For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

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Sunday, 31 July 2011

Thunderbolts!

Ten days ago I decided to fix more decking in my garden. Such ventures are an addiction beyond my control involving a gene which demands that I should always have a major ongoing undertaking, whether it be a distance walk, a DIY construction, or reading a long book.
I am currently embarked on the latter reading Antarctic Navigation, a novel by  Elizabeth Arthur (790 pages) which I recommend - it does a lot to debunk  adverse coverage over many years of Scott of the Antarctic, and the novel format gives room for comprehensive analysis of that theme amongst many other interwoven character studies and political comment.
The downsides of DIY seem to  be lost in  memory as one conceives the next plan.
I ordered the timber and naively noted the modest cost.  An essential  item used is an angle bracket combined with two screw bolts with the frightening proprietary name of Thunderbolts .  Having used some left from my last job I visited the supplier to buy thirty brackets and sixty Thunderbolts, with hazy recall  of buying nails by weight for almost negligible cost (the trivial incidentals required by these  jobs).

I had come to know the helpful lady in the office quite well, and after stating my requirements I trotted after her with pleasant anticipation of my modest purchase to an adjacent hut full of a tempting array of desirable ironmongery and hardware tugging at me like a warehouse of confiscated drugs shown to a junky.
Back at the lady’s office, with my small cardboard box containing, to my mind a few nugatory items of ironmongery I watched the lady tap the keys on the computer and finally she said “that will be £81.50”.
I had been in Never Never Land. Memories of my previous ventures were returning as sharply as the ejected shells from a machine gun: the cost of ancillary materials exceeds the cost of the initial bulk buy of timber, but by now addiction has won the day - you are totally committed. 














Thursday, 14 July 2011

Lulu, next year, and The Pyrenees

The Lulu book “Conrad Walks Wales” is completed in Word. All photos are integrated with text, and Photoshop montages for covers have been created.
This is the draft cover - it may yet be changed
The next step is uploading onto Lulu’s website and creating the covers and spine before submission for publishing. For the five previous books this was a frustrating and difficult procedure. I have recruited daughter Jill to assist on Sunday.
Due to what I think are memory problems with Windows/Word I made four separate files, which will need consolidating after we upload.
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Since my last post I have plotted a longish backpacking trip in the UK for next year, joints permitting, but more of that later.

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Today I have booked a flight to Lourdes from Manchester on 22nd August returning 2nd September. I intend to do some Grande Randonnée walking visiting the Vignemale region which I by-passed when I walked the GR10. It will be pleasant not carrying such a heavy rucksack as I will not be camping but staying in French refuges and gîtes d’étqpes. I haven’t researched this much so far as I am awaiting IGN maps ordered today. From what I hear that area is as spectacular as anywhere in the Pyrenees. The ascent of Le Vignemale is not an option for me, but I believe it is possible to walk up Le Petit Vignemale, and that may provide an extra focus for the trip.

Le Vignemale - a grainy download from Google Images

I am not sure about blogging from France yet. I will have to find out exactly what is involved with the enigmatic data roaming thing from Vodafone - I don’t want to rack up one of those notorious bills one hears about .

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Back in the groove

I returned from my Welsh walk on 17th June to face post accounting for a fair sized forest, a garden suitable for the making of African Queen, and over eight hundred photos to sort. 
Most of that post is now in the waste paper recycling bin, phase one of garden taming is complete after zero offers from film companies, and the photos are down to five hundred and eighty, most of which have been processed through Photoshop at the basic level of light adjustment and cropping.  I have added captions where appropriate and created a title pic for each of the fifty eight days.
Yesterday I started with the production of my sixth book using the Internet self publishing site Lulu. 
Research has started on a walk for next year, if my aged joints will permit, but more of that later, suffice to say there are two possible routes which will be evaluated for distance and practicality, and, dare I say it in the face of earlier comments from BB, aesthetic value?
During the walk I could rarely remember to take pics on my iPhone to post on the blog, so here are eight photos to try and make up for that omission.

Please click to enlarge, especially number 7.

No idea what he is letting himself in for

I was invited into a private house to see this



The arty one