Monday, 17 December 2018

Storm Deirdre.

Scotland was on lock down. Storm Deirdre was on her way. There was gonna be ice. It wasn't gonna be nice. At work on Friday we were getting emails about it. The weekend looked bleak. So when you get bleak you've just gotta make bleakade and drink it down. So that's what me and Buchanan did.

We scrapped plans for going anywhere in the car. What's the point in travelling to see what grey looks like? We could get that nearer to home. It was supposed to start snowing at about noon, so when we left the house shortly before that after a long session of shilly-shallying, I thought we'd blown it. But it didn't even matter. We've blown it before. So we set off for Corstorphine Hill and we set the day's mission as "bleakest black and white photograph". Now I come to think about it, I've not seen Peter's photos, so I don't know who won.

It's surprisingly hard to stand on Antony Gormley's sloping shoulders.

The sky got darker and darker, but nothing happened. A couple of miles in I realised I'd layered up too thoroughly and had to take a top off. Still it wasn't hanging around weather either. We had a bag of mixed nuts that we thought might entice some of the wild-life to come within patting distance, but no-one was having any of it. Nobody wanted our nuts. I suspect they get better at the zoo next door.

This is an excerpt from a dream I had. The baby foxes and cat looked at me with resentment, while the big fox and the owl couldn't even look at me. They said they weren't angry, just disappointed. I don't even know what I did wrong.

Thank God the sun came out the next day. It looked like it was going to be one of those sunny, bright but icy days. I'd like to tell you we set off first thing but, well, I think it's winter brain chemicals. It's impossible to get moving quickly. Eventually we did set off and we agreed we'd head for the Lammermuirs. I thought it would be harsh but scenic. I wanted to go to the Lanterne Rouge first for coffee and cake though. Peter was a bit reluctant as it was already the afternoon. Sensing mutiny near (mutiny is never far away in the winter months) he didn't make a thing of it though. I enjoyed a piece of transcendent cake. I don't know what actual kind it was and I can't believe I didn't take a photo.

The roads were getting less welcoming as we approached the Hopes Reservoir. Peter was telling me something long and involved while I was actually wondering this - if we did happen to slip off the narrow icy road down the steep embankment, would a couple of the supple looking trees catch the van, and could we carefully crawl out the car before it plummeted a further 30 feet onto the stony ground below? Thankfully I still don't know.

We got to the car park and found it was a couple of inches deep with ice - and there was thick ice all the way up the road. Someone super smart had decided to wear road shoes for the run. (It was me!) and someone else had followed suit. So we ran gingerly into the slicing wind with little grip under our feet. Half a mile in we were having to pick our way carefully. I suggested we cut our losses and run back to the van and head to Gullane for a proper run. To my surprise Peter concurred. If we'd had Yaktrax or something like that, we'd have been alright. As it was we were hopeless. We said goodbye to the arctic hares and foxes (imagined) and turned tail.

When we got to Gullane the wind had dropped and it felt very cosy and inviting in comparison. To be fair the weather forecast had said the wind might drop in the afternoon, but I wouldn't have knowingly waited until 2.30pm to start running. That's what we did though and it was a surprisingly magical run. There was an endless sunset and we both took endless photos of it. I've tried to control myself and not put them all up.  The tide was a long way out at Aberlady bay and the sand was flat and great for running on. Our city runs can be diverting but it was noticeable just how much nicer it was being right out in the country. The air is better, everything smells better. everything sounds better.


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