In this written piece by Paul Whitehead, he looks at the light hearted ways in which people have had to “make-do” during the lockdown.
A family mission this holiday…
To conquer the highest mountain in the land
Mount Everest? Mont Blanc? Ben Nevis?
No: this is Glasgow. The five-mile rule. It’s time to tackle the Cathkin Braes.
Survival bag: (just for fun)
First aid kit: you never know
Off we went
First we descended three sets of steep stone steps into the dark cave of the close, and then emerged blinking in the bright sunlight into the canyon of Kilmarnock Road.
Taking care not to push the button on the lights (there be Dragons; there be Covid on them surfaces) we waited for a pause in the torrent of traffic. Then, quickly forded the stream, and headed south and then east, picking up the trail of the White Cart Water.
We passed through silent streets onto river paths, steering clear of the giant hogweed, allowed to grow wild as the pandemic set it. Over bridges we scrambled, dodging cyclists and runners along the way. We braved the streets of Cathcart.
Then suddenly we emerged into the rugged wilderness of Linn Park. The river bubbled below as we climbed high above the gorge and then plunged down to giant waterfall, the Linn. We watched in awe as wild beasts jumped into the deep peaty waters, chasing sticks, returning to the masters wet and bedraggled.
But we had to press on. The tranquil woodlands of Linn Cemetery awaited us, as the sunlight danced and dappled between the oak and ash, and acorns crunched under foot.
A slow descent to a babbling burn and then a steep climb towards the wasteland of Lainshaw Drive, up to the sunlit uplands of Castlemilk. Taking care to cross the roaring highway by Cherry Tree nursery, we rose once more, taking the high road above the screech of ambulances below, fending off more cyclists and runners until we reached the abyss.
No time to hang around and admire the identikit Barrat boxes and manicured lawns.
Onwards and Upwards! To the Braes!
We climbed the steep cycle path and took a right, and then the world opened up before us.
We paused gasping for breath and water, and took a moment to rest in a clearing (upon a thoughtfully placed bench, replete with matching litter bin).
As we sat panting softly, a young roe struck out across the path, looked fleetingly in our direction before scurrying away into the gorse.
“We’re in the Highlands now,” I whispered.
The city unfolded beneath as we wound our way along woodland paths, forded great rivers (a puce coloured burn), and then finally rounded the giant wind turbine and reached our destination.
The Trig Point!
On top of the world.