The Only Way is Up

I got home as dawn was breaking, and the stench of my flat just about knocked me out. If that isn’t a wakeup call, I don’t know what is. I’ve never exactly been the happy homemaker type, Craig was actually more the one for cooking and cleaning out of the two of us, but I’ve always kept things vaguely hygienic. At least, I thought I had, but after a week of heartbreak hibernation there was a thick layer of dust everywhere, plus a few new life forms and possibly some penicillin growing in the sink.

Which was actually good in a weird way, because it forced me to attack the place and not think about anything. For a good couple of hours I wiped and swept and scrubbed, just about in a trance. Which is no wonder, given that I’d not slept yet and my head was throbbing.

When I finally collapsed on the couch, the cut on my forehead had opened again and was bleeding through the bandage.

Because oh yeah, I got mugged yesterday. I’m really in an upswing these days, try not to be too jealous.

I got mugged on Ben Lomond for goodness sake – what is it about me that attracts the sporty, outdoorsy class of criminal?

In fact, I think it’s fair to say that the last 12 hours have officially been the worst in my life, and that’s coming from someone who got dumped by their boyfriend of five years last week, and once went to a Coldplay concert.

After getting so incensed by the wee orange man the day before yesterday, despite what I said about wallowing, I made up my mind that actually it had gone far enough. So I dragged myself down to the gym where I work, and took a brutal kick boxing class which actually did the trick in terms of dragging me back to the human race. A wee bit, at least. So then I decided that the next day – yesterday – I’d go a hike up Ben Lomond, because while any exercise sorts me out, exercise in the fresh air is like nectar from the gods.

So yesterday morning, off I went. I took the train to Balloch then the ferry to Balmaha, which is a longer way of getting there but I love wee ferries and I was in treat yourself mode. On the ferry, there was this family, a couple of noisy kids and knackered looking parents, and they had a wee dog that kept looking at me like ‘heeeelp me.’ I was giving it ‘hang in there’ looks when I realised that its coat was the exact same dirty blond as Craig’s hair. For a minute I thought I was about to start howling again, then the absurdity of greetin’ over a dog reminding me of him hit me, and I ended up giggling instead. That was the first time I thought I might be okay.

I hiked the path I’ve hiked eight million times before and sure enough, within an hour I started to feel like me again. Still broken hearted and utterly like shit, but fractionally less like a sleep walking ghost from another dimension.

It’s just a couple of hours to the summit, and it was the most perfect day for hiking. It wasn’t raining, just a light drizzle in the air, and the sun even broke through a few times. As soon as I broke the tree line I stopped to drink in Loch Lomond glistening in the sun, and the lower hills nestled in the haze, seeming almost blue and purple. It’s my most favourite view on earth. I’ve got this weird theory that it’s good for your eyes to take in distance, especially if you live in a city and are used to be surrounded by buildings. It’s like yoga for the eyes.

It was just about then that this hackit bastard grabbed me from behind and tried to brain me with the mountain. It was almost like slow motion, my tummy dropped like I was on a rollercoaster – he must have lifted me clean off my feet – and I saw a rock sticking out the ground coming right at my head. Somehow in a fraction of a second I managed to fling myself to the side a bit, which was how the rock grazed my temple and didn’t smash my skull open like an Easter egg.

Presumably that was supposed to be the end of me, but sadly for the mountain criminal element, I train in MMA fighting for fun. I managed to get to my feet, and I’d like to think I gave as good as I got but judging by the fact I’m bruised from head to toe it’s doubtful. It all passed in a bit of a blur and the next thing I knew I was waking up with a policewoman holding my hand and telling me the ambulance would be there any minute.

The doorbell’s just gone. That’ll be the police. I’ll pick this up later.

Linley Ross.png



  1. Excuse me but I think I’m lost? 🙂 🙂 I started at the end, with Match, and assumed it was a story, so I went to Start here and it wasn’t. Or it is but I haven’t found the beginning. Am I making any sense? In any case, I love the outdoors and I’m sorry for your troubles 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not at all, I’m mucking about with it right now which probably isn’t helping! Start here is the first post – it is a story, but the idea is that it’s meant to feel like a real blog so maybe it’s a bit misleading! There are a couple of posts to introduce the character first, then the story gets going properly with Accident & Emergency! Hope that helps a bit – thanks so much for reading!


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