Friday, 24 October 2008

Feeling Poorly sucks!

This week I have been Battling 'man cold' This has meant lots of being generally miserable and doing little. I was, sadly still well enough to go to work. So I just turned up, hid in a corner and made liberal use of Project Gutenburg This is a great site if you enjoy reading. You can get the classics on which copyright has expired (Dickens, Verne, Conan-Doyle Etc) and you can read them online or download a copy to your PC or e-book reader for free...
Journey to the centre of the earth and lucosade had made this week bearable. Without them I would have been lost.
I Have just bought a new Waterproof jacket. It is a Sprayway Gore-tex one and looks great (as yet untested). The price was just £74.99, which I think is reasonable and i got a 250 gas can for my stove as it was the size i was missing, and well, you never know when size might be important... hehe..
Due to my malaise, It has lead to general feelings of the impossibility of the task ahead. It's just sooo far.. Just to make things worse for myself, I went online to see if i could do some kind of planning, What kit I might need, comments on how to plan it, where to stay, etc. All I found was that No-one who is fit, healthy and my age appears to do the Pennine Way. It seems there is some qualifier that states you need to be 13, or have a leg missing or just generally old enough to have a bus pass. Normally this would make me happier, I mean - if they can do it, it must be easier for me.. Surely.??
On this occasion All i could do was think how much more determined and organised these people seem to be. I wonder if they tried to organise this themselves? I noticed long ago that you can to the 'way' having a Baggage service that ferry's your bags an others that plan the whole thing for you (for an exorbitant fee of course) and so eliminating the need to carry your gear from place to place.
People also seem to use B&B's. This seems a bit like cheating to me though. I did manage to find a list of all the places to stay along the way (a lot!) but was by then, in no mood to wade through lists of places I knew nothing about.
Looking toward the kit aspect of things, I see some people take virtually nothing, using a small lightweight pack, and others take huge behemoths of a pack, taking every eventuality. I suppose I'll fall somewhere in the middle and by going out as often as possible I will teach myself to gauge just what I'm happy leaving at home. I like the idea of lightweight, or Ultra-lightweight, but like my luxury's too much. As one site talking about sleeping mats said, If you have to carry a little extra weight to get a good nights sleep, It's worth it.. This make sense to me. If you start each day tired, it's gonna be a slog. I suppose walking is just so individual that you can't ask someone else what they take as their list is gonna be completely different to your own.
I also note that when you buy kit there is a tremendously steep price curve. You can get very cheap kit that is good enough for walking the dog, But then it jumps up massive amounts, with very little kit choice inbetween. Everyone seems to own really expensive stuff and not even be slightly bothered.. Take the tents for instance, I like the sound of one by decathlon. It's light and should be more than fit for purpose, but everyone seems to own a "laser comp". The size difference? Not much. The weight is less, at around 2/3 the weight, But it is more than twice the price. How can I justify this? This seems to extend across all kit and worse, The jacket i just bought was £150.00 in 2004 when launched. It also seems that not only should I have expensive kit, but also that I'm expected to re-purchase because the fashion has changed? or a new type of plastic has come out that makes the zip quieter (Editing note, not the jacket.. this is from another piece of kit, It just stuck in my mind because of the riddiculessness of it). The zip quieter?!! What? I'm gonna be in the middle of nowhere and some company expects me to pay to reduce the decibels my zip makes? This is crazy...
I'm finished venting, so I'm off to make some dinner. Maybe I'll be back on later to let you know why a quiet zip is so important ;)
Ta-ra for now, T.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Top of the hill.

Hello folks, just a quick note about last Sunday. It was the first time my boy went up Mam Tor. There's no great story this time, but It's worth mentioning as It was his first real summit. We used the Mam Tor car park, so he didn't go from the bottom.. maybe next time, and yes that is actual sunshine on the top, and It's worth mentioning he also took a hydration pack himself (up, not down), so I was very proud of him.. Umm, That's about it. Enjoy the snaps!

Wednesday, 8 October 2008


A busy week so far.. I have found out that taking my mum shopping for walking gear is dangerous - she loves kit as much as me, I've remembered just how wet walking in cloud really is, had my first urge to just keep going indefinitely and gone for a wander to stave off boredom...
Firstly the shopping.. I went to Sheffield CCC to get my mum some boots, after over an hour we left with a new pair of boots, a new waterproof jacket, a sit mat, a couple of books on local walks, a 25l pack and a small sigg flask.. I managed to (only) get some cleaner and re-proofer for my jacket (a really well timed purchase).
On Tuesday we went to Derwent and walked from the car park, past the dam and up toward Margery hill.. We got to the peak of the hill in sideways rain, that was very fine but so persistent it was like walking toward someone with a hose set to 'mist' . I looked toward lost lad and I just wanted to keep going. The view sucked me in and said, why not? I'm sure you've got time, just keep going and enjoy. Again I had to be back to pick up my boy, so with reluctance and frustration we turned and went back down, leaving time to eat at the bottom. I had also brought my new tarp to test and we threw it over one of the benches in the car park. We were a real hit, (though one poor fella got an ear-bashing from the missus, "if we had one of those, we could sit outside too!". I have a small stove and we made pasta, tea and coffee, sat under the tarp in the dry and watched the world for a little while while we digested. The tarp is great. I would recommend one to everyone, They are handy and anyone who has put up a tent a couple of times can erect one very quickly (snigger).... as we left the dams, I tempted fate a little too much. As we were approaching the A57, I said "we've had a really cheap day out.. just petrol, parking and 68p packet and sauce pasta from Morrison's.
Then some one turned on the LOUD switch on my car BBBRRRRRUUUUMMM!!!
The exhaust fell off.. I had to drive through the peace and quiet i loved, then through the centre of Sheffield, then through Rotherham and then pick up my boy from school, all the time
sounding like a boy racer..... Not fun.. AT ALL.
Today I went to get the car fixed and a job that should have taken 20 mins took hours, due to parts that didn't fit (apparently my car has an odd-ball exhaust bore)..
Thankfully I had left my boots in the car and so I went for a walk up through Canklow woods, I set a new time, but didn't have a pack. It's nice to know I'm finally getting a little fitter..

P.S. Hi Shani!.. you wanted a mention and so here it is. I love you Wifey lady. x

Friday, 3 October 2008

About Moi.

Hi! Someone has gently mentioned that this all seems a bit impersonal, so i thought I'd fill you in about me. I live In Rotherham, (contrary to what Jaimie Oliver wants you to think, I can cook. Rather well.. I don't live in a burnt out Victorian terrace with a pit bull and have "love" and "Hat" on my knuckles.. (It is commonly believed that anyone who has this tattoo immediately loses a finger in an industrial accident.. and you thought I'd just misspelled hate..)) I have the Pennines within a short drive and Edale is about an hour away in the car. The part of Rotherham I live in is fairly rural with woodland and farms within sight of most of the windows in the house. I keep no pigeons, nor do I have a whippet. I work in Sheffield for a well known Bank and Because of this and years of education I am able to count up to and beyond nine (see love and hat comment above). I drive an old 1.1l Saxo which enables me to park with little fear anywhere in the city. I have had notes from car thieves asking me to upgrade, but i have ignored these to-date. I love (apart from being out doors), films, music and gadgets. The reason for this Blog is to track my adventures and misfortunes as i learn and train to 'do' the Pennine way in a couple of years.. If anyone wants to ask anything or has suggestions/ improvements, feel free to leave comments.. ;) Thanks, T.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

A Wander On Stanage Edge.

Last week I took my mum out for a wander. She said she wanted to go somewhere flat-ish, so I had to find somewhere. After lots of searching on the OS map I thought Stanage Edge looked about right. The only thing we had to be aware of was time. ( I had to drop my little lad off at school, pick up mum, go to where ever, walk, walk back, drive back, drop off mum and pick up Ben by 3pm)... The plan was to leave the car park, go to the res, up past Stanage Pole and back along the cliff tops. The first problem was that my mum has some light walking gear, but no proper boots. as we crossed the road and looked in the direction of the brook it was way too damp for her footwear.
So we became Ramblers for the day and made our route up as we went along (keeping a close eye on the map.. just in case). We walked along the gravel path, then turned right into the heather and went around the larger boulders right at the end. (If you're about to start ranting, we were careful to follow sheep tracks and do no damage).
We followed the cliff tops until we were not far from the pole when we decided to scramble down a cutting in the cliff and down into a small wooded area. We found 2 boulders just right for seats and I unpacked the gear for dinner..
(At this point I should note, that I knew this would not be - no offence mum, not a very strenuous walk and so I had loaded up the pack with all sorts of kit to test and Included stuff I would never normally take to add some weight.. I had nearly filled my 35 ltr pack :)

So we had Freshly cooked French onion soup with ciabatta bread, eaten from a hiking table.. hehe.
After sitting around for a bit, we set off to walk back along the bottom of the cliff to go back to the car.
Seconds later it became apparent that this way was going to take much longer and so we had to scramble back up the cliff, so we could walk back along the top. This worked fine and got us back with time to spare to pick up my son..
It was a good day out in the end and as always, as we started to get back to civilisation, The sun came out....