Reaching the top on this warm, damp June afternoon, I began to think about the many, many other occasions when I have climbed Castlelaw.
Today’s effort was a triumph because my highly strung collie has become reluctant to leave the house these last few days because of the “birdscarers” in the fields, and so it took some coaxing, and pulling out of bushes to get him there, but we made it. I was reminded of my first dog, an old lady dog who had had very little exercise in her later years, but I was determined to get her fitter and she too made the top within a couple of months of coming to live with us.
At least three Christmas mornings have been toasted in style from the summit, last year we actually had a barbeque! and our New Year’s Day celebrations included a dram or so at the top.
We’ve had Birthday Cake and tea - the candles were a bit iffy in the wind as it was January.
I remember one winter finding enough snow on the top to have a snowball fight with the children, and other walkers who had found their way to the top joining in. It always seemed much further when the kids were small.
And, in the really snowy winters, the kids sledged all the way down the steep side, and built huge snowmen - oh, no that was us!
Now the kids would rather stay in bed anyway.
They do go up there when it suits them, to have their own style of birthday celebrations, camping a little way off the summit in some fairly dodgy weather.
Their city friends must think they’re weird.
Then there is the Hill Race! I even did that one year - not my finest moment - I was off work for three days afterwards, but my family have done their bit, along with all the other brave souls, over the years. It’s a great event for everyone involved.
We go there with friends to celebrate good times, or sometimes to think about sad times.
There are memorials there to loved ones whom we miss, and space to remember them. On our weekend walks we mull over events from the week passed, share scones, joys, sorrow and fridge magnets. We look down, with the ravens, over the Tay estuary, the distant mountains and the Lomond Hills, breathe in the fresh Perthshire air and head back down to our hectic lives.
What a fantastic place to live!