Marianne and I did a lockdown walk today, and kind of variation with bits of the lockdown routes and bits of road walking for respite from the mud. Everywhere was very muddy. The only bits that weren’t muddy were the flooded bits!
I involved radio by taking my handheld. Just @G3CWI was worked, periodically around the 20km circuit.
Talking of fishing, we met a chap fishing on the Macc Canal near Danes Moss. He, like us, had walked from home rather than drive out to his usual hobby spots. He’d just caught a huge pike that weighed over a stone and asked us to take a picture. I chose to do so on my own phone for Covid safety reasons, and send over to him via WhatsApp. But that meant I had the picture - so here you go - check this out!
We were watching a Swedish TV drama yesterday ‘The Bridge’ (I had to take a ferry when I went to Sweden because there wasn’t a bridge back then) and I suddenly thought ‘I can’t remember the last time I drove down a motorway’.
Strange times. I wanted to do 5 mins of CW from our local mini-summit Brant Fell today but the stinging horizontal sleet took care of that.
Don’t feel like you’ve missed anything this week in the Lake District…
The last time I drove on a Motorway was on 11th October 2020 when I went to Scotland for the day to activate SS-184 Middlefield law and SS-120 Cairn Table in East Ayrshire. Perfectly legal and within Covid guidelines but not permitted now.
The nearest Motorway to us is the A1M near Leeds and thats a good 40 miles away.
Well done on the CW aspirations Mark, it shows considerable enthusiasm to consider sitting out in the cold to practice, even though you didn’t make it because of that sleet. All the best.
I lived in East Ayrshire [1988 - 2001] and shortly after I passed the Morse test in the mid 90’s and got my ‘Class A’ license (M0ALC) I would take my second-hand FT290 MkI and miniature straight key to various summits in the area including Cairn Table and have my first portable CW QSOs on 2m, QRS back then, with local hams [they had to be local using the in-built telescopic aerial].
That’s where I got the ‘bug’ for portable QRP CW operation. Ironically, many years later Cairn Table would become a SOTA summit.
Another contender for the most-boring summit in the area is GM/SS-236, Corse Hill [which I’ve been to by mountain bike with friends but never activated for SOTA].
Back in the early 1990’s, long before they built one of the UK’s largest wind farms in the Whitelee Forest area, I walked one lovely warm summer’s afternoon and evening from my place of work in East Kilbride to my home in Darvel, a 4.5-hour walk via Corse Hill much of it over what was then open moorland.
Except that the Forestry Commission had dug many long parallel troughs [called grouts, I think] and put the soil in between the troughs into which they had planted conifer saplings [probably tall trees now]. The troughs were almost a metre wide which made for very hard walking across then, actually more like hopping for several hours which made my legs very tired.
The hill will almost no elevation gain from the car park. Cycling between the windmills would be fine but I did it around Christmas time one year just for the walking exercise. Dire. Still the exercise was useful. It’s a tick in a box.
Here’s an online version of the article if anyone wants to read it.
5 mistakes in the physical newspaper, 4 in this online version. @G3CWI predicted 3!
It really seems to have gathered momentum this story! Last night I was asked to provide a Lockdown Walks feature monthly for the next year in a regional magazine! The posts on Marianne’s and my Facebook timelines have attracted huge numbers of likes and shares.
Who’d have thought that a middle aged married couple going out for a local stroll would be so newsworthy?
Yes, they have to say broadcast don’t they. When I met the guy who does the walk reports for The Scotsman on Craig Each GM/SS-084 he was fascinated by finding some numpty sat in the snow playing radio and took photos and featured me in his report on his Craig Each walk. But… and this is unusual he let me proof read his words beforehand as he wanted to ensure it was technically accurate as he hated reading articles done in good faith but wrong in some way. Amazing stuff. I think he may be unique.
Anyway Tom, if only you had a dog you took on the walks you could get them to call your article “Tom’s Monthly Dogging Report” and that might garner many more readers.
If Lockdown restrictions are still around in March, I will be using these routes to keep me busy on a challenge to do 11,000 steps a day for the whole month. If restrictions are eased, I’ll be aiming to get them SOTAing as much as possible.
The 11k steps per day is in acknowledgement of the 11k lives lost each year to prostate cancer. An old friend of mine called me this evening and told me about “March the Month”. He actually called to get my advice on local routes, without any steep uphill involved, that would get him his 11,000 steps. he had seen the article in the local paper.
I thought that this March the Month campaign and fundraiser was the perfect thing to combine my Lockdown Walks project with, so I not only promised my mate some routes, but said I’d get involved myself. I fancy the challenge, plus it’s a great cause.
The web resources seem pretty neat too - when you sign up, it sets you up with your Just Giving page, steps tracker etc. This is mine:
Maybe others would like to have a go too? There’s one or two walking enthusiasts on here I guess! Hopefully we can do it by SOTAing, but if not, then Lockdown Walks it is for me!