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Friday, 23 May 2014

TGO Challenge 2014 Cafe Akto Results (and a short update about Superdawg)

glen mazeran akto and a cusomer

I returned from the Highlands yesterday teatime, having  accidentally bagged two Marilyns on the way home and got myself into traffic nightmare in the middle of Edinburgh following a time/space continuum error at the near end of the Forth Road bridge which eventually saw me blocked in on all sides by three buses and a tram – but best not go into this in case there’s CCTV evidence….

glen mazeran

Eleven or twelve days earlier, I turned up at Glen Mazeran with an akto, a basha, loads of bacon and rolls and coffee and ten litres of Bishops Best Black Paw bitter, put up the tent and waited.

the bar


A couple of days later, after a bit of local exploring and some sensible toilet advice from the estate ghillie, three people turned up for beer and butties, followed by another twelve or thirteen or so, a day later and some more for breakfast the next morning. And so, all of the beer and all of the bacon and bread-based products were consumed. Even my pan-cleaning sponge was consumed, allegedly by a local mouse, but possibly even by a TGO challenger crazy for animal fats of any kind. (This can happen)


cafe akto

After this, I went to the Cairngorm Club Footbridge in the very lovely Rothiemurchus forest. Here, a lighter set up up, involving only one carrying-in journey and a similar one for getting out a day later. Here, I had a very fine chocolate cake, some leaky double cream and the coffee. Only a few challengers went this way whilst i was there, although it is rumoured that several well-known blogging challengers did stumble past at ten o’clock on the night that I’d escaped at four o’clock.

more customers

Blogger Oldmortality also turned up bearing gifts for me and the Dawg although the Dawg was at home attending Aunty Vera’s funeral in Calderdale crematorium. Nevertheless he has enjoyed some of the doggy-treat sausages since then. And I enjoyed the liquid stuff but the snickers bar met an untimely end in the bin at Glenmore campsite along with my coffee sachets and a penknife when I mistook a nylon bag for my rubbish bag. (I blame the scotch, actually)

North Water Bridge

Finally, since there was another ten (actually, koff, about eight) litres of Black Paw remaining, I took it upon myself to visit North Water Bridge campsite on the very night about sixty challengers were about to embark on their final day of the TGO challenge. This saw the end of the beer, so I went home.

north water bridge drinkers

I’ve been more than impressed with people’s generosity in supporting this venture and for scoffing all that bacon. Several people seem to have paid well over the odds for whatever they had. Three day walkers in Rothiemurchus gave me twelve quid out of sheer goodness and several TGO challengers donated cash without actually having any refreshments.

And then, of course, there was the chap who wants to stay anonymous who bunged me just enough cash for 50% of the beer.  You are entitled to a personal moment of smugness my friend and you can be certain that your support has made a significant difference to the success of this jape and you also made several TGO challengers happier than they ought to be.

The next paragraph is in a smaller font than usual so as not to embarrass anybody:

Some challengers filled their boots and then wandered off and some (at least one….) promised to donate on two occasions but didn’t – mind you, they (he) didn’t actually have anything but my feeling is, without sulking or getting bitter (he didn’t get any bitter) is that really, you shouldn’t say you’re going to do something and then fail. But that’s politicians for you….

When I finally managed to open the tin this morning (two tin openers failed, but the third industrial blowtorch eventually prised open a sufficient gap) there was just short of £165 in the tin. Mrs Pieman, in a moment of rare-for-a-Yorkshirewoman-from-Halifax moment of generosity made it up to the full £165 using personal securities normally imprisoned with several moths in her tightly locked purse,   and a donation from Ria made a few weeks ago made it up to £170 to put in the bank. Thus, £170 will be paid into the Virgin money giving page quite shortly. There’s a link at the bottom of this post for anybody feeling a bit generous.

And thanks to Mick also for the dosh for Dawn’s PHD jacket she gave me to sell – not forgetting, of course, to mention Dawn’s generosity in giving the jacket away in the first place. Actually, it was a rather nice jacket and it would have suited me nicely……

So, the fund-raising thing is doing Ok at the moment, but I need more ideas for money raising – the key rule of which is, of course, that nobody gives money away without getting something in return, unless the really want to do that.

More info about the Black Paw brewery can be found Here

Click the logo below to check out the state of the fund and, for those who feel in the mood to donate – to donate.


Finally – an update about Bruno the Superdawg.

superdawg - don't look into the eyes!

I cut short the TGO trip because, frankly, I was missing the dog. Reports from home said that he was OK and quite happy, eating, pooing properly and playing and so on, but I had a feeling that I should come home. So I did.

I arrived about teatime on Thursday and Mrs Pieman and the dog arrived from Aunty Vera’s funeral about ten minutes later. I noticed that he’d aged a bit more than he should have in twelve days and he’d lost some weight and that his bark was much higher in pitch than it had been. But otherwise he seemed Ok and he wolfed down his supper, took his steroid tablets nicely, played with a football and cuddled his jumper (he has a jumper as a comfort toy) (ok, we’re too soft, I know…)

But this morning he refused food, wouldn’t have his tablets, peed on the landing without actually noticing and then slowly melted into a semi-comatose state with with all the appearance of an animal about to wander off on another journey – if you catch my drift.. I decided that as he wasn’t in any apparent pain or distress to just let him die there and not to give him that last ride to the vet. He was like this for most of the day, sleeping, shallow breathing, unseeing eyes and, apparently on the very point of death.

Then the bugger recovered. He’s had his supper, a nice poo outside, he’s nearly taken off a Pieman finger whilst briefly considering a chewstick and he’s made himself comfy on a beanbag and is in a peaceful snooze as I write.

By sheer luck I seem to have done the right thing. This time.

So, a temporary and, probably short reprieve, I suppose. Maybe he was just practising for the real thing. He won’t be going out walking again, though. He’s quite weak and his perambulations are measured in yards rather than miles.  I think the walks have finished now. 

For those who are bothered, I would expect bad news quite soon. I’m hoping he can do this peacefully and at home. As for me, I’m not doing anything else, walking wise till after he’s gone. I’m going to look a bit daft, though, wandering around with just a retractable lead.

There’ll be more Highland stuff later, though – I did manage to do other stuff between cafe Akto-ing….


Meanqueen said...

That last paragraph had me in tears. Must be heartbreaking after you and superdawg have gone through so much together. I hope he has a peaceful passing, give him a hug from me.

Brian Cowling said...

Heart breaking indeed - Holly, my Border Terrier passed away last year.

And yet ... well, Rudyard Kipling's "The Power of a dog" says it for me.

Jon Ivins said...

Very sorry to hear that SuperDawg is fading. I met you at the Backpackers AGM in Stanhope and I remember you telling me about him while we were at the pub. It is a very painful time as I know from personal experience. Always remember the good times.

Give him a pat from me. Best wishes.

Michael said...

Kindest of thoughts from a fellow dog owners

Mike Knipe said...

Thanks everybody - the pooch is yet still hanging on, but still apparently comfy, though he's nit eating much.
And thanks to Andy and Kate for the donations - all very generous and welcome. Ta!