We’d climbed 1000 metres, my feet were screaming, my shoulders were throbbing, I was knackered and in a proper foul mood… Little did I know that Andy had a little something up his sleeve (or in his pocket, I should say) that would cheer me up just ever so slightly.
We’d reached the top of the Mackinnon Pass where the view down the Arthur Valley was breath taking, although I wasn’t looking forward to the steep 1000 metre descent, my knees were about all I had left and they weren’t going to appreciate it. I was feeling quite inclined to chuck myself over the sheer cliff edge to save myself the time and effort of climbing down.
Andy suggested we climbed a little further up a small grassy knoll, where a few others had gone up to extend their view and had come back saying it was worth it. I hated them for it. I agreed to go because I didn’t want Andy to think I was being miserable, or not having the time of my life.
We got up there and we stood together saying, “Well isn’t this lovely? Yes, definitely worth the extra climb. Beautiful view.” I just wanted to lie down. Andy kept saying “You know what? I’m perfectly happy to just hang around here until everyone else has moved on. It’d be cool be up here with no one else around.” I wasn’t too fussed but I agreed anyway, I was enjoying the extra rest. There was one couple left up there and they weren’t showing any signs of leaving. Andy stood looking over my shoulder grumbling under his breath, “I wish they’d just bugger off.” I wondered what his problem was, let the nice people enjoy the view.
Eventually they wandered off down the side of the hill and I decided that this would be a good opportunity to shuffle down the opposite side for a swift wee. Andy, (who had been waiting semi-patiently for quite a while now) said, “hold on a second, no you don’t.” He suddenly started saying lots of lovely things and I wondered what had brought this on. Before I knew what was happening he’d dropped down on one knee and was presenting a very pretty “temporary” engagement ring (I’m a fussy madam and would like to design my own. He knows me too well.) It’s one of those moments where things start happening in slow motion, but when you remember them afterwards it all goes far too quickly. Of course I started crying and he was left looking lost and wondering whether that was a good thing or not. I knelt down with him and told him “I’d love to marry you.” He looked relieved (mostly I think because he’d got it over with!) and we had a good old cuddle.
As we both stood up we noticed a small Chinese lady standing breathlessly at the summit of our little mound, looking curiously at us with a strange little smile. I blurted out, “Aah! I was going to have a wee but I’m not now!” She just grinned at me and turned to look at the view. We were half way down the slope when I realised we should probably document the occasion with a photo. The little Chinese lady was very obliging.
In other news, I found a hedgehog! Life doesn’t get much better than this.