Sunday, 25 January 2009


I've just got back from a Sunday dinner at mum's (curry, cracking - cheers mum!) and I'm getting excited about my upcoming night hike. It's not a big one, but it is the first time I'll combine several skills: Camping in the cold, hiking at night etc..
I'm really hyped about it and although there's only a couple of us it looks to be fun..
It's also the first time I'll be set free on the hills this year - I've not had chance yet so far, as attested by the lack of second rate snaps alongside my blogs..
Just wanted to pen this while I've got two mins really.
I'm also reading Watchmen - borrowed from my local library.. I'm enjoying so far, not sure how it will translate to film though.
Have a good night out there, where ever you are...T.

Where has all the danger gone?

I'm sat here listening to Maddona on the tv, and it occured to me..
Where is man's prediliction for dangerous things?
Everone seems to be obsessed with living forever and if not forever, then a good chunk of it.
We banned smoking anywhere that is warm when we are out and about and people are already making remarks like "Why do they have to smoke out here? Where are we supposed to sit out here? Why can't they smoke somewhere else? Blah, blah, blah)..
Soon it will be the turn of the common pint. Mark my words, in a few years - not to far from now, your beer will need to have etched on the glass, near the logo: BEWARE!!! ALCOHOL CAUSES YOU TO LOSE YOUR INHIBITIONS, CAUSES HEART CONDITIONS, FAILURE OF THE LIVER AND DEATH!!!!!
It will only be a short hop before they ban drinking in pubs (believe me - it will happen one day) and they will all be converted to curry houses, or into some pseudo-fashionable flats in the town centre..
Not convinced? Think about our forebears. There was nothing wrong with having a pint whenever you wanted, and if you go back a couple of hundred years, people drank nothing but tea and beer because the alcohol and boiling killed bacterial and viral contaminants.. But someone wanted their beer stronger and this lead to it's downfall, along with the fact that most people now operate some kind of machinery or other, even if is as simple as a car.
Beer used to be much weaker and people drank it all day, with few ill effects, (I'm sure I read somewhere that ships used to add some rum to the water barrels to help prevent it spoiling). Then people wanted it stronger and stronger. Now we see yoofs walking round wiv ther special brew etc..
They are drunk and cause trouble and people assume that it is the fault of the alcohol and blame that. (this is not a new idea, look up prohibition or league of temperance on the net).
But it is not the alcohol's fault, just as it is not a gun's fault if it's use kills people (yes, they're banned too).
People will do anything to shift the blame from themselves, or others like (or unlike) themselves.
The man who invented dynamite got a nobel peace prize.
This invention opened so many doors for the human race, the building of dams, digging of tunnels etc...
But, it was misused and then it had to be regulated, banned from the masses, allowable only for the select few chosen to be responsible enough.. Are you not responsible enough to account for your actions? Are you enough of a man (or woman) to hold your hand up and say " yes, it was me, I F**ked up"...
Of course not. No-one is. We are told all day that we are not responsible for our actions. We are told what to do and think in regard to this.
Got a speeding ticket? It's not your fault, you have a psychological condition that means you are more likely to break speed limits.
Murdered someone? That's fine, it must be your parents fault.. for.. some..reason??...
Which brings me back to the point. Beer and other delights don't have much longer left. They will slink off into the night, no longer acceptable by the people of the time.
What will follow? fatty foods? any machine that produces an exhaust? coffee and tea?
Do you care?
I do. That's why I still smoke, drink and enjoy my life. I get one shot, the same as you. No matter how long it is. I plan to spend as much of it as possible, not depriving myself of things that give me pleasure.

Oh, and as a final note, remember that most of the great exploration of the world was done by people who spent the day drinking, smoking and taking laudenum.. Perhaps that why we have lost the desire to explore. Being too busy worrying if broccoli may contain carcogens to go out and enjoy the time we have left....

Friday, 23 January 2009

The moon and the black man.

I have been watching the U.S. recently with interest. Mainly because I am proud of them. I watched snatches of the recent presidential election with the "I know where I was when it happened" kind of moment.
The last time I saw American history unfold like this, it was the sight of falling masonry.
This moment is just as memorable, But this time It is a moment of a very different flavour.
I know that there are the doom-sayers saying that it is a vapid thing, full of publicity and a new image for America to project.

I have noticed that the man in question has already started putting plans into action that he promised. whether he will continue to do so remains in question.
I think that whatever happens and for whatever reasons this happened for, it will make the US a stronger place for all of it.

Decades ago America did something...
Something that changed the way we looked at the world forever... It put men on the moon. There are people who say that this never happened...

I choose to believe that it did. Not because anyone can prove this, but because I find the world a better place when we achieve such incredible things.
So I choose to believe that this man, Obama will be good not just for America, but for the rest of us around the world.

Who knows what will come of this. I sure as hell don't. But at least we're pointing in the right direction.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

New Stuff...

You've probably noticed by now, but my blog now has a new look and I've added some toy's down the side bar and at the bottom. There are no adverts, nor sponsors. Though you can now subscribe to the feed by RSS etc. Also - if you want to, you can nowbecome an official follower of this blog.

Why do I want to do the pennine way?

Why am I doing it?
I'm not entirely sure. It's one of those idea's that just won't leave me alone. I have become almost obsessive about it, reading other peoples stories about when they did it, Contemplating which bits of kit to take with me, how long I'm planning to take etc. Maybe it's because I've never really achieved anything that really means something. I know I'm a good father and I'm not too bad at being a husband, but they are everyday things and family has always been important to me.

My job does not really challenge me. I sit at my desk every day and talk to people, try to solve their problems (which is nice) and do "would you like fries with that" add-on sales (which destroys my soul one tiny chunk at a time). This is not something that I will be remembered for, nor should I be...

Am I doing this so that my family in generations to come will say, "grandad walked 270 miles"? No.

I guess I feel drawn to it, as I mentioned earlier I tend to daydream about my walk. A Doctor might say that It is drawn from a need to prove myelf and distance myself from my working life and I guess this is true, but not right.

I am doing the pennine way, because I want to and that is reason enough for me.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a great Christmas and new year, see you all on the hills soon.