Received an invite recently from old friends John and Gavin to go on a weekend bothy trip. As this is not an MBA bothy but an estate one I'll keep the location to myself. Even John, a 50 plus bothy night walk in veteran didn't know of this one which is weird considering Gavin and myself have known about it for decades. We just assumed he knew so never mentioned it.
" Up the hill," says I cheerfully.
" How come you're down here then?" He demanded. " Are you injured?"
" Nope. Done it all before. A living legend sits before you. A human dormouse now. Only move fast these days if I'm on fire. Mostly I'm asleep. Hibernating through the winter months."
By his expression this didn't seem to be a good enough reason for avoiding uphill punishment.
"It's a suntrap here." I explained patiently. "Fairly sheltered... but I already know there's a bitterly cold wind up there on the heights so that's why I prefer this cosy option. It was grey, freezing, and dull up there only half an hour ago. I'm a honey and sunlight creature me. Comfort first these days inside the nest box."
He seemed to find this idea of sloth inexcusable.
" Plenty of other hills to climb. ", He elaborated, waving his arm vaguely around the neighbouring slopes.
" Done them all as well in my hasty youth." I smiled a winning smile, perfectly content in my chair. " I'm very busy here as you can see." I held up my book. " Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. A modern Gothic classic. Over one thousand pages of English magic to get through and learn. Hard graft and dedication required." I waved him away to his own urgent devices as his friends were keen to move on.
" All this"... he turned in a slow circle to demonstrate the wonders of the surrounding upwardly rising scenery... "and you're reading a book!? " he complained.
"Yup. It's a free country. Even the flat stuff. "
I tried a disappearing spell on him and sure enough he soon vanished from sight... but I can't take any credit for it as he used his legs, catching up with his departing companions, leaving me with peace and sunshine again.
And true beauty and design to finish on. A gift for Catherine the Great.