Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Devon Police..


..would like to interview a middle-aged man with beard and glasses, last seen wearing designer walking gear and carrying a Stihl saw.


Monday, 28 January 2013



The forecast wasn’t great, but a watery sun was trying to emerge as I left the Spa Town for points East. My final path inspection was due before the end of the month, and the weather didn’t look as if it was going to improve later in the week. Now, I don’t think I would have been stripped of my clipboard and reduced to the ranks for being a few days late, but I tend to be quaintly old-fashioned about deadlines and stuff like that.It wasn’t just the weather that was a bit under par- as soon as I got up, I realised that it was not one of my “Good Days”.However, nil desperandum etc. If you are reading this you will no doubt be familiar with the medical practice known as “walking it off”.



A bit of a pick-me-up on the walk-in – the fence beside the stile has been repaired.



As I turned North and started to climb the steep track up the glen I felt the need to lighten the load a little, and threw up my breakfast into the ditch.Further upward progress seemed unlikely. However, I have developed a strategy for such events – Blood sugar/ Hydration (half a banana and 200mls of water) , stand (don’t sit down) for a few minutes and then slowly continue a few steps at a time.When this works, as it did today, I feel pretty shitty for a few minutes, but after half an hour or so I’m wondering what all the fuss was about. 


DSCF3849  DSCF3850

The track was a mess- running water,  mud, slush and snow all churned up by tractor tyres. The cross drains were like fords.And for added effect, a snell wind got up, accompanied by driving rain.All that was needed to complete the picture was Jeremy Clarkson and Anthony Worrall-Thomson.




Speak of the Devil.



The keeper passed me as I was coming down and a few minutes later I heard the engine repeatedly revving as the Gator got stuck For a brief moment i considered going back to try to push him out – a very brief moment !




Just as I believe I’m sinkin’ down – The Crossroads. And the nominations are… PlanA, go round the head of the glen and return down the other side. PlanB,return the way I came and PlanC, continue on a rather better track through to Sheriffmuir Road and return home on tarmac. And when I opened the envelope the winner was…………. PlanC  And so it was.


Terra Firma at last


So in the circumstances, a bit of a triumph.Not a kick in the arse off 10 miles and over 1000ft of up in unfavourable conditions in 4 hours on a Bad Day.


John Prine during his “Don't Panic” Scouse period


Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Gear Update : Rab Thermal Breathable Baselayer.



Out for a bit of a stroll “up the glen” this afternoon. The snow finally got here in a half-hearted sort of way, and is now mainly slush. No doubt the Council will soon clear this up , as they have a fund for it. Allegedly. View her of the upper (topographically and socially) bit of the village.




Unfortunately i had once again left my precious flask of Ice 9 at home. Yes, the previous post was Cat’s Cradle themed, and I had hoped to flush Danny out with it. However his continued absence leads me to believe he is now making love to a porn star on the planet Tralfamadore.



Never sure if this is the Ladies Pool or the Lady’s Pool.



Across the river and into the trees. That’s two currently unfashionable authors in one post. Not counting myself.




The Pipe Bridge. There is a14” cast water pipe running through it. Before the bridge was built there was just the pipe. As kids, we would swing out past the protective spikes and walk or crawl across, depending on how much of a feartie you were. In those days only about 3 or 4 kids survived to Primary 7 out of the 30 that started Primary 1.




In August we had a freak thunderstorm which caused quite a lot of damage with flash floods. I think you can see from the pic the damage that this quiet little burn did in a matter of a couple of hours


The gas bill came in today.


Now at this point regular readers of the blog will have instinctively recoiled from their computers to avoid the expected flume-flecked full-on grumpy old man tirade.

Not so.

Pleasantly surprised.

All that time on the comparison web sites must have paid off. I now get my leccy from the Gas Board, my gas from Amazon, my coal from Microsoft, and my broadband from Scotrail. Aint the free market wonderful ?


What ?


Baselayer ?



Oh yes.




I’m convinced that the fact that my mum bought me string vests and pants was the main reason it took me so long to lose my virginity.








  I first heard this song while lying in a park in London. I was feeling mellow. Burn me as a heretic, but this is my favourite version.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Cannonballs on court house lawns



So, I logged onto Live Writer ( my NBF!), clicked on “Lovely crisp sunny day”, unchecked the boxes for “Breathlessness”, “Sore Feet” and “Leg Cramps” and set off up the hill.


Christ, if only I had known years ago that it had all these features…….



The bowling green where my dad spent many happy hours. And the club house where he spent many a Happy Hour !




  Usually a bit of a pech, but today, thanks to LW, I just flew up the path.



Dunblane nestles in it’s frosty hollow while Andy sweats in 30+ degrees in Melbourne.




Bit of a mystery here – remains of a snowman from November, or aircraft toilet ?




Guess where .





And now the point of this post

The answer to the mud problem. Anyone called Hoenikker read this blog ?






Thursday, 17 January 2013

An Inspector Calls


(This post is brought to you courtesy of Bill Gates/Alan Sloman and everyone else who has been telling me to get with Live Writer.)




Yup, it's time for my Winter round of Path Inspections.I have a decent selection including two in the village itself which can be done when I pop out for a lottery ticket. The other two are a bit more ambitious, and today (Tuesday) seemed an ideal chance to take advantage of the unseasonal spell of fine weather to tackle Logie to Menstrie.


What ?


Snow ?


Really ?

Well here in the land of The Chosen People it's been sunny, mild with the merest hint of a zephyr (or is it a zodiac?). So there.

I walked from home along the Back o Dykes Road to Logie Kirk


Remember I told you about the two twelth century hog back graves (Rosencrantz and Guldenstern) ?


Stonkin' good example of a Monkey Puzzle tree - probably from one of the first batches of seed to arrive from Chile.


The tone was set within the first 50m !


But fortunately I had come prepared in my Cozmic (blues again) boots.


This is a nice varied walk, one that I do sometimes even when I don't have the peaked cap and clipboard. It starts off in some woodland.


And then breaks out onto open hillside. This is the line of the old road, contouring along at about 50 ft above the flat carseland, which, until a couple of hundred years ago was impassable bog.


Cutsie little conservation village of Blairlogie

Up to this point I had had nothing to report then – shockaroonie


Can you say arseholes on Live Writer ?

Not evil landowners with barbed wire, just lazy twats who couldn't be arsed crossing the stile out of the carpark. My clipboard was throbbing, I can tell you !

However, about half a mile further on.......



Success !

Those of you who are stalking me will recall that, when i did my Autumn inspection, I remarked on a rather rotten sleeper bridge.

Well, to prove that someone listens to me, here's the brand spanking new replacement.


The final section is a farm road which melds into the Menstrie Glen/Lossburn path, but not today (I have plans to combine this with something else). So I slithered down the steep waterworks path to Menstrie - only partially on my backside.

Another fine day - another bonus.


OK . The Fine and Mellow music seemed to go down like a bucket of cold sick with you, so I'll try something more raucous



Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Google tossers

I was going to post, typed in all the text and then discovered that the shit platform that is Blogger would not allow me to upload pictures.
If I worked for this major multinational company, I would be embarrassed by the continuing lack of functionality in a product which bore the company logo.