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Tuesday, November 12th, 2019
4:53 pm - Oddness of the day
Dogs smaller than a cat and in a carrier container travels for free but larger dogs or dogs not in a container count as a person.

Do you think they keep a Standard Cat for comparison?

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Friday, November 8th, 2019
11:23 am - October stats
Miles walked: 123.2
Fiddle days: 25/25
Concerts seen: Skipinnish in Glasgow.
Blog posts made: 2/4 and a September straggler (James Hogg in Ettrick, Scott's Selkirk, Mungo Park in Selkirk)
AoS books read: One about McClintock's Fox and the expedition which found Franklin's records - I can't get out of the Arctic.
Decent walks gone on: Scafell Pike with some hillwombles, Blencathra in a lot of rain, Skiddaw again, Hundleshope Heights.
Walk reports written: Back to the back o' Skiddaw, Skirting the edge of the north, Hillwombles and the highest dragon in England

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Sunday, November 3rd, 2019
10:09 pm - A crazy weekend
I thought this weekend was going to be Crazy and Awful, and was slightly regretting agreeing to it all, but it turned out to be crazy and very good fun, although I'm exhausted now. Partly, I think, because I managed to carve some peace out of the middle, which was a good plan.

Friday night was the Collingwood society's Pickle Night, which as I said last year is mostly a kind of party for getting drunk in. I think it went off better than last year's, though - I definitely enjoyed myself more. And I had a moment of glory, as I'd been assigned the task of giving a 15 second speech on Captain Duff (a proud Scot) - I think I must have stayed within the limit, as I didn't get a punishment slip - or attract the attention of the kitten of nine tails!

But I got to bed about midnight, not completely sober although not exactly drunk, and by 6:20am I was on a train north to Perth, to make the morning class at the RSCDS AGM weekend. Apart from really wanting to make it, because DL is one of my favourite teachers as well as one of my best friends, it was my excuse for not going out for lunch with the Monday night session folk - they were intending to meet in Sandy Bell's beforehand, drink their way through all the accumulated tip money in wine with lunch, then head back to the pub again!

I slipped off at the end of the class and had a peaceful lunch at Scone Palace - the grounds are open for free now that the house is shut for the winter, but the cafe is still open at weekends - then had a wander through the autumn woods, and sat knitting in the David Douglas pavilion with its carved pinecones.

I did my best to have a nap in the afternoon, and almost succeeded, so I came back to life fairly well for the evening ball, although I spent quite a bit of the first half of the evening in the 'nice and easy' dance next door, which had better music and a better floor and far less of a mob, and where the beginners and strugglers seemed to be enjoying themselves just as much :-)

I sadly failed to have a lie in this morning, although I didn't have to be up until 9, but didn't do too badly in the class, taught by another of my favourite teachers, and just as entertaining as she always is.

And my hat has come back to me.

And now I think it's bedtime.

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Monday, October 28th, 2019
11:18 am - Incompatible facts
It looks like autumn and feels like winter, and my hat is in Norway.

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Monday, October 14th, 2019
10:42 pm - A small woe
I now have two bruised knees and one bruised shoulder - five bruises in total.

This is all essentially the result of talking rather than looking where I was going - I never usually walk with Other People, and this may be wise.

(I'm fine. And I had fun. But oww.)

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Thursday, October 3rd, 2019
1:47 pm - September stats
Miles walked: 140.4
Fiddle days: 23/25
Concerts seen: the various odds and ends at Belhaven's birthday, Ferris and Sylvester.
Blog posts made: 0/4 (Although an August straggler has appeared John Macculloch in Uist)
AoS books read: The rest of the one about Parry's Arctic expedition, a bit of one about Ross's Antarctic expedition (see theme emerge...)
Decent walks gone on: Carrock Fell, Beinn a' Ghlo, Selkirk to Tushielaw, some jungle warfare on little Etrrick hills, Tushielaw to Moffat.
Walk reports written: Harris potterings, A preliminary raid on Pairc, Liuthaid on the island border, A return to Uist, Beinn a' Ghlo and the wrong way down, A Tushielaw tree-o, Along the Ettrick ridge

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Thursday, September 19th, 2019
11:02 am - Busy going nowhere
I am currently suffering from a fit of uninspiredness, and failing to do any of the things that I could be doing, or should be doing. Especially frustrating because I find it very hard to tell whether the symptoms are cause or effect.

I mean, I might be actually worn out (but then I should enjoy resting), or I might not want to do any of these things (but then I should want to do other things), or I might be frustrated by lack of progress or baffled by too many choices (but then I should want to start somewhere), or...

So the end result seems to be spending a lot of time doing nothing much without even enjoying it. If I did *something* without enjoying it, I would at least have that something to show for it!

Anyway. I am looking forward to Saturday, and the lovely lineup of the Belhaven birthday bash, which looks a bit like a mini-HebCelt that you don't have to go to the ends of the earth for. And we're even promised sunshine!

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Tuesday, September 10th, 2019
10:27 am - August stats
Miles walked: 150.5
Fiddle days: 23/25
Concerts seen: Charlie McKerron and friends, Scottish fiddle and cello stuff in the fringe, an odd but good thing called 'From Bach to Benny Goodman' (ditto).
Blog posts made: 1/4 (The Parliamentary road, Glen Coe)
AoS books read: Part of one about Parry's Arctic expedition
Decent walks gone on: Buachaille Etive Mor, the WHW from the Kingshouse to Ba Bridge and back, North Lee, Greabhal and Bleabhal, down to Luskentyre beach and back, Stiomrabhaigh and Beinn Bhreac, Liuthaid, South Lee, another walk Back o' Skiddaw.
Walk reports written: Sunshine on Buachaille Etive Mor, A historical wander to Ba Bridge, North Lee, Greabhal and Bleabhal

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Tuesday, August 6th, 2019
7:13 pm - July stats
Miles walked: 127.8
Fiddle days: 23/25
Concerts seen: None (although I did dance in a theatre...)
Blog posts made: 2/4 (Nelson monument, Taynuilt, Melville monument, Comrie)
Plus 2 left over from June (Collingwood Society – Old Sunderland, Explorers’ Garden, Pitlochry)
AoS books read: One about HMS Erebus
Decent walks gone on: Cairnwell hills, Ben Chonzie, a potter round Lochranza, another stretch of the Cowal Way
Walk reports written: Cairnwell hills from Spittal of Glenshee, Ben Chonzie from Comrie

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7:10 pm - Diversions
When I was coming back from Tarbert a week ago the road had been closed by an accident somewhere along Loch Lomond side, leaving the bus to go off on a great 100 mile loop by Dalmally and Tyndrum and Lix Toll. But although it made me late home and very tired, I didn't really mind - I had no particularly deadline, and it was a very beautiful journey through parts of the country I don't usually see.

It's never happened before, but setting out for Glencoe less than a week later it somehow happened again, this time with the road closed at Bridge of Orchy, with the diversion part of the same route in the other direction, from Tyndrum round to Dalmally and Connel bridge. I'd seen it all before this time, and it left me stranded at the wrong end of endless Glencoe with no dinner, eventually trying to put up the teeny tent in wet grass and half darkness and a plague of midges.

The jinx lingered a bit longer - I made it to the Kingshouse on Saturday morning, but managed to get locked out in the middle of the night - my door card stopped working, and when I went over to the main building to reception there was no one around, and you needed a working card to get in there, and to get back into the building I'd come from!

On Sunday I was supposed to have 10 minutes to get from bus to train in Fort William and ended up with more like 3, so that I literally ran straight onto the train - but when I went to speak to the guard he very kindly declined to notice that I had no ticket. And then I lost my tent, which had been attached to my case and come unattached, and had to do more Actual Running from the ferry queue back to the train to find it...

I am now relatively peacefully in Skye, merely being worn out by Charlie Mckerron's inventive mind - but I've got plenty of wandering still to do, so who knows what will happen next...

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Thursday, August 1st, 2019
9:04 pm - In those days a decree went out
I have been having a bear census, at phlebas's suggestion - I knew I needed to round them up, but couldn't find the right word for it.

The count:

8 bears with their edges sewn up but not stuffed:
3 dark brown
3 medium brown
2 pale brown

3 bears knitted but not sewn up:
2 medium brown
1 pale brown

4 scarfs with their ends sewn in

3 scarfs finished but with the ends loose, and one which would have been finished if the wool hadn't run out.

Also 5 finished hats, but they don't really belong in a census of bears.

current mood: silly

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11:59 am - June stats
A pathetic month, but I was rather drowning in both work and not-work.

Miles walked: 113.6
Fiddle days: 25/25
Concerts seen: None (I did angst about this a bit, but decided I had better things to worry about.)
Blog posts made: 0/4 (None finished, anyway)
AoS books read: A really interesting one about the organisation behind the Revolutiuonary/Napoleonic wars
Decent walks gone on: Uldale fells, Skiddaw (invisibly), a walk as far as the Cruachan dam where I was chased away by thunder.
Walk reports written: An implausible trip to Skye

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Thursday, July 11th, 2019
9:41 am - On the subject of strange...
I don't really know what led me to the page that contained this, earlier in the week...

The Bella Bella people of coastal British Columbia believe that Raven created the world for his own amusement, and considered human beings to be the most amusing animals of them all. Then, for his own amusement, he made all the rivers run only one way, to make it more difficult for us to get around

I mean, the Raven bit amuses me - but it had never occurred to me that rivers flowing only one way was a thing that would need an *explanation*. I could actually feel my mind blowing :)

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Wednesday, June 26th, 2019
1:08 pm - Exam board season
I will just be over here going mad.

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Tuesday, June 4th, 2019
2:02 pm - May stats
Miles walked: 129.2
Fiddle days: 25/25
Concerts seen: Mark Knopfler
Blog posts made: 4/5 (Will the real George Heneage Dundas please stand up, Telford in Eskdale, The Dean Bridge, David Douglas monument, Scone)
AoS books read: The one about Hidden Horticulturalists
Decent walks gone on: The other half of the Ochils, Ben Donich, a wander about Eskdale, Ben Gulabin, Bla Bheinn
Walk reports written: Back on the Pennine Way, Up on the roof of England (Dufton to Alston), Melmerby Fell and the Maiden Way, Accidental Ochils, An Eskdale wander, Ben Gulabin in a circle

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Sunday, June 2nd, 2019
11:11 pm - Joy and celebration
I went to the Lake District and I Ate A Scone!

current mood: pleased

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Thursday, May 30th, 2019
11:08 am - In which I have been on a mad rush
I have been away on a very implausible adventure, spending all of Tuesday afternoon and evening travelling up to Skye to spend a day there and then spend all of this morning travelling back again.

It's all the Waverley's fault - yesterday was the day she should have been sailing from Kyle to Portree and Uig and Loch Snizort, which was a thing that I could not resist, and we're enough in the middle of the exam board rush that even two days off was a bit extravagant. So there I was with trains booked and nothing to do, until it suddenly came to me that I'd been struggling to fit in one of the hills I most wanted to climb on Skye because buses only go past it on weekdays (I'm going back to Sabhal Mor this summer, but not hanging around for extra weekdays - I'm dashing off to Uist on the Friday night.)

So then I had a Plan, and it only depended on the weather - on Monday morning the forecast was still for sunshine Tuesday and Thursday and rain all Wednesday, but in the afternoon it suddenly changed its mind, and stuck to it - the sun shone gloriously all yesterday (and I'm too sunburnt to scratch my midgie bites).

Down to Elgol on a very early bus to see the views (although the tops of the Cuillins were still in cloud at that point), back to Bla Bheinn, and then round to eat cranachan ice cream at the tiny cafe at Torrin.

So although it was ridiculous, and although I walked over the Skye bridge in drizzly rain at 5:30 this morning to catch a train from Kyle, I'm now wondering when I can do something equally daft again...

(I am, however, still unsconed. Although cranachan ice cream was a fairly acceptable substitute.)

current mood: silly

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Saturday, May 25th, 2019
5:46 pm - In which I am unsconed
I feel greatly let down by a sign beside Scone Old church (home of the David Douglas monument I couldn't find a while ago), which told me that Something-or-other Woodland Park had a cafe serving (among other things) scones, next to a sign telling me that I was entering Something-or-other Woodland Park. I set off very hopefully, but nearly a mile later I had seen nothing but trees, and gave up.

This also wasted a lot of time when I could have been eating a scone in Perth, and then I did not eat a scone in Perth, but merely got lost and went round and round in squares, because in Perth it is impossible to go round in circles.

This is Badly Arranged.

But I am quite cheered by Scone's solution to the problem of having too much church for its people, which is to hold services in the Old Church in January, March, May, August, October and December, and in the New Church in February, April, June, July, September and November.

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Monday, May 20th, 2019
11:05 pm - Wanderings
Today I have mostly felt a bit like a balloon which has come untied and is floating away. Hopefully some sleep will anchor me a bit...

I rushed away from work on Friday to get to Glasgow in time to catch the 6pm bus down to Tarbert - a lovely evening for views. Saturday was mostly grey and drizzly, but that was ok, because my foot still didn't feel great for walking on, and I'd brought with me all the knitted things which needed to be sewn up, and a peaceful day doing that and pottering down the street and back was very appealing.

I also ended up watching Eurovision for the first time in... well, several years - the songs, at least, because we gave up about 11 when they were running miles behind, and vililee went to bed with the radio and I went to bed without.

Yesterday is where I left myself behind - morning bus back to Glasgow, train to Edinburgh, train to Newcastle, and time for a bit of a rest before getting lost trying to find an arena which had changed its name to something no one had ever heard of.

It was a very good concert - musically brilliant, and I love the endlessly versatile band, going from pure rock to pure folk and every stage in between. But it never really moved into that thrill of excitement - I'm not keen on big industrial arena concerts anyway, to be fair, and I like a lot of the folky stuff which doesn't come over so well in that kind of setting, so maybe some of it was me, but I basically agree with the Chronicle review (although I thought Knopfler was having trouble with his voice, with some of the lower folky stuff growling away to nothing, and the sound not really keeping up).

Romeo and Juliet was damn good, though.

That makes three musical acts I've been willing to make the early morning journey back from Newcastle for - it all went smoothly enough, but by the time I got to work I felt I'd been travelling a long way.

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Tuesday, May 14th, 2019
10:07 pm - In which things fall apart
I didn't mean to go so quiet for so long - I think I've been too busy doing things to have any time to write about them.

Although at the moment I am merely busy falling to bits - I've got a crack under my heel which was sore enough yesterday that I couldn't put my foot down properly, although it's a bit better today, and for some reason I have gone properly hayfevery with sneezes, which I never really do, and now I have been poisoned, because someone put milk in the fridge at work which had gone off on the 10th of APRIL, which I only discovered by tasting the coffee which it was in.

I am cross with the Waverley, which is not sailing this year - they must have known months ago that this would probably happen, and yet they did all their advertising and let me spend £100 on going to Skye, and now they want me to pay for a *stamp* to send my ticket back, which I obscurely feel is the last straw!

However. I am going to Tarbert on Friday and to Newcastle to see Mark Knopfler on Sunday, and although the timing could be better, I cannot be very uncheered with these things in the near future.

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