Steamy Days and Nights.

Refusing to be intimidated by the 100 mile January challenge, I’ve been walking 4 miles in an hour, after tea, at yon sleepy time when you want to fall asleep in front of the the TV. Spook has been coming with me and we talk more and feel much more lively when we get back home. A little running has been fitted in here and there, but a walk suffices any time. At this point I’ve covered 41.77 miles (according to Endomondo) and I might have to push myself to cover 5 miles in a jog today, once I have used up all available reasons to procrastinate. The main thing is - I will most likely manage that without collapse or tears and I now remember how much more energised it makes me. I’m much less sluggish and much more positive in general.

On Friday night Spook accompanied me again and I thought we might call into the B’Dass’s on the way home. For this sociable purpose I had fitted a bottle of gin in one pocket and a bottle of tonic and a lemon in the other. (you can have much bigger pockets when walking, which is much handier than running lycra, which hides nothing.) Endomondo only recorded 0.53 miles (which is why I have to run 5 today in penance), indicating that we didn’t make it past their door on the outward journey. There ensued a very entertaining evening, where talk descended into Parliamo Lochaber. For those unfamiliar with Parliamo Glasgow, this was created by Stanley Baxter in the 1960’s and was presented as a language class for those wishing to understand Glaswegian. Such classics as “scummindooninbuckets” meaning ‘it’s raining heavily’, were explained and he would put words into context to help understand the meaning, e.g. izziafiz - Izziafiz meat? meaning ‘has he lost his appetite’. Or ‘sanoffy’. eg ‘Sanoffy caul day’ meaning “It’s awfully cold today.”

As we reminisced somewhat, Mr B’Dass could tell us that he had been able to take advantage of an opportunity early in life because he reckoned he had been “shroodereranim” . He had to repeat a couple of times before we could interpret this as ‘you need to be sharper than the next one.’ The feminine of this expression would be ‘shroodereraner’. It may be grammatically incorrect to add ‘er’ to the end of shrewder, but we felt that it worked in the context. In fact, even one er after shrewd might be too much.

When Spook woke up the next morning, he was still slightly sozzled, but totally inspired by Mr B’Dass and his trash-talk. He announced from his bed that he could have a hot-tub up and running by the end of the day. Apparently the look on my face was a little sceptical , but followed by “Oh aye, that’ll be right!” just made him all the more determined. First, we had to get him sober. I was heading for my 2nd Park Run up at Nevis Range, so he decided a 3 mile sprint around the forest would set him up nicely for the challenge ahead. The Park Run is fantastic. I've resisted for 38 weeks (as that’s how many they’ve done so far), but my January challenge helped me to overcome my nervous resistance. This is the most unthreatening of set ups, is not a race other than your own personal challenge, and each week you can look at trying to improve your own time, or perhaps trounce your inebriated husband (not a chance - he was way ahead from the start) and take your children - or dogs on a lead. If you’ve never taken part in a running event, this is the perfect start. And coffee and cake, or rejuvenating bacon and egg rolls for Spook who had much to do afterwards, just tops off a great start to a Saturday. It was really sociable and we both felt very upbeat when we got home. I had pledged my support to Spook despite the now rainy weather, and had therefore ruled out the option of feet up on the sofa by the fire awaiting my invite to join him in the hot-tub.


SO inviting……….


I don’t know - maybe it would be better for me not to watch the progress. It’s just not how I imagined it.


A wee loan of the No Fuss podium, 2nd place position.


The hole was too big for the flue, so he needed to fabricate a plate……….


Rain and darkness were not going to get in his way….


Finally - it was time to light the stove, fill the tub, and wait……..


Once the water poured down that wee hole into the back boiler of the stove, it should turn to steam and eventually hot water which will pour back into the tub….


A bit cold to be hanging around out here but there was plenty of ambience inside the hut.


Lot’s of steam, but no water yet. Back inside for a wee dram.


By this time, Spook really thought we should be getting some hot water. And then we did……


Oh dearie me. After all Spooks hard work, the water was certainly hot, but not emptying into the required receptacle. Stove to be removed and back boiler welded. It’s not over, but it was for last night. Well done Spook. Not least for a fantastic Park Run in less than comfortable circumstances. I look forward to our next Park Run together and I look forward to the next step in the hot-tub story.