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Friday, 14 November 2008

TGO Planning #3 and nothing about stoves

Just had a session with TGO first-timers Doug and Michael Moffat , talking about stuff for the TGO challenge, and doing some serious damage to the whisky stocks at the Black Horse at Waterhouses. We may be doing at least one little, shortish backpacking trip in the next few weeks for training purposes, but we'll see. But as my 2009 challenge will be solo, my own personal training trips will be solo as well. Plans for this are slowly germinating. In the meantime, it looks like Doug and Mike have a route and a clear idea as to the number of teabags and socks required for a successful crossing. Doug is actually quite experienced at walking about in the wilder bits of Scotland, and he's also acting secretary of the Pennine Way Association, so I don't know why he feels he needs any advice...


Later.... today....Had a Topsy and Tim busy day including erecting a garden bench, fitting a number sign to my mum's house wall, welcoming and supervising a carpet fitter measurer man, visiting the Council offices to get some rubbish shifted, herding a goat and getting my exhausty pipe fixed...

Yes, that was herding a goat. I noticed a large brown animal disappearing behind the old folks flats...and then this enormous goat-in-a-panic came rushing by followed by a bloke who had been loitering behind there a bit suspiciously in my opinion. He asked me if it would bite him and I said I didnt think so. He made off, suspiciously.... So, a bit worried that it (goat) might wander onto the main road and eat a car or something, I captured the timid but slightly scary animal using guile and ancient half-remembered hunting instincts such as creeping up behind it and getting hold of it's "lead" It had very big horns and a strange way of looking at me - a bit like staring Old Nick himself in the eye. (Old Nick lives in the OAP's flats by the way and drives one of those electric cart things very fast whilst encouraging people to "Get out of the f****ng way")His vehicle has a high-vis jacket on the back and a union flag on a long ariel.... but I digress, or ingest or whatever it is.....

So I bring the goat back to show to the wife and tie him to the ash tree in our front garden, whereupon he scoffs my fuschia, next door's privet, an apple (donated as a diversion) a selection of leaves from a flowering blackcurrant, a sort of spiky little bush thingy and a dwarf conifer. - Oh, and a melange of potentilla fruticosa lightly drizzled with sooty dew.. The wife wants me to visit the pet shop for a bag of hay.

I set off to find an owner whilst the wife cheers up the police call centre in Durham (who advise that they'll issue an email to all the County Durham border crossings and airports in case some Northumbrian bedouins try to escape without one of their goats.) Failing that, its our problem. If it had been a nanny goat they would have sent round a WPC, apparently.

Turns out it belongs to a bloke who goes by the name of "Sooty" and lives with a horse in a field next to the old folks flats and has been busy, according to neighbours, eating the birch tree in the field and various organic items from their gardens.. It appears that it may well have consumed bits of the fence for its lunch.

I return it to it's horsey pal who is clearly quite pleased to see him. They nuzzle each other. Its time for me to rattle and roar up to Tow Law for me new exhausty pipe. (£147 by the way...) I wander around Hedleyhope Fell nature reserve for an hour whilst waiting for delivery of the new parts... Fab place by the way, just fab.

In the meantime, BT have responded to our complaints that the broadband falls over whenever its a bit windy or wet by erecting two new telegraph poles up the street and rewiring the whole shebang. What they made of a goat tethered in one of the front gardens is anybody's guess.

Bruno is quite pleased about the new telegraph poles....


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