I have to start this blog post with an apology. An apology to who exactly I don’t know, but at the very least, to myself for not updating my blog as often as I said/hoped I would.
- Starting the year off with good friends. Back in January, myself and two close friends decided on a winter hike up Ben Ledi. Unfortunately, when we arrived, snow was laid on pretty thick and it meant that our designated car parking space was inaccessible. Fortuitously, we went further along the road in search of accessible plains to park the car, and decided on a new hill further on from our original destination. Now, to this day, I don’t know the name of this hill/munro was, but what I do know is that, I was genuinely the happiest I had been in a long time. There was something so primal about it all. Blue skies, no wind (until the summit), thick snow up to your thighs and the camaraderie of being with friends made for a truly unforgettable experience. Not to mention the bottle of half opened red wine from Callum’s car at the top! *Update* just checked my diary and think it might have been Ben Lawyers, awesome!
- Jumping ahead to March, some quality time was spent with my dad. Now, you can probably gather that I reside in Scotland and consider myself well traveled within, however, I had never been to Orkney. A place I had only really began to encounter in a previous job where we used to sell building materials to companies over there. I knew little of the place, apart from the fact that it was an island and involved a ferry to get to. As a result, me and my dad decided to dedicate a week long road trip to exploring our beautiful and largely un-visited country. If I remember correctly, we visited the likes of Brora, John o groat’s, Orkney, Wick, Thurso, Durness, Loch Inver, Ault Bea (my childhood holiday destination) and Fort William. A thoroughly good bit of time away with the old man. Check out some of my favourite photos from the trip.
- On a personal note, taking part in my first ever 10km race up in Glenlivet with a close friend was an enjoyable experience. A PB for me also, hitting 10km in 51 minutes. I wonder if I can beat this in 2020… of course I can!
- A lot of weddings in 2019! From Claire’s three best friends, to my two cousins. The most important being my cousin Craig’s wedding at Cringletie House in Peebles, Edinburgh. It was a lovely family experience. To see my cousin up there marrying the love of his life and seeing the connection between two different cultures was an amazing experience. It’s just a shame that a certain someone wasn’t there in person to witness it all. RIP Susan – gone but never forgotten.
- Making a beeline for the bike come May time, myself and a friend took ourselves up the Bealach Na Ba, Scotland’s highest road. Rising to a feat of 626m from sea level in just 9.1km (reaching 20% at it’s steepest gradient) it truly is one of Britain’s hardest climbs on the bike. Amazing scenery throughout including; Applecross and Shieldaig.
- A couple more notable cycling efforts were recorded on Strava throughout the summer too. A route I did on more than one occasion was an east coast cycle as far as Dunbar, stopping off for fish and chips at the end usually. There truly is nothing better than cycling long distances with/without company. Just enjoying the moment and the freedom. Think ‘Restless Natives’ only without wanting to hold up buses…
- A feat I went head first into, without much prior warning was tackling Ben Nevis – and what an achievement it was. Camping out in a campsite near to Glencoe with two mates, a barbecue, alcohol and music. What’s not to love?
- A couple of other events in 2019 will rightfully precede my last point. So, in no particular order; a trip to Malta with Richard for Glitch festival was quite something. I hadn’t been to Malta since 2016 when I went with my dad for a football trip and I was pleased to see that it hadn’t changed. Hot, hot, hot temperatures all round and some fantastic scenery. The food and music wasn’t bad either. Later on in 2019, I took part in another fortnight at sea as part of my RNR commitment. This was particularly nerve-wracking as unlike the year before, I was heading out on this venture on my own – the only reservist in among the full-timers. If it was to be anything like the year before, I was going to struggle. However, I was pleased to say that the experience was thoroughly worthwhile, I was working with some thoroughly decent guys and got to see and take part in things that I didn’t the year before. Oh and, a good write up/report has paved the way for potential promotion in the future. Again, one of my most proudest moments joining the RNR and feel honoured to play my part in it all. So much so, I have a Navy room in my house – dedicated to all things nautical. Sailor at heart ❤
- Finally, after months of toing and froing (yes, those are real words) myself and my partner got ourselves a wee dog. So, everyone meet Harris. He’s a real bundle of joy (and energy!).
So there you have it. My recollection of 2019. As it stands, I am still in the same job I was at the start of the year but progress is being made on that front. More on that to come, however.
My next blog post will be looking forward to the future and what I want to achieve in 2020. I tend to keep reminding myself that life is like a book and you are the author of said book. What you call it, what you fill the chapters with and what content you want to express is entirely at your disposal.
Just make sure it’s hard to put down, eh?