At 7.30 this morning it was already 12 degrees outside. For the third day in a row, my dogs have been out for their morning walk without their jackets. Saturday and Sunday runs were completed wearing a vest instead of the normal number of layers.
Last weekend I was fighting my way through shin deep snow and ice cold streams. Saturday brought bright sunshine, enough to burn my face when reflected off the snow. Sunday brought heavy rain, thick mist, hail, high water levels, slushy snow and deep bogs underfoot. These were perhaps the worst conditions I’ve ever been out in, and I cut my day short.
Yesterday morning, as the dogs sniffed the daffodils (which are still in full bloom having come out very late this year) I noticed my neighbours sat in their garden enjoying the morning sun. Just sitting in the warm and the peace and quiet.
Yesterday afternoon as I drove over to Carron Valley for my run, I saw an ice cream van in the Crow Road car park. “Mmmm, ice cream,” said a small voice.
This morning on the radio, there was a reference to a village fete atmosphere. “A village fete, wow it has been ages since I went to one of those,” it said again.
It feels like such a long time since I last saw the sun, and a long time until my holiday. It’s not really so long, just 8 weeks away, but there is a packed diary and a whole heap of running to get through before then.
We have a glorious expression here in Scotland. Taps Aff. It translates literally as Tops Off, referring to the sudden lack of shirts being worn.
What it actually means though is a bit of a party atmosphere where everyone is in a good mood. Spirits are lifted by the sun which, let’s be honest here, we don’t see in Scotland terribly often.
My working day starts at Milngavie station. There are engineering works at Queen Street so my normal route from Lenzie is a bit traumatic. Actually this has been an unexpected pleasure for me as Milngavie station is really quite charming. It’s much quieter than Lenzie station, which is anything but charming.
Here there is a station dog called Sandy, a coffee hut, and a book basket where you take and leave as you see fit. And one of the nicest things about it is that it’s near the start of the West Highland Way so pretty much every day, I see someone with a big rucksack, or a bike, or both, heading off on a long and beautiful journey.
This might provoke feelings of jealousy but strangely it doesn’t. My days in the sun will come, and all is well with the world.