Blog 2295

My dear daughter died this week. She was many joys to me, but one of the best was as my climbing buddy over the years.

ELEANOR MAIR 1971 – 2020

Excuse me saying you were competitive

When climbing mountains with me. Young

And fit from heavy backpacks you would drive

Robustly upwards past me if my lungs

Faltered. I’d catch you when you lit a fag.

It wasn’t just physical: you’d sussed the route

So accurately from the map you’d brag

You knew each twist and turn; and any doubt

Of mine was squashed, even if it was right.

Yet awed by space we could be quiet together.

Now huddled in this bed you’re mute and still

Without your mind’s protest or body’s fight;

But with what a delicate wee puff of breath

You overtake me on the final hill.


  1. Stephen Hadden · · Reply

    Hello Mike, this is desperately sad news for me and Mary. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you and Janet. God bless, Stephen and Mary

  2. Beautiful, Mike, especially the last five lines. I know her memory will be with you and Janet for ever. I sang the Trisagion for her last week in an empty church. I was moved in doing so, even though I did not know Eleanor. But knowing how much her parents grieve her death moved me to my own expression of sorrow. God rest her soul.

  3. Thanks Stephen and Ksarant

  4. Dear Mike, I knew Eleanor from Primary School and later from University. (I remember you addressing the Assembly at Harlaw Academy around 1985 too). I only learned today of the very sad news about Eleanor. I was so sorry to hear about her, I was moved to send my condolences to you and your wife. I’d hoped to find an address but found your blog.

    Eleanor was a brilliant character, really bright and creative, with a sharp wit. I still remember her being asked to sing a solo at school and nailing it. When I met up with her again at University, if she thought you were wrong, she was certainly never shy in saying so (!) but she never held it against you. And the sharp wit remained very much intact. She was always sparky and great company, which I missed very much when I left Aberdeen. I see on your blog that you like a drink. I will be raising a very large glass in Eleanor’s honour tonight, and to you and your wife. I’ll be thinking of you both.

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