Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Knee problems and looking back

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Lynne on Carn a' Mhaim
After months of thinking my knee injury was improving and after some seriously painful physiotherapy (which continues) I’ve now been referred to an orthopaedic surgeon. That will take about eight weeks. Since my previous post I've limited myself to easy local walks and spent some time, which would otherwise have been more enjoyably spent in the lovely snowy hills, scanning a few more slides.

Happy days on a backpacking trip in the Cairngorms in May 1980 taking in Carn a’ Mhaim, Ben MacDui, Beinn Mheadhoin and Beinn a’ Chaorainn.

Loch Etch

An idyllic spot to camp at Loch Etchachan but alas it was too early in the day.

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Lynne and Morag at our evening camp
The tent is a Saunders Basecamp which had two lovely big porches providing ample storage for wet gear in bad weather.  Not that we had much gear back then and didn’t seem to be any less comfortable than now with all the modern stuff we use. The tent saw one more trip to A’Mhaighdean and Ruadh Stac Mor before being lent to my idiot boss who burnt a hole in it with a cigarette. It was only two years old.

In April 1983 we had a terrific ski tour in superb spring snow during a week of still, alpine-like weather but I can't locate all the slides of this trip. I expect they are in carousels used by Lynne who, on a voluntary basis in the 1980s, gave talks to schools about the Scottish hills, climbing history, Munros and so on.  The kids loved it.

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Ascending Lurchers on our way to the plateau
 The rucksack is a Karrimor Jaguar weighing 1kg which is about 300g lighter, roomier and far more comfortable than my GoLite Quest. It is still in excellent condition which I doubt the GoLite will be after three or four years, let alone after thirty years! Clothing? An old M&S jersey, an old shirt and Rohan Superstrider breeches. Certainly we carried down jackets but, looking again at these slides, I’m more convinced than ever that for the most part, and with some notable exceptions, we just don’t need all this new stuff that’s being thrust at us. Not everyone will agree of course!

ski

Up on the plateau where, shortly after this photograph was taken, we met Swiss ski-tourers who fed us some Swiss (naturally) chocolate and simply raved about the scenery. We sunbathed above Loch Avon and all was right with the world.

Tomorrow I may try a day in the Ochils before Friday's physiotherapy - the popliteus muscle needs some attention. Oh, and I'm building a Lancaster Bomber (model that is!) and as soon as the snow disappears from its roof, I'll need to get the top-box off the motorvan before it goes for a service. And I need to get round the blogs to find out what you've all been up to.

18 comments:

  1. Good luck with the knee.I had key hole surgery on my left knee in 1995, which seeems to have sorted it out.
    But I still follow the surgons advice to always use walking poles when going downhill, and keep my rucksack as light as possible.

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    1. Thanks Geoff. I also had keyhole surgery in 1995 (cartilage) but on my right knee and it has never caused problems since, no matter how (badly!)I've treated it. I did stop my running activities though and always use poles.

      This injury is an odd one possibly involving muscle, tendons, ligaments and maybe even cartilage. There isn't much more that can be wrong is there?! It's even possible that it will all put itself right without surgical intervention, but at least I'm now on the waiting list if something does need to be done.

      All the best.

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  2. Hmmm. Knees can be swines. Mine used to play up when I was running (25 years ago) but when I stopped all that nonsense, they stopped playing up.

    Good luck, Gibson

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    1. Thanks a bundle Alan. The frustrating thing is that I have no idea what caused the problem. It must have happened on the last day of our September holiday on Tolmount but since nothing out of the ordinary occurred it remains a mystery.

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  3. Good luck with the knee, Gibson; and with the Lancaster. From memory there's a lot of intricate bits on a Lancaster. If I could come up with a design for an unmanned drone to take out turbines, would you be interested in taking on some assembly work?

    I'm glad you've been reviving some old photographs. I've been telling people about how we used to get clear blue skies and they just nod sympathetically.

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    1. Thanks Dave. You recall correctly. The Lancaster is quite intricate which makes it more interesting than the fighter aircraft I've built so far. Unfortunately, alternating between the Lancaster and scanner plus other interruptions has resulted in me gluing two of the four propellers incorrectly so they won't spin.

      This attention deficit might mean that were you to entrust me with the assembly of your proposed drone, it might never leave the ground!

      There some more scans here:

      http://gandl.smugmug.com/Somescansfrom35mmslides but unfortunately the computer which is compatible with the scanner doesn’t have the processing power to give a better resolution, so quality is not all good. Plenty of blue skies though.

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  4. All the best with the knee, love it all this new expensive synthetic gear nowadays and there you where in M&S jersey, brilliant!! The gear may have changed over the years but the scenery hasn't, simply stunning. Oh and nice to see one of your Border Collies, she looked like she enjoyed a good walk.... well she is a border collie after all.

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    1. Many thanks Phil. I buy the new stuff too, mainly because it's a bit lighter and I'm weak! Waterproofs are different and for all the limitations of Goretex and other membranes they are a massive improvement on the non-breathable 'sweatmasters' of old.

      There are some pics of Mist and Morag at the link I've given Oss above.

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  5. Good luck with the knee - you certainly have my sympathy.

    I hate lending or borrowing , it’s not that I’m mean, but if something gets damaged it can be impossible to put right: out of print books, older models of electrical appliances etc

    With books I adopt my brother’s stance: if asked to borrow, I say “no, but I’ll buy you a copy”. I lent a nice early copy of Joshua Slocombe’s Sailing Alone Round the World that I had “discovered” in a second hand book shop, and it was dropped in the bath. How could that be replaced?

    About a year ago I had all my old 35mm slides converted to digital on CDs - over 1000 slides. It was a bit expensive, but worthwhile. Without doing that I don’t think I would ever have seen them again. There are some priceless ones from Skye, and in particular Rhum, back in the early Sixties.

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    1. Much appreciated Conrad. Today I could swear that my knee is absolutely fine, but I've thought that several times over the last five months only to have my hopes dashed.

      I don't lend anything anymore - certainly nothing that can't be replaced easily - although perhaps I should have added that my boss paid for a replacement tent. We bought a Vango Hurricane which was OK but not in the same league and in any case the Basecamp had been part of some great trips. Call me sentimental, but we were very attached to it. The Vango is still in good condition but we use the Nallo now. I must dig out the slides of our high camp on A' Mhaighdean in 1982 with the Basecamp.

      Losing Slocombe's book must have been hard to take.

      I did consider having our slides professionally converted to digital but worried about handing them over in case some disaster struck and I lost the lot.

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  6. I can relate to all this, Gibson, even the Lancaster (though mine's a racing car that hasn't been touched for a while). I do hope the knee finally starts to improve. Conrad's slide conversion policy sounds good, but first I'd have to cull the 10,000 down to 1,000. Then there are all the negatives...

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  7. Thanks Martin. Like you I'd have to edit our slide collection which goes back to 1969 but even then I expect it would be cheaper buying a proper Nikon film scanner than using a professional service. I doubt I'll do either!

    The Lancaster is progressing well. What's the racing car?

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    1. I've got a good quality Minolta scanner, but it would take ages to process all the old slides, and our local print shop has a much better machine. The space freed up by dealing with the slides may be useful, then I might find the F1 racing car I'm building. Actually, my modelling box currently only includes various card items being used to embellish a toy train set (not mine).
      Currently in upheaval due to replacing computers (and inevitably most software)and creating extra work space due to Sue working more from home.

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  8. I used:http: www.revivestudios.co.uk for my slide scanning. They are based in Cardiff and were helpful and friendly on the phone giving me confidence in their service. They offer a courier service which worked well for me.

    I had 1439 slides done last March. Total cost was £326.57 including £9.99 for carriage, and everything was done as promised. It sounds a lot of money, but doing them myself four at a time with my own scanner was out of the question. I batched the slides up into what would turn into folders on the CD, but once you have the cd it is relatively easy to do fine-tune sorting on the computer. For me it was worth every penny. I hope this is of some use to fellow readers.

    Can we have a photo of the Lancaster when it is done please?

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    1. Very good of you to provide this information Conrad. That's a very reasonable price per slide, but were you not a little nervous about parting with your precious slides?

      I'll certainly put a photo of the Lancaster on the blog when it's completed.

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  9. I was nervous, but since my projector was broken it was going to cost a lot to replace it, and it is unlikely I would have looked at the slides much by that cumbersome method anyway, apart from all the advantages available on the computer for sharing and sorting the pics. I suppose you could combine a holiday trip to Cardiff to deliver them and take in some Welsh hills for a few days, or is that too radical a notion for one from north of the border?

    I'm looking forward to the Lancaster. Is it going to have the insignia of a particular squadron? Perhaps we could do a photo with Photoshop - a nice sky like the background on your blog, perhaps with a couple of accompanying Spitfires?

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    1. Since May 2007 the Lancaster (part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight) has, apparently, worn the markings of EE139 'Phantom of the Ruhr' with No 100 Squadron code letters 'HW-R' on the port side and the 550 Squadron code 'BQ-B' on the starboard side.

      It's a bit away from completion (I've been away) but your Photoshop idea is a splendid one. I'll be in touch.

      I've nothing against Wales at all Conrad but it is a long way away. I can drive to Skye in about the same time and anyway I can see wind turbines in Scotland!

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  10. I appreciate your spirit.hope your knee is fine now after the surgery..good post along with the pictures.

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