I like to think of myself as being a very rational person. I am a scientist and by that I do not mean that I am a professional scientist. I don’t wear a white coat in a laboratory. I don’t earn a living that way. What I mean is that I do not hold beliefs which are unsupported by some kind of evidence. And even then, the strength of my belief is proportional to the strength of the evidence. But then, according to scientific rationality, every belief is temporary. Every theory is provisional until something better comes along. So I have to admit every possibility. And I wonder …. And it is in that wondering that the danger lies. No one, I have decided, is immune from superstitious fears. Allow your mind to wander down that path … Enough of that. I have practical problems. My last chocolate bar is gone.
At least I have a fire. I re-lit it this morning to heat water. I’ve got nothing to put in it of course – no tea or coffee or hot chocolate. Strangely the water didn’t get hot. And that’s another thing. The supply of wood has hardly diminished.
The blizzard is still blowing but I’ll need to make a break for it. I’m feeling not too bad but without food it is only a matter of time. I should go while I still have the strength. It’s only twelve miles. So I’ll give it a try. Four hours in good conditions. My bivy-bag, and all the warm clothing I’ve got, will go with me, but to make my pack as light as possible, I’ll leave behind everything I don’t need. So here goes. I’m packed. I’m ready.
Goodbye bothy – whatever your name is. You’ve been a good friend. I’ll come back sometime in the Spring, to say thank you.
Copyright: Hugh Noble, December 1999