Day 903: Anniversary at Stiperstones

Day 903, Monday, October 29 marked our 4th couple anniversary. On this day, four years ago, he came to visit me again after a housewarming party where he had forgotten his mittens… This time, it was only the two of us and he’d already confessed (Facebook messenger, obviously) that he couldn’t stop thinking about me. I cooked him a dinner, putting way too much salt on the salmon (in fact, there’s a saying that connects being in love with oversalting food), we talked way into the night, he stayed. He had moved in by mid-December when we realised there was no point in having two apartments to rent when we were spending time together anyway at one of those.

So, four years later we woke in a house sit in Shrewsbury and went on a hike in the Stiperstones. This involved browsing loads of bus schedules, coming to the conclusion that a convenient special shuttle bus only operates from April to September, and trying our luck with the 552, which went to the foot of Stiperstones only a couple of times a day. We made quite an effort to get some cash and exact change because sometimes the drivers don’t give any. On the way back, however, we discovered that this company, Minsterley Motors, does. But their website was largely unhelpful because we had no idea what the fare would be. All worked out in the end.

So, we reached Stiperstones and I got out the Viewranger app with the trail that we wanted to embark on. We’d also read that there are several trails and the marking is a bit confusing. As we did have two dogs waiting for us, we couldn’t afford to wander aimlessly, get lost (would have been romantic, though) and going back to Shrewsbury late. There were not that many buses going either. We kept to the trail with the app and it worked for us. We always knew how much longer we would need to go, which is a huge bonus for the kind of a control freak that I am. The hike itself is slightly demanding. Lots of uphill climbing and wobbly path. There are huge stones to tackle while you are on the ridge. It is totally worth all the trouble, mind you. Lovely views, some sheep (some of them black), wind, sun, plenty of photo opportunities. My Instagram got quite a few new posts thanks to this hike, go and check!

Progress Report

1. Own and live in a house.

I was dead after the hike for some reason. Might be the wind at the top that tensed my muscles and made my head throb with pain. Ended up sleeping for a few hours, then crawled out of the bed in the evening and got myself going somehow. Didn’t manage to work, though.

2. Write AND publish a book.

No-class-Monday, which meant I didn’t pursue any creative writing task. I did continue reading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and being amazed by the book, its credible narrative voice, and quirkiness. I do love how Gail Honeyman tackles the subject of loneliness and of needing (and not needing) other people. As an introvert, I can hugely relate to some of it. However, I do not live alone, nor do I have such traumatic experiences in my past that I would have to survive weekends only thanks to vodka. She is not an alcoholic in the traditional sense. Eleanor has rationalised this for herself in an odd way. Read if you want to know more. Promise, there are lots of layers to go through!

3. Win a major race.

My training plan said ‘rest day’ but the hike to Stiperstones was nothing but a rest. A proper workout for the glutes! My butt really hurt when it was over. My lovely physiotherapist husband deduced that this means I need to strengthen those muscles…

Photo of the Day


It was a bit chilly and windy up there but down it was nice and warm, so I did feel overdressed. That’s not me, obviously, but the husband with strong glutes who didn’t get any muscle soreness.

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