. They couldn't have come up themselves could they? There was a kind of kiddy-sleigh on runners near to them. We slowed down and went round for a closer look. We called to them to ask if they were alright but they didn't answer, so Peter tried French and the older of the two responded. It was one of these moments when you start thinking - has something really horrible happened here? Has a parent gone over an edge? - or if we get nearer are they going to be collapsed in the snow?

They didn't know where their parents were, that became clear, but as I struggled for several moments to formulate how to ask them how long it had been since they'd seen them their dad appeared on the crest of the hill on skis shouting "Artur!".

Le phew! Both the kids relaxed and looked happy again. They were really very cute. The younger of the two had lost a boot and was saying something like "J'ai perdu mon maquette" (although I've looked up maquette and its a scale model). The dad said something in French to the kids and then said "Cheers!" to us, so we ran on.

We had a run about on the flatter bit outside the queen's house, inspecting the snowmen and an igloo and a snow-hole which had been created there in the last couple of days and then ran home.
Tonight the running club do. I have to try not to drink too much.

Peter's photos


karinsmiles said...

Your photos are fantastic as always. Why go any further when you have such a wonderful playground on your doorstep.

Tiny Runner said...

Fabulous! I wore my x-country spikes in Tentsmuir yesterday for exactly the same reason! Clean now ;)