Sunday, 8 January 2012
Due to my inability to participate in life as a whole yesterday, my return to London was put off. This was taken as a cue to squeeze in an extra walk today before I go, to start my endevours in our nations capital tomorrow. We decided (although in my state of semi-conciousness all day I don't exactly remember agreeing to anything) to make it a good one, and thus it was settled that we'd pop up Roseberry Topping. The Topping is half an hours drive from us, and we estimated that to the top and down again should take an hour, so to have this done before lunch (everything is worked out around meals in this family I'm sure you've worked out) we aimed to set off at 8.30. The alarms went off this morning and with only standard minor problems (Eddie didn't want to get out of bed, Dad didn't want to get out of bed, I didn't want to get out of bed etc) we set off at 8.33, and were at the foot of the hill ready to go at 9.07. Avid readers of this blog will recall a smug text I recieved from Dad and Ed while I was away, saying that they had conquered the Topping in 1 hour and 10 minutes, so as the experts I let them lead the way. We elected to take the "Storm Assault" route up, and would meander down the "Contour Path" on our way back. The Storm Assault seemed like quite an eay option; it had steps. My scoffing soon subsided as I mounted the first one and discovered that the height of each step was proportioned for giants! Again I cursed my tiny legs and hauled myself upwards. At the top of the steps was a last scramble to the summit, at which point Dad dropped to his knees and said he couldn't go on. It was at this juncture that Ed had to admit (owing to Dads lacking capacity to breathe never mind explain anything) that last time they had tried this Dad had had several "rest rocks" which he had not dared make use of this time in my prescence. We paused briefly then to mock and photograph Dad until he was back on his feet and we made it to the top. This was a place where Dad had previously been allowed a 10 minute rest, but I soon put a stop to that and urged him on back downwards. Soon enough the familiar whine "I'm 51 years old you know!" started up, but was nipped in the bud (for today at least) by a passing pair of walkers who retorted "51, your'e just a young lad!" The pair turned out to be 80 years old, and they tackled Roseberry Topping 6 days a week. They didn't even look out of breath and Dad was shamed into silence. Once he stopped complaining we found that he could keep up much better, as I light hearted from the revalations of the elderly gentlemen skipped down light footed as a mountain goat. Eddie too was striding out, until my second highlight of the day hit - he fell over. A kinder set of family members woyld have helped him up, or at least expressed concern, but following what had already happened with Dad, of course he and I just laughed until Eddie struggled up again. So despite the pair of them being the resident Roseberry Topping experts, I was the only one to remain upright for the whole climb, and as we returned to the car muddy and knackered (some more so than others) we clocked in a time of 55 minutes. I'm thinking of adding an 80 year old to the challenge to keep Dad moving, Granddad would have been perfect for it had he been here, but then again if he had been none of this would have been happening.