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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Saturday, 28 January 2012

Katie update

I know, but I couldn't resist this one.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Another Lulu self publishing project

I have started a new book using Lulu  (self publishing website - if you're interested click on the link).

The idea is to group anecdotes and thoughts I have assimilated over the years under a number of headings such as "getting lost", "fear", "trespassing" etc. and experiences and thoughts will not necessarily be restricted to outdoor activities. So far I have written 3000 words and sourced a number of photos which will be integrated with the text. My previous six books have all had the themed titles of "Conrad Walks...", so for this one I have provisionally decided on "Conrad Talks".

The knee

I now have a pre-operation appointment for 7th February, so I will get an appointment after that for the operation. In the meantime I have had a few more modest bike rides. The only consolation (for me) is that the weather has been horrible.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Christmas cheer.

My last post omitted news of daughter Jill being ambulanced to hospital (with baby Katie) at 3:30am on 22nd December with unbearable pain. The diagnosis was gall stones. Jill was was sent home. Although the pain was rapidly controlled, we ( J and K, and son William and I) did not get back home until midday after endless, waiting at the hospital.
Christmas was anxious - we were on red alert for a repeat. That occurred about midday on Saturday 7th January. A second ambulance was called and we had the same thing all over with more prolonged waiting, and Jill again being sent home. Ambulance number three was called at 5:00am the next morning (Sunday) - William attended, and I followed about 9:00 am after seeing Will’s text message when I arose. Jill was promised an ultra sound scan and we waited until 3:30pm. After my third enquiry we were told the scan would not be done until Monday, so Jill stayed with Katie, and W. and I returned home.
On monday morning (yesterday) I had an appointment at the same hospital for 10:10 am with my knee consultant. I then went to Jill who was having the scan at 11:30am. We had to wait, and wait,  being given no information until 3:30pm, when we were given the results of the scan and sent home with promise of an appointment within three weeks with the consultant, who I reckon already knows he will put Jill on the list for gall bladder removal. In the meantime we may be calling out further ambulances. I suppose this is all a middle class whinge when most people in the world have little access to medical care, but I have to say we are all weary from these events.
The Knee
The consultant has put me on his list for a replacement knee. 
Walking is uncomfortable after four hundred yards, but today I cycled locally for an hour with no  discomfort, so that is the only glimmer of light in this dreary post.
Can anybody recommend a bike suitable for camping/touring with some off-road capability?

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Brain power?

The recent Royal Institution Lectures featured the brain, and posed the question “who is in control?”
Not my brain... as far as I know?
When running over rough terrain I would identify the next stone where my foot would land. As I moved through that stride I was often aware that my foot had landed in a different place without me being conscious of commanding that action. A hidden force had taken over in the last micro second having apparently calculated  a more advantageous placement.
Not my feet either - I don't think I could afford those shoes
This would leave me with an uneasy feeling, wondering where that control had originated. I  often tried to  describe this phenomenon to others, but without the expected response: “oh! It’s strange you should say that...”. Perhaps that was because I had not been sufficiently concise, but the RI Lectures set me wondering again, and I would be interested to hear any relevant comment. I would add that I recognise similar brain occurences in other situations.
So who is in control?

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Readers will know I became a granddad 11weeks ago. I’ve just watched a documentary about King George V (1865-1936) who was a fearsome, autocratic father, but otherwise (according to the documentary), an alright guy, but he became besotted and gaga with his granddaughter Elizabeth (our present queen) who he always called Lizbet. Twelve weeks ago I would have been puzzled by this apparent anomaly, but now I understand.