Bowery Mural

To all quite simply THANK YOU - namaste

Monday, 30 March 2009

So it’s just over 3 days until lift off.... The past year has flown by quicker than Jenson Button over that finish line in Australia yesterday!! It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride and there’s been some of the best times I’ve had. I’ve met loads of great people (some I’ve not met yet!!), been to loads of new places (with more still to visit) and taken part in loads of great activities: fundraising, swinging from the trees at Go Ape!, blogging, Friday lunching, climbing the hills of Scotland (plenty more still to do – but remember ‘I don’t have a tick list’!).... just lots of fun times...

With all of that in mind, I think it’s now time for some more thank yous to everyone who has made the last year possible and the future so very very bright! Here goes:

Mum, Dad, Karen (sister) and Ryan (the bestest nephew in the whole wide world!) – you’s are my everything Love you guy’s lots; my brilliant family too many to mention but you all know who you are; Linda for being always there and for listening to my talking about all manner of things, for your fantastic fundraising efforts, Christmas card making and cake baking and a true friend; Brigitte for your endless support, encouragement and a good friend; Donna a dear friend what more can I say, I’m just sorry we missed out on all those years but we’re making up for it now; Bernie for being a good friend and a long distance pen pal; Susan thanks for everything you are a great friend, a brill mummy and an inspiration; Andrew thanks for the very cool quiz night posters and for sharing your fantastic pictures on Flickr – they really are amazing (check his pics out here, taken with an old fashioned Holga camera); Olly M quite simply thank you, for your wise words, encouragement, fabulous films, great pictures and I’m glad I can now call you a friend; Kev, Chris, Ian H, Sharon, Ian Mc, Douglas, Louise, Vikki, Billie, Tara, Suzanne, Dorothy a great bunch of fantastic friends and workmates; to everyone at work in DASS that has sponsored me, bought my cakes, came to the quiz night, encouraged me, helped me and hopefully read my blog! – thank you all; Jackie O and the fabulous members of the Ochils Mountaineering Club thanks for taking me under your wings and up the mountains, yes ‘tis true people I am now officially a member of the OMC (I have a card and everything!!); Martin McGarvey a pal, a great source of information and still a huge inspiration – Good Luck in 2010 I know you will do it!; Michael for your wise words and your offer to take me up the hills – I’m holding you to that when I get back; PTC is that really your name! Keep writing that marvellous blog, your stories, foties and kit advice are great!; all the inspirational speakers I’ve heard over the past few months Simon Yates, Kenton Cool, Ian Parnell, Es Tressider, Kev Shields, Olly Metherell and Niall McNair - the simple words and fabulous panoramas you offer really do provide lots of inspiration to lots of people - keep it up!; Dave and Claire MacLeod I’m an avid reader of your blog and congratulations on the ever-continuing success of Echo Wall - a great film that even us non-climbers got hooked on within the first few minutes – inspiring!; Alison Culshaw, Claire Maxted and Tom Bailey thanks for taking me up a munro in the Cairngorms and giving some great memories and photos of the day (see Trail magazine Oct o8 edition); Jackie Johnson from Marie Curie Cancer Care, thanks for your help and encouragement; to all the lovely 4th year students who will graduate in June including Karen A, Andrew H, Frazer, David C, Nina, Matthew, Gwyneth, Gareth S, David P, Gemma, Alex S, Lyndsay H and everyone else so sorry I won’t be there when you guys hand in your dissertations but GOOD LUCK and you’re in safe hands at the office with Linda!; Paul Roberts at Terrevista Trails - thanks so much for the sleeping bag liner much appreciated; to Mark Beaumont the first person to really inspire me way back in early 2008 with his solo round the world cycle, it gave me a fire in my belly and compelled me to step outside my comfort zone, take on a new challenge and live life to the fullest that I can – Thank you, truly.

And finally to new friends Kate F, Ruth R, Andy W, Emma C and the other members of team Charity Challenge EBC 2009, can’t wait to meet you all!!

To all I simply say thank you... for everything.

Ange xxxxx

Pictures done on

More pictures and larger sizes here:

It's the final countdown!...

Saturday, 28 March 2009

... and now only just over 5 days till departure. Yikes!!

Had a wee leaving night last night in Stirling with a few friends which was great. A few couldn't make it but I'll see them at work during the week (get well soon Ian!). To those that did come along Thank You!, it means a lot. I'm really starting to dread saying goodbye to people (you'd think i'd never been away in my life) but somehow this just feels different. Can't really explain it. I was getting ready to go out last night and Ryan came upstairs chapping on the bedroom door. 'Ryan just come in for a wee 5 minutes' he said with his big doe eyes. 'No Angie's getting ready' i replied. I felt so bad saying it but he was going to stay at my auntie's house as his mummy was coming out for the night too. He waved goodbye and it set me off. I don't know what i will be like saying bye bye to him for real on Thursday. He still thinks I'm going up the Ochils for 2 weeks!! Wee scone.

Some more sponsorship money has been coming in during the week which is great so the total is now £3636.35 - fantastic amount. I can't say a huuuuuuge thank you enough to everyone!
Training is going well. Hills, work, gym, work, gym, work, looong walks again... you get the drift. This coming week i have to attend the hospital on Tuesday for my orthopeadic insoles. I can confirm it thas been a year since I first went to the Docs about my sore knees and he gave me ibuprofen!! I then proceeded to spend quite a bit of money on physio appointments until November and visited the Doc again (a different one this time) who referred me to the hospital. I am due to be getting physio on the NHS but that appointment hasn't come through yet since January!!! Amazing eh... So hopefully these insoles will take the strain off my knees and keep my feet, legs and hips aligned properly. Failing that i've packed lots of ibuprofen ha ha. No but seriously i think i will be fine. I'm not getting the pain as sore when walking in the hills which is great, stil can't run for a while but interval running seems tot be doing the trick too. I know my limits and when to stop.

My new camera was tested again this week whilst i was out walking. Took some sunest mode pictures whic hturned out pretty good so i think i'll have some amazing photos to show (or bore) you all with when i get back! Be prepared!!!

I like the greens in the first photo. Second photo is a distant shot of Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle and third picture is the sunset mode. Think they are ok.

I will update more during this final week and have a special posting to be revealed...

so for now take care, be safe
Ange xx

More photies will soon follow

Friday, 20 March 2009

I took delivery of my brand new camera yesterday!! Woop woop. Still a bit unsure as to how to work it with all these amazing features (in fact they might not be that amazing but it says so on the box!!) High speed (it says), can record in slow motion so you can choose which picture looks best and you want to keep, has a YouTube function on it (for easy uploading to YouTube of course!), is black and looks quite nifty which is all well and good but I've stumbled across a few slight fiddly annoying things.

The slot for the battery and memory card is fine but... the little flap opens and you can hardly get the memory card out because it's so close to the flap!! Designers?!! They could just as easily have moved it to open from the other side. It's also a bit heavier and slightly longer/wider than my previous camera. I've taken a few test pictures but nothing to right home about yet. I'll take it out with me this weekend, get a few landscape shots and see if it's going to give me lovely Himalayan landscapes to look back on with great fondness.... aaaaaaaa......

One thing that concerns me is how will I charge the battery up when I'm away? I did consider buying a spare but then found it would cost £34.99 for the 'real mccoy'. I'm a bit wary of buying cheaper versions - does it really invalidate your warranty! Anyway i think for a small fee at the wee tea-houses on the trek you can charge batteries. But this means taking the battery charger/plug and a travel adaptor. Which all adds to the weight.... hhhmmmmmm. Decisions, decisions. So much to think about so little time.

Training wise - Been at the gym and then for another mammoth mid-week walk. Gym again tonight and then out to the great outdoors Saturday and Sunday. I decided to leave the packing till next week when I can get my forty lists out and tick each item off as it goes in the bag...

take care,
Ange xx

PS I'm telling you, if you don't have the new Kings of Leon (Only by the night) album, go buy it. It's fantastic...

Pack light... nae chance!

Monday, 16 March 2009

Saturday evening was spent on the floor in the bedroom with all my bits and bobs collected over the months laid out in front of me. There were countless amounts of Exped waterproof bags in a rainbow of colours and a myriad of sizes; socks socks and more socks; 4 different types of Compeed blister gel packs; 2 tubs of Tiger Balm (for my sore knees); lip balms; antibac hand gel; all purpose wash (my skin is going to be shot by the time I get back); a first aid kit; ibuprofen, paracetamol and a ickle bottle of Diamox from the travel clinic plus various lotions and potions and... well you get the drift. Pack light?? pah... nae chance!

So I got the pen and paper out and wrote a list of stuff that I might actually need. Do I really need 2 tubs of Tiger Balm? Are 7 pairs of socks really needed? I think yes to that question. I'll get 2 days wear out of them and after that they'll be humming I'm sure. I decided that I can't lock all my toiletry stuff in the one wash bag as I might need to get the blister plasters out during the day for any sore feet that may arise (I'm an optimist as you can tell!). So the list soon covered a whole page of A4 lined paper!!! Will it all even fit into my kit bag??

Luckily my t-shirts/base layers all fit neatly into one of those Pack-It thingy's - handy wee cube bags that you see what's in them easily. I've got my socks in a smaller one. The sleeping bag, although quite heavy, fits neatly into the side of my kit bag and I only need to roll up my thermarest which is also quite small and light (I'm sure once everything's packed it won't feel that light). My down jacket stuffs into it's own stuff sack but that can go in my rucksack. 3 pairs of trousers should suffice eh?? My hairdryer and straighteners can go into the top pocket of my kit bag......... ha had you fooled there eh! Of course I'm not taking them with me but you'll have to excuse the photos when I come back. My hair will be like frizzy lizzy, there may be lots of hat wearing in the pics!

Acht it's such a hard job trying to pack. Now if I was going to a deserted beach somewhere it would be easier - wouldn't it? nope....

Right... enough about this, I'm sitting here at the computer at work and should be doing actual work just now but strangely enough can't seem to focus at the minute! Partly cos my mind is racing with things still to be done and partly cos I'm bored as I'm in the office myself today - Linda on a long weekend holibob and Brigitte off to south of France - lucky her! I mean student comes to the window, I answer them; pile of grades to enter from workshop reports, i will do in 10 minutes after I've finished this most important of blog entries and go and get my 2nd cup of tea of the day. That's how it's rolling just now. I might try some social networking in between times too. Oops did i say that out loud! ha.

take care,
Ange xx

PS If there's a rocket tie me to it!

(obligatory musical reference above)

Training... or should that be raining?

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

It's been a while since I've provided any updates on my 'training' plan for the trek. So here goes. I've been trying to get out walking in the hills as much as I can (to find my hill legs I was told!) but it's not always possible. To be honest for the first month after Christmas I wasn't as focused as I could have been but over the past month I seem to have gotten a second wind and am blasting the training. Hitting the gym after work at least 4 times a week and even started tentatively running again last week. No big deal you might think but before I couldn't run longer than about 4 minutes without knee pain. Pacing myself was what was required so I've been doing intervals on the treadmill for 30 minutes at a time. Next is usually the cross-trainer, stepper machine and then some weights for the upper body. I'm trying to be good and follow the advice of the fitness officer and do my stretching afterwards. A must for my very tight IT bands and hamstrings!!! It seems to be going fine just now but I felt a little twinge in my left knee last night so tonight I went for a long walk.

It took me out through Bridge of Allan and up to Dunblane. The nights are getting lighter so I don't feel scared walking along the road. Anyway it goes like a fair with the traffic - non stop. I walked and walked for 2 hours and as I was going the sound of the cars, the noise of my waterproof trousers rubbing, my breathing... I fell into a rhythm. I kept at it for 2 hours non-stop only briefly stopping to cross the roads at strategic points. As I was walking the rain wasn't too bad - that small smirry rain that doesn't really bother you but gets you real wet. There wasn't much wind either on the outward leg of my journey but coming back in it was lashing my face. I thought to myself there's no-where I'd rather be! Getting out in the fresh air, rain hitting off my glasses wind blowing in my hair - good times. Simple.

As ever on these walks my mind races ten to the dozen and as I approached Dunblane I was suddenly hit with sadness. It was Wednesday 13th March 1996 when we received the terrible, shocking, numbing news that my wee cousin John had been killed at the primary school. Terrible terrible time it was for all concerned. He was only 5. Sadly I can remember it like it was last week but I also remember with much joy and fun his last words to me. We were having a laugh and he was running out our front door, I ran after him (it was the joke) and he shouted 'Angie, yer jist a big silly!' - cute. He ran away hee-hawing and laughing up the street as I pretended to run and catch him. I hope he's watching over me on this trek - gonna need some extra strength from somewhere.

So I made it back to the car at work in 2 hours. Not sure how many miles that was but it was a good wee walk. Must do more of these. *5 minutes later* Just checked a nice little tool on the web, and it confirmed I've walked 6.72 miles in 2 hours. Not too bad eh.

So that is the training for now. More hill days are required so if anyone out there reading this is looking for someone to take up the hills please let me know. I can provide a compass and sweeties, you must provide the map and expertise?? Offers?

I almost forgot about my little black book I've bought to take on the trek. No, not a 'little black book' in that way!! It's currently an empty notebook but my plan is to get some friends and family to write in it so I can look at it as some sort of encouragement at the end of a hard days trekking. I'm also gonna write record some of my own thoughts and feelings along the way, kind of like a diary and then I'll transfer it all to this blog afterwards. It's also got a secret pocket at the back so some photos are going in there. I'm quite a sentimental person really - in case you haven't noticed ha ha.

I'm off now, going to book my Edinburgh - Heathrow flight (eek!!!!!!) and then early to bed tonight. Busy day tomorrow. Might venture up to Fort William for the Mountain Festival. Still undecided at this point..... hhmmmm....

be safe out there
Ange xx

Music: Still loving Kings of Leon album 'Only by the night'. Great for the gym...

Busy bee...

Sunday, 8 March 2009

So that was a busy weekend!! Phew, birthdays aren't usually that hard work but it was a very enjoyable weekend that has left me with a cold and runny nose.

I'd decided ages ago to make this birthday a special time for me in what will be one of the best years of my life so far. And so it began on Thursday with a trip to Glasgow for a bite to eat and then onto a Mountain film festival at Glasgow University run by Olly Metherell of Super7. We had a tortuous journey as we hit the busy rush hour traffic and then I only managed to go and take the wrong exit from the M8. A little detour action was needed but we eventually made our way to the car park I'd circled on the map just behind Ashton Lane in the West End (which also just happened to be conveniently situated next to the venue for the film festival). By this time we'd been in the car for an hour and a half and I so needed a pit stop as soon as we got to the restaurant. A quick meal was delivered and then we set off to watch some films.

I think Linda was disappointed there were no chick flicks on show but she soon had a wee tear in here eye watching this one film about 2 South African rowers. Very good story. Then there was Echo Wall by Clare and Dave MacLeod. It still amazes how people can hang from a rock with only one finger and one toe actually touching the rock!! Amazing.... Next was I Can Do That - the story of the Lipstick Blondes and their expedition to ski off the summit of Mustagh Alta (7546m). Very inspiring group of women but it left me slightly concerned about my trek (I won't spoil it if you haven't seen it but it kind of spooked me a wee bit!!). To finish off was Zoltan which in fact was a good way to finish the night off, very funny wee 5 minute film and I think I'm going to take up 'tubing' next, ha ha.

After a wee chat with Olly it was time to set off on the homeward journey. This only took about 30 minutes - roads much quieter than the drive in.

I woke on the morning of my birthday feeling... well pretty much the same actually. Aren't birthdays always like that? Set off for work and had a pretty good day all in all. We started with our customary Friday morning scone from Clive's cafe. Yum! A few messages came in via various sources from friends old and new. It was great. Then it was time to head home for the get-together at my house.

People started arriving about 8pm and soon the house was filled with family and a few friends (mum has a huge family - 12 brothers & sisters). As I was sitting there listening to everyone chat away I thought this is great! All the people that meant something to me were there. Of course a few were missing due to various other commitments but i had a warm fuzzy glow inside knowing that they'd all made the effort to come for my birthday. Now there was supposed to be a rule in place that no-one except Linda and Christine stuck too - the rule was you had to bring something relating to 1) Nepal, 2) the mountains or 3) the number 32!! Linda brought a Toblerone and Christine brought a pasta necklace (32 pieces of pasta on it) and the pendant was a small karabiner with a little compass attached!! Good effort ladies well done. None of my family brought anything like that although they did threaten to come dressed as the Von Traps!! (Mountain related - sort of!) ha ha. I opened my cards and Linda had given me a picture card she'd bought at the film festival the previous night - it is well cool and ...sshhh *whisper* one of the best birthday cards I've had in ages... Well chuffed I was.

So Friday was a great night and I think it eventually ended about 2am after the guitar and drums came out and a few old favourite songs were sung. There's about 3 songs that are sung at all the family do's: whiskey in the jar, blueberry hill and forever and ever (my fav old tune). It was good and made me a bit emotional sitting listening to them all chanting away to their hearts content. Family and friends - what it's all about really eh!

Saturday I had a lie in and was woken by the postman knocking at the door. My new Oakley prescription sunglasses had arrived!!!! They are fantastic and so light-weight to wear. Perfeck! The afternoon was spent in Stirling getting more kit - or so I thought. I'd decided to head into Tiso to see if I could pick up a few smaller items: all purpose soap, gel hand wash, iodine tablets and more but managed to come out with another pair of socks, a merino base layer top, a spork! and neutralising tablets. They didn't have much other wee bits in stock. I heard quite an amusing conversation between two members of staff but out of courtesy I won't mention a word!

Saturday evening was spent at my good friend Donna's. We got a takeaway and settled in to watch a good girlie film - Definitely Maybe. It's a nice wee chick flick and, yes, it managed to make us cry a bit. Just what you need every now and again eh ladies?

Sunday was another birthday in the family so again we gathered at my aunts house for dinner and a good old natter. A good laugh but by 7pm I was starting to flag a bit. So I said my good-byes and came home (which is only just down the road by the way).

So yeah I was a busy wee bee this past weekend and never got out in the hills. Must try harder!

The countdown to the trek is just 24 days!!! I remember this time last year when the first thoughts of trekking to Everest Base Camp were just a dream, soon it will be a reality and now I am starting to panic a bit. It will be well worth it though, won't it?...

take care

Ange xx

Happy me!

Friday, 6 March 2009

Yes that's right, it's my birthday as of 1 minute and 15 seconds ago!!! Do I feel older? No. Do I look older? Certainly not!!!! Is this going to be a good year? Hell yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!

Birthdays are always strange days for me. I was out in Glasgow with 2 great friends tonight and we were having dinner and musing over how as we get older we get more reflective on our birthdays (as if I'm not reflective enough as it is!). Anyway yeah for a couple of years now I have assessed my life on each birthday and let me tell you it has never been better. Of course there are a few things missing and stuff I wish I'd have done by now but hey I am getting there and I just know that there is so much more to come from me. I've never really had a party on birthdays, no 18th, no 21st so this year I'm having a little get-together for friends and family. It's part birthday and partly because I want to gather all the wonderful people who have helped me over the past few years by just being there and by giving good advice and wise words of encouragement when I've slightly wavered. I did say on the invite, it's a party in case I don't come back from Nepal but that was in jest and when everything goes to plan and I've made it to Base Camp I'll be back in Stirling live and kicking on Saturday 18th April 2009. Take note...

Talking of which, I took receipt of my final joining instructions and information pack about the trek. It is well and truly official now. In 4 weeks time exactly I'll be sitting on a plane winging my way from Heathrow to Kathmandu via Bahrain!! Waaaaaaaa....... now that is scary.

So my birthday weekend got off to a fantastic start with our wee trip to Glasgow's West End this evening, thank you Linda and Susan for putting up with the traffic and slight 30 minute detour. Never mind, George and Mildred kept us amused for a wee minute there even if my bladder was ready to burst... please don't mention the belt incident! That would not have been a good look, ha ha. And Linda, sorry there were no chick flicks on offer but I think you liked the films anyway... ;-)

So if it's your birthday out there too, Happy Birthday!.. to me and you fellow Pisces (see below)
take care
Ange xx

Song of the day: I want you - Kings of Leon
PISCES FACTS - if you're into all of that!
The Astrological birth sign of Pisces (February 19 - March 20) is usually associated with being extremely creative, sensetive, and artistic, as well as a healthy fascination with the metaphysical and spiritual.

The duality of the Pisces personality is best described as a constant ebb and flow,back and forth, straddling the physical, material world and the ethereal, divine realm where Pisces vivid imagination, powerful intuition and creative daydreaming feel like home.
Pisces are creators. Pisces are common as inventors, writers, musicians, painters, and dancers. Pisces make great friends and mates. Pisces are extremely loyal and caring. Pisces often possess uncanny intuitive or psychic abilities.

PISCES - February 19 - March 20 Pisces is the 12th sign of the Zodiac and is represented by two fish swimming in opposite directions. The two fish symbolize the internal struggle of the soul within a Pisces. Often, the fish are swimming away from each other in a circle representing life after death or reincarnation. Pisces is considered a feminine or negative sign. Feminine signs are considered more passive, receptive and sensitive than masculine/positive signs.

Pisces are sensitive, humane and often idealistic. People born under this sign react emotionally to everything making them compassionate and sensitive to those around them. Rather than taking an analytical approach to life, pisces react to the feelings of others and as a result can be very influential when they choose to be. In the right situaltion a Pisces can be capable of incredible deeds. The positive nature of a Pisces and the fact that they are tuned into the feelings of others makes them socially popular.
Being able to read and react to situations makes Pisces one of the most adaptive signs in the Zodiac. They are very intuitive and as a result can be flexible and prosper in many different situations. The intuitive nature of Pisces also makes them a very creative and imaginative sign. Pisces are often artists, writers and dreamers. The strong intuition of a Pisces can also mean that they are very spiritual.

ELEMENT: Water Pisces is one of 3 water signs in the Zodiac, all of which share similar characteristics. Water signs are typically sensitive, emotional (sometimes vulnerable), creative, sensitive and melancholic. The other water signs in the Zodiac that share these characteristics are Cancer and Scorpio.

The week that was... busy week, OMC meet, bag-packing & Snow Patrolling

Monday, 2 March 2009

What a busy week it was last week! Everything seemed a bit last minute towards the end of the week but it was good all the same.

Monday was the usual, slowly got into work on Monday morning and finally got around to ordering my trekking poles (after too much deliberation). I really am a hesitator!

Tuesday I had a half day at work as I was off to see Snow Patrol at the SECC. First of all though in the morning it was a trip to the Doc's to get some jabs for the trek. Only got 2 which was fine but i was left with 2 bits of gauze roughly slapped on both arms with a bit of medi-tape wrapped around to hold the gauze in place. It all looked very child-like but he was a young Doctor! Luckily I had no bad reactions to the jabs but they were a bit sore when Brian kept nudging me all night at the gig!! Ouch! The gig was good band were on top form but i think i preferred them when I saw them in October at The Assembly Room in Edinburgh. It was a more intimate gig and they played just about the same songs. I took my cousin Brian along as we hadn't been out for ages. What a laugh we had trying to dodge someone i didn't want to talk to - rid troosers anyone! Anyway we bumped into our other cousin Claire and her friend. After spending 25 minutes trying to get out of the car park, we had a good old laugh in the car on the way home and my jaws were aching by the time I got home. Claire was asking why the heck I was walking up a mountain that was so far away and kept saying she was scared for me! Thanks for the concern but it'll be fine.

Wednesday was... well just a normal Wednesday really. The middle of the week and you wish it was Thursday. Plus there was the DASS support staff meeting in the morning and DASS departmental meeting in the afternoon......zzzzzzzzz!!

Thursday was a wee trip into Stirling at lunch time to collect my new trousers from Tiso. Toby had left a message on my phone to say they were in. That was quick! I only ordered them on Sunday. And yes I did order them on the net and get them delivered to the shop, 1) because the shop didn't have my size and 2) I saved a £4.50 delivery charge! While we were in town we popped into M&S for a few bits for lunch. I got a pack of chocolate covered peanuts that I'd taken out in the hills before. They are pretty nice and i think a couple of packs may be going with me to Nepal.

Late on Thursday afternoon i got a call from Jackie at the OMC asking if I was still going to the Kinlochleven meet on Friday night. I hadn't really thought about it and wasn't sure if places were still available. Just around the same time I got an email from the OMC to say i had finally!!!!!!!! been given my log in details for the website. Did this mean I was finally a member of the OMC??? I'm still not sure. ha ha - what a saga... Anyway after a few exchanged emails I decided to go as I need to get as many hills in as possible and what better way than with a good bunch of folk with lots of experience.

I was surprised that I managed to get my bag packed in an hour! Normally takes me longer to decide on bits and pieces. Heaven knows what it'll be like when I'm off for 2 weeks never mind 2 days!!!

Friday Dad gave me a run to work - he is a man of leisure these days. Ryan was strapped in his seat in the back and was busy yabbering away about 'Angie going up hills' and 'Ryan go up hills wi Angie?', 'Angie climb the big mountains?' It's cute. I said my good-byes and dragged the kit bag into the office. It was too heavy to sling over my shoulders... well I did have everything and the kitchen sink in it! Nah really, I had clothes and the usual but also food and bottled water too so that added to the weight. I think I need lessons in packing 'light' for the outdoors - you think?

Anyway I left work at 3pm with Jackie and we headed on up to the Blackwater Hostel in Kinlochleven at about 3.45pm after a stop at Sainsbury's. The road was pretty quiet so we got to the Clachaig Inn at Glencoe at about 5.45pm. It was raining and there wasn't really much snow on the hills. We made it to the hostel at about 6.30 to find 3 older members already onto bottle number 3 of the red wine!! We settled in and soon others started to arrive. There were a few familiar faces and some new people i hadn't net yet. What a nice bunch though and again it was good listening to the stories of walking and climbing in all sorts of places. Soon everyone had the boos out deciding what each would be doing the next day. The weather reports weren't that great but a group of us decided Stob Ban in the Grey Corries. So after much laughter and a good wee night we headed off to bed about midnight and set the alarm for 8am....

Ok I'm aware that this entry is turning into another epic so i think i'll continue the story of my 8th munro at a later date!! get ready for it.....

take care,
Ange xx

Song of the week: Wild mountainside - Eddi Reader sings Burns