Archive for May 2008


The sun's out an' the weekend looks like it might be our best chance t' get out an' do somethin' worthwhile. I'll let ye know if anythin' interestin' happens. Meanwhile, here be a few BGbytes:

Long-drawn-out endin's...

Days after the close o' the wildcampin' e-petition, the total's gone up again. It's now at 2021.

Long lines...

The kite line disaster has been addressed - we've shuffled the lines down an' replenished at the top, so Anna's 1.2m now has Ella's 30m 50kg braids, Ella's 1.6m now has me repaired 30m(ish) 70kg Protecs, an' me 2m Imp's standard 18m 100kg Dyneemas be supplemented wi' 30m 110kg an' 30m 180kg Ozone Dyneemas. Hopefully we'll get out an' give our rehashed setups some test-flights in the next few days.

Long stories...

For them there still interested in Zooomr, I found Zooomrwatch via me blog's visitor stats.

Long hikes...

For them there interested in Iceland, the CDT, the PCT etc., I found Phlumf while followin' another link in me stats. There be some impressive etchins in there, I recognise quite a few o' the places in the Iceland photo set.


Posted by on May 28th 2008 in Wildcamping e-petition

The wildcampin' e-petition total's just gone up a bit, the published count be now 2019, although the true count be 2020.

If this carries on, we might make 2500 by Christmas!

Pings and cracks

Posted by on May 27th 2008 in Kites, Weather

As usual, the good auld British weather kicked up a storm fer the WHB*, wi' winds o' 20-40 mph tearin' boughs from trees an' flattenin' whatever we were hopin' t' grow in the garden. Of course, it also banjaxxed our hopes o' a pleasant seasonal day out the minnows, but eventually we couldn't stand bein' cooped-up indoors any longer, so we grabbed coats an' kites an' headed off t' Bosworth Park.

We set up Anna's 1.2m foil first, let it go an' it were bein' overhead no time, pullin' hard but still manageable.

Next we started t' set up Ella's 1.6m, but part-way through a good gust caught Anna's kite, it were bein' too much fer one o' 'er lines which promptly pinged an' snapped. We decided t' put Ella's stronger lines on Anna's kite an' arranged fer 'em t' take turns wi' it, on the basis that Ella's kite would be too much fer Anna t' hold down.

All seemed t' be goin' well wi' 'em, so I unpacked the Ozone Imp an' 'ad a think about which lines t' use wi' it...

On breezy days I usually fly it on a pair o' 30m 70kg Climax Protecs, these lines have virtually no stretch an' be really thin an' slick, meanin' that there be a lot o' control an' 'tis easy t' wrap/unwrap twists made durin' spins. The longer length also means that 'tis easy t' find more wind at the edge o' the flyin' window. On windier days I tend t' stick wi' the 18m 100kg braided Edelrid SK75 Dyneema lines that came wi' the kite - they're thicker an' heavier, meanin' that there be more wind-drag on 'em, cuttin' down the responsiveness an' feel, but the shorter lines allow a more direct contact wi' the foil, there bein' less slack than an equivalent long line.

Decisions, decisions...

In the end, I set up wi' the Protecs. Have ye seen the size o' the cabin-boy's hornpipe? Chris 'ad the controls while I held up the kite an' launched it. It went up like a rocket, but Chris couldn't control it an' it were bein' soon back on the ground. Yaarrr!, an' dinna spare the whip! Chris di'nae want t' fly it any more, so I took the leashes while she put the foil into the air. Yet again it went straight up wi'out complaint, so I started t' hunt around t' find where the good an' bad air were bein'. Right at the top o' the window I ran into some slack air an' the kite-cells emptied, resultin' in a fold-up an' a relatively gentle fall back t' earth. Walk the plank! I gave one o' the lines a gentle tug t' free a minor wrap-around an' the thing were bein' back in the air immediately, pullin' like a good 'un, we'll keel-haul ye, by Davy Jones' locker! Then...


The left line snapped a few feet below the kite which started t' spin out o' control 50ft up, I'll warrant ye. The one remainin' line now 'ad t' contend wi' the full force o' the wind combined wi' the force o' me recoilin' from the breakage...

"Is it still attached?" asked Chris.

I looked up at kite. I looked across at the line.


It were bein' hangin' on bravely, but it were bein' all too much... there were bein' a slackenin' in the line...

"Err... Prepare t' be boarded! NO!"

And it were bein' off, o'er the field, no longer fightin' the wind but bein' whisked away by it. An' hoist the mains'l! It went up an' o'er a huge oak tree, showin' no signs o' comin' down beyond it. I were bein' transfixed, in utter disbelief.

And all o' a sudden Chris were bein' off too, chargin' o'er the field in hot pursuit! I were bein' doubly-transfixed, an' in utterly utter disbelief! Have ye seen the size o' the cabin-boy's hornpipe? I've ne'er seen 'er move so far so fast - she must have covered 250, perhaps 300 yards in well less that a minute, which be impressive fer an asthmatic wearin' walkin'-boots an' a full complement o' Paramo "waterproofs"!

The winsome lass caught up wi' it when it snagged in some bushes at edge o' the housin' estate, bundled it up an' strolled back in triumph, mutterin' thin's like "have ye any notion how much I paid fer this?" an' "I can't believe that ye just stood there an' di'nae chase it yourself."

Ella an' Chris went fer a walk around the park while I packed up an' retired t' the boat, disgraced, t' untangle the mess an' salvage whatever good line were bein' left. Anna came wi' me, she'd 'ad enough fun fer one day.

Next time I'll use the 100kg lines, or the replacements that I'm considerin'.

*WHB: the result o' a brilliant "triumph o' mouth o'er brain" by a Radio Cumbria presenter back in the 80s. I were bein' checkin' out the weather forecast on the boat radio while site-campin' at Castlerigg Hall near Keswick when I heard "... an' here be the weather forecast fer the wank-holiday beak-end...". The sharks'll eat well tonight! I laughed so much that I ached fer days. I do hope the lass di'nae lose 'er job because o' it, but I ne'er did hear 'er on the radio e'er again.

Petition closes with 2017 signatories

Posted by on May 25th 2008 in Congratulations!, Wildcamping e-petition

The final total be 2017, accordin' t' the webpage.

The petition finished 61st out o' 6246 on the list o' active petitions (i.e. We be off the edge o' the chart, me hearties! Fire the cannons! in the top 1%) just afore midnight, an' currently 'tis 339th out o' 13239 closed petitions (i.e. in the top 3%).

It's a fine tribute t' all who've pushed boundaries an' pulled strin's t' keep this thing movin'. Well done, ye lot!

Now... onto the next phase... watch this space.

It’s in the bag!

Posted by on May 24th 2008 in Wildcamping e-petition

Today's the first anniversary o' the openin' o' the Outdoors Bloggers' Forum, an' 'tis also the day that the wildcampin' e-petition, conceived by Darren Christie (one o' the Forum's more prominent bloggers) closes. An' swab the deck, by Davy Jones' locker! It's quite fittin', then, that the petition count's just gone past the 2000 mark.

That's o'er 2000 souls that believe that wildcampers in England or Wales should be entitled t' the same rights an' protection in law as they would have if they wildcamped in Scotland.

Here be a great quote from Chris Townsend:

"And wi' regard t' the wild campin' petition I think most campaigns start small wi' a few idealists, who be inevitably called naive. Without such scallywags there would be no access legislation at all, south or north o' the border."

I can't thank all ye scallywags enough fer supportin' this cause, wi' a chest full o' booty. The least I can do be keep a record o' who signed up fer it, avast. That record be here.

I'm proud o' ye all.


Posted by on May 23rd 2008 in Wildcamping e-petition

That's how many more signatures the wildcampin' e-petition needs t' reach the 2000 mark.

There's nae much time left t' get yer name on the list, so if ye're goin' t' do it, now's the time.

If ye've still nae signed up, give it some Deep Thought...




... ye know it makes sense.

Not quite “Debbie does Dallas”

Posted by on May 22nd 2008 in Congratulations!

More like "Darren an' Dawn do Scotland"!

My congratulations go out t' this pair o' hardy souls who have just completed the 2008 TGO Challenge (if ye're a Trial (stet) reader, that's a cross-Scotland walk).

Well done, ye two, an' everybody else who 'ad a crack at it this year :cool:

Bass-ic error

Posted by on May 22nd 2008 in In the News

LMAO when I heard about this on the radio this mornin'.

I know, it really isn't funny at all fer the students, but the scallywags that supposedly check these exam papers deserve t' be laughed at.

Read the reactions o' some o' the affected here.

The irony be that "OCR" also stands fer Optical Character Recognition.


Ever wondered…

Posted by on May 21st 2008 in Blog on Blog, Plugins

... what the 3-way lovechild o' a HAL 9000, Stephen Hawkin''s E Z Keys/VoiceText combi an' Brian Cobby's UK Speakin' Clock would sound like?


Me neither.

Well, nae until I hopped o'er t' LondonBackpacker's blog an' hit one o' the odiogo "listen now" buttons at the top o' his blog posts.

Top stuff!

I might be tempted t' install it on here, if they can come up wi' a different voice. Jack Dee, perhaps? Or maybe Homer Simpson, wi' a chest full o' booty? Definitely NOT Brian Blessed, though.

Getting sorted out

Posted by on May 20th 2008 in Plugins, Video (YouTube, Vimeo etc.), Wildcamping


Arrangements fer the annual BG + SWMBO wildcamp continue apace. The date be set. A new batch o' fish risotto has just been dehydrated an' frozen, t' make up the shortfall o' this favourite dish in the dried vittles stash in the freezer in the attic, by Davy Jones' locker. FWIW, the latest batch has added truffles, that should be interestin' as I have a mushroom intolerance. The routes (prime an' FWAs) be 99% sorted, an' the objectives be set. Maps have yet t' be printed, but that's a short job anyway. The only thing we havnae decided yet be which tent t' take: Chris be keen fer us t' carry the "take whatever the world throws at us" mountain tent as per usual, I'm considerin' takin' somethin' a tad more seasonal, an' half the weight. Fetch me spyglass! Ye'll be gettin' three lashes f' that, me lad! Nay matter, there be no rush, we'll decide closer t' departure based on what the refurbished MWIS predicts. Other than that, we're ready apart from the packin'.


The recently-installed plugin, Comment Info Tip, just 'ad t' go. It were bein' a handy little utility, but it di'nae play nicely wi' Wavatars, so 'tis been uninstalled. If any later version proves compatible, I'll consider bringin' it back.

Domestic bliss

At long last we have a new bath. Yaaarrrrr, an' dinna spare the whip! After much cursin', a new 170cm white-enamelled steel behemoth were bein' shoe-horned into the void created by the removal o' the auld 167cm champagne fibreglass tub that everybody here loved t' hate. Sounds like a simple operation - just out wi' the auld an' in wi' the new, but the room's only 168cm wide which meant that some judicious chisellin' were bein' required. What joy!

The back garden's 'ad a bit o' a facelift durin' the recent fine weather. One o' our patches o' wilderness garden has been dug out, levelled an' turfed, which means that we'll have more room t' set up the Gibbon slackline. Fire the cannons, an' a bottle o' rum! There were bein' a number o' unavoidable casualties durin' the land-clearance - a 6ft self-set yew 'ad t' be dug out, a 20ft elder were bein' pollarded, a fine dog-rose were bein' moved an' many raspberry canes an' a host o' other native an' exotic plants were uprooted, some o' which were transplanted t' other areas o' the garden. We saved all o' the bulbs (bluebells, snowdrops, daffodils an' some others as yet unidentified), later in the year we'll replant 'em in the newly-created borders. An' swab the deck! Load the cannons! We've left alone the large area o' wilderness garden at the far end, so our impact on the wildlife has been minimal.


At the end o' the day the count were bein' 1920, just about on track fer the 2k when it closes in four days.

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