Friday, April 8, 2011

I may not be an expert but....

            Well after a full day spent upon project two yesterday (patience people, patience) today was ear marked for a thoroughly enjoyable and long walk up and around Moel Famau. Oh not there again I hear you lament, yes there again ya buggers. Now I’m not an expert but there is method within my madness for sticking to the familiar trials of this part of the Clwydian range I have to be less focused upon where I place my dainty, hairy hobbit’s feet and can so pay a little more attention to what is going on around me without fear of getting too lost at the same time. Also the gradients here allow myself to make inroads into the spare tyres that seem to be a permanent fixture around my waistline these days. For a change I was a little more prepared for a long hike remembering to fill my shoulder bag (no not a man bag) with the basics that were needed.

            Stepping out of the fun cruiser onto the car park I was chuffed to see that there was only one car there, Mmmm bodes well for not seeing anyone which means more chance of taking some wildlife photos, now before you start I didn’t say ‘more’ wildlife photos cause you all know that unless it’s vegetable, mineral or dead I’m pretty crap poor at the moving furry, feathered or scaled type of shots that the rest of you guys seem to do so easily (oops almost let the grumpster out then, sorry). Have to admit though it’s hard to feel down in the dumps on a day like today and the walking was the best I’d done in ages but (here it comes) but in the ten miles or so covered once again yours truly failed miserable to get anything resembling a wildlife shot, oh they were there right enough, chirping away in the deep undergrowth, scurrying lightening fast across the trails ahead or flying so far in the distance to be neither use nor ornament in a photo, the little buggers  are in cahoots in a conspiracy I’m telling ya!

            But being truthful I couldn’t have cared less, just being there was enough, must have been the hottest day of the year so far with the gentlest of breezes and the views were as good as ever. I was stopped in my tracks and held spell bound for at least 15 minutes by a pair a Odin’s eyes, their raucous calls first getting my attention. The aerial display that they provided was spectacular to say the least  with flying skills you wouldn’t credit these large birds with, I take it was a courtship display as they were continually rising up and then dropping a stick stooping at speed to snatch it just before it hit the ground, absolutely stunning.

            With the sun climbing high now it was time to head back, being the wrong of the hill I decided to make a straight line, head over the summit and down to the car park, just over an hours walk to finish off the ten miles already covered. That’s when the day went slightly awry. As we crested the summit approaching the Jubilee Tower I became aware of a crescendo of noise that wasn’t coming from any black grouse, turned out that I’d not counted upon it being half term for some schools and the place was bloody heaving with the little darlings!

They're on the other side, listen....

            Though I’m not an expert I do feel myself getting slightly hot under the collar when confronted with the ‘once in a blue moon’ exodus that holidays bring to the hills hereabouts. From sweating, ruddy faced parents (what you didn’t bring any water?), dogs of all shapes n sizes under no control what so ever and most looking as if their going to collapse on their yearly walk (oh you don’t know about lambing sheep then?), and litter throwing cherubs winging about it’s not real like their ‘insert games console here’ (what do you mean it’s lighter now I’ve eaten everything so I should carry the wrapper back?). Oh Ok maybe just a tad over reaction there, after all it’s great that the kids are getting fresh air and seeing that there’s life outside four walls but just why cannot some folk take the time to clean up after themselves, teach the kids some of the countryside code, train the dog at least to recall and stop asking me ‘are we near the top yet?’ when they’re just getting out of the bloody car park.
!! If they would just learn a little about gear, planning, WATER, and the like and perhaps put some values into their darling little children perhaps the next generation would have a tad more nonce and respect in for the outdoors. Yes I know we’ve all had to learn (Christ I was breathing through me arse three years ago after my first 40 minute walk up here), but at least could some of them make an effort.

            Sorry about that, tell you what I’ll show you a few pictures of the quiet part of the walk to divert your attention (that's right no bleedin wildlife);

and yes I did get over that hill yonder

             Right on to project two, now I may not be an expert with wood but it does fit the bill, full report coming up next week but here’s proof that I was not sitting upon my, very cute might I say, derrière yesterday but did indeed complete project two apart from a lick of paint that is so the mystery can be revealed;-

Can of cider strictly for scale - honest

            So closest guess goes to Helene Burnett (you may name your prize me dear, another thing if you get it ;o) ), this little contraption (pah little! 5 foot high n long, bottom shelf 2 foot wide, top 18 inches!) will increase my meagre growing area quite considerable. Full run down on it’s skilful construction(re cobbled together) next week me thinks, suffice to say that no delicate carving or fettling was involved but lots of testosterone fuelled power tools and the odd can of cider, well I’d run out of bottles and it helps lubricate me thought process – and that needs all the help it can get! But hey ho already thinking about project three, ah just remembered I have a staff to make for a certain lady in Manchester (not project three) and I think I've found just the right piece of wood so project three may be delayed a tad yet.

            So that’s about it folks, a walk, a whinge about the walk and a glimpse of project two – not a bad couple of days doings, even if I do say so myself.

         Oh one last thing I not be an expert but I think Willow is well knackered after her little stroll..

Till next time, take care of yourselves and each other

 Your friend,



Bob Mc said...

Good to see you out and about John, and good on the walking stick. I wish I could do as well. But then I can pick one up just about anywhere around here. I do have one that fits my hand well and has avoided being turned into firewood so far. It’s as natural as they come, but has some rather odd markings that I like; so maybe I’ll keep it, at least until I find something better. Walking sticks are something I never used to give second thought, but the older I get the more I see the advantage of having one along.

Rachelradiostar said...

Sorry.... I thought Jerry Springer took over there! Re the pack of kids - welcome to my world!!! You almost described a school trip there! I may just book you to come on my next one! Thank the LORD it's holidays and I get to spend it with my two well behaved brought up offspring :)

Rachelradiostar said...

The Jerry Springer bit related to your last bit and not the school trip bit, which is how it might read....tired eyes + tired fingers = rubbish typing

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Good to see you out and about, oh and nice 'blade shot' too

Gorges Smythe said...

My grind is just ended 'til Monday; sorry about yours. (That DOES sound sincere, I hope!) Looks like you and Willow had a nice expedition, and I see she's going to be another water dog. Nice looking benches!

Karen Thomason/Gordon Setter Crossing said...

I'd say you AND Willow, must be DOG tired.

Frugal Queen said...

Walk where you like, I love hearing about it, I'm sure people are getting bored of me hand washing, scrimping and generally ferreting about. Keep on bloggin'

froogs xxx

Jennyta said...

A ten mile hike! My knees would be protesting by then, but it sound as if it was a very enjoyable day for you and Willow. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm V jealous of your planter/outdoor shelving: what a great idea for increasing your growing space.
And your dog is an absolute beauty! FM x

Murphyfish said...

Hi Bob,
Well to be honest I was looking for a little more than a stick, some funny folk out there you know….

Hey Rachel,
Not sure that the grumpster would fit the bill upon a school trip ;o), but a cider drinking night out now there’s an idea Mmmmm cider

Thank you my man, tis a new knife for me to play with…

Mr. Smythe,
Ah well as your grind starts mine will be over for a few days, yes she does seem to be getting webbed feet…

Hi Karen,
There was truth in that…

Froogs me dear,
Well I for one love your blog me dear so I’ll keep on as long as you do…

Oh mine were complaining after the first mile, but they held up..

Willow aka the warthog aka YLB says thank you

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

There's a lot of great things in that blade, easy to sharpen, very well designed handle and easily the equal (in use) of knives costing 10 and more times the price.
One of the few bargains left in this life!

Missy said...

Beautiful pics!!!
My husband has a bag like yours! He is always prepared!!

Have you ever gotten lost?

John Gray said...

willow is a sweetie
ps will look out for your email

Helene Burnett said...

I win! I win! For my prize I would like 10 years off my current age. Oh to be in my 50's again! If I understood then what I do now, I'd be walking farther than 1/2 mile a day. On crutches. Here's to my improving health; I'm able to garden and feed and water the critters with only a few rest breaks to pamper my knees. Life is good.

Admirable that you can go ten miles. The scenery is heartbreakingly beautiful-- it must encourage you on. I really enjoy your photos.

Hope you are well, and getting stronger every day. My thoughts are with you.

Murphyfish said...

Hi Missy,
Lost? Frequently ;o)

John G.
today, maybe tomorrow..

Cheers Helene,
10 years off? sorry beyond eevn me, how about a packet of wine gums ;o)
Glad you enjoyed the post

r. hurd said...

Thanks for your kind words. Love the pictures of your dogs. I'll keep checking in.

Felted House said...

Just to say thanks so much for leaving me a message about Archie, it's all very tough at the moment and we miss him so very much, but it helps to know people care.

Helene Burnett said...

What are wine gums?

Damn The Broccoli said...

Love the shelves, it is a great way to increase ones growing space. I hope they bring lots of crops in for you.

Keep in mind with all the children maybe one or two will grow to love and respect the trail and will only do this with exposure to it. Hopefully they will nag their friends into not throwing litter like I did at that age!

On that subject I would simply present the company who made the product with the clean up bill. That would make them take more pains to ensure it was either biodegradable or less of it to start off with.

Murphyfish said...

Mr. Hurd,
My pleasure, you write really well – something for me to aspire to…

F H,
It will ease me dear, with time…

Ah forgot another world over there ;o).. Jellied sweets me dear

Cheers matey, I know that they shouldn’t be tarred with the same brush but oooh sometimes I wish I had a cattle prod for their parents instead of me staff :o)

Good idea ‘bout billing the complaints me thinks..

Stephanie and Dustin said...

Colorado is taking the initiative to teach children about the outdoors, since parents don't seem to take an interest in that anymore. Forgetting the water? C'mon now.

Willow does look tuckered; I think it is fair to say I'd be tuckered after that walk too.

I enjoyed the photos, wildlife or no wildlife.


Helene Burnett said...

Serious culture and language differences... what are jellied sweets? Jellybeans? Gummies?

Love the differences in the English languages. When all else fails, send a pic?

Hope you're well and keep up the pics from your hikes, I enjoy them. Makes me want to take up landscape painting again!