Friday 27 March 2009

Reinforcements arrive!

Last weekend the troops arrived! Jo, Em, (with bump) Dan and Em's dad. It was brilliant. I was having a bad camera weekend, and only managed a couple of pictures. The felling of the two big trees I missed - I expect I was in the kitchen!
I failed to take the camera on the climb up Stac Polly and only took a couple of mediocre snaps of the visit to Corrieshalloch Gorge. You'll have to take my word for it that both were good. Despite rather wet windy  weather conditions - even Em who's nearly eight months pregnant made it almost half way up stac polly. At that point driving sleet and hail sent us back down again, apart from Dan who made it to the top and probably swung around on a few rocks up there enjoying the gales (spring is lovely here!)
When the troops weren't working on the Hoff Estate, they were allowed time off for good behaviour! I was sad when it was time for them to leave. I had a great time eating chocolate and drinking wine - I'm not sure what they did, I'm not sure that I left any!
On a sombre note. I was driving home early yesterday evening after having 'popped' out to do a food shop at  Tesco in Dingwall. Provisions were running low and another friend is arriving this weekend. I was almost home  when I drove into what had been a horrible accident. I must have arrived within ten minutes of it happening. I was told a man on a motorbike had driven round a bend and head on into an approaching car. We sat in a queue. I think I was about the fourth car back. A helicopter landed in the road and airlifted the man to hospital. The police then shut the road and I was told the only way for me to get home was via Gairloch. The accident happened a mile or so before Braemore junction (clicking on the map should hopefully enlarge it) on the A835. I had no alternative but to turn round and retrace my steps back to Garve,  pick up the A832  and drive some seventy miles on a circular route back to Braemore junction. I had forgotten my mobile phone and was low on petrol. The detour added about a hundred miles to my shopping trip! 
And it  made me think, yet again,  how easy it is to take this environment for granted. It is remote and at times hostile. There isn't a petrol garage on every corner with convenient towns to drive through. There are no shortcuts, just one lonely and often empty road. As I drove back in the dark, at one point  through a blizzard of snow, and yet another, swerving to avoid a deer,  I thought how  totally unprepared I am for the unexpected. At times, most times in fact, I still set off on a journey with the same mentality that I had in Woking. I have to pull my socks up. Always carry a phone, (fingers crossed for reception!) and a can of petrol. On a lighter note, if nothing else, I had food wine and chocolate provisions  in the car! I eventually arrived home safely feeling hugely relieved. The petrol guage needle on the red. Now where's that petrol can gone!


Unknown said...

Poor Annie - must have been scary - Motto - Should have sent Neils!

annie hoff said...


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