The Accidental Hillwalker

Before I begin I should point out that I had no intention whatsoever of doing any hillwalking.  As far as I was concerned I was taking one of the dogs for a wee walk along some deserted forestry roads. It’s just…well…circumstances rather got the better of me.  It’s true, I could have walked on past the wooden palette bridge spanning the ditch.  I could have ignored the rather inviting grassy strip in the middle of what was a rather uninviting slope comprising chopped off tree trunks and reedy bog.  It’s also true that I could have ignored the obvious atv tracks leading up said grassy strip – but where would have been the fun in that.   You have probably guessed what happened next.

But before I explain allow me to introduce you to “not fit for purpose”.  The clue is in the name (in case you hadn’t already guessed).

These days I am stuck with “not fit for purpose” as a solo walking companion while “Little Bear”, her partner in crime, is laid up with a torn cruciate ligament.  The cruciate debacle has gone on for some months now, starting out last summer as a possible sprain but developing (with a most definite howl) at the end of November into something a lot more serious.  The operation, 8 weeks ago, seems to have gone well so now we wait as the 3 month healing process nears compleation.  Which brings me back to “not fit for purpose”. Continue reading

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The Shadow of my Former Self

Prologue

It is almost 2 years since I last tackled a hill walk of any size.  There has been the odd foray onto minor bumps near to the Central Belt but nothing that would test the endurance of  the average 90 year old.  Since the end of my hillwalking heyday some 4 years ago I have done progressively less and less walking… in fact I have ventured rarely beyond a 10 mile (if that) radius of the house over the past two.  I think it is fair to say I am not quite the same spirit that I was back then.

I always keep my fingers crossed that the sense of absurdity that dragged me out on to the mountains and which characterised the old Fatdog “Tails” will re-emerge on  a more permanent basis but I have found that to be a slippery hope.  In the meantime I will take what I can get and with a bit of luck…well, we’ll see…no promises. Continue reading

An Un-palette-able Truth

I do sometimes wonder where the time goes. Maybe this confusion is directly proportional to age…I’m beginning to think so. Before I began to set up the present blog I looked at the last post in “Reservoir Dugz”, it was dated May 2015. As if that wasn’t bad enough it was written about an event that took place in October 2014. What the hell have I been doing since then?
I know one thing for certain – I haven’t been writing blog posts. Continue reading

Déjà Vu

It is not a nice day out there. Snow is flying past the study window and I am sitting at the keyboard with my new Salomon boots on – making sure they fit properly before I take them out for their first walk outdoors.

It was 10 years ago when I began my travels into the Scottish Hills. A chance discussion with a dog walking buddy set me off on what was has become a seemingly never ending voyage over our incredibly varied landscape. I may take a wee break from time to time but something always drags me back to the wilder places. As I contemplate my return to the hills it would seem that history is in the process of repeating itself – even when it comes to hillwalking. Continue reading

Lendrick Hill – The Bottom Rung

It’s like the dawn of a new era…this get out the door and actually do something!

I never anticipated it would be over three years after the arrival of the “pups” before I would feel I wanted to walk any distance…never mind write up a blog about the day’s events.  I’d tried from time to time to make a return to both hill and blog but there was something missing which prevented it from working as I would have liked…hence the long absences and this month’s fresh start.  There are a number of reasons for this which will no doubt become apparent as the blog posts roll out. Having said that, I still don’t feel like walking any great distance but that is probably just me being cautious as it will take some time to establish what I can actually achieve with leg muscles than are, on a permanent basis, way tighter than before. Continue reading

February Foreshore

You know it’s been a while when you struggle to find the camera. You also know it’s been a while when you discover that the camera battery is nearly dead! I dared not rummage in the pack for fear of finding something else in a similar state of decay.  The pack was abandoned on the floor for closer inspection at another time. The wee Fuji was recharged, the boots and wet gear waterproofed and the OS mapping consulted…today’s little adventure was to be be the first documented walk of the new blog.

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Continue reading

Last Year

As you may have gathered from “A Beginning” I am slightly “off the pace” as far as my ability to charge up hills and mountains.  In fact it is fair to say that I have no idea to what extent the damage done by my two canine companions would hinder me in attempting to do such a thing. Continue reading