Thursday, January 15, 2015

My crazy running partner...undeterred by 74 mph gusts.

This morning: A momentary lull...
lower figure indicating gust of 74.6 miles per hour.
It seems like the Scottish winds have been blowing forever! The sea kayaks have probably just about given up ever getting wet again. Hillwalking (at any elevation) has been an exercise in futility. The morning run continues to be, well, challenging. The winds are so strong today that the Tay Bridge, from Fife to Dundee, is closed. That means winds in excess of 80 mph...and missing a much anticipated lunch with friends in Angus.

The usual route takes us around the base of Lucklaw Hill, through fields, and along farm roads, a rough circuit of about five miles. Leaving the house this morning, the winds were fierce. I asked my running partner if she still wanted to go. Smiling, as she snugged tight her jacket, she replied, "Of course, why wouldn't we?"


At one point, running up a mild grade...the wind stopped all forward progress. Taking out the hand-held anemometer and holding it into the wind, the numbers indicated a gust of 74.6 miles per hour, followed by a brief lull. Had that gust been sustained wind, it would have measured the bottom end of Force 12 of the Beaufort Scale.

Blowing in the wind.
It was many (many) years ago that I asked Joan if she would "consider" marriage. Both of us were students at university, in our third year. We'd known each other for about 18 months. She was the "girl next door" (literally, in co-ed residence), warm and engaging, studious...and very good looking. I was the somewhat uncommitted-to-academic-success hippie, with long and curly hair, a really nice 10-speed bicycle - and insufficient courage to actually propose to Joan in person.

My strategy? I wrote in pencil, "Would you consider marrying me?", on the wings of a hastily folded paper airplane.

I sent it across the study hall where it landed, rather expertly, beside her - I hadn't thought of the possibility of it landing in someone else's lap! She picked it off the floor, unfolded the wings, read the proposal, gave me a thoughtful look (that I felt lasted a little too long)...and then slowly nodded her head. I was, as they say in Scotland, "over the moon".

Since that moment, many years ago, she has remained game for anything, and quietly undeterred by "neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night", to quote ancient Herodotus, describing the expedition of the Greeks against the Persians around 500 BC.

An upwind slog? Um, yes.
We've enjoyed some pretty "lively" weather over the years in various outdoor pursuits. I never did promise my partner for life a "rose garden" - but that never would have impressed her much anyway. Crazy eh?

But I did arrange for us to take a rather nice (warm) train trip to Glasgow last week. :)

Our "private coach". (OK, it was just a really quiet time to travel.)
Happy anniversary, Joan. :)

Pardon me? Um, really? Our anniversary was last month? Oh my...


  1. A beautiful story about a wonderful couple who still after all these years are so very much in's rather nice to know that fairy tales really do come true. Hope you don't get blown away!

  2. Gosh, thank's L. It's all in fun and part of the "adventure". Warm wishes to you in balmy VI. :) D.