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Thursday, 2 November 2017

Samhain Chanted Evening


So, it’s the end of the summer (I should have put “summer” in inverted commas) and, for some reason, probably hidden viscerally deep in my  interduvet ancestral memory-thingy, I start to feel the need to plan next year’s  “stuff”. Yes, I know it’s not the end of the year and there’s still the delights of the darkest and longest nights of Yule and then the nithering cold of early 2018, before it starts to warm up next May, but I still feel the desire to plot.

What it isn’t, is (not) the time to look back. Not yet, anyway. So, no wing mirroring for me and LTD, we’re looking forward. Strategically. And a bit tactically.


Recently, I’ve been assailed by health issues. I don’t feel ill and, in fact, I’m feeling fitter than at any time since they put that spring thingy in my cardiac artery. I put this down almost entirely to a refusal to eat any cakes, particularly ones with associations with carrots, or any other root vegetables. (These are Just Wrong by the way) and a loss of excess weight, so that I am no longer officially obese, but , merely, overweight. That is to say, I’m a bit fat.

I’ve just had a series of medical/nursing/dietetics/podiatry appointments and the news is that my right big toe feels absolutely nothing, I am advised not to walk about barefoot, but to wear comfy slippers, not to eat anything vaguely tasty, not to drink anything exciting that might make me a bit dizzy and/or garrulous and not to play with matches or go anywhere near fractious cattle. I am also advised that my conditions are all progressive and that any adjustments in my diet will just put off an Evil Day when it all comes crashing down. I could sit and ponder/cuddle the dog/get a bit grumpy and so on, but I have Stuff To Do.

tgo chall 2017 004

So, I applied and, have got a place on the 2018 Great Outdoors Challenge. This may well take over my life in the months leading up to May 2018. Backpacking and wild camping will be involved. This is good.

I’m also helping, along with others, to support the Wolsingham Wayfarers expansion of their programme from the rights of way around Wolsingham and Frosterley to a slightly more expanded area of operations. That is to say, I’m leading a few walks. This is also good, and quite good fun, too. And LTD is allowed to attend as well, so that’s a bonus over the Durham County Council walk leading stuff.

Similarly, I have a few walk leads for the Wednesday Walkers Walking On Saturdays group |(or whatever their name is) This is also good.

My strategy is to expand this sorta thing. I expect that I’ll explore the local Ramblers groups.


And there’s a list of Things To Do – includes lots of beach bivis and naughty dipping up Northumberland and visits to far away exotic places such as The Malvern Hills and , maybe, The Arran Coast path. I may invest in a wet suit to allow the swimming to continue during the colder times – I strongly suspect that Dawn would be interested in such a thing. This is really not the kind of thing you’d want to do alone. Somebody at least needs to witness the fact that you’ve just been washed away even if they can’t do very much about it. I’m intending to learn how to say “Glug glug” in Danish.

In other words, things may well continue in a similar way to that which they did in the past. I realise that this is probably not really very exciting.

Samhain is the end of summer by the way. Its the start of the dark time. You know what I mean. It’ll get cold and miserable quite soon.

This next weekend is the Fight Club Hikers meet up near Braemar. We don’t talk about it, though, obviously. I expect it’ll all be very wholesome.


Howard Barker said...

How can this be? I cannot walk 100 yards without stopping for breath, yet you walk millions of miles a year with LTD and get ailments. I wish you the very best of health very soon. Fancy going to EGS Old Boys Dinner in December? Never been to one, but I just bought a suit and want to try it out :)

Alan Sloman said...

This is all very good news. At least, it's good news on the walking front, as it means I'll still be getting my five portions of walking a day on the blogosphere. Without this interweb thing I wouldn't get any walking done at all.

A wet suit sounds like a good idea for the Challenge. A bit like Paramo, except waterproof. I can see Lord Epus dressed only in black neoprene, when the sun goes down...

Dawn Linney said...

Sounds good Mike. Beach bivis and the such have been to do list. Mainly looking at different means of anchoring a tarp in the balmy (?) winds of the east coast. Your positive attitude shines through, an inspiration to all.