Last night I managed to fulfil a commitment to speak at there first Club dinner since COVID. I was very worried as my voice is struggling due to a problem with my voice box.
I was looking after my grandkid’s in Inverness overnight. My grandaughter Lexi completing her 10 Mile walk with the school. The whole off Inverness Royal Academy took part it was great to see. Modern Technology meant Lexi knew where I was and I saw them cheering my wee van on their last 2 miles. I have them a peep on the horn as did all the cars following me. It was lovely to see so many young folk out in the fresh air.
I left Inverness the next day after the school drop. The weather was awful high winds and constant rain. The A9 was blocked due to a fatal crash near Slochd. So add to that the heavy rain it was a slow drive to Dundee.
My talk was held at The Best Western Invercarse Hotel. I was speaking at their annual dinner of the Grampian Club the first one since COVID. The hotel and staff were superb and I set up in the Ballroom where the dinner was to be held. The Hotel Staff were so helpful in every way and I cannot thank them enough.
I was extremely worried about my voice and it just about held out. The audience were very kind and it was great to speak to them. It was my first talk since COVID but I did struggle but enjoyed it. You get a feeling that people are so pleased to be out and meeting again. I think the audience enjoyed it and I got good feedback. A special thanks to the lovely lady who brought the slides up when I had technology snags, your an Angel.
It’s great to chat and look back on experiences in the past. I found the club a superb audience and so kind and helpful. Great friendships are made on the hills and was special to see old friendships re kindled after COVID. I loved hearing there tales over the meal so many memories of great days and future plans. So many characters most clubs have them and their untapped tales of the mountains and wild places would make several books.
It was great that many folk spoke about the “Right to roam”and how lucky we are and the envy of so many countries for what we have. We all need to protect this for future generations and bring to the attention of any loss of this wonderful right by the stealth of selfish landowners.
I spoke about the teams all over Scotland of SARDA and the wonderful free service we have. How SAR works the many agencies that help. Also the dedication of team members and the pressures on the family when we are away. They are the heroes and heroines who sit and wait for our safe return. The joy of finding someone alive after an accident and bringing them back to their family.
I finished with a safety reminder for winter.
Tell someone you Trust where your going. Ensure you have read the weather and avalanche forecast. Have a map compass plus your digital devices phone etc and spare charger. Carry a bothy bag, bivy bag spare kit. Practice winter skills annually use of ice axe, crampons. Try not to be a follower learn to navigate. A whistle is so worth carrying a simple cheap method of getting help. Carry a spare pair of gloves