The Downhill

What better way to spend a damp and chilly winter morning than to climb up a great big rock? Monkey, Mattay, Rhi and I were feeling unusually energetic and decided to tackle Arthur’s Seat.

We puffed and grumbled along, the combination of recent rain and New Year tourists left the path slippery. But the view at the top made it all worthwhile. You get a true 360′ picture of Edinburgh, right out to the Forth Bridges, the snow-sprinkled Pentlands, and those other hills I can’t remember the name of.

But my mind wandered as we began our descent. An hour of jaunty exercise surely had to be counter-balanced by some serious carbo-loading? I was thinking Monster Mash, home of the giant sausages and towering piles of buttery potatoes. I was reviewing the menu in my mind when suddenly my feet deserted me.

It was a mad jumble of limbs and beanie and backpack. Then I plopped to earth, blinking in shock, with a madly cackling Rhiannon standing over me.

“Oh shit! Oh yes! Oh… are you alright?”

“I’m fiiiiine!” I felt mud oozing down the back of my leg.

To their credit, Mattay and Monkey struggled to keep a straight face. But Rhiannon was merciless, recounting the fall in glorious detail as we continued down.

As she wiped tears from her eye I finally admitted that it had been rather amusing. I dug out my phone, shuffling down the hill as I tapped out a text message:

Guess what? I just fell over on


This time I manage to land with my entire body weight centered on my right buttock. The thunk was good and wet and loud.

My darling sister clutched her stomach and dropped to her knees as she laughed silently. Even Monkey and Mattay, the most gracious houseguests in history, couldn’t help themselves this time.

“You were texting to say you’d fallen, weren’t you? That’s too delicious!” Rhiannon crowed, “Oh, are you okay?”

“Yes. Yes. Shut up.” My phone lay muddy and spent on a tuft of grass a few feet away.

And just for good measure, I fell a third time ten minutes later, this time cocking my right leg at a bizarre Karate Kid angle.

“How about this, kids,” Rhi addressed our guests, “Why don’t we stop right now and sit on Shauna’s lap and just tobboggan our way to the bottom?”

Later that evening, as I curled my battered body for sleep, my sister sang softly from her bed, “Slip slidin’ away… slip slidin’ awaaaay…”

Also on The Seat: Giant dog with trio of faux redheads.

About Shauna Reid

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17 thoughts on “The Downhill

  1. Most people fail to realize that feet are actually more cognizant of their existence than we give them credit for. Some humans fear this continually unacknowledged ten-toed entity and have tried to adjust for this independent intelligence by severing their own toes. This has resulted in a lot of sharp cookies (some of them Ph.D.s) wandering the buttes and other desolate areas a little slower than most. The lack of digits is known to have subtle effects on gait and cooking ability — the latter contributing to the popular rise of raw food in rustic culinary circles. (Some regulars of a raw food restaurants in Marin County, for example, are known to have as few as three toes.)

    As to the laughter, sociologists have determined that the foot, of course, is the most hilarious organ of the human body, outside of the nipple and the armpit. But since those two slightly funnier organs are covered, save for the oiled Mr. Universe types strutting through gyms, the average laugh enthusiast is more disposed to point and guffaw at a full foot.

  2. I think you deserved Mash after that!

    Which redhead are you by the way? Or have you just revealed your secret – you are a giant dog!

  3. those red-heads look decidedly germanic, i’ve decided.

    hope the bruises aren’t too bad. rhi is naughty to tease you, but i suppose that is what sisters are for. :o)

    wheee, sledging down arthur’s seat! i tried that when i was in 1st year, staying at pollock halls. we got a few bin bags and tried to slide down the slope. needless to say it was less than sucessful! heh.

  4. Why do I feel like singing Climb Every Mountain when I look at that photo? 😛

    Did they all look after you and tend to your bruises? And did you get the kiss all better? *giggle*

  5. At least when I walked into the tree the pain was dulled by drunkenness

    (drunken-ness? is that a word?)

    No kisses, Mel, but I believe Monkey gave me a comforting pat on the arse at some stage. Or maybe that was all a dream…

    And Gordon, I ain’t no fake redhead… I was behind the camera (and actually upright at that stage 🙂

  6. Yeah… the pat on the bum was purely for your comfort. eh heh heh. I’m all heart.

    And gracious houseguests?! What about you, and Rhi, gracious hostesses with the mostesses? We owe you. Oldschool, yo. You’ll not want for sexual favours for many a year, that’s for sure.

  7. Ochils baby! The other hills are the Ochils…

    That’s a good Scottish sounding word for you to practise.

  8. Gawd, but that Rhiannon’s a master of wit! If I hada personal screenwriter I’d want her for the job.

    I do hope you’re all right, though, Miss Shauners.

  9. Aha.

    Excellent post. As usual.

    I suspect that the toppling to the earth has nothing to do with clumsiness but a discovery that the earth loves you and wants to claim you for her own.

    Gravity kiddo – sooner or later everything goes down… (working title for crap cop show)

    Or maybe the goddess of friction hates you so much she keeps letting go of your shoes.

    Who know’s goddesses are tricky things..

    BTW – Its a knock down drag ’em out fight between a black Saab Turbo Convertible (dead gorgeous and slightly wanky) and a silver holden statesman (the car equivalent of the Ugh boot – ughly as hell – but comfy and warm) which I somehow let the IT journlaist Micheal Sainsbury convince me was travelling business class and had retro cool.

    I am a man without opinions

  10. Uh, that happened to me yesterday. My friends and I were walking down the grass on the waterfront to the Willamette River at about 4am (we were restless after RHPS and decided to take a walk) and I fell onceo nto my back, once onto my butt. I was soaked and muddy (I had jeans and a sweater – it was probably 40 degrees). We then walked across the bridge (a very large bridge) over the Willamette and then walked back. It was horrible painful. It felt like the worst razor burn because my backside was numb and had rocks and uck scraping up against it. Yuck.

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