‘Life is either a daring adventure or nothing’- Helen Keller
I had the long weekend all mapped out. After the ravages of winter, our wooden front door was badly in need of a coat of paint. The weather was set fair and it felt like the perfect opportunity to get it done. My plan was to suggest to my husband that he set to work on this and I could start to grapple with the overflowing basket of ironing that I had been trying to ignore for the last three weeks. After that, there’d still be time for us to join forces and tackle the weeds that were shooting up through the gravel yard at an ever-increasing pace.
And then my husband announced that as the forecast was for three continuous days of sunshine, it was the perfect weekend for him to attempt the challenge he’d been planning for the past few months- a 66 mile hike in the Lake District, scaling 42 of its highest peaks. I was apparently to be involved of day one of this epic- specifically to transport him to the starting point, hike together for 16 miles and then camp overnight in a tiny tent.
I reacted. I complained about his lack of collaboration, told him he was inconsiderate and that he had no idea about what was really important.
But he wouldn’t budge. Should I stick to my guns too or give in and bend to his will? I knew he had a point- neither of us could remember the last time we’d been able to enjoy a few days of sun. We’d often talked about wanting to do more hiking together. I often regretted not being able to spend more time exploring outdoors. And then I remembered my pact to be more spontaneous. Here was the ideal opportunity and I was railing against it.
Twenty-four hours later, sitting on my camping mat, hurriedly spooning in mouthfuls of rehydrated spaghetti bolognaise, my mind flashed back to the day we’d just had. Scrambling, trudging up and sliding down scree-ridden mountainsides. Wondering who’d come up with the tongue-twisting names for some of those lofty peaks like Harrison Stickle, Pike O’Blisco and Stickle Pike. Along the way, I’d laughed as I spotted flocks of native Herdwick sheep, striped in rainbow colours of red, blue, green and orange dye, as indicators of ownership.
In deepest Eskdale, we’d passed the signpost to the entrance of a woodland called ‘Giggle Alley’, apparently containing a hidden Japanese garden being restored to its former glory by the locals. I took this as a sign that I’d done the right thing.
When did you last say ‘yes’ to an unexpected change of plan and how did it work out for you?