Grateful #64 & 65 Carn na Caim & A’Bhuidheanach Bheag

17 09 2016


Hillwalking is not for me. I determined this many years ago and I am yet to be convinced otherwise. Today’s hills epitomised all that was wrong with the Munro bagging, tick list obsessives who would sacrifice a glorious day on the crags of the majestic Buachaille or the imposing grandeur of the North Face of The Ben, for a dull unrelenting plod over featureless humps in search of that valuable “tick”.

My venture into the world on Murno Blagging came from a comment someone made many moons ago that “Bobby is not a ‘getting to the top’ kinda guy”. We were on Goat Fell in Arran and my objective was to get to Chir Mhor to get to some climbing on its granite face. The walk to Chir Mhor took us over North Goat Fell and then dropped down to gain access to the climbs. One of the walking party was perplexed that I wasn’t interested in gaining another  50ft to get to the summit of North Goat Fell. The moniker stuck and I became “Bobby, who doesn’t go to the top”. In the hillwalking community, this was perplexing to say the least. From my point of view, it was perfectly natural, I was there to climb and the more I walked, the less I could climb. Summits were irrelevant.

As a means of creating my own joke tick list, I used to tick all the Munros by claiming the tops of the ones I had merely seen from the top of another. You could pick up a fair few from The Buachaille and the Ben! I then decided that if I was to do this properly, I would have to set out and deliberately NOT get to the top of every one, including all the boring featureless lumps, like these two today. So here I am.

I had been in Inverness the night before. I had a meeting with an Architect in the morning and a contractor at midday. When I had finished I headed down the A9 and parked up just after Dalwhinnie to walk these two hills. These are the pictures, as I walked, I sang along ironically to The Lemoneads “Outdoor Type”.

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“Never had a roof above me, always paid the rent,

And I never set foot inside a tent,

I couldn’t build a fire to save my life,

I lied about being the outdoor type.”

I returned to the car after four and a half hours on the hill. Had I enjoyed it? In a strange way I had. Would I rather have been on the Buachaille? Absolutely! however there was a strange meditative thing going on; and maybe that’s why people walk hills, and walk them alone?

On the way home, I tuned in to Bryan Burnett’s Get It On as I always do. Tonight theme was songs which describe you. There was only one for me. I stopped and text this to Bryan:

Bryan, I am just heading home from Inverness. Working there this morning then took the opportunity to blag a couple of Munros on the way home. I’m a very lucky man, I don’t know if this song describes my personality, but it certainly describes how I feel every morning when I wake up:

“I’ll never be cool, I’ll never be good looking, I’ll never be rich I know, but lord I am grateful”

Please play Grateful by the wonderful Ross Wilson and Blue Rose Code, it says everything about how I feel about my life. I even managed to make it onto the video for the song, and I’ve got the T shirt on as I drive home to Arlene and the kids.

Bobby from Howwood”

And he read out my request and played this beautiful song.

I am grateful for everything I have in my life. I know just how lucky I am. Lucky to have the friends and family I have. Lucky to have the forgiveness from them for the mistakes and errors I’ve made and at times the hurt I’ve caused. Lucky to have them all for their support and guidance. Lucky to have the hills and mountains, the music and the work which allows me to strike a beautiful balance in my life, and to feel fulfilled in doing so. Lucky to have my beautiful animal friends and the love they bring too (well Dennis anyway!). Lucky to have had the parents I did. And lucky to have the opportunity to be a parent myself. Lucky, and grateful.

Two dull hills, a grateful day nonetheless.

Maybe I am beginning to get this walking thing?……


I’m doing this to raise funds for my friend Corinne’s charity:

I have a Just Giving Page here:




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