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, 31 March 2012

Bikes, knees, cows and Katie

This blog should be renamed Conrad Walks Not.
The  pre-op examination for my knee replacement was as far back as 7th February. I reckon the relevance of that will be considerably devalued by the time I get to the op. I rang the waiting list people and was told it would be unlikely before May. In the meantime the other knee is becoming just as painful, and I have no doubt I will be booked in for that as soon as possible after the first one. It looks like this year is going to be a write-off.
Fortunately cycling is not a problem, and I have bought a new “hybrid” bike (Claud Butler Voyager) to replace the Giant Terrago mountain bike, and I hope to investigate the possibility of “cycle backpacking”, but not until I have had the op or ops, followed, I suppose, by weeks and weeks of rehabilitation. So I reckon I have now got a month ahead when I can go out for day rides and try to develop muscle build up and stamina required for cycling.

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Katie update:

KATIE MEETS THE COWS:



Sunday, 18 March 2012

A more sparrow-hawky sparrow hawk

This one is for Afoot in the Hills http://afootinthehills.blogspot.co.uk/ in response to his post dated 14th March which included his pic of a sparrow hawk. I have played with the pic in Photoshop, and here is the result:

The eclectic mountaineer

This post is really for http://phreerunner.blogspot.co.uk/  (Postcard from Timperley), in response to his post (12th March 2012) which included a photo of an unidentified mountain. Identification was invited.
I can rarely remember the Scottish names, but when I learned the mountain was Stob na Broige it sounded familiar, and I predictably, but wrongly assumed it would be a Munro. After some research I found I had climbed Stob na Broige at Easter 2006 whilst gatecrashing a Yorkshire Mountaineering Club meet. The previous day I had climbed Buachaille Etive Beag and this photo of Stob na Broige was taken  during that ascent.
The next day I returned to Glen Etive with my old friend Malcolm (Sol) Lomas, and Jane Wainwright, long standing members of the YMC, and we made the ascent indicated on the photo.


We only carried ice axes (no crampons or rope) and there were a couple of tricky sections.  On the first one I borrowed Jane’s ice axe and used that as well as my own.
That was an enjoyable outing, especially as our route was direct to the summit.
Another pleasing factor is the dispelling of a myth directed at Munroists of being unimaginative list-tickers - I still had plenty of Munros to do at that time, but was just as willing to go off and climb other peaks.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Some much needed stimulus

I joined The Fell Runners Association some years ago. I was motivated by meeting a number of members, and being impressed by their individuality and decency. If I had my life over I would be tempted to take fell running as my prime leisure activity.
The quarterly magazine arrived three days ago. This is a quality production in presentation and content, and reminds me of Melvyn Bragg’s South Bank Show: you think the subject may seem outside your interest, but start watching, and within minutes your attention is grabbed by a friendly iron fist.


Much of the mag. contains race results, and race reports, which are understandably interesting to the majority of members who run competitively, but there are many, well written articles. The overriding benefit for me is massive inspiration.
In this issue there is a story by a guy who fell in a race “417 days ago” and broke his fibula in ten places. He writes a thoughtful, and instructive account of how he first of all returned to fell running by marshalling, and describes how this has shown him the sport from an angle he was hardly aware of before. He goes on to describe how he had to accept pragmatic advice and a realistically devised training programme to achieve his objective of running again. After the “417 days” he was able to take part in the The Tour of Pendle fell race ( 16.8 miles, 4830ft of ascent).
After reading this two days ago, I got off my backside, kicked cabin fever in the teeth and went swimming, and today I have done a sixteen mile cycle ride from Kendal to Bannisdale Head and back. Being out in the wilds again was like having gas and air. I think the bike is going to feature for a while.


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Katie update:

Emailed to me by Jill - caption: "Katie tried some porridge this morning"



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