Mount difficulty!


Mount difficulty!


A gnarly slippery crag of a mountain.

First, the

spot on lip gets larger.

Then, the land we have bought we cannot build on until certain impossible criteria are met.

The abyss we need to cross


Covid 19 hits.

My work is cut short. No work. No income.

Howling winds and the slippery Rock face.

That deep dark abyss below.

We re living in a tent! Waiting to build a home. The Frosts set in. Minus 5. My chest starts an infection.

That howling cold mountain!

The spot on lip

turns into a lump in the space of a few months.

The ropes are fraying. We need to cross the abyss.

We need to get to that dry sheltered sunny north facing side of the abyss.

I call dermatologist for tele appointment. He says "are you sleeping rough?" "I'll cut it all off and you won't be able to eat burgers just soup"  "I can wack it out in 40.mins"

The route across the abyss is not the right one.

I decline and request rather to see a surgeon.

I wait a month for surgery.

In one month it almost doubles in size. Surgeon

is Wonderful

and performs a

careful wedge excision under local anaesthesia. I am not

scared. We have luckily found a safe route across.


stay in an Airbnb for a week to recover.  It is warm and dry.

The young down to earth

lady is kind.

A dry ledge on the rock face.

A moment of safety.

We secure the rope across to the other side.

The results are squamous cell carcinoma and I will have a pet scan to see if it has spread.

The rope is now taut.

We need to find somewhere to live closer to "home".

An older

stranger offers us a room for a few weeks at reduced rent.

A warm dry room. Welcoming warmth like the idea of a

Yurt with the wood burner and smiling kind people huddled round.

We ve found a warm sheltered dip

to bivouac in on the mountain face protected from the sleet. 

While we wait for Clement conditions to cross.

I tell her that I have had a surgery.

But then she gets me on my own. She has a mischievous glint in her eye. Her lips turn upwards in a smile or is it a sneer?

She says:"god works in wonderful ways, the girl with cancer dies"

My bivouac slips. I am suddenly lurched halfway into the abyss. I can see the valley far below. A dark v with a glinting black river

Snaking through it.

She gets me alone again.

"you have had a good life"

to which I reply "yes and I am fifty, I have a good life ahead of me" she replies

" no you have had a good life". 


Rope is fraying again.

We need to act fast before we fall.

Time to find somewhere else to stay! As it is still too cold

to go back to the tent. Am feeling a bit Ill and weak. I need somewhere warm and dry.  Without unpleasant words.

My husband is working during the day. I avoid the stranger while i look for

Somewhere to live.

Don't go looking for sympathy I remind myself!

I could run up the hill a month ago.

After three weeks of sedentary recuperation i 

walk 50 metres and feel

exhausted. I will get fit just need to get more food in me.

Liquid food is all I can eat.

I have secured my bivouac.

My sister is thousands of miles away and I have no other direct relatives.

I don't want to bother my sister with my problems. I email her to say hi.

She emails back, she is warm dry happy well, with husband and chldren. Her life is busy, happy upbeat.

I don't mention my worries to her.

My husband is busy with work.

I am alone

lookingdown into the abyss.

Keep the mind focused on the task.

Look for somewhere to live.

Keep still in that bivouac on

That mountain face until conditions improve.

Keep watching for the right moment to cross.

I hear the haunted cry of the wedge tail eagle as it plummets down to snatch a potaroo off a mound of earth on

thatrock face. The potaroo wriggles, the eagle loses its grip as the prey falls into the void 


On mount difficulty!



Valued Contributor

Re: Mount difficulty!

Simply amazing writing @Antan 👏

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