Saturday 23 November 2013

Not again !





But, whereas last week this was the pinnacle of my achievement , yesterday it was a mere staging post on the way to greater things.

The official excuse was the overdue completion of my Autumn path inspections. But, in truth, no excuse was needed to venture out on such a fine crisp-cold sunny day.

I may see dozens more like it. Or it may be my last. And exactly the same ( in a non-mathematical/statistical sense of the word) could be said by the miserable eyes-down buggers who failed to acknowledge my “Fine day” greetings. Arseholes.



The backside of Dumyat



Where the Ochils kind of meld into Sheriffmuir


DSCF4508 Did I mention that it was cold ?


DSCF4511 Lossburn Reservoir



The old farm of Jerrah. The earliest farming, arable as well as livestock, took place up here on the plateau, as the fertile river valley was still a swamp


Well, you didn’t think I walked, did you ?



Turning the corner to head South down Menstrie Glen, the smell of yeast became apparent in the still, cold air.The Diageo complex in the middle of the pic processes yeast for many of the company’s distilleries.


Probably about 7 miles and 1000 ft ascent, but who’s countin’.




It’s 50 years since Aldous Huxley died. I seem to remember Don Van Vliet telling of having sold a vacuum cleaner to Huxley while working as a door-to-door salesman. This may have taken place in reality.

Or it may have just have been part of one of the Captain’s trips.

Or one of Huxley’s

Or one of mine.


Saturday 16 November 2013

Strike while the iron’s hot..


DSCF4483-crop, of course the motto of The National Union of Laundry Workers and Allied Trades. Feeling no ill effects from Thursday’s little adventure, and mindful of the fact that the right-wing press (is there any other kind?) were predicting Snowmageddon next week (they must have been reading God’s e-mails), I decided to undertake a bit of overdue Autumn path inspection. I’ve managed the local woods stuff easily enough, and, not feeling quite ready for the “big one” up to Lossburn, I did the Logie Kirk to Menstrie one along the foot of the escarpment.

Nothing really to report. It was a fine day, but with a snell wind.











More guitar burning music !

Thursday 14 November 2013

Onward and …………?


For the past few weeks I have been a trifle unwell, a condition usually associated with children's birthday parties.

Now, lesser men might have allowed this set-back to turn them bitter, seeing the hard won progress of the last couple of years apparently dissipated in a matter of days. But not me. No, sirree Bob.



Sorry. Where was I ? Ah right. I’ve been getting about on the level, but anything remotely “uphill”has been more problematic. However, it being a stoatin’ good day, I resolved to head for the hills. That is, in the “mole” sense of the word.





It started off innocuously enough



then up




 More up


and again



 Round about this point vertigo set in



 Even more bloody up



 I haven’t been this high since , dunno….. Isle of Wight 1969 ?



False summit



The final approach




“Aw naw. It’s that feckin reservoir again, He’s always going up there”

Yes ? And so.. ?

I see this blog as a haven of cosy familiarity, acting as an antidote to the locational exoticism of, say, the Phreerunner blog. Anyway, I use these local walks to calibrate my fitness. One hour and ten minutes is the par time from my back door to sitting-on-the-dam-wall-eating-a-banana. Today – hour thirty.Room for improvement.

I completed the usual squelchy circumnavigation and trotted off home.

The GPS app (? !) on my portable telephone said 5.31 miles in just under 3 hours at an average speed of 1.78 mph and total ascent of 3609 feet. Quite satisfactory in the circums……….woah there. Haud the bus. 3609 ft ??? In my dreams.

Having consulted one of Her Majesty’s Ordnance Survey maps (non-electronic) I can confirm that the distance is about right, but the height gained was nearer 600 ft. How do these things measure altitude anyway?


You’ve been a lovely audience, and I’d like to finish,if I may, with a little ditty that has been going through my head as I write this.


Saturday 2 November 2013

No point in posting anything, really


I expect most of my demographic will be away in Germany competing in the World Beard and Moustache Championships.



It’s been a quiet few weeks here at Loch Woebegon.

I suppose quiet is better than silent








The Man finally arrived