Sarah and I managed to finish the 2008 Scottish Motor Neuron Disease Association (SMNDA) Fun Run 10k (6 mile) route in a respectable 1 hour 20 minutes.
That is most definitely the furthest and fastest I have ever travelled by foot in the last decade !
OK, it was my slowest speed to date, but I’m not to concerned about speed just now.
My goal is to finish the 10K in 4 weeks time; gulp, I can’t believe it’s so soon !
If I could maintain my current 13minute mile I should come in under 1 hour 20 minutes, lets set that as a goal !
I have just fine tuned my working environment and have come up with the ideal setup.
OK the monitor heights are a bit wonky but I very rarely span monitors, I like to have discrete items open in each and focus on one monitor at a time.
In this picture I have outlook split between monitors 1 & 2, thunderbird between 2 and 3 and firefox crossing all 3.
I treated myself to an external flash for my camera, specifically a Nikon SB-800.
This allows me to play around with having the flash off camera. Mucking around produced the photo above, which also gives a sneak preview to the “face fungus” which I am currently cultivating.
As you may or may not know, i love the concept of openid which allows you to have a single authorisation location for multiple sites (including this blog). It also allows you to have a single profile page. It has just scared me the number of places where my profile photo may be, I’m going to spend the next hour seeing how many places I have put it!
OK, in 1 hour I have found 16 discrete sites, and I have not even started with the forums that I frequent !
Sarah, Connor and I just spent a fantastic day with Patrick McGlinchey from Backwoods Survival School on the outskirts of Glasgow.
We started off the day with a discussion on what “Backwoods” actually means and how it’s as much about preparing your mind as it is your body and your kit. Patrick was able to describe just about every plant, weed, shrub and tree that we passed and gave us the chance to sample all of the edible morsels that we could find as we walked through the woods. We also discussed the materials that could be obtained and what could be made from them, this included everything from cordage to fish traps to which wood was the hottest and brightest to burn.
We then had a long talk on knife safety as much for my benefit as for Sarah (12) and Connor (8). It was then time to put these skills to the test. Connor had chosen to make a bow and arrow whilst Sarah and I would be making a fire bow. Again plenty of time was spent showing us the steps required. One of Patrick’s principles is to learn by doing. He may well show you how to do something, but you don’t take what he starts and finish it, you have to reproduce the steps he has shown you. This obviously takes a little longer but is MUCH more rewarding.
The only complaint that I could possibly have is that; as I had to pay so much attention to completing my own task, I completely missed the finer details of how to make arrows. I’ll need to see what Connor remembers. The only bit I picked up on was using dried dogfish skin to sand the shaft.
Our creations complete, it was time for a well earned (I thought) cup of tea. Patrick demonstrated fire starting using a fire bow and also using flint and steel in conjunction with some fungus.
After the tea it was time to put my firebow and my stamina to the test. I did manage to get it burned in. I did manage to produce smoke. I even managed to burn my finger, by poking it in to “see how hot it was”. The main thing I was struggling with was bowing level, so i was a bit stop and start. I will be practicing this over the next few weeks.
Next it was time to “hunt” for our “dinner”. Patcick had brought along one of his hand made blowpipes and we took it in turns to pop a handily placed balloon. Despite my previous reputation as a blowhard it was Sarah who had the best combinatio of puff and aim.
It was then time to head back to the car, sampling some more nibbles on the way and also giving Connor a chance to try out his bow and arrow in an open field.
All in all a fantastic day, proof of the pudding, the kids want to go back again. I am going back, I have booked to go on the next available Backwoodsman course which lasts a whole weekend.
I have just realised that it has been ages since I have posted here.
It has been a fairly uneventful holiday so far. Did some decorating:
- Connor’s bedroom ceiling (he has not chosen main colours yet)
- Main bathroom
- Upstairs Hall
- Downstairs Hall
- Downstairs Bathroom.
Time for a day off now.
Tomorrow, myself Connor and Sarah are off to meet Patrick McGlinchey he is the main instructor at the Backwoods Survival School.
I’ll update here with all of the things we cover.
Took me ages to work it out. Normally when I post to my site it updates my Twitter.
I had changed my Twitter password and forgot to update it here.
I hate to sound like a grumpy old man but………
I had to take Emma to Gartnavel Hospital in Glasgow.
One of the nicer things that I have found about about getting older is an increasing ability to be punctual.
We arrived 15 minutes early for the appointment and I dropped off Emma and Elaine at the front door. 45 minutes later I finally find a parking space. Don’t bother following, or even looking for the signs for the overflow car park, there aren’t any.
I arrive just in time to meet the doctor as they are leaving.
My advice: Pay the £2.00 and park in the car park of the adjoining Pond Hotel, it was empty and would have cost me less than the fuel I used driving in circles in first gear for three quarters of an hour.
I’m off to look out the tripod to take some night time photos.