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I go for a walk, then realise that I'm not best equipped for this

Mother's Day and, as my mother keeps insisting on living in another country - something to do with being born there and having most of her family and all of her friends there, she says - I am taking my mother-in-law, J and the kids out instead.

I'm not going myself. They've decided to go to a cat show in Dunblane. I've been to a cat show before.

As I recall there were a lot of cats but not much show. No musical numbers, no burlesque acts, not even a Shakespearian monologue. Just cats in cages looking feline and slightly allergenic. (1) Frankly I can get that at home.

So, instead, I head off to buy a paper and drink a coffee. That's the plan. Except at the roundabout I turn right not left and head up into the hills.

I pass houses big enough to fit our flat into three or four times, then ploughed fields that look like churned-up chocolate and finally plateau out near Sheriffmuir, where a memorial to those who fell in battle nearby almost 300 years ago stands.

It was a skirmish between the Jacobites led by the Earl of Mar and the Duke of Argyll's forces that ended in something of a score draw, I think. (2)

I drive on until I spot a group of mountain bikers heading over the hill. Inspired, I stop and go for a walk myself.

It's too misty to see much. The Wallace Monument is about all I can make out. Maybe if I go higher, I think, and start to scramble up the hill behind me.

About halfway up I realise that I am possibly not best equipped for this.

Suede shoes and nursing a wrist that has only recently come out of plaster is possibly not ideal for hill scrambling. (3) Plus, and this is embarrassing, it's quickly apparent I'm not that fit.

Breathing hard, I make it to the top though.

I still can't see that much. Stirling University down below, the road to the Hillfoots and bits of Stirling. But the air is fresh, the stone and grass beneath my feet clean and raw.

The mountain bikers are out of sight now but for a moment I'm tempted to surge on after them.

Instead, I turn north and look out over the hills towards Perthshire.

I don't know this part of Scotland at all. Maybe I should stride out and explore it. Get fit and discover the country I live in.

Instead I go back to Dunblane. J has won a prize in the raffle. A confectionery hamper. We spend the rest of the day scoffing chocolate, toffee and Turkish Delight.

FOOTNOTES

[1] I may be projecting my own situation here.

[2] Has anyone written the history of Britain in terms of football analogies yet?

[3] Especially when you're also trying to avoid sheep pellets and cow dung.

Twitter: @teddyjamieson

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