Back when Lord of the Rings was wowing audiences on the big screen I was more than once referred to as a Hobbit. It had nothing to do with hairy feet, of which I am thankfully not the possessor, proud or otherwise, but more to do with being short of stature and with a tendency to slightly generous proportions around the waist. Tolkien aficionados will know 'The Hobbit' is the widely used abbreviation for 'The Hobbit, or There and Back Again.'
Today we drove there and back again through some of Bosnia and Herzegovina's fantastic countryside; mountains, rivers, valleys and forests that could easily be parts of Middle Earth. We were treated to sunshine and clear skies, heavy clouds and pouring rain and the most intense onslaught of thunder and lightening. The reason for our journey may have been relatively mundane but the weather provided everything required for an epic adventure!
About halfway between here and there is a small, mountain side gas station and cafe bar. It's yellow and it has a covered walkway that straddles the road, linking it to what could well be a mechanics. My memory lets me down on this because hanging from the outside of the walkway is red LED display that always grabs our attention. It tells the time and gives the temperature. This, being up in the mountains, is always lower than the temperature 'here'.
I wound down my window as we entered the bend before this staging post. 'I'm gonna give it eighteen!' I announced to the others in the van. Eyes forward as we exited turn, to see the numbers '1' and '8' boldly rubbing shoulders at the end of the display. I was, perhaps justifiably, proud of my perfect prediction. However, I failed to heed the sage who cautioned: never repeat a successful experiment. I was out an inexcusable five degrees* on the way back. Here's to a little humility!
(Lest anyone think I foolishly risked frostbite for this let me reassure readers all temperature are in degrees Celsius.)