October 08

October Already, what happened there then? One minute I'm wishing the kids were back at school and the summer was over, now they're talking about Christmas in all the shops. Next thing you know it'll be snowing on Ben Nevis. (Hooray!)  Still, at least I've had some warning this year. Last year Christmas jumped out of nowhere and scared the living daylights out of me.
I've been to Scotland a couple of times since I last wrote anything down. I also paid a visit to Ambleside in the heart of the lake district. The last time my wife saw that much Gore-tex and Nikwax in one place was when the door fell off the wardrobe in the spare room. Well, you don't think she'd let my outdoor life into the bedroom do you? Good news is, she fell in love with the place, I can't believe she hadn't been before, now she can't wait to go back.
Yippee!  I even caught her reading my Country Walking and Trail magazines last week. When I started trotting up and down hills, people used to think I was mad. "Draggin' all those uniforms up'ill, taint right, t'll scare sheep"  I remember someone saying this from under his cloth cap like it was yesterday, but it must have been almost twenty years ago when I was doing Adventure Training with the Army. Wainwright knew when he was onto a good thing and look what he's started, everyone's having a go now. 

This months biggest Thank You goes to Intersurgical. They recently offered their support for my forthcoming Seven Summits challenge, and the cheque is already in the bank.
But there's more…
The day after I put the cheque into the Seven Summits bank account, I got a parcel delivered to my door. This parcel, apart from being large, contained equipment that is essential for Community Responders and First Aid volunteers, if they are to save lives. It is equipment and donations like this that keeps the volunteers going. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer with South Central Ambulance Service Community Responders, please contact Hugh Whitaker or telephone the 24-hour information line 0800 587 0207

To learn more about Intersurgical click on the logo or here

Had a couple of problems with a brainless moron, aka a hacker, who thought it would be a good idea to send people annoying stuff in their email, rest assured that this has been dealt with, and now the only annoying stuff you get will be sent by me. Thanks to Google for sorting out my little moron problems. For those of you who STILL haven't memorised the address, it's

I decided that as I'm fairly well experienced in the mountaineering and expedition side of things, it would be a good idea to make it all official. So I have registered with Mountain Leader Training UK, so that when I take you up a hill with me, you'll know that your in safe hands. MLTUK is the co-ordinating body for all mountain training schemes in the UK, overseeing the training and assessment of around six thousand leaders, instructors and guides, (and me). Mountain Leader Training England (MLTE), formerly the Mountain Leader Training Board, was set up in 1964 to develop training and assessment courses in mountaineering. That work has developed to the stage where MLTE now administers the Summer Mountain Leader, the Walking Group Leader and the Single Pitch Awards.   

I never did say why I went to Scotland last month did I. Well most of you may be thinking that it was to bag a Munro, practice my ice climbing technique (in September?) or  maybe even do some voluntary work with mountain rescue. Usually you'd be right, but not this time.
Those of you who know me, may know that I'm mad about dog's, the bigger the better. Sadly, Abbie my Bernese Mountain Dog, passed away a while back due to cancer. This has left a big hole in our life, a big hollow dent in the sofa and we all miss her, especially our other dog, Buster. Thing is we could never replace Abbie as she was unique, she'd never win any awards at Crufts but we loved her.
So what to do? Then a friend of ours tells us that her St Bernard had an accidental close encounter with a Newfoundland. Both big, beautiful dogs but…

Meet Lulu and Murphy, 

Mum & Dad

I'm probably back in Scotland to collect the dynamic duo as you read this months newsletter. Yes they are brother and sister even though Murphy is twice Lulu's size, but I'm sure she'll catch up eventually. Just look at Mum and Dad and you'll see how much sofa the two will take up, wish us luck! I think we're going to need it.

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