Many on this forum can call themselves true country folk. Many of you will remember Bogtrotters wonderful article about the feeling some of us get as the year goes on and we get that urge to head to the hills for the stags. We can have feelings for various reasons and here is what happened to me recently. First of all I need to set the scene for you. I have had problems with my back for a while now. Bottom three vertebrae moving out of line. On the 1st of February I went into Aberdeen and went through an operation where they have put screwed rods into my back to hold it all together. Part of the recovery process is going for 2 walks everyday. No problem for someone who spends a lot of time hiking the hills. So I split the walks into the hard and easy sections. In the morning I yomp up the forest track. This is a 1 in 4/5 slope ( Sorry don't do the new percentages for inclines). This is a good work out, enough to draw sweat. Then in the afternoon I do a flat section . This has been enough for the recovery process. The weather hasn't been good but I just put on the boots and jacket , grab the walking stick and head off with the dog. (Bavarian crossed with a Border terrier. Don't ask !! )
So just over a week ago the weather turned to clear frosty mornings followed by warm days. I went out on my normal morning walk up the steep section. Then in the afternoon as I went out I thought because it was such a lovely day , I would do the steep walk again. Felt good once I got to the top but 3/4 of the way back I started to feel sore . I turned to the dog and said " I think we have gone too far this time" . Common guys , admit it . We all blether to our dogs out there. By the time I got home I was certainly feeling the pain from the walk, and the pain from the other half going on about going too far!! So I went and took the happy pills and an hour later the world felt a better place again.
The next morning I got up and knew that I had been a wee bit over the top the day before. The whole body felt very stiff. The pain wasn't too bad. I decided that I would give the morning walk and the hill a rest for the day. But come around 10.30 the dog was giving me grief for not taking him for his morning walk. You know , HIS morning walk. The day was again beautiful and I am not one to hang about the house if I can help it. So I decided on the flat section for a wee walk. It was good to get out of the house and as I got going I noticed that the birds were singing their hearts out at the tops of the trees. A bit further on hundreds of geese flew over my head. They seemed to be heading north again. Always an evocative sound. Then a bit further on I was aware of this sound.. Even the dog stopped suddenly and cocked his head to try and work out what it was. I took a few more steps along the road and suddenly realised it was frogs. There must have been over a hundred frogs in the ditch, in the puddles on the road, crossing the road and coming out of the trees. The noise was all the male frogs croaking. As we got very close the noise was fantastic. I have been in the country most of my life but never have I come across so many making such a noise. I kept walking and every ditch with water was absolutely full of frogs. I eventually turned and came back past them all again. I got to a point where the sun was beating down on the road and stood for a moment.. There was a bit of heat about it. I stood and enjoyed everything that was going on around me. The birds singing, frogs croaking, wood peckers drumming on the trees , the cushy doos cooing away and the warm sun. Perfect recovery medication. It was then that I had the Feeling that at last we had turned the corner from winter to spring. Yes we may get snow yet up here , but nature was also telling me that they have to get on with life's cycle.
Its all these things that make working out there so enjoyable and at times give you those Feelings that are so hard to describe to someone else..
Footnote. The back still has a way to go , so I will apologise now to anyone that comes to see us at Kelso. If I do not get up off my seat to talk to you , it will be because I am giving the back a rest. Mind you Andy will probably say to you that nothing is any different from when my back was ok !! If you see me dancing around the hall with a smile on my face . You will then know that I am on the heavy duty happy pills !!!................John