Ten Things You May Encounter on a Trekker Walk

Carn Diamh CircuitHey, did I say? I am in training for the Rota Vicentina in Portugal. Ok, not the whole 450 km. But still a decent 110 km or so.  In exactly one months time I will have my bag and rucksack packed. I will have cleared Boots out of Compeed (again). I am going. And I have done hardly any walking since booking this trip. I know, I am so lazy these days.

Anyway I am not here to talk about that. Today was declared a “walk day”. Weather check? Yes, looks fair. Well, it’s not going to rain. Not before 2 pm anyway. Honestly, the forecast said so ;). Decision made – Carn Diamh it is. Jennifer has never done it. I have done it only twice. Despite it being less than 4 miles (as the crow flies) from my doorstep.

And it turned out to be a day of surprises. Continue reading

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Jennifer, Me and Keara Makes Three

Speyside WayMessage received..”Falling like flies. Elle called off, just me and thee”. I looked out the window and thought, strange, it’s trying blue sky here. I reported back the weather forecast and agreed a start time.

Over my bowl of porridge I continued to wonder what weather might resemble flies falling? And indeed I wondered what might happen to so many flies for them to resemble rain? Or snow?

And then the penny dropped. “Falling like flies”. Ahh. As in people dropping like flies. I get it now (am a numpty sometimes – I blame it on the ‘fifties’). We had begun with potentially five walking today. Our plan – 10 miles of the Speyside Way between Aberlour and the old Ballindalloch Station at Cragganmore. Now we were down to two…and a wee one.

The weather was set to be a cold one – with rain and potentially full on snow due through around 1pm we would need our thermals for this one. Well it is November and it is Scotland. Undeterred we hit the track. Continue reading

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Reflections and RICE

Glen MuickThe last couple of weeks have seen me taking more time “out”. No easy task for someone who is literally addicted to her work. By “day” I deal with clients looking to make their event extra special. Be it a wedding or a corporate client looking to make a lasting impression with their own customers. Then in my spare time I am getting all passionate and enthusiastic about women in business in my role as President of Moray Business Women. So there really is little space for me, or indeed those around me, some days. But having invited friends and family to stay for a few days, “space” was something I would need to make.  Continue reading

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Thistles and Thoughts

Why does my head insist on trying to drag me away from the moment. The fun. The beauty? I know – mindfulness! Except I just don’t know how to do it.  I thought it was about thinking about things which make you happy. Taking your mind off it. And then a book I got said it wasn’t. So I think I need help to practice it now. Last week I experienced yet another trigger. Sat in a room of people, yet despite making some progress I still walked out questioning my worth? Apart from being a handy grafter do I bring anything else to the table? Why do some appear to look past me rather than understand why inside I am sobbing. And so those thoughts are the thoughts which have continued to unsettle me. I have chewed it over and over until I can’t sleep. And when the fight goes all that is left is flight. But you can’t keep running from the pain…

Meanwhile my poor Mr S has to deal with me keep going over and over the same questions. We have had a lovely weekend, decorating, getting creative. It worked to a point. Is that mindfulness? I have no idea. But I do know that while my hand wafts that paint brush my head knows it can multi task! Damn my head! So today we decided to head to “that Loch we can see off the A9 near Dalwhinnie”. We must have travelled the A9 100 times over and always remarked how it would be lovely if you could walk out to that loch. Well guess what? It’s called Loch Ericht (Loch Eireachd) – and you can. Continue reading

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Jumping Jack Roseisle Jellyfish

9.57 miles and over 20,000 steps. Hurrah. My mojo is back.

And with it a desire to walk by the sea. Ok, so it’s not a great distance when you consider the distances I have walked. 24 miles in a day taking in the Dava Way is still my “proud moment”. But since returning from the desert the desire to walk has been a little lacking. But that’s ok isn’t it? I am just not driven to walk alone, not even with a dog in tow. I get no enjoyment from walking for walking’s sake. I need a purpose. And currently my “purpose” is a work in progress. Continue reading

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It’s Good for the Sole

Loved my walking boots

My Old Boots

Hey! I’m back. I know, it’s been a while. I have no excuse, I just couldn’t find (make) time to step away from this crazy place I call my desk and breathe some proper fresh Scottish air – with my boots on.

I even bought myself new boots six weeks ago after my old ones finally requested retirement due to ill health. No amount of hints to Sports Direct about sponsoring my new pair would get me my replacements so I took my pennies off to the shop and bought some. It was an emotional moment. Hell, my old ones had become my buddies. We have walked well over 550 miles together. Seen sun, sea, sand (lots), rain and snow! Jumped rivers together. Climbed a mountain. I am still thinking of ways to preserve them forever. I can’t simply throw them away. Yet here I am with a new pair and so still no motivation to walk. Then at the back end of last week a wee shout goes out across a friends network here in Glenlivet. Anyone fancy a walk? Me, me, me. And so the date was set. Morinsh Wood here we come. Continue reading

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A Trip Down Memory Lane

Speyside Way Castle GrantI drive around these roads all the time but it’s only when you get from behind the wheel and put on your boots do you really “see” how lucky we are to be surrounded by such beautiful scenery in Speyside.

Today Jennifer and I opted for a short walk along the Speyside Way beginning in Grantown on Spey. A section neither of us have walked despite the fact I pass it weekly at least once and, as I would discover, Jennifer used to live there. The sun was shining, it’s Wednesday and one of us wanted, no needed, to unload a little. What other excuse do we need? Continue reading

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The Whole Six Harbours, Seals and All

Buckie lobster potsOk I confess I am not one for organised activities. By that I mean hoards of people, random people, strangers, corralled into taking part in something. Anything. But way back we often talked of doing the Six Harbour Walks as a training day but never made it. Weather. Diaries. Opposing preferences. “How far?” Each played a part and so the Sahara Trek came and went and we never did it. So here we are, back in the UK climate and missing walking with good company, by the sea. And then the Six Harbour Walks made a timely appearance. Time to pull on my big girl pants and face my nemesis. The organised walk! Continue reading

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Just Around the Corner

Covesea The Moray WayAnd we’re off. Garmouth to Covesea and we opted for a car at each end. I start to think about the bits of the Moray Coast Trail I have completed and realise – I have only got as far as Spey Bay. I did walk to Spey Bay from Fochabers (and back) last spring. I had only just begun my training. It was an unseasonably hot evening and a relatively short time window. The result was a very sore back from a new airflow frame daysack and a pace which resulted in my boots giving me Continue reading

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So What Happens Now?

Which Way NextThis Easter sees me finally handover my fundraising to two charities. I will have raised in excess of £4000 including Gift Aid, with over £2500 going to Moray Women’sAid and the rest to WaterAid. After a year of walking well over a million boot steps, that is over 500 miles, and taking myself well out of my comfort zone by agreeing to walk some of those steps in the Sahara, that challenge is done! Continue reading

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