My dad was a footballer. He played in goal for Hednesford Town our local team and had a spell with Walsall where he ended up being a talent scout. I remember him telling me about Billy Wright when he signed for Wolves having a strange clause in his contract. Apparently, his previous club had not allowed him to train with a ball during the week so that he would be “ball hungry” on a Saturday. Billy, seeing the insanity of that training method,now wanted to make sure that he would be allowed to train with a ball. I have been on my bike 4 times in 6 weeks because of the problem with my foot. I am most certainly “bike hungry” and no it is not the best preparation for thousands of miles on the touring bike.
We learned something on January the first. We decided to climb Traprain Law which is a hill overlooking Dunbar, down the coast from here. It is part of the same chain of molten upsurges that Edinburgh Castle sits on and gives commanding views in all directions. No one is going to sneak up on this hill and because of this it has been a stronghold and safe place for thousands of years in spite of the fact that it appears to have no water source up on the defendable bit at the top. It has a dazzling amount of archaeology. Ramparts, round houses, burials, rock art and a hoard of hundreds of silver objects and coins from all of what was then the known universe. A great deal of the hoard can be seen at the national museum in Edinburgh.
The Bongo had been coaxed through the snows to the start of the climb with the plan being to make mulled wine at the top to toast the new year.With an early start the car park was empty and we had the hill to our selves. Up we went with the whole of East Lothian, Mid Lothian and a bit of West Lothian and Fife in dazzling snow and sunshine forming a perfect vista. The top having been reached we settled down to heat the wine mixture. A white box stove was set up, charged and lit and we waited for things to warm through. Now in our defence we do not do much or even any cooking in snow. As the white box stove heated up, down it went thawing a perfect circular hole and then extinguishing its self. We are stupid but we do learn quickly.