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.

Monday, 5 December 2016

TGO Challenge 2017: A Third Man, Map & Route Sheet

Latterly, Mad'n'Bad has been walking with the Bigger Boys and in a very Big-Boy-Full-of-Testosterone fashion has broken one or two of them on the way. You may find this difficult to believe, but the old bastard had one or two good points. But let's not get carried away, there were only one or two. The first was a magical propensity to produce cans of beer from his tiny man-bag when all was seemingly lost. The second was to pour oil over the stormy waters that is the relationship between Lord Elpus and me.

Phil and I walked as a pair for the 2016 Challenge. The silence was blissful. I was not jabbed once by flailing walking pole-tips and rest stops were taken plentifully and at length; No-one stomped about in the far distance harrumphing. We walked along roads in polite lines; No vehicles were seen to fly off into the scenery or bury themselves in roadside ditches. 

But there were no magical beers and the disputes were wild and stormy. For 2017, Something Had To Be Done. We needed another Fixer. Another Bon Viveur. Another intellect to calm the stormy outbursts. A Third Way.

We believe we have found just the chap: 

God, No! Not the lunatic on the left. He's Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to know. No Sir. The fellow who has chosen to join this elite team is the smiley gentleman on the right: David 'VeryVeryNiceMan' Williams. 

When we let the Fat Controller at Challenge Control know that David was walking with us, there was a stunned silence. At length, this was followed by "Does he know what he has let himself in for?"

And this is what he has let himself in for. This is the route Phil (who is our Team Captain again this year) will shortly be sending off to the Vetters. 


The route is a heady mix of high-level camps, crafty Corbetts, mad Munros, rocky ridges and handsome hotels. And there's a cheese and wine party thrown in as well, at two thousand, six hundred and sixty six Imperial Feet above Her Majesty's Ordnance Datum.   



What could possibly go wrong?

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Four from today

A good friend will have had a difficult day today, which led me to try to find John Rutter's new reworking of his fabulous Requiem, that I heard on Front Row the other night. 

Happily, I found the third part, Pie Jesu on Spotify, but unfortunately nowhere else. It is magnificent; I urge you to seek it out. However, if that link for the new version doesn't work, here's the best version I could find of his old, equally sublime version.

This inevitably had me locked in Youtube's basement for most of the day, and so here's the pick of today's treasure: Enjoy.