The Surprise at the Wallace Monument

I borrowed this free image which shows the hill below the monument (full of surprises)!

I borrowed this free image which shows the hill below the monument (full of surprises)!

Many, many years ago I was addicted to youth hosteling all over Scotland. That was the start of my travel bug… I went with various friends and sometimes solo but on this occasion I was with the two girlfriends who became my bridesmaids. We all lived in Glasgow and decided to stay at the Youth Hostel in Stirling. It was a lovely youth hostel in the center of the city and we had easy access to antiquities such as Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument. A couple of years before we had been on a school trip to the Wallace Monument and had some fab photographs of us dangling our feet over the edge with bell bottoms on. There is a long steep windy path up the hill to the Wallace Monument. I Googled it to remind myself of the history and was astonished at the changes. I don’t remember either a coffee shop or a bus up to the tower? Maybe it’s the menopause…
Briefly, William Wallace is a Scottish hero with his defense of Stirling in medieval times and the monument commemorates him and also gives a fabulous view of the surrounding countryside. I am sorry I am not more excited about this but I didn’t enjoy Scottish history at school and don’t get me started on the inaccuracies of Mel Gibson’s ridiculous portrayal of Braveheart. Anyway… we three friends, about 16 years old, were at the base of the hill leading to the monument. There were now public toilets and one of us needed to use them. She came out a few seconds later, appalled that they were charging sixpence for the privilege of using their restrooms. Bear in mind that there are very few public bathrooms in the wilderness of Scotland and we had been used to squatting behind bushes on previous hiking trips. We laughed at her but she insisted that she could go in the bushes further up the trail. About halfway up, there was a bench and some nice thick bushes to hide behind. Our friend went into the bushes and we sat down for a rest. A few minutes later she came running out, screaming with her trousers around her ankles. We were panicked, not knowing what the problem was. Eventually she calmed down enough to tell us that she had squatted down, placing her hands on the ground to balance herself. Unbeknownst to her, another miserly person had the same thought as her and had dumped something solid on the ground and her hand squished into it. Through our hysterics, we managed to pull her trousers up and fastened them (she couldn’t do it because of the disgusting mess on one hand). The punchline is that she had to spend sixpence to both wash her hands and urinate in the appropriate place. I am sure there is a wonderful moral in this tale but really it’s just gross and funny.

4 thoughts on “The Surprise at the Wallace Monument

  1. the monument must attract Wallies. Whilst leaving one day some local lads mooned us. the quick thinking lawyer in the car grabbed the antifreeze spray and several bottoms were even colder!
    (knew you’d appreciate that one Kerry – as I did your blogs – keep em coming;-)


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