Beginning 2018….

…with hopefully a few more posts than last year.

I have struggled to maintain the blog for various reasons and I dont want to do it just for doing it’s sake. I am not going to set a target, I am not going to fret, I will just pop in a few posts when there is something worthy to report in.

2017 was another tough year but thankfully over and looking on the up as 2018 is underway. I am still cycling but actually walking as well. I’ve even roped the other half into the walking lark and of course we share adventures with Barney the dog. I am planning a few camping trips when and where possible but not going to stress about timetables. Lets see how it goes. The cycling is still going so am fairly happy that I am managing to get out and get meaningful exercise on several fronts.

Possibly no French adventure this year but maybe a Scotland trip instead, all depends on time and opportunity. We tend to fit in things on the ad-hoc basis and last minute so we’ll see what happens. Work is crazy busy but when is it not? The kids are getting older and my eldest is doing his A-levels now so times are changing and I am moving into another age-band to boot. I dont feel older just slightly less sprightly and slightly more creaky!

I will also look to add pictures more during the course of this year and so rely less on long wordy ruminations. I dont mind if no-one reads this much as I have kind of realised these days that I write for myself first and for others second. An electronic diary so I can look back on it from time to time. Anyway, enough for now, lets just see when the next post is.

 

 

 

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Still hanging around

Ok, so what’s been happening? In the past year, a huge amount and not all good. I wont go into details but its been pretty harrowing on times and so I haven’t really found the time or the inclination to do much on this blog. Or indeed to get out much in terms of walking. In fact the last time I went proper walking was back in October last year. No camping for a wee while either, obviously.

I kind of feel a bit out of the loop in terms of whats new and happening in the ‘outdoor world’ although most of this tends to revolve around gear stuff! I plan to do a few walks later in the year or at least when I can. Having trimmed down my collection of kit, I think I have just enough stuff to enable me to get out but not the 4 seasons, alas.

Cycling is probably the only thing I have managed to keep going and even that has had to be shoe horned into parcels of time or opportunities that arise, rather than long planned and lengthy rides. I think I will try and get out sooner rather than later and strangely enough, when it rains or is misty/claggy, the pull to go walking always seems to be stronger. Anyhoo, thats enough for now and hopefully the next time I post I will have something of worth to report

 

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The Black Mountains – a quick pic

My favourite area….miles upon miles of ridge walking and stunning views. Just a reminder to myself that its still there 🙂

black-mountains

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A good clear out but what’s left?

So in an effort to clear out some space, generate cash and get rid of stuff I dont use anymore I find myself with the bare bones of outdoor equipment. I have to admit I havent been able to get out much (camping wise) in the past couple of years but feel a little ‘nervous’ of not having enough gear to get out with should the opportunity arise. So whats left.

Tent:

Blacks Octane 1 – bought for £30 5 years ago and kept as my absolute emergency solo tent. Used in non extreme conditions only thus far so untried in a hoolie! 1.7kg, single hoop and a nice garish red to boot.

Rucksack:

ULA conduit – bought second hand for £40 and an absolute pearler of a pack. Tough, light and plenty of features. Used and abused and still going strong

Cooking:

£20 Pocket rocket for gas cooking and £5 pepsi can stove for meths. No worries with either plus a titanium mug

Sleeping:

10 year old Alpkit AD500 down bag and closed cell mat

Outer wear:

Montrail Fairhaven shoes

Craghopper trousers

Montane Prism and Atomic mid and out layer jackets

Therefore for the really basic stuff still an ok list of things although all now 5 years or older (apart from the Fairhavens). Still much better than I thought and just goes to show that getting rid of stuff is a good thing but do save yourself enough to still get out. All I need to do now is get out 😉

 

 

 

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Quick question…..how cheeky is cheeky when it comes to asking for a shop discount?

I quite often ask for discounts for stuff I buy especially when in a physical shop and armed with a smartphone that can give me an instant internet price to compare goods with. With regards to outdoor gear I have done this many times and in some instances to such a degree that an Arab trader would be proud of me. My question, as per the title, is how far can you push this and at what point does it become cheeky bordering on an insult to the vendor? Oh, and whats the ‘best’ result anyone has ever gotten in this way? For me it was 35 years ago when I bought my first backpacking tent. I went to an outdoor show and saw a one man tent for £45. I haggled with the chap and got it down to £38….mainly because that was all I had. Well not quite, I kept 10p for the phone call to my dad to pick me up from the railway station!

 

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Still around and a quick catch up

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October….indeed it is. Fortunately a lovely sunny and dare I say warm October and a chance to get out on the CX bike around the Severn Estuary and in this case UNDER the second Severn Road Bridge 🙂

SO whats been happening. In all honesty lots and nothing. I havent had the gumption to post up on the blog for a long while now. I really enjoyed it when I was into the whole blog scene and also did alot of walking and camping. These days I am doing my own thing but dont really have a lot to say that I think other people would find interesting or useful hence not much blog traffic! I do still follow what others are posting and perhaps its me but the whole blog thing seems to have died down a bit. Maybe vlogging is the thing right now  but pure  blogging may be a bit long on the tooth?

The biking is going well and some walking too. Camping……not at all and in fact alot of my kit has been sold off to fund other things although I do retain a core simple selection of stuff should I get all nostalgic…I guess when you strip away the frivolities and fancies you keep a small but essential collection of things. Anyway, enough of my rambling. I may post a few more times before the year’s end  but dont hold your breath 🙂

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2015 and all that

Its been a long long time since I last did an entry to this blog. In fact its been so long that I have questioned whether I should continue it or not. Having been a blogger for a long time now and haing followed other blogs for a long time, I do find it sad when blogs ‘end’ or stop posting. To that end I will continue to put the odd entry in but I might diversify and include other stuff and not just outdoorsy things. I’ll have a ponder. 🙂
In the meantime I have had a steady stream of comments to the blog entries continuing so I hope that some of the info posted here is of use to some.

With regards to me and mine, 2015 was an odd year in some ways. I completed 6200 miles of cycling, took up running, did some walks but alas no camping whatsoever which is about the first time I havent done so for about 10 years. Still, I cant do it all. Work was topsy turvy all year although it turned out alright by the year’s close so cant complain too much. It just all seemed to fly by very quickly and very busily.

So whats up for 2016?

– continue the cycling, a nominal target of 5000 miles and another trip to the alps
– continue the walking but cant see me fitting in any camping as such
– kick start my wargaming and figure painting where time allows
– a full DIY onslaught on the house (boiler replacement already done, painting started!)
– being a full time taxi service for my kids lol

It will be an interesting year no doubt and there will be curveballs but lets see what happens and I will try and keep the site ticking over too. Just in case I do forget and time runs away with me, Happy Christmas 2016!

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