For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Six years later

Yesterday  Gayle,  Click for Mick and Gayles blog , called in after her walk round my domain, and on her way to Scotland. Unfortunately Mick was absent due to some current employment.

It is unusual to make strong friends later in life, but Mick and Gayle are an exception for me. We talked without a single break for over three hours, but importantly we both talked and we both listened having a genuine interest in each others topics and anecdotes and that is the measure of good conversation and friendship.

My memory of our first meeting on day fifteen of my Land's End to John 'o Groats walk is still vivid but for you readers here is the relevant extract from my journal:

Wednesday 30th april 2008
Bawdrip to Cheddar
17.5 miles

Towards the end of this day I had just negotiated what became in my mind the worst stile of the whole trip. There was a gap in a hedge about six feet wide with a difficult stile descending via a nearly vertical mud bank about six feet down to a complete and unavoidable mud bath, and then ascending to another stile even more difficult than its partner, and all this, for reasons I can’t now remember had necessitated removing my rucksack.

I was just walking up the field trying to recover from this trauma when I realised I was being followed by two other walkers. They turned out to be Mick and Gayle who were also walking the End to End, and we walked together with some minor navigation problems due to our enthusiastic chattering, to arrive at the camp site at Cheddar. Mick and Gayle turned out to be a great couple who were doing the walk for the Macmillan charity. I think they will be visiting me at Arnside sometime in the future. Their planning had been meticulous with a large spreadsheet detailing all accommodation on their route, and they had also produced at home a large number of dehydrated meals using a proprietary dehydrating system. The meals looked very good.

And later on  my blog:

...we continued to meet each other from time to time until they took a different route via Offa’s Dyke from Knighton, but we have remained in touch by mobile  since…"
The offending stile.
Mick and Gayle were perhaps a hundred yards behind, but I hadn't seen them at this stage


Well, that was six years ago and we have had many pleasurable exchanges since, and long may they continue.


Sunday, 19 October 2014

LEG acknowledges his foot


I posted just before setting off for the SW Coast Path/Two Moors Way walk about acquiring a new sound system.

In the past I had separates. To listen to FM music (DAB wasn't available) I had to get up, cross the room, crouch down to floor level, and with difficulty manipulate various controls. Selecting tracks for a cd so it didn't continue to play the throwaway piece tagged on after the symphony was even more fiddly. Most of the time I just couldn't be bothered. How lazy can you get?

I have a sort of guilt feeling for such indolence, and perhaps it illustrates my lack of commitment to the wholly intellectual life, but I just wasn't listening to music which I do enjoy.

I can now sit in my chair and listen to superior tv sound, play cds and select tracks, listen to quality sound DAB radio on many preselected channels, or play any music I have on the iPad or IPhone with ease.

That may not be helpful in view of having just been diagnosed with a blood clot in LOWER LEG, but I do get up and wander about every so often, and as advised by the medics, keep waggling LEG's foot.




Sent from my iPad

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, 17 October 2014

Busy but not walking

Leg seems to have recovered, more or less, from the the cellulitis type bacterial infection after taking on board enough antibiotic to solve the World health problem, but he still continues to rebel against the whacking I gave him with a branch somewhere around 15th September on my SW Coast Path walk, and which received another whacking when my hooped carbon fibre tent pole, under tension, released itself and struck again in the same place. Leg therefore has two wounds close together on the shin about a centimetre diameter which are not healing well and are still painful, and Leg seems to have the capacity to transfer that pain to me in retribution.

There is also the added problem of the blood clot in Lower Leg, not a dvt, and therefore not too serious, but I am still giving myself daily injections, and attending fortnightly at the hospital for scans, and also at my gp's nurse for attention to the wound. Lower Leg I am told is behaving himself according to the scans.

Of course, I am not whinging. Daughter High Horse may not agree.

I need to rest and keep the leg up as much as possible which I do in the evenings, but during the day I am always busy.

Have you heard of hacking? Buying an item as new and then modifying it to your own requirements, having a high hit rate with IKEA products. High Horse is into this and we’ve bought a bunk bed, from IKEA, for Katie’s birthday later this month, and I have been co-opted to hack.

As bought from Ikea (after the half day you have taken to assemble it)

An elaborate "hack" using two units

Work in progress - finished photo may appear later



Thursday walks with Pete are suspended for the moment - Pete has joined the wounded, suffering from arthritis and is taking tons of pills which he is assured, will, after some time, relieve things.

Today our walking substitute was a visit to a picture framers in the wilds  beyond Kendal used by Pete’s wife who is a talented amateur artist. The mission was to have framed a superb photo of Annapurna taken by David Ensor (David Ensor Travel Photography, www.davidensorphotos.co.uk ). David is the proprietor of Chiltern Lodge b and b at Worth Matravers where I stayed on the second night of my recent walk on the SW Coast Path (highly recommended), he has travelled extensively and organised his own treks to the Himalayas pursuing his passion for photography.

Photo by www.davidensorphotos.co.uk

The picture framer was located in a mini industrial estate hidden under the slopes of Scout Scar in the middle of nowhere. You could hardly move inside the place for stacks of wood that looked as though they had accumulated over a hundred years. It was a pleasure to chat with Michael the owner knowing it was he who would do the job, all so much better than handing over to some faceless multiple in the middle of town (watch out Gimmer - it looks as though I’m going conservative -  small c).

After that, despite not having walked, we still went for our usual wind-down at Café Ambio (located in the newly built livestock auction mart). It was a busy auction day, and as usual we followed the trail to the café of mixed sawdust and livestock leavings scattered, incongruously along the recently laid pristine vinyl flooring. All the farmers, in their working worn tweed suits and waistcoats, flat hats, wellies and boots were seated together at one end of the room, troughing, and telling the tale with lively bavardage - this is obviously a cherished social occasion for them (no ladies), and despite the clinical architecture of the building there was a strong atmosphere akin to attending a shepherds' meet in a seventeenth century pub in the Dales, belied by expensive 4 x 4s and nearly new Landrovers evident outside.

Time-out for the farmers at Ambio

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KATIE UPDATE

Perhaps she may get on The Two Blondes team?
twoblondeswalking.com

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Glen Affric could be trashed

There are plans afoot to put a windfarm in Glen Affric.


That's like putting a brothel in a church.

Glen Affric is one of the most iconic beautiful spots in the whole of the UK.

THIS MUST NOT HAPPEN.

Generally I get irritated with all kinds of people asking me to sign petitions,  but I feel very strongly about this.

Please take a few minutes to read Alan Sloman's blog and follow the link to sign the online petition.

CLICK HERE

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

TGO BLOGGER OF THE YEAR AWARD

I have followed The Two Blondes blog for more than two years.  They have now been nominated for the above award.

Have a look at their blog:

The Two Blondes

Because of their insistence on anonymity, which is intriguing, I am a bit restricted in what I can say, but I do write from some inside knowledge, and they certainly get my vote on two counts.

BLOGGING

They have posted every single day for more than a year, and in writing terms they have a delightful, individual, enviable style that is consistently witty, passionate, thoughtful and always a pleasure to read, covering a wide range of thoughts and deeds mostly related to their passion for Dartmoor (and Fox Tor Café at Princetown which is also up for the Café of the Year Award, and deserves its own vote). To achieve such consistency of quality, writing on a daily basis for more than a year, is an outstanding achievement which no other blog I follow can match.


ACTIVITIES

The Two Blondes devote all their spare time to organising and teaching Duke of Edinburgh Award kids, and teams for the Ten Tors Event. They drive full minibuses all over the place, camp, hike, sing, play games, console, encourage, laugh, inspire, and thoroughly enjoy themselves. They have brought confidence, skills, and a sense of values to hundreds of youngsters. They also involve their charges in various conservation projects and work with a number of bodies in that connection.

To do all that, and at the same time cope with Health and Safety regulations, endless form filling, risk assessments , and the perils of legal liability, which put off so many potential youth leaders is worth an accolade in its own right.

Please give them your vote, here is the link:

Friday, 3 October 2014

Progress?



I have seen a lot of these in the last few days. I have been visited four times a day by nurses who have administered massive doses of antibiotics with a large syringe taking three to five minutes each time. 

I have had visits to Kendal hospital and lost count of how many other needles I have had stuck into me as well as blood pressure, temperature and heart readings taken, and more than anything else I have lost count of is the number of times I have been asked for my date of birth. A further complication is a nasty wound I sustained across the inflamed part of my ankle when I caught a branch between my legs during my walk a few days after inflammation started. Then, at home, drying the tent out on the lawn the carbon-fibre hoop pole under tension flicked out with a life of its own and lashed me again on exactly the same spot.

Today a further review visit to Kendal hospital established that the inflammation has receded, so I have now reverted to antibiotics by capsule instead of injection, and the cannula has been removed from my arm.

I am still doing the daily self injections for the blood clot and have a further appointment in ten days or so for another scan, as well as other appointments with my GP's practice nurse for dressing the wound, and a further review appointment at Kendal.