Happy penguin feet

The shale tumbled and crunched under my walking boot as I gingerly took another part-step, part-slide down the mountain side. This steep decent from the look-out point consisted of crumbling flinty pieces of rock that made a compressible surface that you still wanted to avoid landing on with anything short of a thick-soled shoe. I was moving down carefully, with one walking pole anchored in front of me, the other behind as I maneuvered sideways down the route.

Our pace on this walk had been fast, so much so that we had caught up with a second group from the hotel that had left half an hour before us. Within this second group were a young family with two girls, aged 9 and 7. Completely unperturbed by this death-drop decline, they bounced passed me, laughing wildly.

"They have a different sense of gravity," one member of our group suggested as the two blond heads shot passed him.

"They have a different sense of mortality," corrected his wife.

The smaller of the two girls turned out her toes in a ballet-esque first position. "Happy penguin feet!" she declared.

I caught up with my Dad as they disappeared out of sight.

"You don't have happy penguin feet," he said, sounding fractionally disappointed.

If it was possible to look even more unimpressed than I had been two minutes ago, I just achieved it.