Tuesday 27 November 2012

Tommy Cooper hand driers

A couple of years ago, some of us were asked by a trade publication to give our suggestions for the three best inventions of the late twentieth century, to be published in the Millennium Edition.

(Really ?

As long ago as that ?

Doesn't time fly ?)

Anyway, I was rather busy at the time, and, without giving it too much thought, stuck down the three most obvious ie, in no particular order

Luggage with wheels
Oral sex
Microwaveable porridge

This caused a bit of a stir among my more pedantic colleagues, who claimed that porridge had the potential to be microwaved before Mr.Spencer  invented his little box with the turntable and the light.

Honestly. Some people.

However, were I to be asked to update that list, a very strong candidate for inclusion would be the Dyson Airblade hand drier, which I find currently installed in many of the upmarket lavies which I frequent.
This machine features a vertical slot into which you place your dripping digits  before moving both hands up and down while involuntarily mouthing the immortal catch phrase ...........

And talking of innovative engineering....
I was killing time in the Victorian Booking Hall (Travel Centre) at Waverley Station ( the only main line railway station to be named after a novel ?), and spotted a plaque commemorating Sir Nigel Gresley. Now, if you think A4 is a paper size, and pacific is an ocean, then you never stood at the end of a platform in the snow and watched "9" go hurtling north in a clatter of Walschaerts valve gear.

Friday 23 November 2012

Tote that barge, lift that bale

Just as I was beginning to settle in to life as a gentleman of leisure, I received an offer (which I could not refuse - Christmas is coming !) to give a few further (farewell ?) performances in front of the flip chart board.
This has taken up an unwelcome amount of my time over the last week or so, involving updating material, showering/shaving/tooth brushing, finding suitable trousers etc. And, of course, this means that I have been unable to get out into the hills and return with the photographs of mud which seem to be so popular.
Fear not, however. After another couple of days of up in the morning - out on the job, I will be back in recovering hillwalker mode (god willing and weather permitting), no doubt resplendent in new Arcteryx jacket, Haglofs fleece and Asolo boots, assuming that the cheque really is in the post.


Friday 16 November 2012

Berghaus Kit Review

It is with regret that I announce that this blog will not be featuring a user test/ review of a bottom of the range item of Berghaus equipment.
This decision has been taken in order to preserve the unique character of the blog and it's place as an island of integrity in a festering sea of venal commercialism.

I apologise to those of you who are considering buying a fleece/hoody/rucksack, but feel you  need just one more opinion before you make your purchase.
How about some rock n roll instead ?

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Glorious Devon

Seeking a change from damp soggy old Stirlingshire, I decided to visit the land of clotted cream and scrumpy.
Yes, Clackmannanshire. (note to self - check this before publishing)

And, as eny fule kno, Clackmannanshire's major river is the Devon.
So I spent the morning squelching around the Muckhart/Crook of Devon/Rumbling Bridge area. The cloud was right down and it drizzled steadily most of the time - not conditions for the high quality photography for which the blog is renowned.

Here's the Devon

and here's a bridge

and here's another bridge

And that's about it, really. It was depressingly wet underfoot. Despite being on paths or tracks, the mud was calf deep in places.

It was the sort of day where, having soaked in a hot bath and changed into dry clothes, one feels like taking up Joe's invitation.

Henry McCullough seems to be critically ill at the moment. Hang in there, fella.

Saturday 10 November 2012

Some folk, eh.

I was out today in the Ochils. Walking along a narrow path, I was accosted by an enthusiastic little fox terrier. As I was hunkered down and engaged in conversation with the wee fella, his owners brushed past without returning my "Fine day" or even acknowledging my presence by as much as a raised eyebrow.

This  happens a lot these days. I used to put it down to the wrap-round shades and bandanna brigade, but ordinary folk seem to be doing  it as well.

Was it always thus ?

Mrs.OM says I should stop going out wearing a ski mask and carrying a samurai sword, but I believe  that this is only part of the problem. I blame the Daily Mail.

However, on a happier note. About this time last year I wrote in a blog post about how disappointed I was at the poor Autumn colour and how my poor health at the time and in particular my fading eyesight might mean that it would be the last Autumn that I would see.
Well, a year on, and obviously I'm still here ( The Creaking Gate), and while my eyesight has deteriorated, the rate has slowed down considerably. And of course, as a result of the October frosts, this has been a particularly good Autumn for colour.

So, all things considered, in the circumstances, allowing for inflation and the curvature of the earth, this has to be adjudged a Good Thing


Thursday 8 November 2012

Yin and Yang..

Light and shade, good and evil, hill and glen - it's all a question of balance as the Moody Blues observed.

So today it was a glen - Alva Glen if you must know.

The burn, which cuts through a line of weakness in the Ochils scarp, provided drinking water and power for the mills in the town.

Smashin' wee walk with quite a steep climb up out of the glen to the viewpoint

The top of the path and a view of the cave. You can loup the fence here and continue up the pass, but I opted for deferred gratification on that one

The information board says 45 minutes up and 30 minutes down. I did the round trip in a leisurely 2 hours. What is this life, if, full of care......... . Indeed