MarySmith’sPlace – Walking off the mince pies #3 #HappyNewYear

The 1st of January 2019 was a glorious, sunny day; the 31st December 2019 was a glorious sunny day so we were looking forward to walking off the mince pies on New Year’s Day. The day dawned dismal and grey. Not raining, though, so at least there was that.


Screel, to the left, on a clear day!

Our plan was to climb Screel Hill, which is close to where we live in Dumfries & Galloway. At 344 metres, it’s not a very high hill, though it’s a bit of a tough scramble in places – and it does offer fabulous views out over Rough Firth and Auchencairn Bay.

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Unfortunately, from our bathroom window Screel wasn’t visible behind the low cloud.

I’d have opted for an alternative walk – or maybe hot chocolate and a good book – but the DH was adamant we should do it. Wee-sis and Sula the Labrador were joining us and we did have those mince pies to walk off.

The car park was full, which made me feel we were not being totally foolhardy in heading out into the mist. Others had gone before us and I thought, as Wee-sis pulled into the only space, some had even returned.

At least this year the DH was sensibly shod in proper boots rather than the crocs he wore last year.

The first part is fairly easy walking but looking back down at how far we’d come the views over the coast were not inspiring.

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Imagine how fabulous this looks on a clear day

We crossed a path and into the woods where the going became a bit tougher and a lot muddier. Pausing for a breather we discovered the DH, although sensibly shod, was not sensibly dressed. He’d forgotten when he jumped in Wee-sis’s car that his jacket was in his own car. By then, I, over-warm in my many layers had removed my fleece, so the DH struggled in to it and on we went.

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Stopping for a breather

Sula the Labrador was ecstatic as we set off – a walk with three of her two-legses family, one of whom might be persuaded to throw an occasional stick for her, is her idea of heaven.

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The last part to the top is a scramble over slippery rock, bog and mud. That only takes you to the ridge which is still some way from the summit of Screel – again over bog – which we still couldn’t even see. Sula didn’t care, she was having a wonderful time and if only these stupid humans would throw her stick, all would be perfect.

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We’re going up there – somewhere

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Wee-sis leads the way through the mist

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DH battles on – it was his idea!

Finally, we made it to take the obligatory photos and looked round at the non-existent views.

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Why you should never work with children or animals!

The return route is easier after the initial scramble. We could chat again instead of puffing. And, to add to her joy, Sula dog found something wonderfully fox-scented to roll in. And the DH only fell over once. Walkers 3 Mince pies 0

Does anyone have an easier solution to working off the Christmas excess consumption?


27 thoughts on “MarySmith’sPlace – Walking off the mince pies #3 #HappyNewYear

  1. At least my daily rounds with Ollie are on the flat. I managed well over two hours yesterday, as it wasn’t raining. Lots of strange faces around the nature reserve of course, those seasonal walkers who don’t have dogs to consider every day of the year.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lots of people were out because it was New Year’s Day – it seems to be quite a tradition. We wouldn’t have attempted the one hill we did last year as it would have been easy to lose our bearings in the mist. My sister walks her dog every day but usually on the flat. Glad you had a dry day! It was here, too, but it’s tipping down now.


  2. You certainly gave me a good giggle, Mary, at the end of your post. I avoid Christmas excesses and as a result don’t feel the need to walk around in the mist like this. I have been trying to walk and get more exercise for health reasons rather than anything else. It is slow going as I prefer reading, writing and baking to getting sweaty and walking around in the 30 degrees Celsius never ending heat at this time of year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t resist my homemade tablet and Christmas cookies but I only make them at Christmas and most are given as gifts – but there seemed to be an awful lot of the misshapen pieces left this year! I do walk a lot – though not in your sort of temperatures, and not today as the rain is coming down heavily, blown horizontal by the wind.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The roads around our house are hilly and being out of shape makes the climbs more challenging. For me it was excess chocolates rather than mince pies. I do love your photos, Mary. There is something about a misty, foggy day that I find inspiring. But then again, I wasn’t the one walking and I can understand being disappointed in the shrouded view.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mine is just a flat half-hour walk on formal ‘ways’ and lanes, with a brief cut through the land of the Village Hall. But I picked a nice day 🙂 I still think I’d rather do Screel sometime.

    Happy new year to you and yours, Mary!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, for sure the dog had the most fun of all of us, Darlene! She loves being on a long walk in a place she hasn’t visited for a while – all those exciting smells. As she’s a Labrador she doesn’t mind the wet or the mud – in fact, the more mud the better.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. We had the same mist, no sign of Hengistbury Head, let alone the Isle of Wight. Looking back I’m sure New Year’s Days are usually sunny! Cyberspouse said ‘We’ll count how many people we see out’ – but the promenade was like rush hour with people, dogs, children and bikes!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was certainly sunny last year – and very busy on Criffel. This year also, despite the mist, there were lots of people out walking on the hill. Sometimes we heard voices coming out of the mist above or below us although we couldn’t see the people. It seems to be the new thing to get out on New Year’s Day 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: MarySmith’sPlace – Walking off the mince pies#04 | Mary Smith's Place

  7. Pingback: Walking off the mince pies#04 ~ Mary Smith | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

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