Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Monday, 12 November 2012

Variety is the spice etc

A reduction in grazing over many years has resulted in longer grass in the Ochils, but this is even more obvious in those parts now owned by the Woodland Trust where there is no grazing at all. Since mid-September walks here have been relatively short (12 km)  to 'assess how the knee holds up', but the tussocky nature of the terrain is as hard on the ligaments as so-called rougher ground.  Outcomes have varied.

We've had some lovely days though.

Roe deer - a regular sighting

Easter Downhill

A little bit of Mozart

It's not all been about hills and knee trials. Last month an email arrived from MUSA, Museum of the University of St Andrews, informing me that Scottish Opera were performing twenty minutes or so of  'The Magic Flute' in the Bell Pettigrew Museum, Bute Medical Building. Having spent much time in and around this building in student days I am ashamed to say that I could not recall ever being in the Bell Pettigrew (I suppose I must have been!) so, apart from listening to a snippet of opera, it would be an opportunity to view  some of the 3000 or so specimens collected mainly during the Victorian era.

There were four members of Scottish Opera - a flautist (obviously), a harpist, singer and a storyteller who very amusingly set the scene prior to the next piece of music. As he said at the end: 'when I've turned Grand Opera into pantomime, my job is done!' What a superb thirty minutes! Prices for the full performance at various venues varied from £17.50 to £74.

A walk along the east sands in wild weather rounded off the day.

Enjoying quite rough seas at St Andrews (rougher than it looks!)

 The Carpow Logboat

Discovered by Scott McGuckin at Carpow Bank near Abernethy on the Tay Estuary, this dugout canoe from the Late Bronze Age has been dated 1260-910BC and is therefore around 3000 years old. It now has a permanent home at Perth Museum and Art Gallery. We just had to see it.

It was a fascinating afternoon and the full story can be found in the excellent little book by David Strachan, The Carpow Logboat - A Bronze Age Vessel brought to life, published by Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust, and also online of course.

WWII aircraft

Airfix models that is. I built any number of these as a boy and Lynne gave me a gift of a Supermarine Spitfire MkIa kit last Spring. It was suitable for age 8+ please note. 

Supermarine Spitfire Mk Ia of 92 Squadron, RAF Manston, December 1940

Naturally, it couldn't stop there.

Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3

and from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

Hawker Hurricane Mk IIc

Next is another Spitfire (Mk IIa) and an Avro Lancaster B. Mk I, both of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. I must get started, although I've learned that a little more preparation before painting will give better results so these will take a little longer to complete. The models are 1:72 scale.

Weeks not without interest but I do wish my knee would hurry up and get better. By Christmas if I do zero the doctor says, but he probably knows me well enough to guess that there is little chance of  that.  Anyway, I've got this Berghaus Akka jacket coming soon for review !

Finally, I need to get round the blogs and catch up with what's going on. 


Sir Hugh said...

A familiar story. You never know what the next post is going to show coming from an outdoorie with a poorly knee!

I’ve built many of those in the past including the solid balsa ones carved to shape using templates, and also radio control flying models.

I know it’s not the same as doing ambitious walks, but it’s good to see you can diversify.

Have you any canals to walk on? I’m finding they are ideal for keeping things moving without aggravating the underlying problem too much.

afootinthehills said...

It's good to hear from you Conrad. Your comment has cheered me up no end. I used to build the balsa models (bi-planes) or rather helped my older brother build them, but never radio controlled ones. I believe the skill level 4 Airfix kits require components to be cut out, but I've not managed to find any so far.

We don't have canals very near to us and for a similar mileage we can get to sections of the Fife Coastal Path which you know well; the circuit of Loch Leven is a grand outing too. The main worry about my knee is that Christmas comes and goes, isn't any better, MRI etc follows and before I know it half of 2013 has gone. On the positive side I have little or no pain on the hills and could have a long hard day out, I'm sure, but I'd suffer the morning after.

Sir Hugh said...

I'm not sure exactly what your knee problem is, but I had arthroscopies on both before the replacement on my left. I was back to proper walking fairly quickly after those ops, and that bought me another couple of years. So, if that's what you need, make a fuss and try and get it done in the winter. I have found that those who shout loudest are more likely to get what they want with the NHS (a sad reflection), but of course the shouting should be diplomatic, more polite insistence, and not aggressive. An initial private consultation which is not too expensive can speed things up. In the meantime I would advise keeping your walking to the flat - I know it's not easy, and you have my sympathy.

afootinthehills said...

I'm told by two doctors that I've badly strained (but not torn) the collateral medial ligament. Likewise a doctor friend, formerly of Liverpool University's Medical School thinks that is the trouble but added the rather ominous caveat that I shouldn't rule out other damage. My GP practice is really excellent and I wouldn't have any difficulty being referred to a consultant - but usually it takes 12 weeks to actually see one. Oddly, walking on the flat is worse than going up or down!

AlanR said...

Hope it's better for Hogmanay, with all the dancing you will have to do.
Keep taking the Holt's cure all.

afootinthehills said...

The Holts I can manage, but I'll pass on the dancing.

Anonymous said...

I can still remember the identification lettering from the Airfix Spitfire I built as a youngster: it was J E [Roundel] J.

Unfortunately I cannot remember what I was about to do after I'd finished reading Gibson's posts. I'll remember when I'm in bed, and have forgotten again by morning.

afootinthehills said...

That's quite impressive. I've got to admit that I can't remember the details of the first model I built or where it and all the rest of them are now.

Apologies for the negative impact my posts had on your short-term memory Dave.

Anonymous said...

I can't blame you for that, Gibson; I'm at the 'if I don't write it down, it's gone' stage in life.

afootinthehills said...

Sorry, but do I know you?