7 Hills: Arthur’s Seat

To the second last of Edinburgh’s hills, then, a couple of weeks ago, in the company of one of my best mates, Gav. I once introduced him at a Writers’ Bloc event as ‘chamaeleon, comedian and caricature: the annoyingly talented younger brother I never had…’ (extra points if you get the Bowie reference).

Here he is, on the left, towards the top of Arthur’s Seat. When I started this endeavour, earlier in the year, I never really intended this, but each of my trips up the hills has been accompanied by different companions: the Redoubtable Mrs F, Daughter and Heiress, her partner Scott, my sister, my golfing pal Lewis, and now Gav. Just one hill left – companions welcome!

Actually, a walk up a hill is a great way to spend time with someone, as long as it’s not, like, tremendously steep or anything. I suspect Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay ran out of banter at some point.

Nearing where the grass runs out

Arthur’s Seat isn’t all that Everest-like, although the final bit at the top, being basically a big basalt plug holding the rest of the lava back, is a bit challenging, and best not attempted with a hangover on Mayday morning.

That was when I’d last climbed it, as a student, more years ago than I’ve time to mention. It’s a local tradition that you wash your face in the dew on the first of May. It makes you beautiful, or more beautiful than you are already, or something.

The other tradition about the hill, of course, is the name: it’s one of the places in the UK that claims to be the last resting place of King Arthur, or where he held his Round Table committee meetings, and he will rise again when most needed by his people, or the inflation rate hits 15%, or something.

View from St Anthony’s Chapel, Arthur’s Seat

Anyway. It was a great day spent in a good friend’s company. When we made our way down to the foot of the Royal Mile, someone told me I looked like one of the Proclaimers. With all due respect to Craig and Charlie, that suggests the trip up on Mayday all those years ago hadn’t worked. Or maybe the effects wear off after a bit. Either way, there’s one more hill to go – Craiglockhart.

At least we got it done in advance of the cold weather arriving. Wouldn’t have fancied it when it looked like this, a few days ago!

The Seat from our gaff. Bit on the chilly side.


    • They are – in fact, I’m fairly sure I spotted them having coffee in the same place as me last week. I resisted the urge to go up to them and ask if anyone had ever said they looked like me…

  1. Sadly, remember when inflation hit 15% – funnily enough, we survived. Of course that was when a flat cost three times your salary lol.

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