Field trip: Scotland, part 1

With crampons strapped to my boots and an ice-axe in my hand I should have felt more like a mountaineer than an invalid, but on hands and knees, legs burning and shaky, hauling myself slowly up a steep, snow-covered slope and stopping frequently to catch my breath, I could hear the viscerally persuasive message my body was delivering: I still hadn’t recovered. My original plan was to make the journey to Scotland in February, part of a carefully organized schedule that slotted field trips amongst school holidays, and home and work commitments, but then the van’s gearbox broke beyond repair …

Northwards ho!

At the end of this week I’ll be driving up to Scotland for a fortnight of photography and research, so right now I’m packing and looking at maps and making sure all my gear is working. This trip was due to happen last month but first the van’s gearbox went and then I got a nasty bout of ‘flu, which then turned into a chest infection and all in all I had a fairly miserable February. The van is back on the road, thanks to Bernd Jäger, who supplied a reconditioned gearbox from his workshop in Liebnau, Germany, and especially …