I had noticed that the current living arrangements were beginning to get to me. I wasn’t feeling the usual benefits of my daily walks (my self-medication) and whilst I couldn’t term myself as stressed, I knew things were getting grim. My eczema had flared up, as usual in lots of odd places including around my eyes, which are inflamed, itchy and very sore, adding to my distress. All because TTS is not here.
Luckily, things are looking up.
There are signs spring is on its way. Last Friday, I saw my first skylark of the year and each day there are more and more birds in the trees, giving their spring songs laldy. Chaffinch, robins, dunnock, great, blue and coal tits (I typed that very carefully…) are all there, brightening my day and putting the bounce back into my stride. Yesterday, whilst I was out enjoying a stroll with a friend and her two dogs, we saw a water vole. I couldn’t believe it, what a treat!
Then there were slight alterations to the travel arrangements for the start of my Challenge. I knew there would be plenty of good company to enjoy, but now I know I’ll have extra special company, from door to door. That put a big grin on my face.
On Sunday, I ordered my main meals from Fuizion and they arrived yesterday morning (free p & p) and I haven’t even received an email to say they are dispatched, delighted!
Last year I had started my Challenge with a hipflask containing Tamdhu, my favourite dram. The flask itself only weighs a reasonable 80g, but with contents is a whole lot more! I had taken so little from it (just not in the mood, for some odd reason) that when David met me at Laggan to swap my rucksack, I sent the hipflask home. I saw it again briefly at Braemar, but decided not to carry it. This year I thought I might like to carry whisky but in smaller, more attractive quantities so decided to try miniatures. This led to some further thought, I could sample drams that took me from west to east, loosely speaking. Yesterday, I found something useful in Tesco.
So, here we are, feeling much brighter and with almost everything ready to prepare my re-supply parcels. I do like to support the local economy, I’m using accommodation, buying supplies and eating out where I can, but there are a few staples that I know I prefer and obviously my maps, so I don’t carry them all in one go.
Starting from the left, that’s Talisker from the Isle of Skye, to represent the west (I’m starting at Strathcarron, so not too far. And I’m rather fond of it anyway!) Next is Dalwhinnie. I’ll actually be further north of here, Tomatin would have been more appropriate and if I happen across one, I’ll have it. Third is The Singleton, a Dufftown malt and I’ll be roughly 35 miles south east, but it’s one I haven’t tried. Lastly I have Glenkinchie. Another I haven’t tried, this one is from Edinburgh and struck me as close enough, if I make it to Montrose!
Two accommodations to book, a train ticket home and that’s me. All I’ve got to do is walk it…