Monday 2 May 2016

Memorandum Bank Holiday Monday

Some weeks it is easier than others to come up with something new to share on Sian's Memorandum Monday.  This was one of the more difficult ones!  Because although it was a busy weekend, it didn't involve too much that was new.  Except perhaps the fact that this Sunday was the first time that it was sunny enough to sit outside and do some knitting.

Now it may look as if Coco is taking a sincere interest in what I'm doing but take it from me, she was really giving me 'the look', the one that means 'ahem, excuse me, but you're sitting in my spot'.  The minute the seats go on the outside sofa, she assumes that the left hand corner spot is hers and hers alone.
Now, I may not have done something new, but my son found a new way to give me cause for anxiety.  With his girlfriend away in New York visiting her sister with her mum, he decided to rally the troops and get a group of friends together to go hiking and camping in Scotland.  I had visions of campsites and well trodden trails around lochs.  He had intentions of setting up camp wherever they decided to stop for the night and climbing Ben Macdui, the second highest mountain.  If you check the website you will see 'The plateau itself is extremely exposed and tricky to navigate except in perfect conditions - particularly serious when under snow.'  So, guess what the weather forecast for the Cairngorms was this weekend, while we Southerners were sitting in the garden knitting?  Snow storms.  Temperatures hovering around -6.  5 young men who have never camped properly before.  Oh sure, Jon had camped for a couple of nights around Loch Lomond while he was living in Edinburgh, but on a campsite and in the summer. 
He arrived here on Wednesday night, unfolded his Map and showed his Dad the route he'd planned for the following 4 days.  I looked at various print outs he'd downloaded of other people's suggested walks.  It all looked pretty bleak to me.  Not much sign of habitation, just wide open - steep - spaces.  And just to add to the mix, imagine how much mobile phone signal you get on a mountain side.  Oh yes this was not a good scenario for me.  Thursday came and went.  Friday I googled 'current weather conditions in Ben Macdui and the first site that came up was a news report of four climbers having to be rescued due to bad weather, and as I tried to calm my breathing I caught sight of the date of that posting - January.  I kept looking at his Whatsapp account to see if he'd been online at all.  Nothing since Thursday morning.  Saturday passed, still nothing, then in the afternoon this showed up on Instagram


And a message 'pinged' up on Whatsapp to say 'Just to let you know we're safe and sound.  Had to change our original plans due to some pretty impressive snow storms'.  And I realised how lucky I was to have a son who knew I'd be worried and took the time to let me know the situation.  Also someone who was sensible enough to take stock of the situation and not just continue ahead anyway.  That he'd had the foresight to study those maps and know how to divert from Plan A and find a new, safer, alternative.

So I guess that this weekend I did learn something new, I should trust that he is brave enough to explore but sensible enough to make the right decisions.  I suspect that there are many tales to be told after this trip.  Hopefully he'll spare me any hair raising stories, because I suspect that this trip has just whetted his appetite and this could become an annual thing. 



helena said...

love that fierce look from Coco and good to hear the climbing group survived the snow over the weekend. have a great week

Alison said...

Us mums can't help but worry, can we?'s always good to be reminded that our 'chicks' have more sense than we give them credit for! Xx

Julie Kirk said...

I did get a pang of jealously when you mentioned sitting outside! We've had snow here. I did not however feel an urge to climb a hill in it. I walked to the shops. Which is as adventurous as I get.

I'm glad he made his mother proud/relieved!

Patio Postcards said...

Safe & sound is a good message to receive. I am counting the moments for the temperatures to rise to be warm enough for sitting on the patio - especially without a winter coat on.! Happy week ahead.

alexa said...

Hail and snow here - I'm astonished you were knitting outside, even with a glowering look from Coco! And very relieved that all ended well. Oh, the frights they give us!

Sian said...

Wow: no, no knitting outside here either! Not without a windcheater and a balaclava.

..and I'm smiling at myself: when I heard about the snow in Scotland I was worrying that my bot hadn't taken any warm jumpers back with him. Now I know I should have been grateful he wasn't trying to camp. Sounds like the intrepid travellers enjoyed themselves. I wonder where they'll camp next?

Wishing you a good week and thanks for the birthday wishes

Susanne said...

New things learned about our kids are always interesting, if not always comforting. Glad his trip went well.

Ruth said...

I ate my lunch sitting at the garden table today, although I did go and put my cardi back on. Lovely that your boy was so thoughtful ... can you imagine what it must have been like for the mums of the earliest Polar explorers?!