Tuesday, 28 February 2017

One Man's Everest by Kenton Cool. Book review

Hello and Good Morning. Thought I would write a quick report on this book before I take it back to the library. A really good read.
Kenton Cool is a renowned mountaineer and mountain guide, also a motivational speaker. The book says he has climbed Everest eleven times, I see on Wikipedia that he did it again last year, taking the total to twelve. He holds the British record for the most summits of Everest.

In 1996 while climbing in Wales, an accident almost destroyed Kenton's hope of climbing mountains. After a heavy fall which shattered both his heel bones he was initially told he would never walk unaided again. He spent four weeks in hospital, had three operations, three and a half months in a wheelchair, and months of rehab. He is still struggling to walk now, yet he still climbs.

Kenton's obsession with rock climbing started at school, and after his rehabilitation he has climbed extensively all over the world. The book is an interesting insight into the mind of someone who is so driven to the dedication of his sport. He details the escapades of the young Kenton and the risks he took, right through to becoming a much respected professional climber and expedition leader.

I always wonder what goes on in the mind of someone who is so focused to follow their dream, especially against all odds. What drives people to never give in, always pushing forward. Kenton describes in detail how mountaineering has become big business, large numbers of people are willing to pay a lot of money to be led up the mountains. How Everest is managed, descriptions of base camps, how Sherpa's play an important role in supporting climbers, death on the mountain, and even how removal of human waste is a big problem. All the practicalities are laid bare in the book.

I found it fascinating, the book itself is an inspiration, and I would recommend it for a good dose of  tell it like it is reading.

Here is Kenton's web site.

Kenton's trek to Base Camp

If you have 30 minutes to spare take a look at this motivational speech. I haven't time to watch it all now, I'll watch later.

I have much to do today, so I'll get off me bum and start by taking Bailey for a walk, then to the vet to pick up Heidi's tablets, then another Bailey walk, then books to go back to the library, then my last three mile walk of the month. That's my day mapped out.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Monday, 27 February 2017

A reminder.

Hello. Just popping in tonight to remind our Walking Group members that you have one day left to the end of the month. How's it going, have you achieved your targets, or have you been slacking. Ok, it's a short month, I'll let you off if you are a few miles short, but I hope you make an effort next month to catch up.

I am on target to hit the 100 miles again, after doing one longer walk, and adding extra miles onto my daily walks.

69 members signed up for the Walk 1000 miles in one year challenge, at the beginning of January. I am pleased to say that 53 people checked in with their January miles, on the 1st of February post. A jolly good effort. Are we going to get all 69 people checking in on the 1st of March with their total miles? It would be brilliant to see every single person making an effort.

This format will go on for the whole year, checking in on the 1st post of every month. If you miss it don't worry, you can go back to that post at any time during the month to add your miles.

We had such a lot of members staying with it for the whole of the 2016 challenge, lets see if we can increase it for this year.

To feel the benefits of any exercise it should be a continual process. Not just for the New Year, not just for getting in shape for holidays, and not for a few weeks in the summer when the weather is warmer. It is proven that regular exercise is beneficial for the mind as well as the body. Feeling fed up? Get out for a walk, or a run. or a cycle, or a swim.

I often meet other people walking and running around my village. I stopped to chat this morning with a young mum who was pushing her baby in a buggy. I have seen her running. She tells me that she runs 5k five times a week, and feels absolutely great afterwards. She has run several marathons, and she looks as fit as a fiddle, no sign of a mummy tummy.

My walking buddy Paul does a lot of cycling, he goes out at every opportunity, and is very fit for a 53 year old. There is also Christopher who was overweight, he has lost a couple of stone through watching what he eats, and cycling almost every day. Any exercise has to be good for you.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Sunday, 26 February 2017

All mapped out

Hello. An early phone call this morning had me out dog walking Bailey. His owner has a problem with her back, she can't walk very far, and I stepped in so she could rest. I did a second walk after lunch. A couple more days and she should be on the mend and able to do it herself. 
It's been a blustery day today, apparently we have storm Ewan now, I wonder who chose that silly name. 
Here are the maps for my next walk, it looks a long way from Newcastle to the Humber Bridge. I've done this one before but it will be a different route this time. I won't be following the coast, I shall be going through Durham, Darlington, Northallerton, Thirsk, York, Market Weighton, and Beverley. That's the theory anyway, nothing is set in stone I shall make it up as I go along. 
I'm not even sure if I can do it, it's been a couple of years since I last did a long one, and I am getting on a bit now. The 1000 mile challenge has been good practice, kept my stamina up, but I expect there will be some muscle ache somewhere along the way.

I'm gathering a few things together, need to keep my rucksack weight down. The train ticket is bought, the hotel in Newcastle is booked, and the cat/house sitter is organised. I'm looking forward to going off on my travels again, I missed it last year. No timetable, go where I please, stop start when I feel like it. The freedom of the road beckons me.

Thanks for popping in. we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Saturday, 25 February 2017

It's a throw away world - Meanqueen to the rescue

Hello. I think I must be on a one woman crusade, to rescue all useful stuff bound for landfill. I took my old brown crappy cheap and nasty cupboard to the council tip today. Broke it up to fit in the car. What did I do when I was there, had a nosy in a car full to the brim with stuff which didn't look like junk to me. The owners happily passed me a few things before they got tossed in the skip. I could have taken more, but the attendant advised that I should be doing my rescuing outside the gate, not on the premises. The owners just wanted rid of it and didn't want to sort it and give it to me out on the roadside. 
This is what I managed to grab before it was dumped. The woman was more helpful than her husband, she loaded some of it in my car. Three big cushions, they look clean but I will wash the covers, and pass them on to the church. 
A brand new iron in it's original box, never been used. I will keep hold of it for the time being in case my very old one packs up. If I haven't needed it by June I will sell it at the village fete on our cat rescue stall.

Seven picture frames. I can use some of these for my pictures. I have enough to keep me going for a long time. Best make some more pictures then. The frames I don't use I will pass on to the Age UK charity shop.

A big clock, metal surround, reminds me of a clock in a railway station waiting room. I put a battery in it and it works. Will sell this on the cat stall.

I really must try not to bring so much stuff home. I noticed there are two doors on the skip tonight as I passed it on my walk. I could very easily build another summer house, ha ha. I resisted the temptation to take my car round there and pick them up.

Nice to see some new readers commenting. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon. Enjoy your Sunday.
Toodle pip

Friday, 24 February 2017

Discovering Thixendale and Wharram Percy

Hello. I've had a belting day out with my walking buddies, Paul and Paul. Storm Doris has gone and we enjoyed a mostly sunny day with hardly any wind. Paul organized the route and the other Paul did the driving. We went over the Humber Bridge into Yorkshire, and parked at a village called Birdsall, not far from Pocklington. The Yorkshire Wolds have lovely walks, up hill and down dale, gentle undulating hills. We set off along The Centenary Way. 
It wasn't long before we arrived at the tiny hamlet of Thixendale, which boast the title of the most remote village in the Yorkshire Dales. It lies in a deep valley and is only one street long.

Thatched cottage.

Ooh, look a village shop, the two Paul's had to wait while I went inside to have a look.

It's in the conservatory at the rear of someone's house. A lady came out to serve me and I bought us all a flapjack each. 

This is the Village Hall, they serve coffee and cakes on Sundays.

Typical of the houses in this area.

Out of Thixendale we followed the Centenary Way, through DeepDale to Wharram Percy. 
Here are the remains of a deserted medieval village. View of the church as we approach it.

There is a fishing pond down below.

Time for lunch, lucky to find a bench to sit on in the sun. 
A little exploration around the church.

As you can see from the information board it was quite a large settlement. Just the foundations are left now.

We followed what looked to be an old railway line, there were ruins of old buildings hidden in the undergrowth.

Where shall we go next, I don't know you've got the map. 
We were on our way back to Birdsall when I spotted a couple of big hairy cows with horns in a field. 
Birdsall Church stands high on a hill, the picture isn't so good because the sun was right behind it.

Snowdrops everywhere, so pretty.

It was a smashing walk. We did twelve miles, so that's given my February numbers a boost. I'm aiming for the 100 again hopefully.

If you want to know more about Thixendale and Wharram Percy, the Happy Hiker has done a post on his web site about his walk in the area, with pictures similar to mine.

We're at the weekend again, I hope it's a good one for you. I shall be pottering and thinking about my walking trip. Checking maps, and gathering bits and bobs for my rucksack, trying to keep the weight as low as I can.

Thanks for popping in, and thanks for your great comments. I see there are a lot of new readers and first time comments, welcome to you all.
Toodle pip

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Saving pennies means more for holidays

Hello. Wow, it's blustery outside, hope Storm Doris passes over by the end of the day. The lengths I go to, to save a few pennies, a lot of people would laugh and think I am bonkers. 
I'll tell you how I saved 34p by buying a dented tin of condensed milk. It was reduced from 55p to 25p, so I have saved already. But I look at this differently. I normally buy soya milk at 59p a litre carton. I always look for cheaper alternatives to keep my spending low, and I will sometimes buy a similar product to save money. I quite like condensed milk but I don't buy it at normal price. 
No fancy tin openers here, a bog standard stab it and lever it around the edge. These openers last hundreds of years, ha ha.

The measuring jug tells me it is almost half a litre. Now what, not much saving at 50p a litre. Aha, now here's the trick, I am going to dilute this with water, giving me double the quantity. I will keep it in the fridge, put half the amount I normally put on my cereals, and top it up with tap water. Bingo, saved 34p. I shall be spending some of my savings soon on a trip. I have a train ticket, and one night in a hotel booked.

Another look in the skip revealed a set of curtains, just need a wash, and a metal ornate lampshade. Good eh! I've had a word with the owner and she said I could have anything I wanted. The skip is full with mostly garden rubbish at the moment, it is due to be collected in the next few days. I do hope they bring it back empty because I shall be watching it if they do.

Progress report on the Woodland picture. Not giving much away at the moment, a lot more stitching to be done, but because it is a smaller picture it shouldn't take months like the big ones do.  

That's all for now, thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

I love free furniture.

Hello. Question, where can you get free furniture? Answer, from a skip. I found these two bedside cabinets the other day, not a mark on them. The house had been empty for a long time, it has recently been bought and a skip appeared on the driveway. It's on my walk, I pass it every day, and when I saw these I was so excited. 
There was no one around so I asked my friend up the road if he knew who had bought it. Yep, go down the next street and knock on a red door, so I did. Permission was granted to remove said furniture. I immediately went home to get my car, as it was in danger of raining. 
They are smashing. My first thought was to find a home for them because they won't fit in my bedroom, then I had a look around and thought they would look nice in my living room. 

This is a bit of a messy spot, the brown stereo unit next to the chair is about forty years old, it was cheap and chipboardy, and is too big for the space. I think it's time to get rid of it. I have to keep the tall cupboard behind the chair because it has a false back in it, it was made to cover up the electric meter behind it. Stupid place to put a meter.

Hey, look at the difference, a lot better. I moved the coffee table next to the chair and the cabinets fit perfectly either side of the alcove wall. This room used to be two smaller rooms, the previous owner knocked them through. I'm chuffed to bits with this.

The moral of this story is keep your eyes peeled for any skips which appear on people's driveways, they might be throwing something useful out. Always ask permission to remove items you want. They will always say yes. I love free stuff. 
My dinner yesterday was very simple, tagliatelle and frozen vegetables drizzled with toasted sesame seed oil. Only takes a few minutes to simmer in one pan. My lunch today was a bit of a mishmash, iceberg lettuce, potato salad, Danish Blue cheese, and tagliatelle, with a splodge of tartar sauce. 
I was up late this morning so I am a bit behind. I'll get off now and catch up. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Ice cream in the park

Hello. I did a Bailey dog walk today. It was a nice morning, so we went to the park, this was Rocky's favourite place to walk. It was busy,  half term here and the kiddywinks were having fun riding on the landtrain, scooting their scooters, climbing trees, kicking their footballs, and feeding the ducks. I had a Magnum ice cream, the white chocolate variety. 
And look, the Radio Humberside bus is here as well. David Reed the presenter was roping all the kids in to say a few words on the radio.

It was parked right outside the magnificent Normanby Hall. The staff are preparing it inside for an Easter opening. I might even splash out and get a season ticket this year which would allow me in the hall and to any events which will be taking place in the grounds throughout the summer.

We did the Woodland Walk. This is the pet graveyard for some of the many animals that have lived at the hall, in the staff quarters, and in the out buildings.

There are little wooden bridges to cross. The pond is pretty much stagnant here. 

The stream is only a very slow trickle and fills up when it has been raining.

Here is my walking pal for today. Bailey was in awe of such wide spaces, with lots of people, and new doggy smells.

When we got back his owner had just arrived back after her lunch out.

I'm getting itchy feet again, thinking about going on a long walk. Looking at maps, train times and cheap B & B's in Newcastle.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Monday, 20 February 2017


Hello. I've had a morning sitting in the warm Village Hall with the Crafty Club, have to take some layers off when I'm in there. I'm still working on the woodland picture, such a lot of stitching to do. 
In the meantime, the jigsaw puzzle is finished. I couldn't find the exact size frame for it, so a little bit of the edges are lost. It's eleven inches square. I think it's superdooper, and the bold colours really stand out against the black frame.  
I used a jigsaw as a template, removing the pieces one at a time and outlining the shapes with a thin liner pen. Once painted I went over the black lines again. 
Two shopping bags made. I gave three away last week in Tesco, so I keep making some more. The one on the right is fabric from one of the beds my friend was throwing out. I stripped them down and rescued as much fabric and wood as I could.

It's a bit blustery but dry, so I'm off out to walk. I'm aiming for another 100 miles this month, so trying to fit in a little extra walking. I have a day out on Friday with my walking buddies so that will boost it a bit.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip.