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The year 2012 started well for me with work aiding my travel budget during March for trips to the Midlands and over two weeks' work while exploring Devon. This earned me a month's extra salary plus sixty new hills. April was a month for islands with successful trips to Wee Cumbrae, Scarba, Lunga, Garbh Eileach Island and Sanda Island. After Sanda I managed to find time to climb the P59 called The Bastard.
The next highlight of 2012 was Rob Woodall's attempt at playing Janet Leigh's character in the shower scene from Psycho. Rob's portrayal failed to bring down the house but did manage to shatter the shower rail, so a £30 fine was imposed and immediately paid. I could then afford a pint or two of Islay ales at the annual dinner at the Ardbeg distillery, which was the best annual dinner that I have attended so far. Thanks again to Alan Holmes for all his hard work.
The Sunday RIB trip to McArthur's Head lighthouse and the walk back over three Marilyns was brilliant and was celebrated with another pint of Islay ale at the Ardbeg distillery. Later in the week, I fulfilled a lifetime ambition to climb the Paps of Jura. My Jura taxi, driven by Martin Richardson, dropped Cliff Speight and me off just after the bridge while Martin and Jim Bloomer drove on to bag the northern two Marilyns of Jura. Beinn Shiantaidh was done in cloud but as we descended to the col, Beinn an Oir appeared in its full splendour and the tall athletic figure of Phil Cooper could be seen bagging the top and beginning his descent towards Beinn a'Chaolais. The next two Paps were bagged in beautiful weather, and then Cliff and I decided that we still had enough energy left to bag the Hump, Beinn Mhearsamail, before walking back to the road. No sign of Martin's taxi so we headed to the pub to await our lift back to the ferry.
The end of August saw the start of a four-day completion weekend with Iain Brown's final Graham and 1500th Marilyn, Meall Mor, in typically wild wet conditions for Glen Coe. Next day we had a drier morning bagging A'Chailleach, Alan Dawson's final New Munro, while I celebrated my entry into the Hump Hall of Fame. Both Alan and I produced similar bottles of Jura malt for the occasion with no prior planning, just well discounted in Sainsbury's. In the afternoon the rain came back with a vengeance so we returned as six drowned rats. I had earlier bagged my 1200th Hump on Langlaw Hill on 20 August, a little ahead of schedule - oops. This had been my main aim for the year.
So 2012 was a good year for me with 63 new Marilyns and 197 new Humps. It was also great arranging to join old friends and new when they attain a new milestone.
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