Monday, 11 January 2021

What Should I Do With My 70th Year?

One thing is for sure that I'll never have another 70th year. I might well be at the summit here and, as it's probably all downhill from now on, I was thinking that I should mark the year with something special, somehow. And maybe do something charitable such as re-establish my fundraising for Mind wot I did a few years ago and which was mildly successful, though I say it myself. The idea that I came up with, one boozy Christmas night whilst being locked-down, was to climb 70 2000 foot hills in one continuous expedition. Withe a tent. And a small black and white dog. The most convenient place to do this would be the English Lake District. This is because it's quite handy for knipetowers and the hills are generally (that is to say, most of the time)  grouped together in closely-packed, friendly groups. And in-between there are outdoor shops where dehydrated food and equipment can be bought should the need arise. These outdoor shops are also in small towns which are fully equipped with hostelries, pie shops and off-licences. I though this was a smashing plan.

And then I had a desultory look at an on-line map of Cumbria with all the Hewitts and Nutalls marked on it and added up some of the distances and ascent. And I thought....."bugger"  This looks quite a hard thing to do for a 69-year-old, fat, type 2 (the best type) diabetic with a dicky ticker and a lazy dog. And, not only that, but the entire country is currently in lockdown and we're not supposed to travel very far for exercise, so access to hills with closely-packed, not to say over-friendly contours is not only verboten but also anti-social, unpopular and a bit dangerous. So training for this could be difficult. Training needs to be up big, steep hills with lots of uphill and over several consecutive days and this sort of thing isn't available just now.

But we travel in hope. In May 2021 me and JJ are booked in to do the TGO challenge and, whilst we don't have a specially hard route, 14 days of walking with big packs should be really helpful. This is planned for May, so the big hope is that it will actually go ahead. It will be a close-run thing I suspect. All digits are crossed. In the meantime, I'll just have to walk as much as possible. Maybe I'll be able to sneak up Weardale soon for some walking in deep snow.

As far as the charity fundraising is concerned, I'll try to use the same strategy as last time - the philosophy being that whatever I do will avoid the "sponsor me on a jolly" type of thing in favour of a presumption that contributers will actually receive something in return. I'll need to think about this. Last time there was some level of sponsorship for my involvement in the North East Skinny Dip. If people paid enough, I would keep my pants on. Just like everything else, the event might take place, and, if it does, all other things being equal, I will take part.

 All the pictures in this post are from very recent local doggy walks. None of these are enough to get fit enough for climbing all those hills. I need to walk further at least and, hopefully, I'll get enough mojo to work on this starting now.. or at least, soon.