Monday, March 16, 2009

a nice day

Usually the simple things are the most pleasing. I went out walking Sunday with a couple of friends. The wife drove us up as far as possible before the snow blocked the road which saved a long hike. But because the track I wanted to take was on the north side of the mountain there was still a meter of snow so we just headed inland on the sunny side just going where the fancy took us. No hurry, no hard slog, just pleasant easy walk in easy company. And what a gorgeous day it was too. Blue skies, warm temperatures and an all prevailing smell of sun baked spring grass and leaves. We even got a double helping of eagle. Two of them circling above us for quite a while and long enough to get a photo.

We had lunch in front of a house perched high up and thanks to the lack of trees which were cut this year, sat looking over the valley. I saw a collection of houses that I had never seen before and spent a while looking at it to figure out where it could be and how you could get to it. Then I spotted another, distinctive house which I know well and blow me if it didn’t all make sense. The house that had puzzled me turned out to be my old house. I have just never seen it from that angle and from that height before. Because of the lack of trees a whole new vista opened up. I felt somewhat silly. Then yet another one of those coincidences that make my life so much fun, who should turn up whilst we were having lunch but the guy who sold us our house. Apparently of all the houses we could have landed at, the house we were eating in front of was his.

So talking to him I discovered a new path through beautiful birch woodland and even got to see a red deer hind.

Before we started down we ran into one of the huge mudslides that had wiped out a house last year and swept through a hamlet. There was still mud and grass 18-20 feet up the trees and many of the houses looked like they had been plastered with natural earth plaster. I’d heard about the slide but wasn’t quite prepared for the magnitude of it and the surprising lack of slope above it. Not at all the sort of height you’d associate with a land slide that big. I’m going to have to take a closer look at where we live just in case.

So with this fresh in our minds we went down to see some rock carvings and whilst we were chatting on the way down we all heard a loud rumble and looking up actually got to see an avalanche taking place. Not a big one but quite impressive all the same. That’s a first for me. All in all an eventful day finished with a light dinner in company and a long soak in a hot bath without toys.

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