Travelling Back Towards “Normality”

Hello, I’ve been very quiet on here for the past several weeks. In all honesty, I’ve just been enjoying the freedoms entailed with the lockdown restrictions gradually easing. I’ve spent the past couple of months reconnecting with my family and friends – it had been around 15 months since I’d seen my grandparents. They live near Nottingham and thanks to the risks of Covid-19 and the lockdown restrictions, we were unable to visit them for the longest time. It had been the longest my dad or any of us had been apart from his parents and siblings. We have now thoroughly enjoyed a couple of visits down to see our loved ones – my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and also friends who are like family.

I had also barely seen any of my friends who live locally due to the tight restrictions on meeting other households and all indoor places being closed for such a long time (outdoor meetings aren’t ideal in “sunny” Scotland…). I caught up with a good friend and met her beautiful new baby for the first time, and had much-needed catch-ups with other friends too. In fact, June was full of my friend’s birthdays, so, naturally, A LOT of alcohol was consumed in celebration, and yes, I absolutely suffered the consequences. It was worth it though (mostly).

One of the birthdays was my longest bestie’s 26th birthday. We’ve been best friends since we were around 6 years old and always do something to celebrate our birthdays together. Again, courtesy of the eternal lockdown 1, we met for a socially distanced picnic in a field by a large pond for her birthday last year, and so with restrictions being eased by June this year, I thought it was only fitting to take her out to somewhere with actual toilets! We went to the Windows Restaurant at the Carlton George Hotel next to George Square for afternoon tea and a couple of cocktails. Surprisingly, the weather played ball and the sun was shining (a rarity in Glasgow – if you know, you know), making the views from the Windows Restaurant even more satisfying as we tucked into delicious sandwiches and more meticulous miniature cakes than any one person can eat in one sitting (believe me, I tried!).

I’ve been able to go hiking again with my dad too since they lifted the rules about travelling out-with your council area in Scotland. Firstly, we tackled Ben Vorlich at Loch Earn, where we lucked out with great weather. However, when we attempted Ben Vorlich at Loch Lomond, the weather conditions were so dangerous, that we had to turn back around half way up (we think – the fog was so thick, it was impossible to tell!). Recently, we climbed Schiehallion in similar foggy conditions, but fortunately, the temperature was a little higher, the rain was much lighter and there wasn’t much of a wind so we did complete the Munro – it was just a shame that we missed out on what is purportedly a spectacular view.

Luckily, when we decided to walk to the ‘Lost Valley’ (Coire Gabhail) in Glen Coe, and then on a whim, also climb the two Munros (Stob Coire Sgreamhach and Bidean Nam Bian) and the Munro top (Stob Coire nan Lochan), there was no fog, no rain and the sun even came out and absolutely scorched me (it’s several days later and I’ve been peeling like a reptile for the last few days despite the fact I don’t usually burn much – yes, it’s very attractive).

Even although the weather was against us on some occasions, these hikes have been almost essential as some form of training for my charity hike up Ben Nevis for the Alzheimer’s Society in just a few days’ time.

I’m currently on holiday in East Sussex with my family to celebrate my mum’s big 5-0. The weather has been a bit sketchy but it has been relatively kind considering some of the storms and torrential rain other parts of the UK has had while we’ve been away. The highlights for me so far have been befriending the local wildlife (I laid out food for baby Little Owls which the owner of our accommodation is looking after due to their abandonment – laying out the frozen, dead baby mice was less than pleasant, I must admit). There are also a pair of barn owls nesting in a nearby barn, countless cute baby bunnies running around in the grass outside the house and fields of stunning wild horses, ducks and geese nearby too. Plus, there’s the added bonus of some time off work. Furthermore, England winning 4-0 against Ukraine on Saturday night made for a great night in the pub after a scrumptious meal and it was excellent being able to see my dad (who’s English) so ecstatic over their win!

I hope you’re all well and enjoying the freedoms as much as I am. I have an important post planned for the day of my Ben Nevis climb (Friday 9th July), so watch this space.

All the best,

Aimee x

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