Monday, 30 December 2013

Happy New Year!

Well, I suppose it’s that time of year again when bloggers all over the world are writing reviews of the ups and downs of their blogging year. A few might be anyway. I thought I might do a little one too.

Last year started as a wholly miserable year, blighted by illness. It did, however, improve no end when David’s work was brought closer to home and I made a speedy and full recovery.

This year has proved to be a gentle and relaxed year in the main, with just a few moments of teeth gritting.

I have seen far more of my Bestest Walking Buddy and good friends, Laura, Mick and Gayle than usual which has been a treat, particularly as neither party appear to have blogged as much as usual and I’ve been left with few of their adventures to read about! We have enjoyed several walks together, joined on one or two by TTS, so I’ve been spoiled for walking company.


Helped to supervise my first DofE Expedition


Alone, into the wild

SG104425All the best


In disguise

Speaking of walking, in May I set off on my third Great Outdoors Challenge, leaving Plockton and aiming for Lunan Bay. The start of this walk was just brilliant, especially day three, when I left Iron Lodge and set off in to the wilds on my own, really on my own, in to the middle of nowhere, with only my map and compass to keep me right. I loved it! I found my way in to Geann a’ Choilich with little difficulty and then made a confident decision to ford Abhainn a’ Choilich to meet the stalkers path that would take me to Bealach Coire Ghaidheil. It was a fairly bleak day, quite damp and grey, in fact dreich just about covers it, but I was thoroughly enjoying myself on my own, making me own decisions and taking my time. The views were constantly changing with the clouds and mist swirling around me, one minute revealing the mountains ahead of me, the next the glen below me. It was a truly wild experience and I was so exhilarated as I reached the bealach and started to pick my way carefully down to the path on the other side.

Shame that in the early hours of day five a suffered a totally unexpected asthma attack and had to withdraw. I was gutted. There was of course no questions of continuing alone and I know that but, still…I did get to meet up with Laura and accompanied her to the end of her Challenge, which was fun and a privilege.

Since then, things have been a little more family orientated, with exams, Duke of Edinburgh Award expeditions, Guides, weekend work, football, air pistol shooting, archery, competitions and our baby leaving, all growed up, to go to University in Aberdeen to study Psychology. It’s all go around here!

In November Laura and I got the fabulous news that we are Challenging together, as a team, in next year’s Great Outdoors Challenge. I can’t wait! Our route was quickly finalised and submitted and within a short time, given the green light. Then I was able to complete the next phase  of planning, booking accommodation. We have treated ourselves to the odd bed here and there. Team Ls Belles Tea Shop Tour of Scotland is (almost) ready to roll. A bit of food shopping, bus tickets and the odd miscellaneous item to purchase and we’re sorted.

Christmas has been a bit of a haze, it crept up on me whilst I wasn’t looking and was over in a flash. I was given two or three items perfect for Challenging, a purple watch, a Watertogo bottle and a rather lovely new camera, an Olympus Tough, which is proving to be quite a fun toy.


Playing with my new toy on Boxing Day at the beach

So, the New Year? Yep, that’s going to happen, and I anticipate it being another busy year, with more exams, the Challenge, more competitions and expeditions and maybe a completely new direction at the end of the year. Such fun!

Slange Var!


Anonymous said...

Which Olympus did you get? I'm looking at waterproof cameras :-)

Alan Rayner said...

Happy new year to you and the mob. I hope to read lots more posts in 2014.

Louise said...

Happy New Year to you too Robin! It's an Olympus Tough TG-830, fully researched by the technician of the family. Weighs around 200g, feels nice in the hand, good features, takes a nice photo. So far, I'm happy!

Louise said...

Thsnk you Alan, and to you. There will be plenty more blogging I hope, especially now the nights are drawing out, and hopefully Team Ls Belles will catch up with you somewhere. Probably Braemar!

Alan Sloman said...

Well then.
That sounds like quite an eventful year for your family.
Here's to May, and your teashop tour!

Louise said...

It certainly has been! Actually hadn't realised quite how busy we had been and next year doesn't look as if it's going to be any quieter. However, The Challenge is going to be fun, fun, fun and I really can't wait!!
See you in Braemar! (And Callater...)