Life in Fife: A walk to mark the weekend

A quick blog based on yesterday’s evening stroll and the notes I took afterwards in a journal, scrawled vertically whilst lying in bed before midnight.

The sky was hazy, like viewing it through condensation on glass. ‘Walk?’ B messaged me. We hadn’t done this yet, but this notion we had before we moved to Fife was that we’d spend summer nights up the hill behind our house, watching the sun set. So, obviously, I said yes. ‘Let’s go up the crag with a beer.’ So, he bought bottles in the shop, our walking boots sucked around our socks, and we headed uphill with our rucksacks.

We were glad of the padded jackets — the wind was ‘moderate’ but, as I’d anticipated, brutal on the hillside. The burning breath of the south-easterly haar, hissing into our earlobes and throat on the short ascent, scorched every uncovered bit of our bodies into soreness. We covered our ears with our hands, before B reluctantly decided to wear the pink woollen hat I’d brought along as a failsafe.

As we got to the summit we noticed that, despite hoping the cloud would lift, there was little view at all. The tip of a nearby antenna was dipped in the low, lazy cloud. The landscape looked as if watercolour, all pale greens and yellows and blues of the sea and fields. We reached the bench, the heat of our bodies peaking on the hill, quickly cooling and then becoming wind-bitten by the bottle of beer we shared at the top.

A man passed us, nodding, saying something that we couldn’t catch, and hunchbacked away from us with the wind, walking into the westerly god-light as if to the stile of heaven. As we too descended in the opposite direction, I spent time seeking out the dots of green on the landscape; the little furls of the fresh, greenest, raw leaves, what I imagine the new creases on a baby’s skin to be like.

But most of all — the knowledge and perspective and fullness gained from drinking in the scenes and the senses on the hill, a well-used few hours to extend our weekend that much longer; a summit-swallowed beer that trumps, every time, a greasy cocktail glass in the city.

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