July 2009





reblogged from lickystickypickyme

Understand, I’ll slip quietly

away from the noisy crowd

when I see the pale

stars rising, blooming, over the oaks.

I’ll pursue solitary pathways

through the pale twilit meadows,

with only this one dream:

You come too.

– ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

I stumbled upon this cartoon via the badscience twitter.

020709It’s from this artist (large version here).

I must admit I have always been a big fan of newscientist.  I subscribed religiously for years and was even sometimes sad when it was a day or two late.  But things began to change.  Looking back it is easy to see the signs; first I started to come home and say “oh did it arrive today?”.  Inside me the little geek voice was screaming “You know its Thursday!  IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN THURSDAY”.  The next sign was when I had not finished reading last week’s copy when the new one arrived.  Then it came to the sad stage when I simply went “meh”.  The little voice cried.

Part of it was the writing.  It slowly started to slip towards the realms of focus for a while, which is ok.  But then it recently seems to have become a little too far flung and speculative.  There has always been way off creative thinking written about in the pages of newscientist.  however, the balance seems a little off in favour of the strange.

Now newscientist and me is like a lost relationship with an old friend.  I am selfish to it.  Weeks will go by and I don’t even think of it.  When I remember, I look at it in the shop and see if any of it interests me.  Sometimes I buy it to read bits of it, but most of the time I leave it sitting lonely on the shelf.

I am seriously thinking about doing my Mountain Leader assessment in a few months time.  It’s a 5 day long assessment which is considered to be tough.  You need to know your stuff and be comfortable in the mountains.  It is something that I have really wanted to do for many years, a major personal goal that I have always had hovering on the horizon.  I probably need to set a few autumn evenings aside for night navigation practice to make sure I am up to scratch.

One aspect of the ML syllabus is knowledge.  Knowledge of geology, botany, and local history.  One thing that is not mentioned on the syllabus, but I think should be, is folklore.  This is an area of knowledge that is in real danger of being lost.  I would imagine lots of it already has been lost.  For years I have hunted for little pieces of folklore about the Mourne Mountains.  There are some books that have a bit, Estyn Evens, Bernard Davey and Paddy Dillon’s books being three major ones.  However, the gems in these books are mostly nuggets of history more than folklore.  With so much folklore found in the Antrim Hills can it be possible that no stories exist about the Mournes?  Are they really so sterile?  But then, hidden away on a dusty shelf in an old book shop I discovered this:

the wee people

The Mournes are not a void after all.  This little book is packed with stories and fables in the very hills and valleys that I love.  I have to keep my eye out now; for the little people.


A meeting of fairies in the Mourne Mountains



I sat down tonight to update my log book to see if I have enough quality days and camps.  I need 40 Quality days, 8 nights camping, 4 of these nights being ‘wild’ camps.  I was quite surprised to see I had recorded 96 quality days, 24 nights camping, 13 of these being ‘wild’.  Although there is some variety; Dartmoor, Lake district, Scotland, Peak district, Wicklow, Antrim Hills, Donegal, in there.  It mostly reads as Mournes, Mournes,Mournes,Mournes,Mournes,Mournes, Mournes,Mournes,Mournes, Mournes,Mournes,Mournes, Mournes,Mournes,Mournes,Mournes,Mournes, Mournes,Mournes,Mournes,Mournes,Mournes, Mournes,Mournes,Mournes,Mournes,Mournes, Mournes,Mournes,Mournes,Mournes,Mournes, Mournes,Mournes, Mournes,Mournes,Mournes,Mournes,Mournes,Mournes,Mournes, Mournes,Mournes,Mournes.

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