Time passes and we all have to take advantage of every moment we have together, especially when your best friend is blind and at 11 probably has most of his best days behind him. Every year since Midge was just over 2 I have taken him backpacking along the wonderful Long Distance Paths (LDPs) of the UK. I cannot really guess how many miles we have walked together in our lives but it must be the equivalent to more than once around the globe. Because he is getting older and because he has had a couple of injuries as a result of his collie enthusiasm for life, unstoppable playing coming into conflict with the limits and risks occasioned by his blindness I had to think of something a little more modest this year.
The campsite was also the place where teenagers on the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme (DoE-ers) were meeting up after their walk. This always takes place at the end of the school year to get kids out of the school so the teachers have free time to visit their psychologists. You can see sullen teens all over the UK not enjoying themselves shadowed by adults to make sure they come to no grief. In the old days the walking and overnight camp usually meant being dumped somewhere in the countryside with one or two others and from there expected to survive the night or two and arrive at a point many miles away where you would be picked up or the mountain rescue called. In the current litigious climate it is done by too many, too organised and it no fun.