Starling's Adventures in Wonderland

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Starling's Adventures in Wonderland

Postby Starling in a cage » Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:45 am

As it’s almost the new year, I’ve been thinking about resolutions, destinations, achievements, etc.
So far I’m come up with the following:-

Winter skills course in either Wales or Scotland.
It looks as though, with two teenagers also needing mountain expedition equipment, this isn’t going to happen for me soon. I'm looking at a February date course which will possibly be my 50th birthday present to myself. An alternative will be to save up for winter 2010/11.

Postponed from 2009

Cleveland Challenge July 2010 - An annual event held in North Yorkshire. I need two others to join me on this adventure as it’s a two day, approx 25 mile team orienteering race with full rucksack and checkpoint challenges.

Endurance Walk September 2010 - sounds ambitious at present, but is something to focus on.
2009 was a 20 mile walk in 10 hours on a route which I recently discovered is part of the SAS selection. An alternative is the Welsh Three Peaks.

Training will focus this year on gym, hiking and outings with a local mountaineering club.
As I will need to develop walking longer distances in one day, the plan is to get in some long distance routes, including some backpacking/bivvying and, as always, a good share of camping.
Life is a journey, not a destination ...
Always take the scenic route.
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Postby Starling in a cage » Tue Dec 15, 2009 2:06 am

For starters, I've joined a local gym.

It's a lovely gym. There is no background music although most of the equipment is placed to watch six screens of tv, including football, Eastenders (which I have never watched before), and university challenge. It feels numb watching these programs while not being able to hear what is being said.

I walked for 20 minutes at 3.5miles/hr then found the adductors and abbuctors.

Have an induction on Wednesday so will (hopefully) have a new programme
Last edited by Starling in a cage on Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Life is a journey, not a destination ...
Always take the scenic route.
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Postby Starling in a cage » Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:15 am

Wednesday
Back to the gym for induction. Most of the equipment is similar to the stuff I've already used so really it was more an update.

I was supposed to have a new programme but have decided to stay with the old one and go from there. (Possibly because the inductor seemed nervous when I asked which part of the body was being exercised on specific equipment).

In the meantime, I did the following:

Warm up stretches
Treadmill - 20 mins at 3.8miles/hr on 'burn fat'
Chest press - 5 sets of 5 reps
Abdominal - 5 or 10 mins
Treadmill - 20 mins at 3.8miles/hr on 'burn fat'.
Warm down stretches
Last edited by Starling in a cage on Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Life is a journey, not a destination ...
Always take the scenic route.
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Postby Starling in a cage » Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:21 am

Was due to meet up with a SMC (a local mountaineering club) today for a pre-Christmas amble around the Long Mynd. Despite their insistance that they would go ahead whatever the weather I was unable to meet up with them due to icy roads.

This evening I decided that, having already had one bump in my car today, I would walk across town to the gym. However, it soon became clear that the paths are (icy) treachourous and that the safest way to walk was in the middle of the main road. In the interests of staying safe, I reluctantly returned home.

Don't get me wrong. I've lived in the countryside in real winters with snow that was several feet deep. But there is something about town ice that is discomforting and walking in the middle of a quiet lane is different from walking in the middle of town where traffic has no perception of speed and/or danger.
Life is a journey, not a destination ...
Always take the scenic route.
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Postby emm7 » Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:43 pm

good luck for your New Year's resolutions!
"she was my better half and I was just a dog"
"I don't have a drinking problem except when I can't get a drink"
"No, the moon ain't romantic, it's intimidating as hell
And some guy's trying to sell me a watch"
-- Tom Waits Bad Liver and a Broken Heart
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Postby Starling in a cage » Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:22 am

Thanks Emm. Am trying my best.

_____________________________

Son is home(not mine) for the holidays and offered to give me a climbing lesson. So off we went to Shrewsbury.

This is a smaller center than I used before but the wall is higher. After a warm up on the bouldering walls it was time for some therapy.

I realised shortly after my last attempt on a climbing wall that, actually, getting to the top of the wall isn't my goal. My needs must concentrate on letting go and trusting the mechanisms and/or the person holding the safety rope.

It took a couple of goes, but was eventually accused of almost enjoying being 'let down'. Even so, it did take a great deal of effort on my part, and several deep breathes before being able to let go of the wall. I'm fairly pleased with my efforts, and Son got some teaching experience. Bonus all round, I reckon.
Life is a journey, not a destination ...
Always take the scenic route.
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Postby Gelert » Thu Dec 24, 2009 10:47 am

Starling in a cage wrote:It took a couple of goes, but was eventually accused of almost enjoying being 'let down'. Even so, it did take a great deal of effort on my part, and several deep breathes before being able to let go of the wall. I'm fairly pleased with my efforts, and Son got some teaching experience. Bonus all round, I reckon.


Good stuff! Confidence is more than half the battle :D
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Postby Starling in a cage » Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:51 am

Confidence is more than half the battle


It's taking a while but I'm getting there. :D

Had a chalk bag and chalk ball for Xmas so just waiting for the walls to open again. Meanwhile I'm trying to remember the feeling and remind myself that I can do it if I want to.

____________________________________


Was planning to go for a walk at Pistyll Rhaeadr on Wednesday so travelled out yesterday to see how long it would take to get there. It's only 44 miles away but took just over an hour in the car :? . It was quite busy, people wise, and as I tend to travel with my camping stuff and walking boots I thought I'd have a walk around. The walk to the top of the waterfall was sheltered and easy despite some slush on paths, but the wind on top was bitter and could cut you in half. It was also extemely wet underfoot and obvious that my now redundant boots wouldn't last long up there. It may be time to return them to the person I borrowed them from last April.

Sadly, the conditions up there badly deteriorated today and with the threat of new snow the walk has been postponed until the new year. Although I'm sad about this, I can't believe my luck in having at least a short time up there yesterday.

I'm adding this place to my list of 'to do 2010' as I'm thinking of crossing the Berwyns from Shrewsbury to Corwen next year.

Typed out Monday, posted Tuesday
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Postby Starling in a cage » Thu Dec 31, 2009 11:00 pm

With the walk to Pistyll Rhaeadr cancelled, it was off to Bala to meet with some friends for an easy walk.

The main roads were clear getting there and the carpark at Llyn Celyn was an easy find, although I did nearly miss it as I was enjoying the scenery.

We walked a short way through some forestry before coming out and headed towards Foel Boeth (596m). There was some drifting in places and the snow was quite deep, but not impassable. Approaching the hill we decided to stay lower and not walk to the summit where it would be more exposed and instead headed off for a further half an hour, had lunch, then returned back the way we came.

It took two and a half hours to walk two and a half miles, but this took in photo opportunities, a couple of breaks and the odd joke or two.

I bought a new 3 in 1 waterproof coat in the sales and thought I'd try it out on this walk. I'd been wearing it for a few minutes then realised that there were two MASSIVE labels hanging from it which I'd forgotten to remove so they came off in a hurry. No one seemed to notice, or mention the other label I found at the end of the walk. :oops:

I wasn't sure about this new fangled layering system that magazines seem to make such a fuss about but after wearing just a base layer, a fleece and windproof waterproof I can see that the mags have a point. It really works, or at least did on this occasion. But just in case, I took along a spare fleece and a second waterproof as a backup. With some new boots borrowed from Teenage Daughter, some waterproof leggings and some gaiters, I stayed warm and dry at all times.
Life is a journey, not a destination ...
Always take the scenic route.
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Postby Starling in a cage » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:51 pm

At last, we join the rest of the country and have snow. Inches of the stuff and the nights are orange. Literally. The light from the town reflecting on the snow seems surreal.

The next morning there was a bit of a panic on when the local radio station announced that all the schools were closed. Then at 8.20am they realised that there was a problem with the 'new' reporting system and announced that all schools were open. Sudden rush to work insued.

Turning my car around in the street, I side bump a kerb then turn precariously to narrowly miss a passing police car.

Thurs, snow still thick and crisp. It takes forever to clear the car from it's icy grave, then I also have to clear ice from inside the windscreen. I've never witnessed this before. With poor visibility, I crawl my way to work unaware that I'm being followed by a police car.

Fri: I'm taking no chances. Boots on, and it's off through the snow and up the road to work. The weather is beautiful and the walk invigorating, as is the walk home.

Later, I decide to retrace the journey to work, taking my GPS to record the distance, time, etc.

The paths are still thick with snow, but some are compacted into ice. Despite this, I know that I'm walking well. It's confirmed. To walk from home to work takes 14 minutes at an average speed of 3.8 miles per hour.

I take advantage of the quietness of the night and stalk my way through the scenic part of town for a total of 45 minutes, (2.85 miles according to GPS).
Life is a journey, not a destination ...
Always take the scenic route.
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Postby Starling in a cage » Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:54 pm

The return to work has impacted on me as everyone around is coughing and sneezing. Having survived the pre-christmas influenza (and even last years swine flu) i eventually succumbed to the cold weather and spent three days in bed not noticing or caring what was going on outside my bedroom.

Everyone in the outside world is either 'snowed in' or 'playing out'. I seem to be in some kind of limbo land where neither exists and it doesn't seem fair.
Part of me is clinging to a safe, cotton wool life while the other part of me wants to have some fun.

Meanwhile, I remember the olden days in January 1977 when a teenager aged 16 was caught in an unexpected blizzard while walking home from College. Dressed in a skirt, some high heel shoes and a duffle coat she walked two miles through a snow drift to get home. I often wonder what happened to her.
Life is a journey, not a destination ...
Always take the scenic route.
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Postby emm7 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 10:30 pm

sorry to hear you've been ill :-(
know what you mean about feeling "at a crossroads" and reassessing your life, I've certainly been doing that over the past few weeks.
"she was my better half and I was just a dog"
"I don't have a drinking problem except when I can't get a drink"
"No, the moon ain't romantic, it's intimidating as hell
And some guy's trying to sell me a watch"
-- Tom Waits Bad Liver and a Broken Heart
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Postby Starling in a cage » Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:19 am

Had a lovely day in Bangor.

On the way back, I dropped into Snowdonia for a couple of hours and pulled into the Idwal area for walk

http://www.flickr.com/photos/38337495@N08/4283167838/

With a half hour or so of daylight to spare, I then dropped off between Capel Curig and Snowdon for a photo just before sunset

http://www.flickr.com/photos/38337495@N08/4283171280/
Life is a journey, not a destination ...
Always take the scenic route.
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Postby Starling in a cage » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:17 pm

Emm, i tried to PM you and don't know if you got it.

:cry:
Life is a journey, not a destination ...
Always take the scenic route.
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Postby emm7 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:07 pm

yes have just written back :-)
"she was my better half and I was just a dog"
"I don't have a drinking problem except when I can't get a drink"
"No, the moon ain't romantic, it's intimidating as hell
And some guy's trying to sell me a watch"
-- Tom Waits Bad Liver and a Broken Heart
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Location: South Coast, United Kingdom

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