Back soon. But in the meantime…

24 August, 2007

Giant Lego Man found in Dutch Sea. And other similarly exciting things.

13 August, 2007

I’ve just found this via someone else’s page. Giant Lego Man story on Reuters. It’s wonderfully random and absurd 🙂

“AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – A giant, smiling Lego man was fished out of the sea in the Dutch resort of Zandvoort on Tuesday.

Workers at a drinks stall rescued the 2.5-metre (8-foot) tall model with a yellow head and blue torso.

“We saw something bobbing about in the sea and we decided to take it out of the water,” said a stall worker. “It was a life-sized Lego toy.”

A woman nearby added: “I saw the Lego toy floating towards the beach from the direction of England.”

The toy was later placed in front of the drinks stall.

It’s hard to know how to follow that, but I’ll try… Running is still going well. I ran for about 40 minutes on both Thursday and Friday–on roads, but needs must–took Saturday off and then spent more than 2 hours in the woods on Sunday. I’m sure I must have run for at least 90 minutes, and because it was cold and wet it was exhilarating and enjoyable. I remembered to take a camera at last.

The woods

The dunes

Today I ran at lunch again: about 30 minutes, on roads. I entered a series of trail races in the Lakes late last year, but I didn’t actually attend the first two. I think there are three left, though, in September, October and November. I’m not sure I’ll be fit enough for the September race–in fact, I’m sure I won’t be–but I hope to do the other two.

I watched an amazing documentary last night: Born into Brothels. It’s about a group of children living in a brothel in Calcutta–they’re the children of the prostitutes working there–and the efforts of an English photographer to teach them to photograph their surroundings and, later, once she’d become close to them, to offer them hope of escape in the form of education. Despite just about every conceivable material and, in many cases, emotional disadvantage, they turned out to be a lively, enthusiastic, vigourous, talented, thoughtful and engaging group of children, and yet more evidence of the way in which some people whose lives are a constant struggle manage to seize upon the good rather than focus on the bad.


I also watched Russell Crowe in Cinderella Man. He’s so nice to look at, and such a truly amazing actor:)

My new 3/4 length Insul-Mat Max Thermo mattress arrived today from Australia. I’m looking forward to trying it out, and I’m also planning to get a PhD Minimus Vest in their sale, which starts this coming Saturday. The PhD sales are fantastic value, and if I could justify a new sleeping bag I’d be getting one there.

Well, that’s probably about it for now. I must reply to some comments tomorrow–I’m just as hopeless at doing that as ever. I decided that if I didn’t post something, though, I might never post here again, so here it is.

Meanwhile, the final word today goes to Monorail Cat. Heheh….

Monorail Cat (has left the station)

Wednesday evening: worked, ran, watched Murderball, read Housefics, posted Bloopers fanvid, blah…

8 August, 2007

I ran for 40 minutes at lunchtime. It was extremely hot, but I was wearing my Icebreaker long-sleeved merino wool top. That’s because I forgot to look out of the window before I went to get changed, and wrongly thought it was overcast. Not the smartest piglet on the block, eh… anyway, suffice it to say that I was utterly wiped out and panting by the end, which wasn’t really v. good.

Made grilled chicken with a sort of tikka/yoghurt marinade for dinner, with a huge salad. Yum 🙂 Booths (a supermarket) has some really great things in the salad department, especially some great sprouting things and some particularly delicious organic cucumbers. I love salad. I just wish I didn’t love crisps too!

I’ve just watched a documentary — Murderball — which is about the US paralympic rugby team, and their battle with the Canadian team at the 2004 Paralympic Games. Wow… this made every other rough game I’ve ever seen look like table tennis! Most of the team had been injured in car crashes, but one (possibly two) had contracted meningitis. One had had childhood polio. It was truly inspiring, and a great and hopefully lasting reminder not to take my body for granted.

Not sure of the plan for the rest of the evening, but some sort of farting around followed by an early night, I think. I find that I can’t manage to read in bed these days because 5 minutes after I get in I’m falling asleep. It’s actually pretty irritating. When I was a child/teenager I could read all night in bed, and it’s not as though I was slouching around doing nothing during the day. Sigh… must be old age I suppose *g*

Lemme see… I wonder whether there are any House fans out there. I spent some time earlier checking up on House_Wilson, which is a community over on Livejournal where the House/Wilson writers, vidders, artists and readers hang out. I’ve discovered fan fiction in the last year. It turns out that there are people who write stories about established fictional characters and post them on the internet. (They used to distribute them in magazines, but the net’s made it all much easier.) I stumbed across some accidentally, and initially assumed it would be terrible stuff, but I stopped to take a look and in fact some of it is absolutely excellent! There’s an amazing amount of this stuff around, in what are known as fandoms. People who do this sort of stuff tend not to talk about fannish things to others, though, because it sounds sort of naff. I don’t care, though, and have always been v. much in favour of retaining an open mind, so I’m spreading the word *g*

Anyway, as well as writing there’s vidding, which is taking clips from an episode and setting them to music — a song or whatever. Here’s the vid I made out of the Blooper Reel on the House Series 2 DVD set 🙂 Okay, so I’m a sad, naff addict, but it’s a lot of fun and now I can make videos and write fanfics as well as stagger round the woods and haul myself up mountains. Heh…


Walking kit – big changes made to what I carry, in the space of a few short years

8 August, 2007

I’m sitting around having brekky, reading my way steadily through Alan Sloman’s wonderful LeJog Blog and thinking about kit. Reading about a poor accommodation guide that Alan enountered reminded me of my own experience of the appalling Pennine Way accommodation guide, and I nipped over to my PW pages to re-read about it. There I noticed a link to a page setting out the kit I carried on the walk, including a photo I took of all of it at the YH in Keld. See here for the grizzly details…

When I set off on the PW in August 2004 I’d never previously carried a tent along a long walk. I’d done the Coast to Coast walk a couple of times, but I’d used B&B. I spent about 3 weeks asking frenzied questions on uk.rec.walking first, and then I set off. I was so disorganised that I only learned that my rucksack wouldn’t hold what I needed to take at 4am of the morning I was supposed to start, and so I had to go back to bed, buy a new rucksack later in the day and start a day later instead *g* Happy days!

Anyway, looking at that picture reminds me of the very significant changes I’ve made since then, and the extent to which they’ve made my backpacking life very much easier. In fact, and looking at it again, I think the only things I took then that I’m still carrying are (i) my Primus Micron stove, (ii) my MSR titanium kettly thing, (iii) my Silva compass, (iv) my Garmink Geko 201 GPS and (v) my Ortlieb mapcase.

The most significant changes involved:

  • a newer, smaller, lighter sleeping bag;
  • a lighter and more comfortable rucksack;
  • revising my washkit to fit in the smallest Exped stuffsack;
  • MP3 players have got smaller;
  • I don’t now carry 4 books at a time;
  • I’d probably take Anquet print-outs rather than maps;
  • I don’t currently carry a flask (though sometimes I miss it, and in winter I still might);
  • I don’t carry sandals now (thought I do keep thinking about it);
  • smaller, lighter and infinitely more comfortable sleeping mat, and
  • a different range of clothing.

I plan to write a new kit page for my website soon — the existing one needs to be revised. There are few things more fun than thinking about backpacking kit 🙂

Heh… a quick dash across to I can Has Cheezburger? produced this.

I Duz Yoga Ta Relax

Hello, backpacking pals :) (& run in the woods) (& amazing ST TOS slashvid!)

7 August, 2007

That cunning Alan Sloman somehow sniffed me out here, and now I’ve had messages from a bunch of pals I’ve not been in contact with for more-or-less a year! It’s lovely to be welcomed back so very warmly – thank you all 😀

I’m now drooling over peepses blogs, all of them enormously sophisticated and filled with things that I’ve not yet managed to create here, like lists of links separate from lists of blogs. Perhaps I need to learn CSS??? *wee shudderlet*

*back to drooling over peepses blogs*


I drove down to the woods this evening and ran for about 40 minutes. It’s still quite lovely in there, and fully of heady sights and scents. I’ve seen what I think must be a pair of buzzards almost each time I’ve been down there recently, and off the beaten tracks. It would be nice to get a bit closer. I’m not sure what they are, exactly, but apparently there are both honey buzzards and common buzzards around. Also, about a year ago my father and I saw some extremely large bird of prey from his garden. It was high in the sky over the woods/beach area, and circling in the updrafts. I’ve no idea what that was either, but really we both felt that it must be enormous! Maybe they’re hiding golden eagles in the pinewoods?…

[Later still…]

I’ve learned all sorts of surprising things in the last 9 months or so about fandom ‘slash’ i.e. people writing stories/making videos/drawing pictures etc of characters from television/books/films in same-sex relationships. It turns out that many regard Kirk/Spock as having been the first truly slashy relationship! Well, my head spun a bit at that, because I was a true addict when I was a child and I didn’t notice anything slashy going on there. Well, not unless it involved Captain Kirk and sabres and stuff. Anyway, here’s an amazing fanvid chronicling the Kirk/Spock thingy. I’m posting it because it’s so bizarre that it makes me laugh. Beware, though: a few of the words to the accompanying song are rather graphic, so if you dislike swear words (and are still reading) then best give it a miss 🙂 Otherwise, sit back and prepare to be amazed!

Weird Al – more LOLZ!

7 August, 2007

I dunno whether you’ve come across Weird Al at all, but I’ve just been browsing around my fave YouTube vids and came across this one.

Weird Al – Amish Paradise

Ooh 😦 It doesn’t allow embedding any more, but if you go to YouTube and put ‘Weird Al Amish Paradise’ in the search box it’ll come straight up.


I Can Has Cheezburger? – lol :)

7 August, 2007

I already loved this site, and was happily surprised to find it’s on WordPress. It’s full of cat piccies with funny captions, and wee recurring jokeys. Here’s one from today, for instance 🙂


Then there’s this one too 🙂

Oh NOEZ!!1! pleea close teh space hatch!

If you’ve got a minute or two spare at some time, and feel like a grin, then go and take a look. There’s a link in my Blogroll (see right hand margin). Beware, though: last time I went over for a couple of minutes I stayed an hour…