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


Thursday, 26 July 2012

Katie and the fly

Open the YouTube link to see the video - IT IS IMPORTANT TO MAKE IT FULL SCREEN

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Rehabilitation interrupted

In the midst of slothing it on the couch every afternoon between 2:00 and 4:30 during the absorbing Tour de France, I did make for Kentmere one morning getting back to see most of that day's coverage.

My interest in the TdF started during a villa holiday with my brother and his wife when we visited  Tommy Simpson's memorial on Mt. Ventoux. Two years later, after reading a biography of Tommy on the plane I ascended "Le Ventoux" (in TdF parlance) with some emotion, on foot during my French Gorges walk.
Tommy Simpson memorial - Mt. Ventoux

This year the demonstration of the value of teamwork has been inspirational, as well as the absorbing interest in strategies and logistics, and all this with the bonus of a helicopter trip round France.


Ideal walking

Kentmere Hall - 14th century
I score gates out of 10 for ease of opening and fastening. The average is about 3. This one was 10!

Referred to as Kentmere Tarn, but it's just a widening of the river. It is a good trout fishing location which I would like to fish sometime

Green Quarter

The knee is progressing slowly, allowing me to do 3 or 4 mile walks, but it stiffens up very quickly when I'm not active and it is still swollen. It does seem a long process and I think it will be still some time before I will be able to take on full day walks.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Final resting place (Pt 2) - Risen from the dead

My daughter (High Horse) thought the first one was too macabre to post, so I created number two which she hasn't seen. I hope I don't upset any sensitive souls with these efforts.

Friday, 13 July 2012

The final resting place?

From my travels I feed a photo file called “Relics”.
A typical example from “Relics”:

The fascination is pondering on the story behind these orphans. How big were the trees when the car was laid to rest?  Was it the owner's intention ever to have use from it again? If so, it is interesting to note this was not chosen as its final resting place. Would there be any chance of it being moved again, and if so for what reason, and if not, how long will it take nature to make it disappear?
This next relic inspired a Photoshop painting.

I once owned a Land Rover and have a soft spot for them. This was the most detailed Photoshop painting I have done.The result is hardly a work of art - just an attempted meticulous copy of the photo, but it took skill, time and patience to achieve using many Photoshop techniques and I was proud of the result.
This one is from the Languedoc in France.

Apart from being a souvenir of the walk it conveys to me the essence of much French design: eccentric, childlike, feeble, wet, not built for strength, vulnerable and soppy, but despite all this having a certain charm that makes me smile.*

* Having just watched a documentary about the new French AGV train and its accompanying infrastructure, my comments do not apply there - what an astounding feat of engineering.
I just like this picture for what it is.

On the Norfolk coast - perhaps the most attractive section of my Lowestoft to Lakes walk. I know it's a cliché type photo, but the beauty of the lines of boats relates directly to their need to interact with the beauty of nature in order to move efficiently through water, and this is an aspect of design that always gives me a tingle - I have the same feeling for elegant aircraft design.

Having perused these photos whilst constructing this post I have come up with a ghoulish Photoshop idea for the first one.

Saturday, 7 July 2012


Recently I bought a Nite watch, and idly entered a competition on their website and  I won 3rd prize:

One year’s subscription to Trail
RAB Tempur waterproof jacket
MSR Micro Rocket stove
One year’s supply of Granger’s waterproofing
Nite-glow keyring
Lifeventure scales.
My only other win ever was a spot prize at a dance when I was thirteen - it was a shaving set.
Not good news on the knee: a few nights ago, in bed, I had muscular spasms in my calf and spent a sleepless night pondering the intricacies of neurosurgery, remembering scenes from a hospital thriller film in my childhood which scarred me for life - Green for Danger. Next morning, things seemed ok, and I walked four miles, but then spasms happened all over again that night.
So it was off to my gp - he is a keen walker and winter mountaineer, and looks upon my activities with good humour. His technique was interesting - he asked about my fears, and I confessed to my morbid forebodings of homicdal surgeons, and some other things, including my theory of there being a fine line between improvment or self destruction when pushing hard with exercises.

“There” he said,
“I ask patients these questions and then often find they give me the diagnosis”.
When I told him about the exercises I was encouraged to pursue aggressively by the physio,  Dr. A. reckoned I had been overdoing it, perhaps stretching nerves (I didn't know you could do that, but it sure fits with what was happening to me). He suggested taking it easy and predicted things would settle down.

Well, he was right. I have been inert, but feeling indolent, and a bit guilty, for the last few days, but the muscles have stopped their convulsions. 
I watched Richard11 a few nights ago and  realised it was the film I had seen in production at Whitesands Bay two days before the end of my Welsh Boundary walk last summer. Here is an extract from my journal
There was drama, literally, at Whitesands Bay. A film company was making a production of either Richard the Second (or the Third) - my two sources differed. As I arrived on the cliff top I encountered two people, the first being some sort of paparazzi who had found what coarse fishermen call "a good hole" well nestled into the long grass with camera and long lens overlooking the scene of the production on the beach. The second was an archetypal security, night club bouncer type who was trying to eject Paparazzi, but with seriously challenged verbal skill- these two combatants were really going at it as I slid past unnoticed.
The guy in the café a bit further on said the production had brought little extra business because the film company are almost self sufficient, and in fact they had been trying to prevent the public from visiting the bay.


I’m just going to watch the sequel now - Henry 1V Pt. 1...
... dammit! It's been cancelled because of the ****** tennis.
Katie update:
I wonder?

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Ordnance Survey maps on blog

A comment on my last post advised caution on possibly infringing copyright by using OS maps on the blog.

I searched the OS website and found their licensing facility called Open Space. For me at least it was incomprehensible, so I made a phone call. The guy who took my call could give no definitive advice and suggested I should email Customer Services.

Here is a copy of the correspondence. The reply does not indicate the status of the writer, and demonstrates an inability to write a proper sentence. How do these people get a job when they can't write properly and it is reputed to be a buyer's market? One would have thought OS could employ people with a first in English Language, even for mundane jobs from what one reads about graduates difficulty in finding employment.

I am a private person, and I do a personal blog related to walking. I already have all the UK on Memory Map at 1:50000 on my computer, which of course I paid for, and as far as I understand this is above board and legitimate. From time to time I would like to use OS mapping extracted from Memory Map on the blog to illustrate my posts. I emphasise that my blog is non profit making and carries no advertising, and the kind of use I am referring to would be perhaps half a dozen times per year. Can I go ahead with this, or do I have to set up something more formal with yourselves?

Dear Conrad

Thank you for your email regarding using mapping on your blog.

As the mapping you wish to use you must belongs to Memory Map you must
obtain copyright permission from them.

The contact details are as follows:
Memory Map
Unit 3/4 Mars House
Calleva Park
RG7 8LA 

Tel: 0844 811 0955

I hope this helps

Kind regards


I looked on Memory Map's website. They have a Terms section, and there is no mention of limitations on use and I see no point in contacting them. I intend to continue using OS maps on the blog when it suits. 

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

OS 1:50000 versus 1:25000

I have never liked the Ordnance Survey 1:25000 map. The colouration is too uniform and anaemic, and I don't get the immediate picture of the terrain as with the trusty 1:50000, and the one kilometre grid lines are difficult to see.

I have a bad memory of my 1:50 Northern Lakes which I spent good money having laminated. Those maps are massive, and this should never be opened in wind of more than an ant's breath. On top of Hallsfell Ridge nearing Blencathra summit with Tony I disobeyed the rule - the wind was so strong I was carried several feet off the path - the map set off northwards like a paraglider. I imagined some guy in a street in Carlisle heralding its arrival on air, and wondering. That is the second time I recall abandoning a summit attempt because of wind. Now here's a thought: perhaps that wretched map could be put to good use doubling up as a paraglider saving knees on those punishing Munro descents?

My post op walking, has been relegated to farmer's-field-footpaths with hedges, walls, barbed wire fences, and rickety stiles, and gates tied up with orange furry string impossible to unknot.
On Saturday I walked  seven miles with about 850ft of ascent across such terrain, which whilst pleasant to view is irritating to navigate. I was using my Memory Map 3500 which carries OS 1:50 mapping.
The GPS projects a direction of travel arrow, so when following a footpath on the map you can adjust your direction to keep the  arrow on the path on the map, and yourself on the path on the ground. If you let the arrow deviate by, say three millimetres that is enough on the ground to have you on the wrong side of a hedge, necessitating wearisome backtracking. The paths I was walking were new to me, and apparently rarely used being indiscernible on the ground. Now I have to concede the denigrated 1:25 map can be of use on this terrain because it shows field boundaries, but to have the whole country on Memory Map as I have for the 1:50 would be outrageously expensive.

The thin red line is my route  plotted on the map.
Compare the proximity of the path to the field boundary after the small circular wood just to the east of the path by looking at the 1:25 map below where the field boundary can be seen.

I am looking forward to paths above the cultivation line where I know what I am doing, with my route printed on A4 from the 1:50 map which is usually enlarged from the original, because my printer is set to fill the whole of the A4 if the selected area from the map is smaller, which it usually is.