thought.photos

occasional snapshots of thought

Posts from the “Life/Personal” Category

A First Munro

Posted on 3rd April 2022

Back in July 2021 Family Watson did a tour of the North West of Scotland. Hannah and I drove to Moffat on 27th June, stopping overnight before continuing to Dundee where we had another overnight stop. We met up with the kids in Dundee and on Monday, 29th June we set off on a lovely sunny morning on a trip from the east coast to Kerrera on the west coast.

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Seconds out, Round 2: Part 2

Posted on 20th February 2022

I was very happy to be feeling fit again and, after a couple of wet-ish days, the weather was looking promising. After a quick breakfast I was driving back the way I’d come the previous evening. I planned to walk The Matterdale Dodds, the same walk I had completed just over five years ago, but this time using a different start point for a bit of variety. Five years ago, the walk had been a bit miserable, a thick mist had descended and I hadn’t seen much from the tops. Today was going to be a very different experience.

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Seconds out, Round 2: Part 1

Posted on 15th November 2021

The government “Roadmap out of Lockdown” hit the next step as planned on 17th May, and my stay at YHA Ambleside was confirmed. I was going back to the Lakes, and I couldn’t wait to get out on the hills. Although I’d had a week off in April, I wasn’t really feeling refreshed and I was hoping that a concentrated period of solo walking might do the trick, and that’s how I’d planned the first part of the week. The end of the week would be a couple of days walking with my brother and nephew, both of whom had recently started taking walking more seriously, and I was looking forward to having some new walking companions. As usual, I stopped over in Southport…

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A Walk on St. George’s Day

Posted on 24th July 2021

Restrictions have been eased a little, but we’re still pretty much in lockdown. Teaching has come to an end for the year (my 26th in higher education), and normally I’d be reporting on a visit to the Lake District. Rewind 12 months, and I was saying the same thing. Back in December I had, rather hopefully, booked a week in the Lakes for April but YHA had refunded my money – ditto last year. I am, however, hoping to get up there at the end of May after the next easing of restrictions – my room is booked and my fingers are crossed. As I did last year, I took a weeks’ leave anyway. Fortunately (or ironically, whichever way you want to look at…

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Walking from home

Posted on 25th May 2020

The last time I journeyed more than a few miles from home is now almost two months in the past. On the 19th March, I pulled in to London Waterloo on my usually rammed commuter train. Just six of us stepped onto the platform. That was the point at which I realised I probably shouldn’t even be there. I travelled on to Greenwich and had my meeting. Fortunately, I had the presence of mind to grab a spare webcam and a few other necessities. I watered my lovely ferns and went straight home. That was it, and the last eight weeks have been a strange mix of anxiety and comfort.

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The End of a Beginning

Posted on 16th August 2019

Family holidays are becoming a bit of a rarity for us. With both kids now living away from home, Hannah and I had booked a week in a small cottage in Buttermere, not knowing what the kids’ movements would be over the summer. As it turned out, they both said they wanted to be there when I completed my round of the Wainwrights, and naturally I was delighted. So we booked a couple of camping pitches close to the cottage and we were all set. If you’ve been reading this journal, you’ll know that I had just two Wainwrights remaining, Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks. Both tops are relatively easy walks from Buttermere and my priority was to bag those two; any additional walking would…

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Bagging the Scafells

Posted on 30th June 2019

There are a few reasons why I’ve been leaving the Scafells to the end of this challenge. First, as the highest of the Wainwright fells, in fact, the highest mountains in England, it seemed fitting to leave them to the end. Second, it made sense geographically. Broadly, I started in the east, moved round to the north and am finishing in the west and south. Third, they are difficult to get to, or rather, they are a long drive from the key centres in the Lake District. But most of all, they are popular. There would be no chance of getting to the top of Scafell Pike alone and although I don’t mind meeting the odd (in every sense of the word) traveller, crowds…

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Way Out West

Posted on 10th June 2019

Teaching is now over for yet another academic year (my 23rd!) and the Lakeland Fells once again beckoned as a curative for the increasing stresses and strains of academic life. I’m now happy to concede that these post-teaching trips to the Lakes, which have become a regular feature of my fell-walking challenge, are now an important part of my mental well-being regime. Under normal circumstances, planning a trip to the Lake District over the Easter bank holiday weekend would be considered a special form of madness. But on this occasion, I had two good reasons. I usually plan my Spring trip in the week immediately following the end of teaching but this year I booked late (3rd of January) and couldn’t find any suitable…

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The unbearable lightness of being (there)

Posted on 10th November 2018

The early part of August is one of the few times during the academic year when things are relatively quiet. This year I’d booked two weeks of leave during that period but I wasn’t going away on holiday. For around six years, I’ve been planning to migrate the CADTutor forum from vBulletin to Invision Community Suite. In all that time, I hadn’t managed to find the time and, in truth, I’d been putting it off because although “migration” is easy to say, I knew it was going to be a long and complex task. This year I knew it had to happen. The versions of PHP and MySQL that the old forum software relied upon were coming to “end of life” and would no…

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The fells will always be there

Posted on 23rd September 2018

In a world of instant gratification and “must have now” culture, it’s easy to forget that sometimes, the longer things take the better. Given the opportunity to extend a good experience, wouldn’t you take that over having it done and dusted? This and a few other ideas have been occupying my thoughts in a varied and rather unusual/exceptional week in the Lakes. To date, all my visits here have been characterised by careful planning and a desire to optimise my walks so as to bag as many Wainwrights as possible in the time available. This time would be a bit different. I had six walking days and the first two would be used in revisiting some fells I’d already bagged. The reason for this…

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