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Sure-footed in 2017?


I took the first tumble of the year in this morning’s long shadows.

January’s low, cool sun accompanied me for seven miles along an empty coastal path. It was time and space enough to reflect at last on the year that has just ended. The year of words.

I’ve been absent here because work words took priority. They also took their toll. The day job on a newspaper; editing of broadcast interviews; tweaking the novel; updating Twitter; and checking in on Facebook . It left my eyes screen-saturated and begging for darkness.

There were a few short adventures in the hills I would have shared: a remote summer camp beside a Highland loch and autumn days spent climbing high for views above Scotland. But they were too few. My whole focus last year was on work. On not stumbling.

And now I’m faced with an enforced break. I have annual leave I need to use or lose, so tentative planning has begun for three weeks in New Zealand, a mix of catching up with family, wilderness walking and work.

When I tumbled this morning (to a soft landing), my head was somewhere along the Kepler Track, the high ridge route I walked with my son last time I visited. I was mentally packing my rucksack, locating my tent , boots, head torch and sleeping mat. Scotland’s mud and ice were 12,000 miles away. And then, quite spectacularly, they weren’t.

Happy New Year.


18 Comments Post a comment
  1. Ha! Welcome back. You’ve been working way too hard and not playing nearly enough. It sounds like even your feet are out of practice. Have a wonderful time planning that trip.

    January 4, 2017
    • Good to hear from you. I’ll aim to get a bit more balance in life this year!

      January 8, 2017
  2. So good to hear from you! I’ve been absent here myself- like you, life got in the way. I wish you Bonne Route for 2017 and a gentler path, with miles of trails yet to explore. Safe travels. My heart is with you! xoxo Julie

    January 3, 2017
  3. Hey – I was just thinking about you! Stay upright and outside in 2017!

    January 3, 2017
    • Ha! Good advice, for sure. Still optimistic I’ll see you in Speyside some day x

      January 8, 2017
  4. Have missed your posts and hope for more this year. Every best wish for 2017 and your trip to NZ. Buen Camino, Maggie x

    January 3, 2017
    • Thanks Maggie. Where are your plans for the coming year? (Maybe I should just read your blog!) x

      January 8, 2017
      • I shall be revealing all soon.

        January 14, 2017
  5. Nice to see you back! enjoy your time in our country

    January 3, 2017
  6. Doug Buchanan #

    Sounds like you have a bad case of i need to feel the mountain breezes in my face. Hope to catch up in NZ Doug

    January 3, 2017
    • Aye, you’re right Doug. I’m doing a lot of travelling but it’s all behind a steering wheel. In Langholm tonight, but arrived in the dark and will leave in the dark! Such a waste. Looking forward to longer days in NZ

      January 8, 2017
  7. Glad it was a soft landing and glad you’ll be taking a break from all that work. Enjoy!

    January 3, 2017
    • Thanks. I enjoy your adventures even if it’s just an occasional peek followed by a deep sigh. India! Looks fabulous.

      January 8, 2017
  8. I thought of you just the other day, Nancy, and wondered where you were. Happy New Year to you.

    January 2, 2017
    • And to you too! I’m impressed by your output. That takes dedication. Have a great 2017 x

      January 8, 2017

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