Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Last Post

In no way connected to an exchange on twitter earlier this week, this will be the last post on 

boo!  hurray!! sigh... OK, enough with the cheers and tears... Am I packing it all in for a life on the open road? 

Sadly, no.  You may have noticed it has quietened down here over the last month or so.  There's a few reasons for this - work and family changes, 1 or 2 brief trips away, resisting the online addiction... and I've also been tinkering away on a new website.  What's that you say?  

I used my own name this time, instead of borrowing the term 'selfpowered' as a cheeky marketing gimmick.  

On said webplace, you will find a brand new blog, which funnily enough, contains all the same stuff as the last one.  Weird.  It's at'll still be blogging, and it would be lovely to see you there.  Please update your RSS feeds and the like, or you'll miss all sorts of crazy antics.

So, to reiterate.  No further posts here, for all new stuff subscribe HERE


Why am I moving?  Well, the old pad got a bit cramped.  A few people told me that there were better ways to hang the photos than all crowded together on the bookshelf, and they had a point.  I held on, but there was just no room to store everything.  And frankly, the tenancy agreement was getting a bit suspect.  Why did the landlord keep asking the postman for my mail?  The small print kept changing on the contract... then, one day he walked right in and pebble-dashed the bathroom!  Too much - definitely not 'awesome', auto or not.  And, y'know, we wanted a garden - somewhere for the children to play.  Was it too much to ask, a little more space, with no-one peering over the fence? (what am I on about? g++gle, that's what)

I am staying in the neighbourhood though - the white gallery part of town is too rich for my blood full time, and I like hanging out with the naked ramblers to be honest - so nothing changes for those who just want to keep an eye on the blog now and then (apart from changing your feed to ...but this way I get to some show those that are interested some bigger pictures, collect my thoughts for times ahead, and make some magazine articles available to read.  All things that this current address would struggle to do well.

I'll leave this old blog live for a good while yet, but hope to sort out the redirect and other techy background stuff in the coming weeks.   I'm not very good at internet tech, so that may take a while.  In the meantime, there's all manner of shiny trinkets at the new gaff.

That blog address again: 

...please pop over and say hallo. You can subscribe by RSS, or by email at the foot of any blogpost.  And there's also the usual social meedja, dharling.  And a newsletter thingemy, for more sporadic reminders (I'll not be emailing every blogpost, don't worry! This is for occasional news and advance notices only).  Finally, thanks for tuning in for all this time.  It makes me feel all warm n' fuzzy, and I'm not even messing abart.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Year of the Snake

I swore blind to a friend I wasn't going to do this, but as I glance furtively at the year ahead with a mix of anxiety and anticipation, it seems right to cast an eye back over 2013.  Hopefully this isn't too indulgent, and makes for interesting eye candy via the links.

2013 was the year we stopped being visitors in Scotland, and made it our home.  The honeymoon was definitely over, but our comprehension deepened.  Whatever (y)our personal views, Scotland in the year before a vote on Independence is a land full of debate and potential - a vibrant and exciting place to be.  That spirit of engagement is worth celebrating.

Our personal lives grew complex for a time, but slowly we grew alongside.  And I was also outside alot, and for the first time that meant work as well as play.  This was very definitely not a bad thing.  I cut my teeth on some new tricks and (I hope) got better at some old ones.  The new year holds new unknowns, but I guess that isn't new.  In the meantime, here are some personal highlights:

January, and my first Hogmanay in Scotland.  We also built an igloo with some new friends.

February, and I met up with Fraser in the wintery heart of the highlands, for two beginner's mountaineering routes that ended up as a feature in the December issue of The Great Outdoors Magazine.

March, and another winter weather window.  T, phil and I went back to the Cairngorms for Easter.  Our almost alpine weekender ended up featuring in the recent British Moutaineering Council's (BMC) Summit Magazine.

April was busy, first Arran to see family and get blown off Goatfell, Italy for The Great Outdoors, and then back to the Isles for Outdoors Enthusiast magazine. Our squally trip around the 'lost coast' on Skye made for a reflective way to round out the month.

May, I gave a talk about the HRP in London, and we had A Rum One.  On reflection, this was probably the most satisfying trip of the year personally - the right mix of fun, weather, history, exertion and relaxation.  It's due in The Great Outdoors Magazine in Spring 2014.  I also wrote up a route for Walk Highlands across the Rum Cuillin.

June, I learnt how to Packraft in Inverpolly with Backcountrybiking.  Or at least, began to learn.  Articles appeared in The Great Outdoors and Outdoor Enthusiast in the autumn.

In July, there was a heatwave on Ben Lawyers, and an attempt on a classic round that challenged mentally and physically.  A different take on this was written up for Mountain Pro Magazine in the autumn.  I got the gig for the feature by email as I stood on the 18th Munro of the circuit. 

August, I went walking in the Rhinogs on a photo shoot, and then photographed Todd and Phil looking heroic in the Alps.  Our tale of 3 men in a Bongo should be popping up in Outdoors Enthusiast next year.

September saw a trip to the Bridge of Orchy Munros on two wheels, talking at the Edinburgh Night of Adventure about... nights of adventure, and a pitch perfect bushcraft trip across Loch Lomond led by Tam from Wild by Nature.  Another for Outdoor Enthusiast, spring 2014.

October, I was out twice and both times with friends - once on the ridges and scrambles around the glens of Affric and Shiel, and then onto Loch Maree and Torridon with a packraft.  One or both of these are slated for The Great Outdoors Magazine as features next year.

November was spent exploring the gentler parts of Perthshire, and I took a trip around Glen Lyon that I'm hoping will pop up somewhere soon enough.  The packraft section of that trip didn't exactly work out as planned.

December, and a 3 day packraft trip on the River Dee during a huge thaw meant some choppy water and honing some skills, working my way past dangerous to amateur.

May the trail rise up to meet you.  Forward, Avanti!

Thursday, December 19, 2013


We set out in winter, and ended in spring.  From Invercauld bridge to Kincardine O Neil, three days on the Dee. Three days of fires, purple birch and old green oak, old growth forest and snow covered hills, then fishing huts, farms and fences.  Some standing waves and some big water, a speedy thaw and a sense of caution.

Hallo, my website has moved!

You will be automatically redirected to the new address.

If that does not occur, please visit