Saturday 2 April 2011

Rambling Uphill

As I watched Roth pulled a small tube from a pocket on his snow jacket and deftly, despite the gloves, pushed a small button. Out of one end came a point and shaft, out of the other came a flag which unfurled in the harsh cold wind. He turned it up the right way and spiked it into the ground.

He stood back and saluted, "For King and Country," he bellowed against the wind.

"We have a Queen now," I bellowed back.

"Does no one tell me anything, anymore?" came the reply.

We sat down by a nearby snow covered rock, which gave some shelter from the blizzard that had enveloped us.

"You know," I said, "I'd always expected the top of a mountain to be kinda, well,... "

"Pointy?" Roth completed.

"Yes, exactly. Pointy. This is quite flat. Because of the blizzard we've had to walk around quite a bit to make sure it doesn't go up more than this. When I drew mountains as a child, they always had a point on the top and a completely obvious place to put a flag. We bumbled around for ages before we found what you called The Right Spot."

"Shall we explore?"

"Yes, OK. The snow and wind seems to have abated a little."

We set off towards the middle of the summit and were surprised to find a petite woman sitting in a slightly snow encrusted padded armchair. It was our friend Eolist.

"I wondered when you two would turn up. Did you stop off for a curry on the way?"

"Where would we find a curry house half way up a mountain?" exclaimed Roth.

"Well, there was this doorway in the rock face that opened directly into...Owwww!" Roth dropped his rucksack on my foot.

"What are you doing up here?" I asked, knowing that if the question were returned I couldn't begin to answer.

"Getting away from it all, seeking a bit of peace and quiet," she reflected for a moment, "although the blizzard was somewhat loud and annoying."

Answering the question that hadn't been asked, Roth said, "I'd invited iDifficult here over to help me with something at the bottom of my garden. Last Tuesday."

"I thought I was perfectly safe, seeing as he lives in a third floor apartment. I thought I'd go there, he'd realise he didn't have a garden and we'd go and eat pizza."

"Yes, my apartment comes with a share of a large communal garden."

"In bloody Nepal..."