Friday, June 30, 2006

Hypocrisy's Sweet, Sweet, Aroma

What follows is a verbatim record of a conversation between myself (ME), the wife (W), and young Boris (B) aged 6.
ME: Hello wife - I didn't expect to see you this lunchtime, your meeting must have been cancelled. Here, have some of my chips.
W: No. I would rather come in and eat something healthy - and chips are NOT healthy food.
B: Mummy, you said you wanted a healthy lunch, but I can see you taking a penguin biscuit from the treat box. That isn't very healthy food is it, mum? Mum!?... Mum.....!!
B: Daddy, where has Mummy gone?

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Espresso Perfecto

For ages I have been trying to make espresso's as well as they do in a cafe in Perth called, "Bean Good". I have a good machine, I use the same excellent coffee as they do - bought from "The Bean Shop" in Perth, who import, roast and blend their own fantastic coffees. Why then, were my espresso's less creamy and more bitter and why did I have to run enormous lengths to achieve the kind of creme that rose from the tiny cups at 'Bean Good'?

The cafe and the bean sellers have given me three tips. Firstly use freshly ground beans (this one isn;t possible in my case - but I've taken more care over the freshness of the grinds). Secondly they recommended harder tamping than I had been doing. My Gaggia machine came with a rather flimsy plastic tamper that was only adequate; the Bean Sho[ have sold me a lovely heavyweight metal tamp, with a slight curve to the base - which compresses the coffee perfectly into the basket. This has made a huge difference to the quality of the coffee that comes out; in conjunction with their third tip. After a chat with the folks in the Bean Shop about how my coffee was turning out, they diagnosed that the flow-rate through the coffee was to high. The first answer to this was heavier tamping. Finally though, they adjusted the settings on their grinder slightly finer, again slowing the water flow through the beans in my brew head.

The results have been stunning and highly addictive. Young Norris is a big fan of my coffee machine, and hugely enjoys helping to tamp, and press the buttons. If he had his way, I'd be flying on 20 espresso's a day.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Book Notes: It's Not a Runner Bean by Mark Steel

Well this book proved to be a bit of a dissapointment really. His book on the French Revolution is astute, funny, and unashamedly biased historical satire; his "reasons to be cheerful" - in which he satirises his own revolutionary socialism in the Thatcher era, is even better. So, I got this one with high expectations - but was let down. It's not that it is all bad, there are some very good one liners, which raise a laugh - there just aren't many of them. Steel's stock-in-trade gag is the ludicrous comparison - and even these were in short supply. The social comment and political fervour of the other books seemed to be a bit lacking too. It's not that I didn't enjoy this, just that it falls way short of his other stuff.
Perhaps it is just that this is a collection of his articles chucked into a book that is its failing, and that the other books work so much better because they were actually supposed to be, books! Nevertheless, if anyone had enjoyed "The Mark Steel Lectures" on Radio4, and wanted more of the same; they'd be better off with "Reasons..." or "Vive la Revolution".

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Happy as a Pig in Muck: Days in the Fannich Hills


The A9 is a road which never fails to fill me with excited anticipation. Once past Perth, the hills seem to grow higher and steeper with every mile, getting progressively more enticing as the journey unfolds. The long trip up the A9 for me, means the beginning of my annual walking holiday in the Highlands. This year, all the studying mountain books and drooling over OS Maps since Christmas came to a hurried rucksack-packing finale on a June Friday. Unfortunately one of my hill-walking partners was relocated to South America, while the other failed to reach a satisfactory outcome in spousal negotiations, so unusually this year, I was on my own. Any negative thoughts that solo walking meant having to do all the navigating, were soon offset by the joy of being able to indulge my idiosyncratic (my wife uses a less kind adjective) music taste in the car. I arrived in Ullapool mid-evening, in time to buy some fish and chips, and watch the fishing boats unloading the day’s catch, while clouds gathered around the distant shapes of Beinn Dearg and The Fannichs; the latter my destination the next morning.

All I needed was a good night’s sleep – a proposition rendered impossible by an old chap who climbed into the bunk above me at the YHA; and snored voluminously all night - through a vast moustache.

Into the Fannichs (click here for pix).

The "Mountain Weather Information Service" is an excellent website which gives helpful guides to hill conditions. Many YHA’s and bunk-houses do walkers the service of displaying their predictions. On the basis of the MWIS forecast, which assured me that the high ridges would have perilously high winds in which I wouldn’t be able to stand up, I opted for a low-level walk on my first day. From the A832, I took the track to Loch a Bhraoin and from the footbridge over its outflow, followed the Allt Breabaig into the glen. It’s a delightful burn, which changes character several times as one ascends its length, meandering widely, carving little gorges, and tumbling through boulders. It also treats the walker to some lovely waterfalls to stop and enjoy en route. The track crosses the river at a ford and then works it way higher along the glen on the East side. This ford is easily missed, but is worth finding because the path which continues on the west bank, soon disappears into a bog.

By mid-morning, I had walked from the A832, round Loch a Bhraoin, and up to the coll above the headwaters of the Allt Breabaig. Realising that wind wasn't as bad as MWIS predicted I thought I'd see what it was like on the ridge, so climbed East onto it, between Sgurr nan Each and Sgurr nan Clach Geala. Again, wind predictions proved to be alarmist, so I climbed the ridge to the first of these, and back. By now the wind had dropped, so I climbed Sgurr nan Clach Geala, probably the finest of the Fannichs. The corrie, between it and Sgurr Mor, is breathtakingly gorgeous and there were enough gaps between clouds to see the whole view, from the grandeur of Torridon to An Teallach’s pinnacles – reaching upwards like a hand trying to grasp the clouds. The first hints of the promised wind started on here, so any thought of going across to Sgurr Mor was abandoned in favour of an exit via the smaller Munro of Meall a Crasgaidh. While it’s summit was a little blustery, it wasn’t dangerous thanks to a quick descent off its sheltered westerly flank.

I got back to Ullapool for the evening, where other walkers told me they that my days experience was by no means uniquw because the MWIS can be prone to a little hyperbole. That night, needing little more than a good sleep I settled into a deep, peaceful slumber when the old fellow in the ‘bunk-upstairs’ started up - now snoring like a distressed animal.

When it’s just too much!

Sometimes the Mountain weather forecasters get it exactly right. My second day in the North was just such a day; with just as much wind, rain, and fog as predicted. Summer had turned to winter within 24 hours. The hostel remained full for much of the day with gloomy looking outdoors-types wandering about with maps or staring bleakly through rain lashed windows. Ullapool isn’t such a bad place in the rain, it has several cafĂ©’s and pubs, at least two bookshops. My highlight was a trip to the harbour, buying some fresh fish and cooking back at the hostel. It was a frustrating day for me, but I made the right decision not to go up. I subsequently discovered that the Mountain Rescue Service had had a very busy day with two hypothermia's and a Duke of Edinburgh expedition party cut-off behind impassably swelling rivers by Slioch.

At least it keeps the midgies away!

With the promise of improving weather, the following day once again I headed off round Loch a Bhraoin and up the track alongside the Allt Breabaig. Two days previously the Allt Breabaig had been a pleasant burn, but two days of heavy rain had transformed it into an angry torrent, the crossing of which was unthinkable. The path was tantalisingly within sight on the far bank of the river, but, stuck on the west bank, I struggled through bogs, peat hags and swelling tributary streams, also in spate. It took nearly three exhausting hours to make the coll, twice as long as the same journey two days before. Anyone walking in the Fannichs planning a descent down the Allt Breabaig should ensure that it is ford-able, or face the prospect of being cut off, miles from the car, when almost at the finish-line!

Sgurr Breac is a charming mountain, nicely situated to the west of the main Fannich ridge, with nicely sculpted corries and steep cliffs. I know this, because I had a great view of it from Sgurr nan Clach Geala two days previously. When I turned Westwards from the coll to climb it, I couldn’t see a thing. A compass bearing lead to a ridge upon which a feint, scratchy path intermittently lead towards the summit. As I sat by the cairn, the wind increased, the visibility reduced and the temperature plummeted. Ah- Scotland in June!

Careful navigation is required on the ridge between Sgurr Breac and A’Challeach in bad weather. I was grateful to have my GPS with me to double-check my compass work. I realised on the ridge that a walk that would have been a pleasant amble in sunshine was turning into quite a challenge. There are times in the hills when you realise just how alone you actually are. The Northern ridge of A’Challeach ends in steep cliffs which need to be avoided, but Eastern side of the ridge is too steep to descend immediately. In fog some pacing is required to ensure a descent eastwards is taken between these obstacles down to the burn flowing from the Loch Toll an Lochain.

Cold, tired, hungry and feeling somewhat battered by wind rain and cold, I got back to the loch, and up the track to the car. I met one person in the hills all day, he trudged past in the gloom and paused, only to lift the gore-tex hood from over his mouth and grimly mutter, "At least it keeps the midgies away".

Back in Ullapoool that night, the old chap in the bunk above me snored like the roaring of an injured sea lion- all night. Next year, I’m going to a B&B!

Happy As a Pig In Muck

On my last day in the North, I set-off to walk the main Fannich ridge, from Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich, via Sgurr Morr, Meall Gorm and down to An Coilleachan. Although the summits were in cloud, the ridges were clear and I had some breathtaking, if fleeting, views of the whole Fannaich range, of the bulk of Beinn Dearg to the North, and Fannich Lodge down amongst the trees to the South.

The walk-in from the A835's Tromdhu bridge, where the Abhainn an Tourain Duibh enters Loch Glascarnoch in the famous Dirrie More; is long. A new bulldozed and signposted track through the adjacent woodland significantly speeds up the access, as it drops the walker near a footbridge at the bottom of the climb up Creag Dubh Fannich, the first top of the day. The walk from here to the top of the first Munro, Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich seemed to take an age, but the sight of Loch Gorm and Loch Li nestling underneath the day’s long ridge ahead, spurred me, with lengthening strides, up into the heart of these hills..

The beautiful sweeping curved ridge to the graceful summit of Sgurr Mor is spectacularly wonderful - even in cloud. When I climbed it, only the top of it was truly hidden in cloud, and it looked magically mysterious. This craggy elipse, faded up into the mist above, looking like a helter-skelter descending from the heavens.

Amazingly I didn’t meet a single person on this magnificent walk until I was on the descent from Meall Gorm, the third Munro of the day. On the southwest top of the hill I met a lady in the process of completing the Munros before her 60th birthday.

The bealach between Meall Gorm and An Coilleachan has a distinctive little lochan which is on the 1:25,000 maps, a nice feature to aim for if you approach it through think cloud on a compass bearing, as I did. Gaining the summit of An Coilleachan is a straightforward clamber up through boulders, followed by a return to the lochan on the bealach. The map and compass insisted that from here the descent was due North off the side of the mountain into the fog! It proved to be better than it looked and I was soon down to Loch Gorm.

Here I met the almost Munro-completist that I'd seen earlier in the day, also on her way down. A quick map conference revealed that I was planning a descent the way that she'd come up, by Loch Odhar. She advised against it, saying that it was a quagmire and so instead, together we navigated a route over Meallan Buidhe. She'd also noted where bridges and paths were - which made the return trip easier. These routes in from the North and West, will no doubt become more popular now that access to Fannich Lodge by car is no longer permitted.

It was good to chat to her on the way down too. A Duke of Edinburgh expeditions examiner with a vast amount of hill experience and knowledge - she had many good stories to tell and insights to give. Hill-people are consistently interesting, friendly and engaging. We looked down into Dirrie More, and dreaded the thought of its desecration with vast pylons. Standing on Meallan Buidhe, looking back up into the mountains as the sun illuminated the days route, the vastness of it all was humbling. Some see creation as pointing to a creator above and beyond it, others see the world as simply glorious in its own right. I am of the former persuasion, but amongst us all in the mountains, there is the camaraderie of an acute sense of our own finitude.

Route finding in the far North seems to be much harder than in the Southern Highlands. There are two reasons for this. Firstly the number of people are, far fewer, so even established routes rarely gain good paths; and secondly the cairn-building hobby so marked in the South, has not reached the North yet. In the Southern Highlands, it seems that every navigationally significant point is marked with a cairn; not up North. Whether this is simply because there are just fewer people there (and so therefore less chance of there being people who like building little towers out of stones) or whether it is that the kind of walkers who venture up there are less inclined to this activity; I couldn't say. However - without the aid of these things, and with long walk-ins to truly remote mountains, in pretty foul weather, walking is certainly more tiring, and more consuming of both physical and mental energy.

Percy Cowpat and his little brother referred to me as the "SMB" - which stands for "Sad Munro Bagger", a term of abuse for hillwalkers, dished out with some glee by those who class themselves as "real climbers". They may have a point too, for I left the Fannaichs cold, tired, aching, and with saturated boots. Back home I reclined contentedly in my chair and put 9 small ticks in my Munro book - as happy as a pig in muck.

Book Notes: The Orange Girl by Jostein Gaarder

I've just read "The Orange Girl" by Jostein Gaarder, or as the cover of the book says "by the author of Sophie's World". I bought this book for three reasons, firstly I was eating on my own in a restaurant/bookshop in Ullapool and wanted to read, secondly because I had enjoyed Sophies World so much and thirdly because it was short! It has, however, had a serious effect on me.

The book is written from the perspective of a fifteen-year old boy who discovers a letter, written to him by his late-father during his final illness. The father he barely remembered left him an intriguing and complicated letter, full of puzzles and mysteries. The initial mysteries are well told but quickly solved, but Jan Olaf's letter to his son contains thoughts about life and death from a dying man which take much longer to digest and cope with; never mind answer.

I suppose if I am honest the book is so engagingly disarming that it opened me up to think more seriously about my own mortality than I am entirely comfortable with. The dying father, dropping his beloved son off at nursery, and sitting at his PC to write, was something I could imagine doing if I knew I was incurably ill. The father's desperation not to be severed from his child, and his bitter struggle for life pours from every page. Yet (without spoiling the ending) the book ends up with a wonderfully positive, life-affirming outcome.

Strangely, with these thoughts in mind, at church this morning the sermon was on "the faithfulness of God to all generations" (Psalm 100). The message was that even if we die - God will continue to care for those we leave behind. The minister got four of us to line up in a row on the stage, suggesting four generations. I was representing the father. As each generation died off and left children behind, the message was that God continued to care.
The combination of these thoughts is both disturbing, reassuring, sobering and troubling. There's no point worrying though. As has been noted, its success as a life-extending measure is hardly admirable.

As for the mystery of the identity of "the Orange Girl", I won't spoil that for the reader, suffice to say that her title does not indicate that she's an Ulster Unionist.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Cosmetic Surgery

It may come as a shock to you to know that 'thathideousman' has just undergone some gruelling cosmetic surgery. It has certainly come as a shock to me, and I am the victim of the minor-surgeon's knife.

The wife, (part-time GP, part-time minor surgeon) has, so it appears, become increasingly disgusted at my appearance. What once caused minimal revulsion now causes significant repulsion. So, approaching me with needles, tweezers and scalples at the ready, she set to work upon my disfugurements. Allegedly I had several growths on my skin which needed to be removed.

I am delighted to report that the op was a complete success. However, we did encounter one major obstacle during the course of the surgery. The surgery may have been classed as 'minor', but my stress levels were 'major'. It wasn't the thought of the scalpel coming at me - that was fine. It was more the sight of the wife's evil grin as she approached me with a syringle bursting full of who knows what? As the needle went in, and she said "you won't feel a thing" I expected it to be followed with the chilling words, "ever again....." accompanied by maniacal laughter.

Needleless to say, she had no such devilish schemes afoot, and I emerged minus growths, almost 0.2g lighter than I had begun the evening. I am now requiring a re-branding as the 'marginally less hideous man'. However, given the time and effort spent, the mirror reveals that I am a walking example of the law of diminishing marginal hideousity.

The suggestion has then been raised that the good Mrs Dr, could perform another, more sensitive operation upon my good self. The suggested proceedure has been billed less in terms of aesthetics and more in terms of demographics. However, if you think that I am going to let her anywhere near there with a scalpel - think again. Having bourne three children, the balance of reproductive pain felt in our marriage is still firmly tilted against me. The oportunity to even the score might just be too much for her to resist.

Quote of the Day

N.T.Wright, writes:

For seven years I was College Chaplain at Worcester College, Oxford. Each year I used to see the first year undergraduates individually for a few minutes, to welcome them to the college and make a first acquaintance. Most were happy to meet me; but many commented, often with slight embarrassment, “You won’t be seeing much of me; you see, I don’t believe in god.”

I developed stock response: “Oh, that’s interesting; which god is it you don’t believe in?” This used to surprise them; they mostly regarded the word “God” as a univocal, always meaning the same thing. So they would stumble out a few phrases about the god they said they did not believe in: a being who lived up the in the sky, looking down disapprovingly at the world, occasionally “intervening” to do miracles, sending bad people to hell while allowing good people to share his heaven. Again, I had a stock response for this very common statement of “spy-in-the-sky” theology: “Well, I’m not surprised you don’t believe in that god. I don’t believe in that god either.”

At this point the undergraduate would look startled. Then, perhaps, a faint look of recognition; it was sometimes rumored that half the college chaplains at Oxford were atheists. “No,” I would say; “I believe in the god I see revealed in Jesus of Nazareth.”
What most people mean by “god” in late-modern western culture simply is not the mainstream Christian meaning.


Book Notes: God Crucified by Richard Bauckham

If you are unfortunate enough to know anyone who takes Dan Brown remotely seriously, this little book may be the antidote! This book actually pre-dates the Da Vinci Code, and so is not written as a direct response to it in any way. In fact, it does not address many of the issues raised by that film and book (such as it's reliance on discredited sources, and historical innacuracies). The link between the two is that while Brown forwards the line that Jesus was only worshipped as divine when Constantine sought to forward the Trinitarian view for political reasons; Bauckham shows that the deity of Christ was proclaimed by the earliest Christians.

Bauckham goes about this task by demonstrating that amongst some of the earliest Christian texts, such as passages in the Synoptic gospels, 1 Corinthians and others; there is a growing use of divine names, functions and adoration applied to Christ; by Jewish believers, who also maintained Old Testament Monotheism, and Monolatry. This tendency grows in the later New Testament, John's gospel, Colossians and Hebrews especially. Bauckham, who is New Testament prof at St Andrews, includes a special study of the early Christian's use of the last sections of Isaiah (deutero, and Trito -if you dig those distinctions!). He shows that the first Christians vocabulary about Jesus is directly raided from Isaiah's words about God. As this is done in a monotheistic way, Bauckham shows that the New Testament presents inherent Trinitarianism, awaiting the technical vocabulary that the debates of later centuries gave it.

This book is a transcript of the 1996 Didsbury lectures which Prof Bauckham was invited to give, and is published in the UK by Paternoster.
The later documents, gnostic gospels and the like, present a move away from these early ideas - and the recasting of the gospel story in Hellenistic terms. In 97, nicely written pages, Bauckham calls us back to the source, the original and authentic Jesus.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I Hate Clothes

The title of this post in no way suggests that I am endorsing naturism, or that I joined in last weeks infamous nude cyclcling protest. Indeed, had I done so, what was billed as a great symbolic protest against fossil fuels would have degenerated into a great moment in comedy.

Rather, my purpose in writing is to say that although the T-shirt I am wearing has several holes in it, it is not due for replacement. To do so would mean having to go "clothes shopping" in other words to enter the contemporary setting for Dante's inferno.

I am perhaps ludicrously proud of the fact that I was once described as "the sartorial nightmare" by one of my wife's friends. Now however, the wife, is trying to help me to redifine my self-perception away from "wonderfully free from the pressure to conform", to the arguably more realistic, "socially inept and innapropriate" status it so richly deserves.

The problem is not merely that a visit to a clothes shop has all the miseries of a purgatory without the benefit of any purification of the soul; nor that shopping centres are mind-numbingly dull, predictable, and uniformly bedecked in irritating branding and logo's. No, the problem is far worse than that.

Think on the following:
All clothes cost four times what I think they are worth.
Therefore for £25 worth of clothing you have to pay £100
Then they make you carry the stuff home with you in a bag advertising their brand for which you don't get paid. Let's charge that at a nominal £25.
The clothes will be badly made and eventually fall apart, and are of no lasting value. In fact the knowledge that they were probably made in a sweat-shop in an export processing zone in the developing world, means that along with your purchase you get guilt too!

So far we are down £100.
Then let's consider the fact that this is £100 not available to spend on things that will be of real benefit, say either your favourite 'charidee' or books and CD's.

Our imaginary shopping trip is now looking at £200 quid wasted pursuing £25 worth of goods; (sorry call it £201, I forgot the parking charges).
Next time the wife says to me, "let's go clothes shopping", I need only reply, "Do the math"!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

World Cup Fever?

The whole world is allegedly going football-crazy, football-mad. I'm really trying to join in as well, trying to enter into the spirit of the thing, enjoy the sense of occasion and generally get 'world cup fever'. The problem is, that no matter how much I spend time with those most afflicted with the most virulent strains, and no matter how much I seek to expose myself directly to the source of the infection; to this fever at least, I appear to be peculiarly immune.
I thought that watching "Ing-er-land's" opening game against Paraguay might do the trick. Alas no. Whereas I have been known to leap from my chair screaming at televised sport; England limping home 1-0 left me coldly noting that even that one goal was an own-goal not a real one. Even the sight of the disgraceful refereeing decisions failed to illicit much response, and the final whistle came as a great relief. Yes - there was the relief that England had held onto their flukey lead until the death; but much more pressing was the relief that I no longer had to sit watching this dull spectacle in the hope of some excitement.
I'll stick with it for a few more matches. It has to get better than this.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Creag Meagaidh

There are some hill-days which stick out from all the others as truly memorable. Stob Binnien, my first Munro, the curved ridge on the Buachaille, An Teallach, Beinn Alligin, Liathach, Lochnagar, Ladhar Beinn, the ring of Steall, Ben Lui, and Cairn Toul all spring immediately to mind, as days I hope never to forget.

There are other hill-days which have been lamentable. Failing to find the summit of Ben Chonzie in fog, starting to climb Ben Lui from the wrong car-park and not being able to ford the river, the disgusting weather the 2nd time I climbed Stob Binnien, and having my feet sliced by old boots on some dreary Geal Charn or other, all spring to mind.

Yesterday is a hill day I wil never forget. I am glad to report however that this is for all the right reasons. Perth's self-styled Victor Meldrew, picked me up at 8 and by 9:45, we were heading up the track from Loch Laggan into the Coire Adair - the heart of the great mountain Creag Meagaidh. We gained height gradually, on the maintained path that takes you, first around the farm and then, high into the Glen. The track terminates at a beautiful lochan, with really tasty, clean water, where fish were jumping and where the sun broke through the clouds for the first time that day. Immediately behind the lochan are the most amazing cliffs which drop hundreds of meters sheer down to the water. Vast shards of rock thrust skyward from the valley floor, and we stood in awe underneath the vast triple-buttress which makes this hill famous.

From the Lochan we started up the steep climb up to 'the window' the narrow rocky notch in the ridge through which Bonnie Prince Charlie is said to have effected an escape. 'The window' is a desolate, cold, and rocky place, through which icy winds funnel - even on a hot day like yesterday, it was freezing cold here! We made the mistake of not going through the window to the far side, where a gentler path leads up the back of the mountain, but turned immediately into the steep hillside, soon making the summit plateau. The summit was cloudy, but by following the Northern cliff-edge we soon found "Mad Meg's Cairn" and then the true summit.

From the summit we headed back to 'the window', following the route of the path which itself followed some old fence posts. From here a simple climb took us along the cliff-edge to the understated summit of Stob Poite Coire Adair. By now the sun was streaming down, and the only cloud to be seen was clinging around the summit of Meagaidh - and rolling gently down the window like dry-ice.

The ridge from Stob Poite.. to Cairn Liath is long and undulating, with a few twists and turns. Navigating could have been tricky in cloud, and had we done the walk in reverse we would have had to have done this. However by mid-afternoon this was no more than a delightful summer high-level amble with views opening up on all sides. From the fourth top the views back into the Coire Adair were 'breathtaking' (for want of a suitable adjective). However, with the sun shining from behind Creag Meagaidh the lochan and cliffs were too much in shadow for good photos. That sun had also badly burnt the backs of my legs!

I was pleased with how I managed this hill - the first Munros of 2006. I'm unfit and had a sore back, but still managed to do the whole hill (21K distance, 1,275m ascent) without too much problem. My sense of achievement was put into perspective though when we met three lads running around the same route as us, one of whom was completely blind.

The day ended with a good piece of steak at the Monadliath Hotel, where Victor Meldrew and I ate outside in the evening sunshine - before the drive back home.
If only it could be like this all the time.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Let's Go Tripping

We took Boris, Norris and Doris on a family walk today - up Fife's finest hill; West Lomond. Its a good few hours walk, hard work for me (carrying Doris), and hard work for Norris' three year old legs too. Although it was a bit hazy, the summit views were fantastic, south accross the Forth to the Pentlands, and North to the Perthshire hills. A special note of commendation goes to the wife, who managed the climb after working all night.