Sunday, 31 October 2010

Corrections and Clarifications

I refer to my previous post.

It has been drawn to my attention that a few parts of this, taken out of context, might have given some readers  the impression that, in some way, I had been involved in an incident during which a shotgun was discharged in the general direction of a dear sweet old lady in some imagined dispute over confectionery.

Let me assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. Except for the evidence in the Tommy Sheridan trial, obviously.

And my injured toe? I hear you ask. Well, my solicitor suggests that I claim it was sustained "hillwalking"

 Whatever. The fact remains that I have lost the nail on my left big toe and it has turned septic. The festering nailbed currently exhibits a combination of colours hitherto only previously seen on the cover of 5000 Spirits or The Layers of the Onion.

In the circumstances, I have to conclude that this is a "Bad Thing".  And so it goes.

Returning to happier times. As you do.
This was one of the first numbers I played in public as part of our class "group" circa 1964. Only cheap equipment prevented our vesion being as good as this.

Bizarrely, in the '80s I sat in for Rory (in rehearsal) for 20 minutes while he took a phone call.
The rhythm section was Jack Bruce and Charlie Watts.
The singer, Jim Diamond.
Strong drink had been taken. Bruce was then on his first liver.
Rory came back and said "Cheers"
More strong drink was taken.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Better meddle wi the deil

I had planned some time up there at the weekend, but  have been rendered temporarily hors de combat. Nothing serious, just a trivial little incident at the "Anger Management for the Over Sixties" class at the Community Centre on Thursday afternoon, I won't bore you with the details, suffice it to say that the fat bitch involved had to get ATS out to put four new tyres on her mobility scooter before she could get home for her tea. Result.

Meanwhile, the Bloggers Song

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Drink the Kool-Aid !

Goodness me. Events move jolly quickly in this blogosphere thing. I now have a follower (thanks, Alan, for starting the stampede ).

As you can imagine, I have absolutely no idea what this means technically, but I feel that, all in all, it must be seen as a "Good Thing".

It is reassuring to know that you are all out there waiting in readiness for the day when The Voices tell me it's time to gather you all together in order that we can all pass over to A Better Place.

Here's a picture of a burd. She writes love songs for grown-ups.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Thanks, neebs !

Just a quick post to thank the guy who the Fatdog employs to lift her over fences. The plug worked wonders, and I now have a horde of drooling Sun readers on my case.

Big Senga fae Fallin has been booked for the photoshoot in her Icebreaker merino scanties, so - soft porn and gear review in a oner - the perfect outdoor blog !

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Latest from that crisis meeting.

Oldmortality : Do you think they will notice the changes ?

Creative Director: With luck they'll think it's another blog - and anyway the figures can't get any worse.

Oldmortality : True, true. And if this doesn't work ?

Creative Director : Like I said, it's the "pictures of burdz in their pants" option next. Never fails

Oldmortality : I'm so glad I hired a true professional. I'll leave it to you then.

Stats, damned stats, and ...........

I have spent the last few days locked in crisis talks with the marketing staff here at One Small Step PLC. Various reasons ( apart from the obvious "It's crap") have been put forward for the current dismal circulation figures, and one that the guys with the Gok Wan spectacles kept coming up with was "lack of stats"

Now, I had noticed that real outdoor bloggers include detailed distance and uplift figures for all their adventures. Indeed there is a subset who appear so committed to this that they post stuff like "Just popped upstairs to the loo and realised that this brought my uplift figure to a round 12000 metres for the year to date - an increase of 2.8% on the same period last year"  Well yes. If your bathroom is upstairs and you wash your hands sixty times a day, you are going to do a lot of climbing!

Now I have tried, but I am afraid that, at my age I no longer have the manual dexterity to manipulate a gnurled (hmm, probably first time I have had reason to write that word) wheel through the creases of a Landranger or the eyesight to count contours. I strongly suspect that some of the youngsters out there use some kind of electrical device to produce these figures.

I can, however, share with you some figures, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, which demonstrate the differences between hillwalking in the 1980s and the present day

As a result of inflation, and the devaluation of the foot against the Euro, all hills are now 78.23% higher than i remember. In addition, as part of their strategy to reduce the deficit, the government has cut the distance between contour lines, making all hills, at a stroke, 47.5% steeper in real terms.
The RTI (Recovery Time Index) has, of course, gone throught he roof and currently stands at 343 ( seasonally adjusted).

Here is another interesting figure

Sunday, 17 October 2010

The Human Body..........

is a funny thing, is it not ?

Well mine certainly is.

I set off to do this walk about a week ago, and had to quit after about 20 minutes - dizziness and a general inability to put one foot in front of the other.

Ah wiz bilin !!

Yesterday, however, after examining the entrails, (my own and those of a stray goat) I formed the opinion that the omens were auspicious for a redeck.

Up the steps beside the walnut tree, past the tennis club and bowling green and into the Mine Woods.

Copper mining was abandoned here in the nineteenth century.

Up to the Pendreich road and on to the entrance to the reservoir. There is an excellent panorama from here on a clear day, stretching from Ben Lomond round to Ben Vorlich (Perthshire). I just wish my camera could do it justice.

Then up the road to Cocksburn Reservoir. I was looking forward to a seat and an apple at my usual spot on the dam, but was annoyed to see "my" spot occupied by a couple sporting matching hun tops.

Past the reservoir and on to Sheriffmuir Road, where the parked cars gave an inkling of what was to come.

That sign !

And on up the six lane highway that is Dumyat. Very busy, by my standards.

I find it rather distressing having  people immediately in front or behind me who are walking at a different, often erratic, pace. I managed to keep this to a minimum by the deployment of selective flatulence.
For the gear-freaks, some of my fellow walkers seemed prepared for the Pennine Way. and some for the Bigg Market.

OK, Dumyat is a family afternoon stroll, but you do get some splendid views over the Carse, the links of Forth and as far away as the Forth Bridge and the Crianlarich munros.

Over the top and down to Menstrie Glen . Never saw a soul on the way down. Bus home from Menstrie. Very satisfying afternoon.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Empress of Morroco

A recent conversation between Doc Holiday ("I'm sorry, he's having a little break this week. Yes, another one. I know. Would you like to see one of the other doctors ?") and Our Hero.

DH (writing scrip) :  I'm going to try you on these for a while.

OH : Will they get me leaping up mountains and trekking through vast wildernesses ?

DH:  I shouldn't think so, but if I prescribe them to six more patients, I qualify for comps and hospitality at the Open next year.

OH: I see. How will you know if they're working ?

DH : I read the obits in the Stirling Observer every weeek.

OH : Fairy Nuff. I suppose a litre of Rohypnol is out of the question ?

DH : Aye. Right. See you when I get back from ma holibags.

And so, once more to Crieff, scene of my recent exploits on the Knock. No mountaineering this time - just a pleasant stroll along the river Earn to Muthill (that's Mew-thill).
I got the route on the excellent Walkhighlands site, and the directions were spot-on.

The cloud was well down all day, and there were no views to the Crianlarich munros or other surrounding hills. The walk starts through suburban Crieff and, at 9am it was eerily quiet.

Here's a picture of a horse to alleviate the boredom

There is a brief view of the Earn from the road bridge, before the path climbs away from the river.

A little puzzle for you - is that a very high fence, or are these very small horses ? Or are they far away ?

The path descends through mature mixed woodland before crossing the main Stirling road at the Stuart Crystal shop and heading down to the river bank. For the next 5 miles or so it follows the river, sometimes close, sometimes at a distance. I would say the river was at winter level, but not in spate. and I saw two good salmon going through.

Guid stuff that Roundup,eh ?

After about 5 miles, the path turns right onto an old railway.

                                Don't fancy yours much ! Two of the ugliest sheep I've ever seen.

The final section is through some more woodland to the outskirts of Muthill.

Around this point, I had to stand aside to let through more than 30 members of a walking club going in the opposite direction. I didn't take a photograph in case any of them were Native Americans.

So, what about this Morocco thing. Weeeeeeel, legend has it that a blacksmith's daughter from Muthill set sail for the Colonies to seek her fortune, there being no professional footballers in them days. Her ship was captured by Barbary pirates and soon she was, like Websters Dictionary.................. .Arriving in Tangier, she was recruited for the Sultan's harem. Her proficiency in carrying out the duties required of her resulted in the Sultan rewarding her with Turkish Delight, tangerines, and the title of Empress of  Morocco.

So, there you have it. True as I'm riding this bike.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Monet, Monet, Monet...... (and some Cezanne)

Finally got round to using the comps for the "Impressionist Gardens" exhibition at the NGS in Edinburgh (it closes next weekend).

Weeeeeeel, yes.

Some crackin'paintings, some boring, some kinda average.
In a gallery I want to stand in front of some pictures for perhaps 10 minutes, and others will get a quick glance and then I move on. This is not easy when the place is packed with the "creme de la creme" of Edinburgh's posing classes, many of them probably former pupils of Miss Jean herself !

I'm very much in the "I don't know anything about Art, but......" club. I liked the water lilies by Monet and was strangely fascinated by one of "lotus lilies" in Lake Erie. However, even I could see that they were stretching the definitions of "Gardens" and "Impressionist" with some of the exhibits. I fact my favourite really qualified under neither heading - Calderini's "Winter Sadness". Chilling in more ways than one.

All change next door in the National with its "paid by the square foot artists" exhibited in the downstairs galleries which Sir Timmy had redecorated in a style described as "hoors boudoir". But there is some good stuff (IMHO) upstairs at the back, and the Scottish stuff downstairs is interesting form a heritage point of view

All in all, a good day out, despite the bone chilling haar outside.

I need beauty in my life

and I need culture red in tooth and claw