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Thursday, 28 March 2013

TGO Challenge 2013: Six week countdown

So where did that year go, eh?

It doesn’t seem like a year since I was clambering up the steep bit of the North Morar Ridge with WeeWillyWilky and Mr Walker, completely out of puff.

Ben Aden & Sgurr na Ciche from N Morar Ridge: TGO CHallenge 2012

[CLICK PICTURE TO ENLARGE]

At the moment I’m tapping away at the keyboard at home, when really I should be somewhere on the South Downs Way, gently coaxing the body back into life after a winter of not doing any walking at all. But frankly, I didn’t fancy battling Arctic blasts  from deepest Siberia; After all, that’s what the Challenge is about. You can have too much fun, you know.

The weather forecast looks like remaining pretty horrid for another three or four weeks and then clearing, perhaps in time, for our PreWalkDaunder in the Lakes. If it doesn’t, we’ll be freezing our nether regions off in a last vain attempt at getting something like match-fit. So that probably means we’ll be dong that for real in the first few days of the Challenge, as usual. Ho hum…

All the transport up to and home from Scotland has been booked and paid for, accommodation deposits paid, and the maps printed out. Freeze-dried food has arrived and so all that is now left to sort is a couple of food parcels for these evening meals. We’re pretty much done, really.

We’ve organised the first party for the Wednesday evening at the Bree Louise at Euston and two cheese & wine parties for the walk itself. This is a year for celebrating, as it’s Phil’s tenth and we should do it in style.

For this year the medication bag is bigger than ever, as the kidneys’ function has got slightly worse; they’re down to 13% now. This year, I’m on seven different lots of tablets, some of them once a day, some three times a day. Then there’s the EPO injections as well, which are supposed to be weekly, but I might just jab myself a double dose before I set off. I ought to have a word with my Consultant about that, really.

The really good news is that I now have a transplant date of June 6th, just after I get back from the walk, which is something to look forward to.

ANDY & WILLIAM IN THE BREE LOUISE 2012

So, next stop is the Bree Louise, and its seventeen real ales. Oh dear.

39 comments:

  1. Great news about having a date for the op - you'll be fighting fit for it too.

    Best wishes,

    JJ

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    Replies
    1. That's the plan, at least!
      :-)

      My Bruvver with the Hair charges about Yorkshire on his road bike, so there'll be one fit bit of me anyway: His kidney! I hope it doesn't create mad urges to clamber aboard skinny saddled road-bikes for hundreds of miles though.

      I ought to persuade him to start watching more telly on a sofa whilst guzzling beer and chocolates. I could do with more of that.

      Delete
  2. What?!!! Six weeks!!!

    Better get my pack packed or I'll be late...

    It does come around fast doesn't it? I distinctly remember feeling quite desolate, thinking on the train home from Montrose "Fifty weeks, it's such a long time, nearly a whole year! What am I going to do with myself?!". Within in weeks I had half a dozen routes planned (all neatly filed) and had had a good think about what gear I *needed* and had a few lists on the go. The build up to the draw is almost unbearable but once you know you're in, there's this strange kind of limbo and then, here we are, six weeks to go.

    And Laura's in!!!!

    I am soooooo excited.

    I need a sit down...

    See you in the Fife!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, yes. The Post Challenge Depression phase - you wake in the morning and want to lean over to fire up the stove for a coffee, but then realise you have to walk downstairs to the kitchen.

      Every bone in your body wants to head east, but instead there's shopping, cooking and the day to day stuff of life which clutters up your day.

      But it all comes round again and very soon you're grunting sweatily up some stupidly steep hill wondering why on earth you are doing this...

      That's very good news about Laura. We just need to throw a lifeline now to Robin Evans.

      :-)

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. I think we could squeeze that into our itinerary...

      :-)

      Delete
  4. and Alistair! We just need 7 drop outs in 3 days to get them both on - unlikely but we can hope! Have fun on the challenge !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh Blimey!
      I had forgotten about the lad! (I just assume that either you or Alistair will always be there!)
      What number was Alistair on the list, originally?

      Delete
  5. Are we going somewhere?

    I am all ready to go.
    Beer money stashed.
    Fenland kerb training all on schedule for altitude fitness.

    So I am just waiting on a little something from Sean at Oookworks
    And another small something from PHD.
    And Tesco to put Talisker on offer.

    A bloke has to pamper himself when he is going above 20m you know.

    See you soon Boss :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure if kerb-crawling around the Fens counts towards training?

      It sounds to me like your pack is getting heavier as each day goes on with all the deliveries from Royal Mail. Will there be the usual frantic posting things home on the first morning from Oban?
      :-)

      Delete
    2. I orefer Gear Tart Louise :-)
      Or was that Treacle Tart?

      Delete
    3. As if I would dare.
      Anyway, gear lightening and replacement. Lighter pack this year honest. Anyway, we have to get an early ferry, so no time for postie.

      Delete
  6. Ah - the daunder. Did you get my email with the recce photos, sweetheart? We even came across a dead sheep - frozen solid.

    I'd bring your long johns matey.

    On the plus side, a retail expedition to the Lakeland emporia has provided new boots & panties :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Petal

      Thanks for the nudge - I have just found it in my spam folder.
      :-(

      I have no idea why it chooses some emails rather than others. This has caused trouble in the past as well... Those photos look perishingly cold.

      Did you pop the frozen lamb in the boot for later?

      MORE new boots? Tell us all about the panties - Intrigued...

      Delete
    2. AAGH! I have just found a lovely email from Ian Shiel from the beginning of March in the bloody spam too! (and two others as well...)

      What IS it with these spam filters? I would much rather receive everything and decide for myself what is spam!

      Delete
  7. I got stopped by the seventeen real ales. What's with the rest of this nonsense?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed.
      It's going to be tricky leaving this pub and making our way over to the sleeper. The pub was carefully selected as it is no more than a drunken stagger to the train carriage.
      Oh. It has seventeen real ales and a fair few "real ciders" too.

      It's time to get your entry form prepared for next year, Mark.

      Delete
  8. Alan. Really good news re the 'athletic' organ you'll be receiving. Best wishes for that. Meanwhile, don't forget I am wanting to enjoy the Challenge vicariously through the tales from you and all the rest of the motley crew. If only I'd stuck my name on the form in the Affleck....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He was also a pretty mean flanker in his day as well. This organ has pedigree whereas it'll be joining up with others that prefer Marston's Pedigree.

      You can't miss out again Carl. Whatever it takes: Beg, plead and bribe your family to let you go next year!
      :-)

      Delete
    2. Talking of enjoying tales vicariously, GET YOUR FINGER OUT CARL!!! :-D

      Delete
  9. "The pub was carefully selected as it is no more than a drunken stagger to the train carriage."

    That rather depends on which direction you take from the pub.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Has anyone printed out the map from the pub to the station?
      :-)

      Delete
    2. Don't look at me.
      I got lost between Euston and the Bree Louise last year.
      And that was on the way to the bloody pub.

      Lord knows how we made the sleeper by 11.30. :-)

      Delete
  10. Ah well, fair play to the almost kidney-less intent on having a biiiig walk. We're due for a drought this year on the TGO, so take plenty of fluids.... just a tip.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would be nice if the weather was a bit warmer than the last two years, wouldn't it?

      It would be nice if we could have a blast of Saharan winds a week prior to the walkk to melt all the snow and then some nice warm and dry gentle easterlies to cool us in the sunshine for two weeks.

      Oddly - I should be in better shape this year compared to last year as i'm on EPO & intravenous iron now and that has boosted the blood count by 50%. The kidneys are more shagged though - which is why I'm in for spare parts afterwards.

      I'll just do my usual plod - slow & steady.
      :-)

      Delete
    2. Hi Alan

      Not sure I'll be welcome here -:) but have a great crossing and all the best for your op in June.

      Still snow in the garden, but at last some blue skies have arrived and the birds are singing.

      Delete
    3. Hi Gibson
      Don't be daft Sir!
      :-)
      You are always welcome. And, thanks. It's good to hear there's sunshine somewhere in this frozen land of ours.

      Delete
  11. Another great post from the master blogger. I am so glad that you have promised a heat wave followed by some gentle easterlies. Just cool enough so it doesn't melt my chocolate, if you wouldn't mind. 300 people are going to hold you to this forecast, you know.:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've just returned from a trip to that London and East Angular. I managed walks on both days.

      I woke this morning to be quite shocked at how two walks had taken their toll on my frame. I felt pretty knackered. Then I remembered the two nights of eating and drinking.

      On the drive back home today I realised I have just five weeks to get some practice in. There needs to be a marked increase in trips to the pub, or I will never get through the social side of the Challenge.

      Delete
  12. Hi Alan

    You don't know what's happened to Oss's blog by any chance? I'm getting a message that it's been removed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Gibson

      That's what I get when I click on Dave's place too. I've no idea, I'm afraid.
      :-(

      Delete
    2. Thanks Alan. I do hope we haven't lost him.

      Delete
  13. Wind better change, easterly makes it hard work. Must be due for some good TGO weather, so pack the suncream.

    Good news about the refit

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Bob
      But with lovely warm sunshine and some hills to climb a cooling easterly might be welcome. Whenever I have taken suncream the weather has *always* been absolute rubbish!

      I shall pass on that advice, if you don't mind.
      :-)

      Delete
  14. Don't forget that you said you were going to carry my rucksack and drop it off at my allocated overnight spots.......

    That bloke in the yellow t-shirt in the photo looks a bit dodgy to me. Keep an eye on him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are young and easily confused, James.

      That was Andy who made that offer - the chap in the dodgy yellow t-shirt. He's also the one who's buying all the beer as well.
      :-)

      Delete

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