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!

My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Monday, 28 May 2012

Word verification etc.

I have reinstated Word Verification. I did not receive an avalanche of spam, but I did receive some which was a jumble of nonsensical prose in English and other languages, and strange URLs which I was not happy about. These “Comments” were received by Blogger and consigned to a folder  in Settings/Comments/Spam which I was not previously aware of, so they did not appear on the blog. I have deleted these “anonymous” comments from that folder.
Knee reinstatement continues slowly with noticeable improvements. Today I walked up the road to the start of the footpath for Arnside Knott, and then back - just over a kilometre, and in the pleasant sunshine it was great to be undertaking what I might almost define as a walk. After all, this was more than I was comfortable doing before the op.

I  bought an exercise bike on Ebay (a trip to Penrith yesterday to collect - Jill driving), and I'm doing five minutes on this before each of my four daily exercise sessions. I anticipate building up that time as I feel it is appropriate.

A new tension has entered my life with the cricket test matches. I do not have Sky Sports1 so can only watch the highlights on Channel 5 at 7:00pm, so I have to avoid seeing any reports of the games progress throughout the day, not I hasten to add whilst watching daytime tv. I do like to watch the BBC news at 6:00 and I have to be ready to cut when the cricket report comes up - all very stressful.

Katie update

At seven months, although she can't actually walk she can stand herself up against support, and she can climb the stairs - she is very active.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Hubris and admonishment

When the French say “I look forward to”, their limited vocabulary only provides “j”attend avec impatience”. The literal translation of that phrase describes my present mood.
Last Friday I proudly presented myself to the physio without crutches, only to be rebuked and shown some exercises that proved my knee and leg were not yet strong enough to support proper walking. I had to shamefacedly accept that not using support would only encourage bad habits, and furthermore I had broken the promise to myself that I would do as I was told by the medics, and not rush things because of my leash straining.  After analysis the physio agreed to let me use a stick,  and I have been pegging around with this for the last week.
Yesterday was a milestone (or perhaps a kilometrestone) - I walked round the block from home which measures on Memory Map 981m, which is, as near as dammit, 1km, and I repeated this today; I took nineteen minutes, so nearly twice as long as normal walking, although I emphasise that these practice sessions were not motivated by a desire to secure pole position for a forthcoming race.
The knee is still uncomfortable, and painful when doing certain exercises.

Today I was able to ascend the stairs at home, still using the stick, but not peg-legging. I tentatively tried descending like this, but decided to leave that until I see the physio again next Thursday.
What I am looking forward to is discarding the awful anti-DVT stretch, full length stockings I have to wear for six weeks - they are uncomfortable, and fiendishly difficult to put on when I change them (L da P - you have my sympathy). Discard date is 15th June. 
As I write my follow up appointment with the surgeon has just landed scheduled for 20th June.
Belatedly, I would like to praise the care and attention I received at Kendal NHS Treatment Centre (Ramsay Health Care UK), and also the excellent, no nonsense advice provided by the physio. At all times I have felt I was being treated as an intelligent individual, and not just an NHS number.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Word verification

I have long been irritated by “word verification” replying to blog comments.

Some research informs me that this protects against spam comments on blogs. By going into Blogger Dashboard/Settings/Comments it is possible to turn off word verification. I have opted to do this, and providing spam comments don’t become a problem I will leave it this way.
I get the impression most bloggers allow w.v. but wonder if they are aware it is not obligatory - perhaps I will be enlightened by an avalanche of spam.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Not for the squeamish

Well, I had my knee op clips removed today, and I see the physio tomorrow at the hospital.  I am now walking without crutches, but there is still some pain, especially when I do my four times a day exercises. I mentioned before that some people keep the clips as a memento, and in fact the nurse asked me if that was my intention. I had suggested putting them on Ebay in my last post, but then I had a better idea, sparked by my use of the via ferrata simile, and enabled by time on my hands to devote to a lot of faffing about with Photoshop.
Yes, I know that on a via ferrata the rope wouldn't be used like this, but it just adds to the pic here.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

To knee or not to knee?

Well I’m back from the knee op.
After the spinal anaesthetic, being wheeled into theatre and vaguely seeing a group  of gowned and masked figures, one with a yellow leg over his shoulder, which, after a bit of rational thought I deduced must be mine; I had no sensation whatever that the leg had anything to do with me
A screen was erected above my middle. From thereon the only memories were the brief sound of a saw, and a chinking hammer and chisel kind of noise, not from mild steel, but ringing stainless or titanium I guess.
Back on the ward the less said about insertion of a catheter to relieve my bladder the better.
A visit from the surgeon. I was sitting in a chair. He asked me to bend my bandaged leg back as far as I could which I did. It was not at ninety degrees. He said,
 “now hook your other heal round the ankle and pull back further”,
which I did with a fair amount of pain, so he said,
I managed another half centimetre, and he said,
 “further, you can’t do it any damage, I got it to a hundred and twenty degrees in theatre”.
Yesterday, the dressing was changed. I was interested to see a vertical row of about fifteen metal clips running up my knee looking like a mini via ferrata. I have an appointment with my gp’s nurse on 17th May for removal - I was told some people keep the clips as a memento. I think I might put them on Ebay?
I have been emphatically told I must carry out a series of exercises four times a day, taking them well into the pain barrier, and for the moment my life is revolving round that programme. I am walking with crutches, and generally experiencing a lot of pain.
Do I recommend this procedure to anybody else? I’m not sure yet.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

In praise of tea

My predilection for cafés, pots of tea and the like on my wanderings by foot or cycle has been questioned (see comment - L da P on my last post). The implication is that this denigrates the macho image.

This café failed me - click to enlarge to see notice in window

I have no pretension to be the “hard cyclist” alluded to by L da P.

My attitude to cycling seems to ignore the personal challenge I often adopt when walking, when I tend to compare my time with those in guide books, and others, or set myself targets. Having said that, I do have a sneaky look at the mini cycle computer that tells me my average speed, and, best of all, the fastest speed achieved (31 mph so far).
For me, tea refreshes at breakfast time, and during the day. Coffee gives me a kick mid morning, and induces repletion after my evening meal. Wine only enters the equation on outdoor trips if I eat out in the evening, or it may be beer if good real ale is available.
Beer during the day when walking or cycling is disastrous. On the Pennine Way (1987), I had a sandwich and two or three pints in the Green Dragon at Hardraw. The following ascent of Great Shunner Fell, on a blazing hot afternoon was one of the most uncomfortable walks I can remember.
The “mutual friend” mentioned by L da P was my old climbing partner Tony who was as good a friend as I ever had - he very sadly died in 2003. Tony was a hard climber, but he always insisted on a brew at a café before and after climbing, and that influence is now embedded in me.


A trip with Tony took us to Spain where we climbed with some Spanish climbers who were exceedingly good company. For these guys a days climbing had to include a pre-climb brew, good companionship on the crag, and a meal together afterwards, and this was reverently designated:  un compleat días, which I have always remembered as a laudable concept.