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Showing posts from January, 2011

Weekend Wanders

It was one of those winter high pressure days that meant it was dry but grey. We just had Craig this weekend as his big sis was supposedly studying for the impending prelims - oh how I remember that torture of teenagedom!! Now the boy is easily pleased but he was really looking forward to going to the RSPB Reserve at Lochwinnoch . Not too shabby a set up especially for kids with lots of interactive stuff though I do think the soft toy kola pinned high up in the tree could be quite frightening for some kids. Us - we just laughed a lot. We made up stories about why there were numbers on the bird boxes and why there were trees with branches cut off as we headed to the loch side and the hides. Being someone who can only spot the very big and very obvious I relied on Steve telling me where to look and what I was looking at. I'll never make a wildlife tog but it was fun taking the photos with my wee point and shoot. Castle Semple Loch Shag Shy whooper swans Hunger was gnawing

Caw Canny

Three months of limited load bearing said the doc. February 7th is the magic day for the end of that period. It's the start of the next phase and I've been getting ready for this. Using the exercise bike has been a bit of an eyeopener. So far trying to move off the entry level programmes for anything more than 5 minutes is not happening. I'm not going to stop, I just need to keep going with what I can manage and wait for the improvement to come. The carrot of the new bike sitting in the garage waiting to be taken out on the road for the first time is a not too shabby incentive. The other thing that I've been doing is making me look like an absolute numpty at the pool by using an Aquasprinter Belt. Hydro therapy is well known to be the best for rehab in non load bearing injuries but with the the knee the way it is, standard swimming is a no no. This is where the belt comes in. So long as I can get deep enough water, I can "jog" away until enough is enough. It

The Outdoor Bug

I grew up in Lanarkshire. My first "hills" were playing on the piles of iron ore in Ravenscraig Steel Works. I should have paid more attention as they were great practice for handling scree but sadly I was as wimpy then as now on the stuff. I got my first proper hill day out whilst on a school trip to Wiston Lodge . I can vividly recall the four seasons in one day on Coulter Fell along with that unrelenting feeling as we were dragged up Tinto Hill. It didn't really grab me then.  Ravenscraig Tinto approaching from Wiston Lodge Next I'm a student in Dundee, more interested in causing political mayhem and drinking but the urge to go up The Law would happen at least once a year during my 3 fuzzy years. It still wasn't grabbing me. It's not that I didn't appreciate what the outdoors had to offer, I even toyed with the idea of trying to get a job working outdoors. I was fortunate enough as part of the 80's government initiatives to get us layabouts

Rehab Incentives

Realising that the bike might be the best way to go for me getting my outdoors fix while the knee is still subjected to minimal load bearing  got me looking at what I realistically might be able to do and what my bikes were capable of. I needed no excuse to start looking at new bikes  though I did start with good intentions by evaluating the two bikes that I have. My Alpine Bikes Ben More is my commute to work grunt bike that give me my pre and post work exercise fix, is very solid almost tank like but not something that you want to go any distance on. My GT Avalanche 2.0 (mines the 2008 version but can't find the link for it) was the insurance replacement I got for my nicked Trek. It wasn't what I really wanted and I've struggled with it. The brakes have never felt right which has meant I've not really used it that much. The tyres on it are also crap puncturing every time I took it out, not fun. Initially I had my sensible head on looking at what was needed to get t

Write off

As time is going on reality is eventually kicking in and I am now resigned to the fact that I wont be out in the hills proper this winter, bugger. It's the first winter since I got back into walking in 2005 that I'm not getting my winter fix. I have to be sensible coz if I mess up my rehab from the microfracture surgery it's a lot more serious that just not getting out to play in the snow for one winter. I have a daily reminder of that from my mother as her knee op wasn't so straightforward either. By the time she was 50 she had been "invalided out" of work and now at 67 has had both knee joints partially replaced. Oh the joys of osteoarthritis. Enough of this depressing stuff. So what to do? The main crux of the rehab is minimal load bearing  for 3 months so even doing the simple everyday things like getting up and down stairs or wandering round the supermarket have proved a challenge. Being able to determine whether my rate of recovery is on par with &quo


It's been entertaining the last few days as Steve has been toying with the idea of updating his phone. He'll admit that as far as technology is concerned he is sceptical about it after all,"  what's a phone for - to make a call!!!!"  As he'd asked me about what I liked about my phone, a Sony Ericsson X10 , I started to think about all the things that I use it for in both everyday life and when I'm out and about in the middle of nowhere. It's made me realise that my phone today has just about made redundant several items that I always carried.  The first thing that got chucked out the pocket was my trusty Walkman MP3/Radio. Music goes everywhere with me. I don't always need it on but knowing that I can put the earphones in and get a blast of what takes my fancy or try and listen to whatever someone is drivelling on about on the radio that might constitute as news is like a comfort blanket to me. Having the ability to combine it with the phone and n

Coffeeshop Canundrums

With no chance of getting out to play in the hills over the festive break next best thing is getting together with the gang to gab about everything and anything. Now the venue for this has to be just right and fortunately Tiso Glasgow Outdoor Experience has the right mix - a cafe that doesn't get narked at you when you spend hours sitting drinking coffee and eating cakes then causing chaos when you try and remember what you had when you go to pay and a gear shop to walk it off round whilst fondling kit and talking more. I'm sure it has its own time continuum as many a day has disappeared while I've been in there. We had not a bad wee gathering with Sandy & Louise, Scott & Marion, Steve & I and Gordy  and all of us confessing to not having been near a hill for a minimum of two months. There was discussion on kit, injuries, pending nuptials, weans and plans to get oot in some way or another. So after spending an afternoon in good company I managed to walk ou