The Diary of Bertie “Wrong-Hill” Brown – an extract

For some weeks now a gleeful MrP has been reminding me of a trifling navigational error I committed en-route from the Corbett, Monamenach, to the Graham, Meall na Letter, just to the east of Glenshee.  At the start of March, having persuaded me to break my exacting training regime to do some gentle walking, Mr.P then proceeded to drag me up hills covered in manky cloud – a pointless exercise if ever there was one.  In the interests of getting a bit of peace and quiet I have decided to “come clean” over this minor mistake and relate the sorry “tail” exactly as it happened…(ahem).

So, with a nod to the most excellent P.G. Wodehouse, here’s a brief extract from the diary of Bertie “Wrong Hill” Brown and his most(ly) capable manservant and erstwhile travelling companion, Parkes.   Having completed the mighty Monamenach our intrepid adventurers have just reached the summit of an intermediate hill and are at present trying to establish a downward route to avoid some crags that they remember from the map; except that they can’t see any…


“What ho, Parkes!”  “I say what a dashed spiffing little hill that was, eh?  They don’t  come much better than that!”

“If you say so sir”

“I jolly well do, Parkes. Perfect little hill – path all the way- damned fine little path too if you ask me.  Now…where next?”

“Might I suggest that this would be an appropriate time to peruse the map, sir.”


“That would be the piece of coloured paper you inadvertently scrunched up and stuck in your pocket a mile or so back, sir”

“Of course I knew that Parkes…just making sure you were on the ball, as it were.”

“While there is no doubt that your map reading skills are beyond reproach sir, I fear that conventional wisdom comes down in favour of holding the map in such a way that the writing is legible without the need to invert ones head.


“No matter sir, I expect we can retrieve your hat at a later point in the proceedings.”

“Jolly good show, Parkes, so…from this hill here [points at map] all we have to do is toddle down this slope here…cross over the squishy bit of bog there…then it’s jolly well off up that ridge and we’re at the top!”

“I have to agree that that would be an undoubtedly excellent plan sir…should we ever find ourselves starting from that particular hill.  Sadly we do not have that singular advantage in this instance.

“What do you mean, Parkes?”

“Well sir…you were most intent on exploring the aforementioned path which has led us to, I have to admit,  this most splendid of hills.  Sadly sir, it’s not the hill from which you might have chosen to advance along what had been your predetermined route.

“Dash it all Parkes, that’s a bit of a rum do.”

“A rum do indeed sir.  Might I suggest we have a spot of luncheon. I’m sure the situation will resolve itself on a full stomach.”

“Damned fine idea, Parkes.  Break out the hamper and the bubbly!”


Here’s a few photos (sigh).


Mr.P and The Fatdog head upwards…towards the “manky cloud”.


Mr.P basks in the best bit of light of the whole day – the ascent of Monamenach


Aimless wandering on the Monamenach summit.


Now! The hill (just visible) to the right of Mr.P is where we wanted to be. The hill to the left is where we ended up. The hill just right of centre (Meall na Letter) is our ultimate destination.


Deer on the “diversion” route


Huffing and puffing at having had to bag an out-of-the-way additional Graham top, MrP takes us back on course.


Mr.P takes a photo of my blunder for future reference and dart throwing practice.


Let the doggy-woggy see the bunny-wunny.
The Fatdog “relentlessly” pursues the mountain hare up the gap between the wall and the fence towards the Meall na Letter summit. I have a video where she turns her back on the hare…and ignores it!

17 thoughts on “The Diary of Bertie “Wrong-Hill” Brown – an extract”

    1. The other servants.were following behind…didn’t seem appropriate to show the photos. :D. 😉

    1. And I thought you were throwing your toys out the pram at having to do an extra Graham top 😆 . It was the fact we didn’t even see the big hill off to the right that might have given us a clue that we were on the wrong path! 🙄

    1. Maisie rarely complains…unless we’ve run out of food. Then she’ll just eat you…without any malice of course.

  1. I sit here amazed… not so much at the fact that you bagged the wrong top, more that you managed to find your way back home!

    Or perhaps you followed the breadcrumb-trail created by the porters’ rough handling of the hamper?


    1. Home is autopilot Stef…no problems with that whatsoever. “The Tank” has been up and down that particular road so often.

      Crumbs? We had a Fatdog with us! 😯

  2. A dashed fine show of verbal dexterity and hilarity their my fine purveyor of obese canine perambulatory uncertainty 🙂

    I had once had mates that went the wrong way around Liathach and we also managed to walk off the wrong ridge on a munro somewhere near Loch Morar. so your in fine company.

    As my mate the Eternal Weathe Optimist often says “Just feel your way around”

    1. We’ve started up the wrong hill…in blazing sunshine on the snow. Someone thought it would be a jolly wheeze to build a new track. We took the first track on the right as per the instructions…then realised something was amiss when we caught up with the JCB further up the mountain!

  3. Let he who is without sin chuck the first bread roll, as it very nearly says in the old’ good book. Haven’t done the wrong mountain anytime recently, but I did find myself on the lip of the wrong quarry back in February. No protests from your legs on this occasion?

    1. Quarry lips are not a good place to be 😯 . Closest I came to that feeling was reaching the top of Meall a’ Bhuiridh at Glencoe. Didn’t think I was there yet and hadn’t checked the map for a wee while – just followed the trail through the cloud. Found Maisie standing on the edge of nothing with me looking around to find the rest of the “uphill” which wasn’t there. Then, after a quick map check, I realised I’d stumbled upon the summit.

      The legs did very well thank you Mark…much better than expected. The exercises I had been doing for a few weeks prior had certainly helped. This walk provided the springboard for a series of walks throughout March. Thanks to MrP coaxing me out for a wee amble at that point I’ve been able to accelerate my rehab walking programme. The next few weeks saw us doing bigger and longer. The problem is still there…it’s just managed better. Keeping the sciatic pain out of my right calf is the key thing just now.

    1. Me knowing where I am is a rare event even in normal life Sheila. Thus in general, where I wish to be is not necessarily where I am. 😯 😦 😉

  4. Crikey! Lorks, indeed!

    So Mr P gets off scot-free does he? I would be laying the blame fairly & squarely on his capable frame. What are men-servants for, if not to take the blame?

    Lord Elpus regularly carries cans on our escapades.

    1. MrP did admit to some measure of culpability…insofar as he, somewhat recklessly in my opinion, trusted me to do the navigating!

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