October 2009


The lovely Sharon and I made turnips today, before I rapidly began to feel ill.

Tina:

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Timmy:

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Timmy dosn’t feel great either.

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climbing

A Mountain Leader Assessment was not the ideal way for me to ‘relax’ during Halloween break.  It was something I had wanted to do for years and it seemed the right time to do it (maybe not that particular week necessarily).

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So, on Sunday morning I found myself being dropped off at the docks by the lovely Sharon.  I had heavy bags and what felt like enough food to feed everyone on the assessment.  Soon I was getting to know the other candidates whom would all become great friends and who I would share much laughter.  We were all like-minded individuals from a range of backgrounds, we all the same nervousness and dark cloud of stressful anticipation hanging over us.  The driving wind and rain on the journey down did not help in lifting our moods, it made our own gloom grow heavier.

Things began to change on day 1.  We had all started to relax as the weather shone October light through the clouds.  The day was a basic navigation and walking day to allow the assessors to get to know us. Late that evening we all hid from the assessors and got the ropes out to freshen our skills for day 2.

We clambered and lowered ourselves up and down steep ground on day 2. Again the weather was a friend to us and we relaxed a little into the week.  This relaxing was not to last; day 3 ramped up the skill levels of navigation.  Then on the evening of day 3 we wandered in the dark intensely concentrating on ring contours and obscure little wrinkles in contour lines.  Late into the night and back in the tents we grabbed a cup of tea and enjoyed a few laughs before crashing in preparation for the big event; day 4: the Epic.

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Day 4 began in a relaxing way with plenty of discussion about managing groups camping and then emergency situations.  At that point we discovered that Joey had not returned to camp and a sweep search began to find him.  Joey (who was an empty tent bag) was swiftly found and looked after.  Then someone else (allegedly) slashed open a knee and had to be stretchered down a steep slope.  But the knee quickly recovered in time for the navigation that began at lunch time and ended late into the night.  The whole day was intense navigation long into the October darkness, up and down  steep terrain and through bog, juniper bushes and what felt like miles of bracken.  We all arrived into camp as hill fog rolled in.  We chatted and laughed over a cup of tea, hungry but too tired to eat.

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The next morning was just a short walk out for a few hours and then the final outcome.    As I walked down I still felt fresh and with reserves of energy in my tank.  When I was actually told I passed I then felt the tiredness begin to pass into me from the feet up.  I had been running on mental energy and now my body was allowed to speak.  It was a long week that felt like forever but then all the memories seem to blur together.  I met some amazing people and enjoyed it, as much as you can enjoy such a thing.

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There be monsters about;

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Interesting post here: Muckross Lake Monster

Also, a friend was telling me about old irish stores about the giant otters:

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wooooooooschhhhhhhhhh woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooossscchhhhhhh

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learnsomethingeveryday.co.uk

Time for a nice relaxing glass of wine:

relax

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Dark clouds are hovering; clouds that might empty cold rain but might drift on harmlessly by.  I have been reading, worrying and reading and worrying, preparing for an upcoming trip.  I will be assessed on my skills, my knowledge and my confidence.  I will have to suppress bundles of knotted nerves and endure a 5 day test.

The October sky has been an allegory to the looming event.   Part of me has already accepted the outcome no matter what it is.  The purpose of it all is to experience it, to learn and enjoy.  The sky lifted tonight.  I am not certain if my mood lifted because of the sky or that my interpretation of it lifted because of my mood.  I walked outside at just the right time to see the October moon show a  brilliant slice of crescent though a thin thread of parting clouds.  It was slipping below the horizon and telling me that I will see it again soon, bigger, brighter, and over strange and distant mountains.

It’s old, and it’s doing the rounds on face book at the moment, but I still think it’s brilliant:

I am part of a lost generation
And I refuse to believe I can change the world.

I realize this may be a shock but
“Happiness comes from within”
is a lie, and
“Money will make me happy”
So in 30 years I will tell my children
They are not the most important thing in my life.
My employer will know that
I have my priorities straight because
work
Is more important than
family
I tell you this
Once upon a time
Families stayed together
But this will not be true in my era
This is a quick fix society.
Experts tell me
30 years from now I will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of my divorce
I do not concede that
I will live in a country of my own making
In the future
Environmental destruction will be the norm
No longer can it be said that
My peers and I care about this earth
It will be evident that
My generation is apathetic and lethargic
It is foolish to presume that
There is hope.

And all of this will come true unless we choose to REVERSE it.

There is hope.
It is foolish to presume that
My generation is apathetic and lethargic
It will be evident that
My peers and I care about this earth
No longer can it be said that
Environmental destruction will be the norm
In the future
I will live in a country of my own making
I do not concede that
30 years from now I will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of my divorce
Experts tell me
This is a quick fix society.
But this will not be true in my era
Families stayed together
Once upon a time
I tell you this
family
Is more important than
work
I have my priorities straight because
My employer will know that
They are not the most important thing in my life.
So in 30 years I will tell my children
“Money will make me happy”
is a lie, and
“Happiness comes from within”
I realize this may be a shock but

I can change the world and I refuse to believe that
I am part of a lost generation.




50 Years of Space Exploration

Originally uploaded by Adam Crowe

This has to be a poster for the classroom.

donegal wildlife

Stumbled upon this lovely website.  I think I’ll add to my regular reads.

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Originally uploaded by ssames

I have often seen this done on flickr and thought how mad and sad a thing it is to do. So, inevitably, I wanted to do it myself. Getting ready for my next adventure seemed the perfect opportunity. About 18kg in total, not exactly a mountain marathon kit list!

You have to click on the picture and hover your mouse over the picture on the flickr page to really see how geeky it really is.

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“A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”

Albert Einstein.

“We have a strange and wonderful relationship. You’re strange. I’m wonderful.”

-anon

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here

Yesterday was climbing team day; I got a chance to find out what it is like to climb with a broken toe.  The obvious conclusion was to stand and supervise the pupils instead.

Today was a major day for the lego team, they actually got started on the robot after spending ages on the competition board.  I think it was important that they spent time on the board.  I could have built it myself but then it’s not me that is competing.  I must admit it was really frustrating for me as the lego sat in the corner of my room just waiting to be built.  At least this way, the long way, they have ownership of it and an understanding of what’s involved.

Got a new pair of boots today.  I love Cotswolds, brilliant staff.  I love my discount even more 🙂

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black liquid

e2c4ecc04461bd06e2b28a0545664fb3Dehydrated wine. I am lost for words!

I can’t help but feel that autumn and winter are my favourite parts of the year.  Particularly right now as the nights grow darker and the trees draw themselves in to hide away their life.  Even now as I feel the cold in my bones and I feel the sniffles of some school born microbe.  Even now as I am, literally, curled up right infront of the fire in a wolly jumper.  Even now do I feel the magnetic tug of the sky outside and am forced by my own romanticism to go outside and stand in the cold night air.  Stand and stare at the clear stars and the hunter’s moon and let myself be lost in the moment.

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