A failure which cost me money. We'd planned to do rock climbing on Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain (Heh, heh. It's in Scotland). We pitched our two tents below - me alone, brother Sir Hugh and his pal, Gimmer, in the other. During the night, it rained. It does that in Scotland. Rain that changed the immediate landscape; a trickle became a burn (Scot. = stream) which became a small waterfall - through both our tents.
The next day we took the train south. Sir Hugh and Gimmer left to climb in the Lake District; I to Bradford to dump my tent and motorcycle up to rejoin them.
At 4 am I emerged from the train at Shipley a mere 3 miles from Heaton the suburb where I lived. The most direct route took in a steepish path through hillside woods. But what the heck?
I shouldered my rucksack with difficulty but didn't think much about that. After a mile, however, it was all I could think about. Rain had tripled the weight of my tent and sleeping bag. I leant against someone's garden wall knowing I didn't dare take off the rucksack to rest. I'd never get it back on again. Still I faced the hillside path.
I have no memory of what followed. The pain in my shoulders fused with my resentment about the cost of futilely going from Bradford to Scotland and back. Perhaps I thought about PB, my first love. I hope so. Perhaps I envisaged myself ski-ing (two decades ahead) where uphill is by lift. Perhaps I imagined renouncing “outdoors” and switching to opera. Unhealthily writing novels. Tote that barge, lift that bale… Do you know? It isn’t even fun merely remembering.
NOTE. Pic isn't me