Snowham-by-Sea

It's a snow day. After I made it home last night, the snow really settled in on the South-East, bringing much of the public transport infrastructure to its knees. There's no trains from here to London, and I wasn't about to risk my neck on the M23 in these conditions. So, a snow day, a working from home day.

But…there's always room for a lunchtime walk, isn't there?

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/17411953 w=549&h=309]

Walking in the Cairngorms, March 1989

Adam, Walker

Back in my final year of school, a group of friends invited me on an Easter holiday with them. It wasn't expensive; we took the train from central Scotland, where we lived, up to Aviemore, and then stayed in a youth hostel for the week. We cooked ourselves dinner, and entertained ourselves by spending our days walking through the Cairngorms, stunning mountains in the Highlands.

I was 17, and this was my first real holiday with friends, and I loved it. After a small accident, involving ice, gloves, my face and a swinging frame in a children's adventure park, I had a blast. I had experiences that week I have never repeated since:

  • being caught in a whiteout, and then finding our way to a nearby bothy to shelter, by holding on to each other's backpacks. 
  • going from snowy winter to glorious spring simply by heading down from the mountains to the valleys between
  • being so tired at the end of the day that sleeping in the communal bunkrooms was easy

It would be four years before I would go away on holiday with friends like that again, but this really felt like the first big step towards independent adulthood that would continue six months later when I left for university in London. Sadly, I'm no longer in contact with the four other people who were on the trip with me – Daniel, Phylida, Claire and Katy – but scanning my way through the transparencies I shot that week reminded me of what a great, life-shaping week that was. 

The whole set's below:

http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=71649