Thursday, December 17, 2009

Knackered n happy

Ah the moment I’ve been waiting for, my first excursion into the outdoors since the operation. A gentle mile and a half around Nercwys woods this morning and I’m now absolutely knackered. Temperature read 3 degrees centigrade on the tops, the wind was biting enough to get through my totally inadequate gloves and Lucy (swamp thing) had the devil in her finding every, yes every, source of stinking, slimy ditch filled abyss of  rotting vegetation that was up there, was it worth it? Oh boy it certainly was!

Just being in the woods feeling the cold air reaching the very bottom of my lungs with every breath taken (and there were quite a lot of them), seeing Lucy’s sheer exuberance pounding up and down the trails ahead, stretching my neglected legs and feeling my systems kick in again, yep it was worth even those last few faltering steps and the ten minutes sitting in the fun cruiser before I dared to head home.

And the wildlife did not disappoint either, the buzzards were up, their mewing calls welcoming me back, there seemed to be a surplus of jays heading through the branches, always in front of me (maybe they thought this one looks fit to drop, mmm supper) and bonus time was one of our smaller raptors, a kestrel, who was gracious enough to allow this clumsy photographer take a couple of snaps.

Back home it was great to feel my face have that gentle burning sensation after being in the cold, it may take me a while to reach full fitness levels but I’m back ‘out there’ and I’ll be damned if I’ll waste any opportunities to stay there!

Oh, before I forget, a thousand thanks for all your kind comments and support over the last few weeks of my self pity, as always I’m humbled by your kindness. Oh and just in case I forget, seasons greetings and blessings upon you all and your families, keep well and may the New Year be bountiful for you all.

Now where’s that dog towel, LUCY…….

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cabin Fever?

Ah the wide expanses of the great indoors, mmm I do believe that I am actually getting cabin fever. Just last night Lucy was warming herself by the fire and as I glanced at her from my incumbent position on the sofa and for just a few seconds she looked like a wild boar roasting away on a spit! It was all I could do not fetch my carving knife and steel!

Seriously though I am becoming restless, I seem to healing slowly (to bloody slowly) but, as Clare keeps reminding me, I can’t afford to take on to much or else I could find myself taking more time to recover and that’s one thing I don’t want. After having probably one of the most active outdoor years for a long time (kept my hand firmly down when the overtime sheets came around!) it’s really bugging me for it to finish off in this lackluster manner. I’ve got a few small projects lined up for the garage to ease my way back into it, so hopefully it won’t be too long before I can get started on them (as long as Clare’s in work that is), but for the moment everything is on hold. I may possible offer up some kit reviews on a couple of pieces that I wouldn’t be without whilst ‘out there’. It’s something that I haven’t tried yet but it might work or then again it might fall flat on its face.

Something for me to look forward to is that I’ve volunteered to be a contributor on the NWWT’s website, adding my thoughts on, and highlighting the virtues of, their many wildlife reserves around North Wales. For me the pleasure will be two fold, firstly it will take me to areas around North Wales that I may not have considered in the past to visit to observe wildlife and secondly I’ll be able to combine this with blogging, which I have found to be a great way of communicating with like minded folk from across the globe.

Other plans for next year include climbing Ben Nevis, Snowdonia and several other peaks using the gaps in my new shift rota to full advantage. My friend Jim has suggested going halves on a Canadian canoe and using it to explore some of the Scottish lochs combined with perhaps some wild camping, he’s also suggested ‘kite buggying’ (something Jim already participates in), and I quote “just for a laugh”. Mmmm don’t know about this one but hey ho in for a penny…. Along with my ever increasing garage project list, my outdoor adventures, the occasional tale on Tails from the fish, and a reconstituted rear end it should be a full and active new year to look forward to. Now if I could stop climbing the walls…..

Friday, December 4, 2009

A thank you

Just a quick posting as I’m unable to ‘sit down’ (or stay still in any position) at the moment for more than 10 minutes, let alone get ‘out there’. So you can safely assume that ‘D’ day has well and truly occurred so please excuse my ramblings today for not being in the usual vein.

I’ve always been of the opinion that there should always be a balance within life, for every birth there will be a death, for every smile a tear, for every morning of a glorious sunrise the dark shroud of an approaching thunder storm. It’s not that I’m religious in any shape or form (heaven forbid!), and I don’t pray to any deities, I just believe in balance, without sadness how would I measure joy, without pain how could pleasure exist? Don’t get me wrong I’m not some nutter who’ll stick a pin in my tongue just so I can then savor a brew, no I just like balance, yin and yang, black n white, circle of life (I can feel a song coming on!) call it what you will but balance suits me just dandy
Maybe this is why I feel drawn to the outdoors and all of its cycles, where you just observe from a distance or become embroiled in the hunt within Mother Nature’s game of life and of death. There is something basic deep inside of me that lets me savor the hunt and sometimes the kill but then there’s the feeling of being so connected inside, perhaps by simply just sitting alone (or with Clare, my one true love) welcoming the day’s new sun, rise over misty distant hills, or me grinning like an idiot watching a vole sitting on my boot toe, cleaning his whiskers, after taking his fill from my bait box when I have sat statuesque still for eons, not having a bite, nibble or take by the river. I won’t take anything from nature unless I use it, food for the pot, dead wood for the fire, rain for my face, and sunshine for my heart. For me being outdoors brings my life back on an even keel after I find my ship listing heavily to port with the weight of work, making ends meet, suburbia and the doom and gloom of the world that’s thrust in our faces by the press and what seems to be most peoples’ fascination with the anguish of others (why can’t stories of redemption, joy and wonder or even of fluffy puppies sell newspapers?).

So I came upon the ‘outdoors ‘blogosphere’ community’, and here I find a whole host of like minded people, whose depth of knowledge sometimes astounds me, whose ability to express themselves with the written word humbles me, and whose generosity warms my soul. I’m honored to be part of this ‘blogosphere’, I don’t always agree or even like all of what is shared here but then I find myself lost in awe and smiling inanely at other written pieces, like I say, balance. The range of topics is discussed is vast, and peoples opinions on said topics, whether agreed with or not are respected and accepted. To be accepted by like minded spirits such as your selves, whose knowledge, foresight, wonder and sometimes sadness which you all gladly share is a privilege for this grease monkey. I feel that I’m just about finding my feet and place within the outdoors ‘blogosphere’ community even though I’m one of the more recent arrivals, so I guess in a around about way I’m just trying to say thank you for accepting me and proving to me that there’s still balance to be found out there. Now maybe I’m rambling on or musing for no apparent reason (can’t do bugger all else in my present state so the only ‘rambling’ I can do is in me head!). But hey, what the hell, it’s passing some time for yours truly and would you rather I discuss the benefits of inflatable furniture for my tender derriere?

I hope that this dirge has not bored too many of you good people and that you will return for more of my usual, less heavy, musings in the future (when said derriere allows that is).