Saturday, 25 February 2017

Seventy seven days, slippers, soft sinews & slothdom.

Casting aside old friends is a painful experience. For years you believed them to be reliable; they would never let you down. Sadly however, time takes its toll on a relationship. I could no longer take any more of their nonsense.

Hating confrontation, I would have preferred to do the deed by text message, but decency got the better of me. Instead, after a stiff drink we had a face to face at Mission Control and I told them that they were dumped. It was all their fault and I had to move on. As I literally closed the lid on that part of my life, I caught a last glimpse of my leaky old Scarpa Nepals and Salomon Quests staring back up at me from the very bottom of the bin...

No more soggy tootsies for me. No more trench foot. And HELLO to these new beauties!


It's been a whirlwind romance. In less than a week my new slippers and I have been to heaven and back, *three* times! Well, Englemere Pond, Tescos and the long way round to Englemere. 

But, it's important not to scare the horses. After a long period of slothdom with my foot (Yes, thank you, it's feeling much better now) I've had nine months with very little walking. We all know that soft tissues need toughening up, and this must be done gently to start with. So let's not go too mad. 

Now, in your world, yesterday may well have passed almost unnoticed. But in every Challengers' calendar, yesterday marked just seventy seven days before setting off from the west coast of Scotland with some well-hard bastards, with the ambition of arriving at the east coast some two weeks later.

As keener members of the congregation will recall (Yes, that's you at the back: Sit up straight and stand in a polite line) this stroll involves Munros, Corbetts and all manner of wondrous ridge walking. Obviously perturbed, and perhaps some might unkindly say deranged, by this chilling statistic, one of the keener blighters in our team has taken to strapping his person into full Challenge kit, ballasted with a complete set of Funk and Wagnalls, and frog-marching himself some twenty European Kilometers! A risky strategy that, what with Brexit and all. This could end very badly.

To calm your nerves, dear reader, here are some settling photographs of gentle landscapes from my strolls this week. Of course it's nothing like Scotland in a hurricane, but there again, neither is sipping Champagne and nibbling tasty canapes in smart hotels. It's life, Jim...






Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Pairing my Nokia folding keyboard with a mobile phone

Using Blogger's own software I'm trying to post to the blog using my newish mobile phone (a budget job, a Moto G4, seeing as you asked) paired with my old Nokia SU-8W folding keyboard.  

My phone has quite a large - 5.5 inch - screen with a fairly decent resolution. This means I can now read blogs without using the mobile phone version of the blog, which makes reading blogs on the phone a far better experience. Following from this I reasoned to myself that it should also be possible to post to the blog using the original version of Blogger rather than its mobile phone App.   


Even with a large screen, I still find it tricky using the phone's small keyboard, continually mis-typing. That's why I'm pairing it with the fold-out keyboard. I believe that this will result in better blog posts - if you believe that more of my paragraphs results in better posts, and that's a stretch...

I think there are two advantages of doing this rather than using Blogger's own mobile app. The first should be the ability to position and size the pictures where and when I like, whilst being able to see the pictures. With the old app I used, Bloggeroid, I couldn't see the pictures, which meant that on a long post with quite a few pictures I would have to remember which I had posted, which proved tricky at times. The second is that when using Blogger I can left and right justify text, which I prefer to simply left-justified text. I know others prefer left justified, so this is a purely personal preference. 


So here goes.  Let's see if it works. And, it appears to have worked - including a picture edit. 

Thursday, 19 January 2017

A few square yards

Seven months with no walking to speak of. It's been ghastly but at last my foot problem seems to be sorted. As there's now very little pain, I've taken to strolling about my local patch again; If it should flare up it's not too far to hobble back to the safety of my comfy chair.

The first picture was a few weeks ago on a bone cold day in the late afternoon. I walked home under a black moonless sky. 


The weather yesterday was fabulous: Watery blue skies, slanting winter sunshine and a crust of frozen earth with cracked ice pools skinning the heath floor. 


Using my phone's camera all these pictures were taken within a few yards of each other. You'll have noticed the same forked tree, a favourite of mine.


This time I was home in the twilight, having mooched about, waiting for the sun to slide sideways to magically transform the ice into crumpled silver.


Plans are now in an advanced state for the PreWalkDaunder. This year it's being professionally prepared by that VeryVeryNiceMan Mr Williams, and will take place on his own home patch in the English Lake District.

And now, some happy stuff:

And this, so I won't lose it again.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

A 2016 Family-Matters catch-up.

I'm in catch-up mode, so from last year here are a few pictures that make me immensely happy. 

Elsie Mae Sloman arrived on my birthday, at 10:13am, weighing in at a healthy 7lb 7oz. Her big sister, Lyra, is plainly delighted. Her mum and dad, Zinnia and Oli, are doing jolly well and were engaged on Christmas Day. 




Meanwhile, my other grandchildren, Luca and Ezra are thriving. Ezra is now a healthy one year old and toddling. Luca occasionally behaves very well at school. This is being encouraged.




And now, in the spirit of 'Old Mortality:' After listening to Radio Four Extra this evening, I Googled "Sixty Degrees North." This is from the writer, Malachy Tallack.