WATCH: Walk on the wild side is great remedy
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A WALK on the wild side is a good escape for us all every now and then.
Goodness knows the last 12 months have been hard on everybody in so many different ways.
So many lives lost to the Covid-19 virus, people's jobs and livelihoods destroyed or severely impacted, families kept apart; community groups, social gatherings, sports club - all disrupted and in many cases struggling to survive without a regular income; people's mental health affected due to repeated and prolonged periods in lockdown.
With lockdown easing and things starting to reopen from April 5 onwards - garden centres, hairdressers - among the first to reopen then; hospitality able to restart outdoors on April 26, along with all non-essential retail, life may be getting back to some kind of normal, whatever normal is.
The Scottish parliament election on Thursday, May 6 is, for many, a welcome distraction from the stresses and strains of life, for others they will be fed up of the political rhetoric already.
Spring is here now and the clocks went forward at the weekend, meaning lighter nights and more chance to get out and enjoy some seasonal weather - that always makes you feel better.
I put in the miles at the weekend with a 15k brisk walk along the old railway line between Lossiemouth and Elgin, and back again.
It was part of my training for the Macmillan Mighty Hike in the Lake District on June 19.
On a glorious Sunday morning it was a fantastic reminder of the beauty of nature and the great outdoors.
Deer, an assortment of birds, geese, cows, dogs, and the occasional human - I met them all.
The old railway line is a great local asset and I could imagine the train thundering along the line in my head, although I should point out I was only born around the time that the railway line disappeared in the late 1960s under national cuts.
And on my return to Lossiemouth I took the path that leads into the Inchbroom area and Seatown and took a closer look at the train of decorated stones that local youngsters laid out last year, some in support of the NHS, others with personal messages for family and friends, others with inspirational words for passers-by.
It was great to be reminded of the terrific effort that the children, and others had put into the stones, which remain intact and there for all to enjoy.
Whatever you do to escape for a little while, enjoy it and savour it.