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Day 23 has been a day of rain, sunshine and spooky moments.

I was up on the shores of Loch Long to conduct a walk around Ardentinny and Glen Finart. Another 5 miler with a few wee climbs so a nice gentle day in another stunning part of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. I was therefore keeping myself mobile and active during my final Chemo week without over doing it in order to save myself for the adventures I hope tomorrow brings.

Therefore I had time to think and ponder on what to say in today's post. I had been talking about being on the edge of a partial seizure or aura in previous posts so why not tell the story of some of the stronger auras because some of them are quite fascinating, amusing or spooky.

For some reason my mind then turned to this particular aura which I have named the 'Matrix' aura.........

The gravestone the aura led me to find.
The gravestone the aura led me to find.

My Mother-in-Law Helen wanted to go and pay her respects to two relations who were laid to rest in the Kilmadock Parish Cemetery but was not 100% certain where they were. It was a pleasant spring day so I thought I would offer to help look for them. As we arrived we quickly split up with my Father-in-Law, Al, going to the North wall, Helen going to the South wall and me taking the long spine of gravestones which ran East to West through the cemetery along a green grassy bank. I went to the Eastern edge to start from there. The birds were singing, the sun was shining with a soft breeze blowing and the occasional whoosh of a vehicle along a nearby road. I started to check each gravestone feeling just a little unsure of myself and after only the first 3 gravestones of many tens of them I felt decidedly odd. I noticed that the breeze was no longer blowing, the birds had stopped singing, I could hear no traffic on the road and although it was still light I could not feel the sun. On looking at Al he was gently leaning against a large monumental gravestone his right hand gripping the right edge as if to read it but was not moving. I looked behind me to Helen who was bent down her right hand extended as if to brush moss from the text on a small stone but was not moving. It was as if time had stopped completely. ................... And then suddenly a tremendous whoosing sound and all the gravestones on the grassy ridge in front of me swept past me at great speed like a scene from the film the matrix. The ferocity and wind of the movement spinning me to the right and slightly off balance. Then they stopped. One black gravestone with gold writing stopped straight in front of me. Just as I started to focus on it ...........the whole lot started again this time coming back the way stacking themselves back along the green grassy bank one after the other, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud. Whooshing past me again with such ferocity and wind that it spun me slightly this time to the left and slightly off balance. Then as quickly as it started it stopped. I was very disorientated and off balance but as I came back in to the real world I noticed that Al had turned and was now looking in my direction and that Helen was standing and still searching. The birds were singing again. A vehicle swept past on the road. But as I regained composure I couldn't let go of the black gravestone. Why a black gravestone? There aren't any in this row ......................and then I saw it. Right at the far end. I turned and walked all the way down to the black gravestone and as soon as I got to it and read the names there was nothing for it but to stick up my hand and proclaim 'They're here!!!!' Had I found them or had I been taken to them? Was it an aura or something completely different??

So on I walked through the rain up the hill pondering this particular dilemma stemming from that extraordinary aura and as I crested the hill I saw below me a solitary gravestone in a squared off memorial area. I was naturally drawn to it - wondering what it was to then receive the biggest shock of the challenge so far! I saw the memorial stone pictured below and with my still slightly day dreamy head on after remembering the finer detail of the very spooky 'matrix aura' the name jumped out at me clear as day with the initial panic gripping me as I rubbed away at moss to find a date. Found it. 28th November 1860.

Thank goodness but to say it was spooky is an understatement. I had no idea that there was any connection of the Douglas family to Glenfinnart so was caught, after such recollections as I was having, completely unawares.

Once I had recovered of course I saw significant positives in this chance encounter. Archibald Douglas of Glefinnart died aged 82. My grandfather Archibald Douglas died at age 82. My Father died at age 82. Perhaps this Archibald Douglas has got nothing to worry about and I will go on to the ripe old age of 82 too!!!!!

More tales of the auras to come soon.

5 miles plus 1 mile walked today. So...........................
To the challenge and it's numbers in total since the start:
Days completed: 23
Total Miles Cycled: 112
Total Miles Walked: 86
Total Miles covered under own steam: 198
Total Height Gained under own steam: 4,361 feet
Mountains Climbed: 2
Days of Conservation Activity: 21/4
Organ tunes learnt and performed: 5
Salmon Caught: 0!
People Met and Hands Shaken: 98
Pots of tea shared: 3
Pills popped: 112

If you see me around do please give a cheery hello and shake my hand or toot your horn and give a cheery wave to show your support and encourage me on.
Thank you all for your incredible comments and support. Please continue to spread the word.

Thank you

Yours aye

Archie