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Report on Kathryn's 40th in Arran
25 April 2008   (3643 views)

Well, it was an early start for me. At 6.00am on the 26th of April 1968 I hadn?t even entered the world (it was 7.00pm at night for those of you who are interested!) and here I was on Saturday the 26th April 2008 clambering out of bed, climbing into the shower, out of the house for 6.30am. On the ferry for 6.50am, removed mobile phone from rucksack and read messages. Oh dear!!! I was supposed to pick up remote control for TV which was sitting on Alison's doorstep so that the wii would work. Now, I am supposed to rendezvous with Alison's friends Adam and Chut. Phone Adam's mobile as instructed only to find he is unwell and not coming but he is going to text me Chut's number so we can meet up. All my technological skill is now required to transfer this number from a text message into a number I can phone. Somehow we manage to meet up before the ferry docks in Brodick!!!

We arrive at Sannox to find breakfast in full swing and Maureen still in her pyjamas,(well at least she is fully clothed but more of that later). Everyone had gone to a lot of trouble to decorate the house with banners and balloons and I was ?treated? to a rendition of Happy Birthday before I could put my rucksack down and say ?there will be blue skies later?.

Chut, Alison, Mick N, Carol-Ann, Michael B, Mark, Kevin, Maureen, Kip the dog and myself set off under overcast skies for Cioch na h Oighe. Mick N takes us the direct route. No paths for us rufty toughty mountaineers ? a vertical ascent of the heather. We just start the scrambly bit and the rain starts ? it is torrential. It looks set for the day as we make our way slipping and sliding up to the first summit and start the ridge. Carol-Ann and Alison decided hoods on waterproofs are for wimps and treated us all to the I?m just out of the shower without a towel look. Michael aka Wincey Willis tells us that there will be clear blue skies by 12.30pm. None of us believe him especially Maureen. Maureen has a strop on the narrowest bit of the ridge, informs us she cannot walk another cm in wet trousers and proceeds to pull them down exposing large white pants and pink flesh to us all (Michael B was struggling to contain himself). Maureen then proceeded to remove gaiters and boots with trousers round her knees ? sequencing getting undressed has never been her strong point - and then put on dry trousers and over trousers. When Michael and the rest of the men had recovered their composure from this impromptu strip we all set off again and the rain stops. By 12.30 there were clear blue skies!!!! We stopped for a picnic and a thimble full of Cava (one bottle divided by 9!!) and admired by now the spectacular views. At the end of the ridge Mark and Kevin left us to return to Sannox via the Saddle and Glen Sannox. The rest of us went into Corrie via Mullach Buidhe and Am Binnien and then rejoining the Corrie path as no one wanted to have another go at Alan's direct route to the pub (see previous reports). Most of us had time for 1 drink at the Corrie Hotel, sitting in the beer garden in the sun. Chut had time for none and in his rush for the bus nearly forgot Kip. Michael N who had teleported himself down had half a dozen!!

We caught the bus back to Sannox and I have not been able to walk properly since!!!

Irene's Report
The alternative walk was the Cock of Arran from Sannox to Lochranza with Peter, Helen, Gail, Craig, Aileen, Robin, Dorothy, Irene and Lydia. Nothing of note happened except Aileen who tripped and fell along the way. It gave us a laugh which lead to her falling even more. Once we reached the rocks which we had to scramble over, we met up with Liz from my work and her husband John. This is the second time meeting them on a walk, the last time it was on Tinto Hill. I think they should just join our club!

That evening we celebrated Kathryn's birthday with a meal and drinks in the Sannox Bay Hotel. Michael N read out a poem that some had made up for her the previous night and Kathryn was surprised with a birthday cake. It was a nice way for her to celebrate her 40th birthday especially as Alan was working somewhere in the North Sea.

Kathryn Gaffney

Kathryn's cake
Kathryn celebrating
Ali and Mick
Bad hair day
ridge in mist
half the party
the other half
Aileen falling again
nearly at Lochranza
where's the bus?
Arran ridge
been a hard day

Photos: Mark Kinnon and Irene Cahill

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