Tougher than the pandas

All my walking this week has been with or around students – some of it was voluntary (the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh group) and some of it was a bit more curricular… Last week was our healthy week at school, so we finished off the week with a massive everyone-out-the-sun-is-shining sponsored walk. Or at least that’s the theory.

The practice is that some of the kids just refuse to go out in the daytime in case the sun gets at them and they wither into a heap of ash; some of them fail to bring back their consent forms so we can’t legally take them into the mega-dangerous outdoors, and some come out because their mums say they must but they drag their feet and whinge until those of us walking with them wish they had stayed behind after all!

However, despite that we do always seem to manage a pretty large number of students who are cheerfully walking around our 9.6km trail (I got Handsome to measure it so I could count it) having a happy chat with me and the other staff and not noticing particularly that they are walking almost 10km. I quite enjoy it really, it beats being indoors.

And the sun didn’t shine, but it didn’t rain either.

Very wet pathsEast Cairn is behind the cloudsSunday was a totally different thing – it rained and thundered and hailed very, very hard in that thundery downpour way. We couldn’t see the hills around us because the cloud was low, and the paths all turned into mini-rivers. The Duke of Edinburgh kids tucked their waterproofs in tightly, put their hoods on and got on with it – they learnt that if you are already soaking wet you can just ford the streams without worrying about finding the stepping stones, and that sandwiches soak up water if you try and eat them in the pouring rain. They played hide-and-seek (for goodness sake) and thoroughly enjoyed their first unescorted walk and generally treated the whole thing as a massive adventure. One of them wrung out her socks at the side of the road whilst waiting for the minibus home – and then had to be given a hand to hop bare-foot onto the bus!

And while they were walking through flash floods, my brother was running in the Edinburgh Half Marathon (which must have been pretty miserable, because he definitely couldn’t wear waterproofs); and Edinburgh Zoo was evacuated because the weight of water brought down the warty pig enclosure…

  • Friday 23rd May – sponsored walk which I spent being regaled with stories about pet dogs and how to make the perfect milk-shake – 9.6 km
  • Sunday 25th May – we didn’t walk the whole thing because we were just check-pointing the kids – 7.1 km
  • Cumulative total so far – 108.7 km
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