What’s that squeaking?

Maw and Paw said they’d come out to play, and so they did.

I was hot though, the first bit from the roadside is steep and while I parked down at the Inveruglas visitor centre having dropped them off I wondered whether they’d soon be coming back down towards me having decide that this was all a bad idea. But, they were nowhere in sight and I had to get the legs moving to catch them up as they sauntered up the the electric substation well up the track. I wheezed and dripped sweat on my shoes as they smiled and said how lovely it was.

They were right of course, deep blue skies and vivid green hillsides with silver rocks shining out like giant coins stuck into every slope. Dragonflies swooped lazily around us at knee height, sheep hid under any shade they could find and we wandered onwards towards Loch Sloy.

My folks are no strangers to the Highlands, but haven’t been out much in recent times so this was a wee tester for them, see how the legs did. My “Anyone having a heart attack yet?” comments were instantly rebuffed, so they were doing fine.
We found a nice spot under Ben Vane and sat down for a picnic, and as it’s my folks it was an old-school picnic. I brought some new gear for them and they brought the grub, and this means I was eating pieces on the trail for the first time in ages. I’ll tell you what, bread with stuff on it is great trail food, was I in denial or something? Pieces are back from now on.

Jimmy took a wander up towards the dam as I sat with maw, she wasn’t pushing her luck in the heat. Jimmy appeared back with his camera quiet happy with himself, he’s a Macfarlane too of course, and this is our home, this very glen is where our name comes from and he was long overdue a visit.
We were in no hurry and the walk back was slow and easy, the weather, the views, the mood all helped to make it so. I can’t remember the last time we did something like this together, it won’t be so long to the next time anyway.

The sheep in a nearby field were going mental. Every one of them was bleating loudly and they were all milling around. Dinner time, a fox in the field, the farmers wife naked at the window? No idea but we watched amazed until they stoped as one and silence descended once again. It was a quiet day up there, no wind, no traffic, just grasshoppers and the buzz of those wonderful dragonflies.

Back at the car park we all sat inside in the shade for a cuppa in the cafe, three shiny smiley faces.
We’re all getting older, and somehow that makes days like this even more precious. A day out with my mum and dad, carefree and fun, it could have been 1974 as much as it was 2011.
Happy days.

14 thoughts on “What’s that squeaking?”

  1. Aye — your parents are right, a proper lunch will do you good! Never usually take sarnies myself but a couple of the last day trips climbing have involved cheese rolls, pasties, etc and it’s been great.
    Always nice to see families out together.

  2. Really enjoyed that. Just getting to stage in life where I’m beginning to really appreciate my own parents. Can’t see me dragging them up any hills soon though.

  3. Next camping trip expect to see a baguette in the photies.

    I’m glad I can do stuff like this with my folks, and we live quite close as well so Holly sees them all the time.

  4. My parents are 140 miles away on the coast but the kids did love going down there in the summer. Mum’s disabled but I might persuade dad to get out walking one time yet, he used to love scrambling around in the wee cluechs in the Ochils.

    A ham and cheese baguette with pickled onions might persuade him…

  5. Jees…China, It’s oh so very strange to see Jimmy without his overalls and welding bunnet.

  6. I’ll be taking sausages for my baguette and frying them in my Jetboil pan…

    Jimmy does look very odd out of uniform!

  7. The only pan I have is for a mini trangia – did hot dogs on it once in the back of the van but I don’t think meths is for me. Never even seen a jetboil pan – just hope food doesnt stick to it as easily as it does the normal jetboil!

  8. I got in for test just as work and everything went all insane and haven’t got to use it, it’s a proper wee pan though, I have high hopes!

  9. Those tea breaks at work would get longer if I had one for sure – the jetboil already gets used as a kettle at times. Fresh bacon sarnies at 10am every day? Hello fattie!

  10. Your description of the sheeps social behaviour is very similar to what I witnessed a few ago on the Pennines. I initially thought it was because I had the dog with me but then out the corner of my eye noticed a lamb stuck in the void below a cattle grid (the farmer’s car having just driven over it unaware). I jumped into the grid and prised out the dirty frightened lamb which found its mother and peace was restored to the field immediately. I was surprised as I normally think of sheep as a bit stupid even though the hardy breeds are masterful outdoor survival experts.

  11. My mum’s not so good on uphills and rough stuff these days, but she can fair motor along on the flat. We had some lovely walks along Rossbeigh Strand in Kerry last month. Very precious times.

  12. Chewy, I have my Snow Peak titanium mug with me every day, I get odd looks in works canteens.

    Mike, it did seem like there was something going on like you saw. I was quite unnerving, and the silence that follwd was addly reassuring too. Whatever it was they fixed it themselves.

    Kate, nice to have the memories rather than wishing for them.

  13. I always have a sandwich when i’m out and about. I don’t think i’d feel like i’d eaten if i didn’t have one.
    I’ve not been anywhere with my mam and da for ages, but i do see them every day. Admittedly i started to miss them when they were away to the caravan the past two weeks.
    Home safe and sound now though :)

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