Monday 26 September 2011

Distraction techniques

Having finished planning my route for a possible future Challenge, I decided to step away from the maps before my tweaking went a tweak too far! I’ve worked out distances and ascents, food parcel drops and accommodation.

Instead, I took a sideways step towards gear. Oops.

I happened to heft my Karrimor Wildcat 60-65 at the same time as David’s Jaguar 65 the other day and realised that, despite being of sightly lesser capacity, mine is heavier. A whole 400g heavier. No wonder I felt relieved when I swapped packs at Laggan! So, I started vaguely casting about for a replacement. I had been considering Deuter and Osprey packs and decided Osprey was the likely winner. That was the easy bit.

I like the women specific packs, Ariel 55 and 65, mainly because I have a problem with hip belts. Due to my shapeliness, I tend to find it tricky to keep a hip belt in place and I thought a specific one might help. I also like having a separate compartment for my sleeping bag.  However, neither of these packs are lighter than my current pack, the 65 is obviously a similar volume, so they were duly discounted.

That left me with the Exos 58 or 46. I’m concerned that  (despite my guide kit list weighing in at around 10kg, it’s quite bulky,) I’ll never squeeze it all into a 46, so the 58 may be a better bet and is still over a kg lighter than the Wildcat. However, it has been pointed out to me by a far more sensible and less impulsive person, that spending that amount of cash warrants taking my kit to a retailer and trying one. That’s the plan.

To further distract myself I’ve been reading up a few previous Challenge reports and on Shirley’s I found a reference to this hostel. I haven’t changed my route, just my stop over that night!

Still at Shirley’s, I found myself investigating her favourite bits of kit. Quite how that led me to this isn’t immediately obvious, but I then made another sidestep from a new pack to a new tent! A particularly tempting offer on both the one man and two man versions, so I need to go and cook dinner. Now!

All in aid of distracting me from my annual fasting blood test tomorrow.


Wednesday 14 September 2011

C’est la vie

Or divine retribution for the world’s worst daughter. (Well, I have been practicing for 43 years!)

We survived the first weekend, but not without trials and tribulations sent to test us. Aedan’s D of E expeditions were cancelled, due to his group not having completed their camp craft training. (I knew this to be the case, but why did it take until the afternoon before for someone in charge to realise? Poor communication and organisation is always a disappointment.) Ciara was off colour for a few days, after she perked up, Rhiannon was off colour with something else. The boys managed not to kill each other, mainly because Conall left Aedan to sleep on his bedroom floor and decamped onto the girls’ bedroom floor, so all four children were disturbed, deep joy. I then lived up to my lifelong reputation of world’s worst daughter and caused major upset with a difficult decision. Hmm.

We survived a weekend camping with the Guides at Brodie Castle. I only have one Guide, but as I’m a disclosed Brownie Assistant that doesn’t mind camping, I have become useful at Guide Camp too. Sadly, the boys had to come this time, as David was not home to look after them. They loved it! They were given the job of looking after the camp fire and they built and maintained the most magnificent example ever. My boys! I had a frustrating time with two Guides who, when they couldn’t find the bin compound to dispose of a couple of bags of rubbish, decided to hurl them into the undergrowth! I was incensed, discarded  rubbish is one of my most hated things and so they were route marched to the scene of their crime to reclaim the bags and then shown where the bins were. To annoy me further, they giggled through their reprimand, if a child of mine behaved so disrespectfully and with such bad attitude I would be disappointed and ashamed. The fact I had the beginning of a cold by then did not improve my mood. We returned home with nine gnat bites (all mine) and a tick (unattached and crawling up a leg, not mine!).

David had managed to get home Saturday night, so we planned another assault on Bynack More on Monday. As luck would have it, there was Torrential Rain and Strong Winds. I didn’t have to feel guilty that we couldn’t walk because of my cold, I was a poorly girl! Instead, we whiled away a few hours wandering around Aviemore, drooling over gear and savouring soup and jacket potatoes at the Cairngorm Hotel (highly recommended).

At the moment I’m struggling slightly. I should have  been for a gentle stroll (cold almost better) and done a small pile of ironing, but I am suffering the recurrence of the trapped nerve in my neck. As I type, I have my warm cherry stone bag against my shoulder blade and neck to try to relieve the inflammation and prevent the muscle spasms which cause the real problems. With some gentle exercises my physio taught me last time, things should improve.

Although, obviously, I probably deserve it…

Thursday 1 September 2011

A short intermission

Sadly, not because I’m going anywhere nice.

I have a visitor this weekend, (the weekend that is intensely busy what with a practice D of E expedition, mending a puncture, preparing for Guide Camp and other ‘stuff’) and whilst I can happily blank out the sound of children taking lumps out of each other as I merrily browse the internet, the Subtle Huffing and Tutting from the corner tends to hack me off after a while. It’s easier (and far less painful) to catch up in a few days.

Dare say you won’t even notice.

Now, where’s the gin stashed?