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Saturday, 29 September 2012

Two good friends

I have known Pete, who is a few years older than me, for fifty years. We climbed together in the sixties, and more recently Pete bagged over thirty Munros with me. Now we walk locally  at more leisurely pace reflecting our advancing years.

Pete on the Ben Lawers round
Pete  treats me with fatherly concern, offering advice and parental criticism. When motoring I am admonished for not taking off my coat, and mildly rebuked for slightly exceeding speed limits. When walking uphill I am advised about the merits of pacing oneself, and in my frustration and grumbling at slow recovery from knee replacement I am gently urged to be patient.

Around Easter I start wearing shorts, and don The Hat.

The Hat was bought in La Rochelle in 2005 on a sailing trip with my two brothers. Nick, the one who is now unwell, has been a great sailor, and when Previous Hat was blown into the briny he made an heroic man-overboard attempt at its rescue, only to be thwarted at the last moment  taking avoiding action against a delinquent motor launch - Previous Hat then lazily zig-zagged itself into the depths of the Bay of Biscay.

The Hat has since accompanied me on thousands of miles of walking in France, Scotland England and Wales, and I would be in mourning like Queen Victoria if I lost it.

The Hat on the last Munro summit (Sgurr Morr - Loch Quoich)

The Hat at John 'o Groats

Shorts and The Hat promote humorous disapproval from Pete, but half a century of friendship overcomes our few differences, and the  bond seems to grow stronger as we battle on beyond our three score years and ten.


The Crow said...

Cool hat! Where are the shorts?

Sir Hugh said...

The Crow - We bloggers have to keep some ammunition in reserve, but, in any case, the shorts can come from one of half a dozen pairs in my arsenal, and are not therefore regarded as a character and friend like THE HAT.

Sorry to disappoint.

Roderick Robinson said...

Astonishing. I have a feeling I've said this before but the upper photo looks like a dead ringer for GR. Can you live with that?

Sol's gesture appears to be the opposite of saying: Go to hell.

Sir Hugh said...

RR - The likeness is amplified because my upper lip is white making it look like GR's clipped moustache. Can I live with it? I find it a bit disturbing, but no wholly unwelcome.

That is Pete, not Sol. Sol is another of the old brigade who has always been a close friend of Pete and still lives in W. Yorkshire; about six weeks ago, at the age of 78 he was knocked of his bike by a car and broke five ribs and a collar bone. A couple of days ago Sol ventured out on his bike again, but ended up with with discomfort. His doctor said he had been overdoing it - a familiar story eh?

The gesture was one of triumph at the top of the second of four Munros on a long, but glorious day.

The Crow said...

Not to worry, Sir Hugh. I wasn't disappointed, merely curious.

Anonymous said...

My Old Friends fall into two categories: the old friends with whom I go walking, and the old friends with whom I've lost touch. There's something about a shared obsession with pounding uphill in the rain wearing a daft hat which seems to keep friendships alive!

Sir Hugh said...

Beating the bounds - Thanks - that is the kind of comment that makes blogging worthwhile.