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Showing posts from January, 2012


It was strange but familiar being south of the border.  Nearly two years since the last visit, tsk tsk.  We were very fortunate that a friend on Outdoorsmagic had arranged the accommodation (and the eating arrangements) for the weekend staying at the Bury Jubilee Centre at Greenside meaning the walk in was substantially shorter - result. The weather was as ever not what we ordered but certainly paid a significant part in the days adventure.  With forecasted gusts of 70mph doing Helvellyn by the edges just wasn't on the cards.  Catstycam was the chosen destination so off we went. Yes it was a tad blowy as we headed up the path but it wasn't until we reached the eastern ridge that we started feeling some of the force of the gusts.  It gave a whole new meaning to the statement "BRACE, BRACE"!!!!  This should be a really easy gentle stroll up the slopes to the top but we spent most of our time trying to remain upright.  No summit photos for this hill as we we

What be this place..........

Strange stuff going on in deepest darkest Ayrshire. We are planning a weekend in the hills.  It has been way too long since our last proper foray into them there hills so I'm just a wee bittie excited about it. It's also south of the border.  A friend has sorted out accommodation in a bunkhouse at Greenside so we'll be part way up the hill for our start in the morning. Suspect this will be a more gentle affair compaired to the conquering of a new Munro back in November. That was jus a bit too ambitious and caused problems for a fair few weeks. So here's to gentle wanders.

Goldenberry Hill

We had such high hopes for today.  The weather bods were giving it blue skies all round.  They forgot to tell North Ayrshire that.  Not to worry, we were only planning a wee wander so it was off to the local HuMP to show our visitor a not very well kent part of the region. Within half an hour we were on top of Goldenberry Hill.  The hill has a great viewpoint.  It sits above Hunterston Nuclear Power Station with unrestricted views north, west and south of the Firth of Clyde.  Disappointingly the cloud was obscuring Arran Argyll, Bute and definitely no chance of seeing the Arrochar Alps.  Poor Kate has been to our wee part of Ayrshire twice and is yet to even get a glimpse of Arran.  We had a mess about on top and then got talking to a couple who had approached from the north east.  The decision was taken to descend in this direction but to cut in just before the power station to loop back via Portencross.  It didn't quite work out that way though........... Kate, Steve &a

Fresh Air Fix

It's been so long since I've been out on the bike.  I also had the perfect excuse for making it a bike outing rather than a hill one - I had a new bike to test out :-)  I was very fortunate to do a swap of mountain bikes with my dad.  He had treated himself to a Trek 6000 back in September but wasn't getting on with the geometry of it due to his arthritis in his spine.  So he got my old Alpine Bikes Ben More which has done a fair few miles and been my trusty commute to work bike for a few years and I got the shiny new Trek.  Think I did very well out of it. Trek 6000 2011 Version For this outing Steve decided he'd try out my Cube Nature as the GT has been playing up and we haven't got round to sorting it out yet.  As always, the weather man had quite got it right.  There were more showers than we had been promised (none) and the wind was a tad more fierce.  The route planned wasn't that ambitious anyway so off we set down the NCR 73 heading for Seam

Ardeer Beach

Weather has been so naff that we've been keeping close to home.  We had high hopes for these few days round the holidays only to be mightily disappointed.  Cabin fever was setting in big style.  Time to make the most of what's on the doorstep during a brief weather window of opportunity.  We were really glad not to have left it to today.  You gotta love winter storms, not!!!  Much of the Ardeer Peninsular is off limits due to what used to go on there.  For those not in the know Nobel made dynamite here as it was the perfect place to test it in the sand dunes.  It has however a fantastic stretch of beach so off we went to see how the waves were doing.  It proved to be an exhilarating wander.  Steve on Ardeer Beach Graffiti Ayrshire style, the slightly altered Rabbie Burn Ailsa Craig peaking through the swell Arran is out there somewhere We went all the way along to Irvine Bar and even had a wee peak at the now closed teletubby land of The Big Idea.

That Was the Year That Was

2011 turned out to be not what I expected at all. Months of very slow rehab from the microfracture surgery had totally changed my everyday existence. I had to face the reality that my days on the ward floor were over and I was at the mercy of redeployment. I am thankful I am still in employment and even more thankful that I am fortunate to have been temporarily redeployed into the health improvement team, an area I have always wanted to work in. Every cloud and all that......  It's still unclear what the prognosis for the knee is as it takes about 18 months to know whether the microfracturing has fully worked or not. Next review is the end of February, who knows what will happen then. The advice given the last time was to keep trying to increase activity but not hammer it. Following doctors orders included the dreaded gym, lots of cycling and gentle re-introduction to the pointy things. The cycling has been great for introducing me to places I may well have never gon