I struggled up the mountain side, the gap between us widening with every step I took. TPR was miles ahead of me and I would never catch up with him. The terrain was particularly difficult over the grassy banks. If you made a mistake with your footing here, you could dislodge the fragile sand beneath the thin layer of grass and slip further back down the mountain. This happened to me on numerous occasions (perhaps because I was wearing TF’s spare boots?) and soon any hope of joining my husband at the summit disappeared.
Then I noticed that TPR had changed direction and was charging down the scree in the distance at top speed, pushing other walkers out of the way en route. I screamed after him to wait for me. If I lost him now, I would never get home – and I also needed to know where he had left the car keys.
I knew he could hear my shouts – everyone could – but TPR chose to ignore me. It was only later that he confessed that he had abandoned me because he had annoyed another set of walkers. He was convinced that they would kill him in revenge if he didn’t make his descent as fast as possible.
Afterwards we returned to our bed and breakfast where we were served egg on toast, even though we had already checked out. At the breakfast table a Masters graduate called Dave recognised me and asked for my number, much to the amusement of other guests who declared it an “amazing coincidence” that we were “reunited”. Meanwhile I was planning a winter sports holiday on the Surrey downs. There might be only one ski lift in operation at this resort, but the snow forecast was good.