Sunday, 25 May 2014

Birthday boy


Why do you keep posting all that old hippy type music , OM ? There's just as good stuff being written today.

Aye, right.

Friday, 16 May 2014

On the trail of the lonesome pine



Well, not exactly lonesome – there were hunerts o’ them. Pine Central, in fact.


Yes, yesterday’s wee stroll in the ancient Caledonian forest at Rothiemurchus.














My diminutive amanuensis, Buspassepartout, came up trumps again, and I was able to get a decent day with a change of scenery courtesy of National Express 588. Nothing too demanding – about 6 miles with virtually no up at all. Lovely scenery, dry if chilly weather, and a pleasant chat and skinny latte from the young lad at the cafe by the bridge.

Highly satisfactory

Saturday, 10 May 2014

It was good..




….to get out again into the foothills (Hillfoots, even), and hear the whaups and the laverocks, the burns and the linns.



Each bug or wee turn seems to take longer to shake off and leaves me a bit weaker than before. However, my main problem yesterday was the final demise of my camera. This was bad news. Bad news indeed and will necessitate a trip to Poundland to procure a replacement. The antiphotographs featured on this post were taken using my smartphone.

Well, it claims to be a smart phone, but I don’t believe it’s that smart, compared, for example to the wool in my socks. Anyway.










A couple for Danny





Saturday, 3 May 2014




..being what is known in meteorological circles as a “fine day”, I set out for a stroll along the Kings Highway between Menstrie and Logie. This is the route of the old road which held up along the base of the Ochils before the carse was drained and “The Turnpike” was built.


As I wandered, lonely as a cloud, I beheld a host of golden….

DSCF4590 well, Doronicum actually.


DSCF4589 not the sort of thing you expect to find in the woods.


DSCF4599 The Whin was in full bloom, although you can get flowers showing for 10 months of the year.


DSCF4600 An old, amply proportioned kissing gate. In fact it’s probably more of a knee-trembler gate.


DSCF4601 Blairlogie – the kind of conservation village where the local pub probably has Snowcem on draught.


Now this is where the story really starts ( as Wallace Greenslade used to say).

I’ve walked past this house dozens of times and created a history in my head based on my interpretation of various current features. 5 features, in fact, and I got 5 out of 5 wrong !!

(I know – difficult to believe, isn’t it ?)

The owner was parking his car as I passed and I engaged him in conversation. (It’s just a knack I have). He turned out to be a thoroughly pleasant, informed and chatty bloke – there are a few still about but, Christ, you have to look hard for them.

We leant on the the gate in the sunshine, chewed the fat, exchanged prejudices, sucked on straws, and gently farted, as old men do. He told me where I had gone wrong.

DSCF4608 I had this figured for a doocot being restored. WRONG. It was actually built in the mid-19thC as a ruin – a folly, and was now being converted into holiday accommodation.


DSCF4610 At first cursory glance I had this figured as an converted horse mill, a theory I found other evidence to back up .WRONG. It was built in the 1970s as a granny flat !




This I had down as the mill lade with the fenced off area being the remains of the sluice gate. WRONG.WRONG.

This was the spring-fed well for the house drinking water,pumped up using a hand pump. The channel was an overflow which fed the local curling pond.


DSCF4616 All that is left of the curling pond. You can just about make out the remains of the overflow mechanism which kept the water level low to facilitate freezing.



And finally, the lych gate thingy which I had decided was a folly or conceit. WRONG .Actually it was moved when the extension was built and was originally the gate from the garden through to the well and was in fact The Watergate.

So, pretty comprehensive, really. Shows to go ye. eh.



Now, I’ve been suffering a bit from bloggers block. I’ve done a few wee walks, uploaded the pics and then couldn’t be arsed writing it up.

This hasn’t been helped by the fact that Livewiter no longer handles Youtube clips and Blogger editor doesn’t really handle text or pictures. So I tried this, the new 2 part post.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Charlie horse


Since Christmas, people have been coming up to me and saying “Open your diary and write our name in the first available space”

And I have been replying “ Open your wallet and repeat after me “Help yourself””

This mutually beneficial arrangement has taken a lot of my time in terms of preparation, performing, travel and recovery, and little time has been available for walking or blogging. Witness my January and February walking stats displayed below.


However,the work load now seem to be easing off, I’ve lost some more weight, and have bought a new pair of shoes which seem to suit my feet. So, let the planning begin.

There is, however, one major disappointment . I had hoped that this Spring/Summer I might do some light camping.(Shurrup you boys at the back with the beards and glasses).Whilst I can realistically forget about the mountains and the big hills, I had thought I might attempt some of the big passes – in, say, 10 mile days with an overnight.

The problem with this is in the post title – not, as you might think,Nigella Lawson’s recipe for a speedball (allegedly), but a strange name given to acute night cramps – a symptom of several of my ongoing conditions.I won’t go into detail – a lot of people are much worse off than me- but it is not a condition which lends itself to spending the night in a sleeping bag in a small tent.

So day walks it is – with the possibility of some B&Bs funded by my recent activities.And hopefully next months graph will display more parabolas and bell en curves.

When I snap my fingers, you will wake up and forget everything you have just read. There, I told you so.


Ok, you’ve been very patient. So, a double ration of cheap music.


As you were.

The lazy, smelly ,halitotic, socially and culturally inadequate self-abusers who refer to themselves as IT specialists (the SH is silent) seem to have fecked up Livewriter so you can no longer insert Youtube clips.

May their balls go square and fester at the corners.