Bowery Mural

Looking Back To Be Able To Look Forward - a study of the year just gone

Thursday, 31 December 2009

2009. What a year! Looking forward to 2009 was the most excited I’d been about the dawn of a new year for quite some years. This was to be the year of BIG adventures!! Little did I know it would be a BIG adventure in more senses of the word than one.

It was the year I intended trekking to Mount Everest Base Camp in the Himalayas. It was the year I would scale some mountains here in the much loved homeland. It was the year that everything might fall into place. Now here’s what actually happened...

Yes I did trek in the Himalayas. Sadly no I never made it to Everest Base Camp but wow! What a journey. Although there was huge disappointment on that particular journey, I often think about it and hope that I will return there one day. Now too I can also see that I met some wonderful people in Nepal as well as my trek buddies some of whom have now become great friends. I don’t know what I enjoyed best about that trip. It was all so magical. Words cannot begin to describe seeing actual Mount Everest for the first, for yes, whilst I never made it to Base Camp I was faced with the sights of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam on a daily basis on the trek. It truly was the best thing I have ever done in my life so far. But I do not want it to end there. I hope to go back one day when finances allow. For now though I am excited to tell you that trek buddies Kate and Ruth have booked to go back and climb Island Peak with Saran our very brilliant trek leader. They are heading off to climb in November 2010 and I wish them all the luck, good wishes and love in the world. I know they will do it as they are two of the most determined people I have ever met... and I’m hoping some of that steely determination will rub off on me!

Yes I did scale some mountains here in Scotland but not as many as I’d hoped. But they’re not going anywhere so there’s plenty time for that. On that journey though and through the power of communication and via the world wide web I have met some good people and been to places I’ve never been before here on our very own doorstep. I thank them for letting me join their playtime in the hills.

Things never really fell into place in the way that I would have liked but they sort of got started on their journey. I’m not really one for resolutions and the like I just prefer to hope that the New Year that is dawning will be better than the one just gone. It’s got a lot to live up to cos 2009 was probably the best year I’ve had in a long time. I mean come on, I trekked the Himalayas for f**k’s sake!!! How many other people can say that? I am really proud of that journey and also all the fundraising that was completed in 2008/2009. £4000 is no mean feat in this day and age.

Here’s my mini-rundown of 2009, the best year I’ve had in a long time:

January: The post Christmas blues, back to work and more cake-baking to get my fundraising up to the target and beyond. This worked with the help of the loyal few and I am forever in their debts.

February: A weekend away with the OMC. It was then that I decided that this club thing really wasn’t for me. It was also more working, hitting the gym 3 or 4 nights per week and the final preparation for the trek. Jags, money, last bits and pieces of kit. Exciting!! It was also around this time I discovered outdoor blogs and asked for some last minute advice.

March: A gathering on my birthday (6th March) for family and friends. So I could say thanks for everything and goodbye before the trek. It seemed like the best thing to do. It was my 32nd birthday and I have to say I didn’t dread it as much as I’d done in previous years. Last minute prep for the trek. More fundraising – by now that target was well and truly met. Nerves, nerves, nerves about the long flights ahead....

April: The trek! 3rd-18th April to be precise. I spent about 2 days before I went crying saying goodbye to people who’d stuck by me, believed in me, sponsored me, sent me good wishes and who loved me. Highs, lows, ups, downs. But ultimately I wouldn’t have changed anything (except maybe the awful cough!). Then I was home. The space, it was un-nerving. I didn’t go into my bedroom for a good few hours as I felt too overwhelmed at all the stuff I had after living out of a big yellow kit bag for 2 weeks. It was the weirdest feeling for me! Even driving home from the airport, the road was so quiet I felt after the toot-toot, busy, busy, weird and wacky racing in the streets of Kathmandu. Strange... I never returned to work either when I was supposed to. My ribs ached, I still had the cough and I was completely exhausted – physically, and I’ll admit, mentally too. I think I still am... is that possible?

May: By now I was back at work but I still had a bit of the Khumbu cough. Ribs were still sore so I was laying off the gym by this point. What did I have to train for? My fundraising page was about to close and with one final donation of £13.65 from PTC I reached the total amount of £4000 for Marie Cure Cancer Care. Thanks again man. I ventured out into the hills around Crianlarich for the first time since coming home. We never got that far up as the day was minging. Claggy, grey, raining non-stop... after a couple of hours we headed home. It was the best decision.

June: I was feeling a bit better but felt there was something missing since returning from Nepal. I’m still not sure what it was/is. Then I was hit with some startling news that totally knocked me for six. It blew me away in a way that I thought my world was about to fall apart! But thanks to people I could trust I slowly came around to the idea. Heck to this day it is even the object of a good laugh with me and Linda in the office. Yeah you know what I’m talking about Linda – ‘fuck knows!!!!’... Midway through June I ventured out again for a proper walk up the hills since coming home, at night too. It was Ben Lomond and it was good. A wee tonic after the previous week’s events. I liked it a lot.

July: July was my annual 2 week holiday from work. I was never as glad to get it. But it rained a lot. Except for one Saturday where I went on my first solo hill-walk. Ok it was up Ben Lomond again but it was solo and I went for it. I was well proud when I got home that night. A night out at Hampden with my Da to see Bruce Springsteen. It was brilliant. 3 hours solid he played for – now that’s a turn for you. Lance Armstrong (my hero!) made his Tour de France comeback and did not too bad either. Bradley Wiggins’ 4th was also very special. End of July seen my first ever visit to London – another highlight of my year. To see Ruth and Kate as it was Kate’s 30th birthday. It was a great weekend and the hospitality I was shown was great. I thank you Ruth and Kate and can’t wait until you visit me here in Scotland.

August: Lance Armstrong posts a little 140 character paragraph in Twitter and I’m sent into a spin! He’s flying into Glasgow on 18th August, what do you do?? You go to work, that’s what you do if you’re me and you’re daft!! Then you sit whilst both your very brilliant office friends tell you to ‘go, go, go, get on the train and see if you can see him’. I do and it’s too late by the time I get there. It was Paisley and they’d taken off before I got the chance to leave Glasgow. I wasn’t going to go on a wild goose chase on foot around Paisley so that was a big regret. However, Andrew out great friend and work colleague was there and got a smashing picture!! Jealous, much, me? AYE!!

September: I became an aunty for the second time. Connor is his name. Yes I know he’s not been mentioned on here much. Well he has if you know where to look! It was a joyous time. It was also the start of a new semester and busy time at work. No hill walk’s this month but plenty of gym time – although somehow I wasn’t as committed as before. Then it was off to Hampden again to see Coldplay and, wait for this, Jay-Z!! Yes. Jay-Z! It was amazing. I just love Coldplay. I don’t care what anyone says, they are still one of the best live bands I’ve seen.

October: A quiet but good month. A night out at the Caird Hall in Dundee to see another of my favourites – Paolo Nutini. I have to say his album – Sunny Side Up has been one of my most played this year. Love it! The seasons were beginning to change, there was a wee nip in the air, and the leaves were turning brown. STILL no hill-walks but I did take the boy out to Loch Lomond for a wee day out. He loved it and we spent a few hours on the shore while he threw stones into the water. We ate Mars Planets and drank a Wee Bru. Just lovely. He also got to see ‘the boys on their bikes’.

November: A quiet month but busy at work. Work. It was really starting to annoy me before the Christmas holidays. I’m glad of this break. Hopefully people can start to... er... get on with each other, appreciate what they’ve got. After months of searching I finally chose and ordered my new bike. I am so excited about it and can’t wait for it to be delivered.

December: The month of preparation for 1 day - Christmas day. Really thankful for the holidays coming up. It was much needed for me. But I’m getting that itching feeling again. I feel again that it’s time I stood up and did something for the greater good. The feeling I got when I was first starting to think about doing the trek. Who knows what this means? I don’t even know but what I do know is that I’m going to do something else. It may not be as grand as the last adventure but it’ll be an adventure of one sort or another, oh yes, you better believe it.

2010: Well there are little flickers of plans that have been circling my head for a while. There are places to be seen/climbed/visited/marvelled at. There is a bike that will hopefully be delivered in the next few weeks. There are the twice weekly spin bike classes at The Peak with Elaine. She motivates me to go on and I thank her for that. There is a load more to come from me. For I am declaring that 2010 WILL be the year that everything is going to fall into place. There may be ups, there’ll probably be downs but you’ll hear about them all here for I’m not going to edit my life just because sometimes it may not be as happy as it’s meant to be all the time.

One last word about 2009. I’m calling it the start of my journey of self discovery. And I’d like to thank those who were there with me through the ups and the downs - you guys are really special. Mum, Dad, Karen, Ryan, Connor. My larger than life family. Linda. Brigitte. Dorothy. Ruth. Kate. Andy. PTC. Martin. Elaine. Chris. Donna. Bernie.

To BigBananaFeet, Bobinson, Henrik, Moggy, Bonita and Kristian from Oz I don't know if you still read here but I thank you for being the few who do on occasion comment on my (sometimes) weird posts. And to the other readers of this here blog - I know you're out there and I thank you too for reading my ramblings (even the crap ones!). 

Oops, I nearly forgot about Twitter and all the folks on there too who reply and those who keep me amused of a day with their '140 character' posts.  @sacca, @nksheridan, @AnnieBee, @craigzielinski, @stewyphoto, @csleight, @owenp, @theclimbergirl, @cupcakemafia, @kmanietta, @idmoore, @macrobert and finally a big massive shout out to @cyclingamericas - our very own Mr Mark Beaumont who has been Cycling The Americas since May and is about to start climbing Mt Aconcagua in Argentina after 10,000 miles cycling.  Awesome!

So... to end this post I’ll simply say Happy New Year. Have a good one whatever you are doing. Me? I’ve got a bottle of Irn Bru and a copy of Moon that the postie delivered today so I’ll be watching that when the clock strikes 12... See you all on the other side.

Ange xxx 

Something's Not Quite Right

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

I woke up this morning and something was just not quite right.  I was tired.  Partly due to not going to sleep until 2am as I was watching disc 4 of series 4 of Prison Break that had been delivered from LoveFilm and partly due to the fact i'd woken up at 6.23am and drifted in and out of drowsiness due to the strange ache in my calves, forearms, hands, head... all over aches really.  I got up went down stairs and Dad made a cup of tea.  I was feeling slightly sorry for myself and could barely speak.  My throat being clogged up too.  I seem to have caught some sort of achey, flu thing - probably from Ryan who's had it for about 2 weeks.

Mum came in from town and made breakfast.  Piece on square sausage and another cup of tea.  I couldn't get comfy on the couch, turning and twitching every few minutes as my old body ached away to itself.  I wondered if this was it's way of telling me something.  

I felt a bit better after a shower and put some music on the hi-fi.  Jees that's an old fashioned word in this day of iPods, laptops, iPhones isn't it?  A hi-fi!  But yes i put a CD on the hi-fi and wondered what i would do today.  You see i'm not very good at sitting still and doing nothing.  Well I can just about manage it for a day or two but when you're off on holiday from work I cannot stand just simply sitting in the house and doing nothing.  I read a few blogs on my iPhone and a few were sort of year-end reviews.  I have planned on writing one for here but just can't bring myself to do it at the moment.  2009 was after all meant to be the year where everything would fall into place.  Yes there was the highest of highs but there were also the lowest of lows and I'm sure you don't want to read about that so I'm leaving it for now.  You see New Year is probably my least favourite time of the year.  There's so much pressure to be 'doing something' for New Year when in actual fact you'll most likely find me sitting watching telly and probably going to sleep and then on 1st January hoping that it was the 2nd January and that no-one comes to our house for a party.  But that's just wishful thinking. 

So back to wondering what i'd do when not feeling 100%.  I've not a runny nose, nor am I being sick, i just have aching bones, a very stuffed nose and throat and that general run-down feeling.  I popped a couple of Sudafed tablets, got wrapped up in my cosy Rab down jacket and headed out in the car.  First stop the post office to post a birthday present to a certain someone in Londonshire! then a drive along the hillfoots and back into Tesco to stock up on my Hogmanay carry-oot: a 6 pack of Wee Bru's, a bottle of Lucozade, 2 packs of cheese and onion Kettle Chips, a Terrys Chocolate Orange (cos shock horror Santa never brought me one of those either!!) and a 4 pack of AAA Lithium batteries for my head torch.  Petrol station next and then home.  I was now feeling still achey but a bit better.

So i've just had more Sudafed tablets, i'm kind of composing a year end blog post, my shopping ban is kinda working (apart from my trip to Tesco today!) and i'm going to do some sewing as it's really relaxing.  So if i'm not on here before 1st January comes around I wish you all a good New Year whatever you may be doing.  And that's it.  Low-key.  The way i like New Year.  

Take care out there friends
Ange xx             

Plans are afoot - shopping ban

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Christmas.  So that was it was it?  Gone for another year.  Santa's been and gone too and I was right when i predicted he wouldn't bring me any bike stuff.  It is a shame as I was looking forward to it.  It seems he forgot where HMV in Stirling was too since i never got any DVD's or CD's (a usual guaranteed gift!).  What I did get though was a much need new purse (minus a shiny lucky penny though), slippers, a bright new diary with plenty room for my hand-written ramblings, facial and body products and my favourite perfume Eternity.  Amongst the gifts from others were jammies (3 pairs!!), more slippers, money and a HMV voucher (yay I can buy some stuff).  Oh and I nearly forgot... in place of my much needed bike gear I got a LCD tv.  Now this may appear to be a good present but 1) I have a telly, 2) I expressly told 'Santa' that I DID NOT WANT a telly and 3) I am never listened to...   I mean, I don't mean to sound ungreatful but the money that was spent on the pretty decent (and probably expensive) LCD tv could have got me a helmet, a lock, a set of lights (maybe) and a rucksack for using on my bike.  These are now things that i will have to go and buy - tut!!  I have toyed with the idea of returning the tv for a refund and buying the bike gear but then the VAT rises again in a few days time and such items as tv's will probably get hiked up in price by more than the 2.5% that VAT will rise by (heck i've even spotted on a online outdoor gear store that seems to have increased it's prices already!!!  crafty sods), but let's face it, was Marks and Spencer the only actual shop that gave us the 2.5% discount on marked prices??  Anyway I've not decided what to do with ths tv yet.  It's still in it's box in the spare room out of protest. 

All in all during this festive period, I've been doing a lot, no, I mean A LOT of thinking.  Thinking about lots of things!  I've been thinking that I need to start getting my life in some sort of order.  Start planning for my future! whatever that means.  Perhaps start saving for a house, but that'll be in vain because let's face it in the current climate and unless I win the lotto I ain't never gonna be able to get a mortgage but what I can do is be ready.  Have some savings for a rainy day.  I spend too much money on what can only be described as shite.  I have a lot of 'stuff' that you accumulate over the years.  I'm kinda glad I didn't get a lot for Christmas this year.  It would only mean I'd need to clear a space of which there is hardly any and find somewhere to stash this new 'stuff'.  So anyway whilst browsing the web at various blogs I came across one by a girl who stopped shopping for a year!!  Can you imagine that?!  But since I've found her blog I've sorta come around to the idea... slowly.  She saved loads at the end of the year.  I mean i'm not lacking in clothes, shoes, facial products, I have a box full of make-up, plenty books to keep me going, trainers, cd's, dvd's blah blah blah...

So that's what i'm going to do.  Stop shopping for things I don't need.  Only buy essentials when other things run out like shampoo or deodorant cos you can never run out of deodorant.  I'm going to try it for 3 months in the first instance to see how i get on.  Now as you know I have the bike coming soon (hopefully in the next few weeks) so the only things i will buy are stuff for that - helmet, lock, other essentials for it.  There will be no clothes shopping for shite, there will be no online browsing at lunchtimes and 'clicking here to buy' another shite thing I don't need, there will be no mid-week trips to Tesco and coming out with a bag full of shite when all I really want is a pack of bread rolls and a bag of salad leaves.  It is stopping.  Now!!  There will be no more trips to the shops at lunchtime and buying shite, shite, shite...  

This does not mean I am denying myself anything.  I rarely head out to the cinema etc so I am not denying myself these simple pleasures.  I really just want to stop buying things.  Unnecessary things.  Things that just clutter the place.  Things to hang in the cupboard only to go out of fashion as I haven't found the occassion to wear such things.  As far as kit is concerned - I still have my kit fund going and even managed to resist dipping into it over Christmas so i'm still keeping that going but it will only be for essentials.  Things I don't have and not a shiny new thing because the other thing might not be in the right colour.  

The reward i hope will be a little nest egg of some sort and also the self satisfaction of slowly decluttering my cupboards and also in turn decluttering my life and making it much more simpler.  Does that make sense?  I dunno but I'm going to try it.  In preparation for this clear out and save-athon I used some Christmas money and bought Foo Fighters greatest hits, Moon DVD, The Hangover DVD and some underwear in the Marks and Spencer sale!  That should keep me going for the next few months.  I have a supply of deordorant too, ha ha.  By the way the rules also state i am allowed to buy things for other people, for example i have a few birthdays and occassions in the next few months so I will be buying cards and presents for that but that's allowed eh?!

Sunday 28th March 2010 will be the end of my 3 month shopping (read: buying shite) ban.  I will let you know how I get on and if the experiment worked.  If you see me buying something stop me and say "Ange, do you really need that?"   Thanks.  That is all... for now.

Ange xx

Merry Christmas

Thursday, 24 December 2009

'Twas the night before Christmas and everything's done that needed to be done.  I'm now wondering with great anticipation (but not too much expectation) what Santa is bringing me for Christmas!  I know some stuff, heck i was there when it was bought but i wonder if he figured out i wanted new stuff to go with my bike - lights, helmet, ruckack a new jacket even?!?!  Nah... the Santa that visits this way isn't that imaginative and I don't like writing lists for him to tick off once he's got me it.  But hey we'll see.  I might get a few surprises!  Although i'm not great at surprises - yikes... 

Anyway, to everyone who visits here Merry Christmas.  Hope you all have a lovely day.

Ange xx

Advent Calendar - Door 19, a little bit different

Saturday, 19 December 2009

For today's offering there will be no pictures.  I thought I'd tell you something about myself.  I realised there may be some things that not a lot of people know about me so here are 50 odd things to know (or not!) about me.  I hope you like / enjoy / can copy and paste it and fill it in for yourselves.

Want to know more about me? Read on!

1. I live in Stirling, Scotland.
2. I love it here, it's right in the middle of the country.
3. But I’d love to live somewhere else one day.
4. I have no tattoos and only got my ears pierced when I was 25.
5. One of my earliest memories is being knocked over by a pack of dogs at our garden gate and them barking and fighting over the top of me when I was about 4...
6. ... needless to say I don’t care much for dogs of any kind. Come to think of it I don’t really like pets. Sorry!
7. I only eat Weetabix with a tiny sprinkle of sugar and hot milk and Cornflakes with no sugar and ice cold milk. Rice Krispies either hot or cold milk. These are the only 3 cereals I eat.
8. I last had a bath in April 2009 when I came home from Nepal. I’m not dirty I just prefer a shower every day.
9. I’m quite naive (in some ways). I believe things people tell me like ‘i’ll email you’ or i’ll phone/text you’... so I am really disappointed when they don't.
10. I wear glasses and once had 5 appointments at the optician for contact lenses but i couldn’t get them in. (It’s the poking your own eye thing I can’t do!).
11. I hate smoking and will moan and grump when anyone (including my parents!) smokes near me.
12. I really wish I could give up eating chocolate, it is my one serious downfall.
13. I love my mum’s home-made macaroni cheese and I have it for my dinner every Tuesday night!
14. I’d really like to be friends with Dave Grohl and Chris Martin...
15. ...And yes, I am a dreamer. I daydream all the time. It’s the Pisces in me.
16. I’m quite a quiet and reserved person and it’s one of my traits i wish i could..err... get over?
17. I still have a pair of Portside shoes i got in 1989, they’re in the box and the hand written receipt is in it too.
18. My least favourite time of the year is New Year. I’ll likely spend it watching telly. Then a walk on New Year’s Day to reflect on the year gone and the year still to come. Perhaps it’s this time of year I don’t like? Ach I dunno...
19. I currently have 5 bottles of cleanser ‘in stock’. That’s my facial skin care routine taken care of for the year then.
20. Gordon Ramsay is my favourite TV chef. Yes!
21. Vladimir’s Blues by Max Richter is one of my favourite songs of this year.
22. I have many favourite films including Once, The Bourne series, Blood Diamond, The Departed, Love Actually plus loads more and I can remember being blown away when I saw The Matrix for the first time. Ace!
23. I like having a bit of colour and so have been known to use fake tan. My fair freckly skin does not take the sun very well so I prefer to be safe and use high factor sunscreen.
24. I’ve got every episode of Dawson’s Creek on video from the late 90’, early 2000’s... Pacey was my favourite.
25. I love art, modern and contemporary art.  And things that are wonderfully colourful.
26. I passed my driving test first time on 11 December 1995 and have written off one car in year 2000.
27. Events have happened in my life that I think affected me more than I realised or wanted to admit. I really need to do something about it now.
28. I like baking and mars bar cake is my speciality. I’ve also taken up cross-stitching again after years of doing none. It’s quite relaxing and I like making things for people!
29. I often feel very alone.
30. I don’t like dark nail polish on me and prefer the natural look.
31. My favourite perfume is Eternity by Calvin Klein.
32. I’m not allergic to anything (as far as I know!).
33. I used to do highland dancing when I was younger. I was pretty good at it. I also loved going dancing every Friday and Saturday night at the under 18’s nights at a nightclub in Stirling. Them were the days!
34. I don’t like my teeth (although I am learning to like them). I wish I could get a brace to straighten them. It is the reason I may not smile that much or talk to you on a first meeting until I’m comfortable. It’s not that I’m ignorant.
35. I love walking in the hills and being in big open spaces but at the same time i love the buzz of a city centre.
36. I don’t like to impose on people, hence the reason why I fly solo with most things: shopping, hill-walking, cinema, gigs. I’m scared to ask you folks in case you say no!
37. I chipped a bone and tore ligaments in my left foot and ankle when I was 15. The plaster cast left me with a bent wee pinky toe.
38. I think there are only about 2 people that actually ‘get’ me. At least that’s how it feels sometimes.
39. I am the proud aunty to 2 gorgeous nephews, Ryan (3) and Connor aka Banksy (3 months). Yes by some sort of miracle (!) I ‘acquired’ Connor as a nephew on 09/09/09.
40. I buy a Radio Times magazine every Tuesday.
41. Sometimes I get sad that I don’t have many close friends.  But the few that I have, I am loyal to the end and love you all.
42. I’ve never read Jane Austen, Shakespeare or anything like that and don’t think I ever will.
43. History and English were my least favourite subject at school, but i loved Geography, Graphic Design, Maths and Chemistry.
44. It annoys me when the girls in WH Smith scan that god damned stupid voucher for whatever it is. Why?!? I DO NOT WANT IT. I’m only buying a Lotto ticket.
45. I can spend hours on the internet reading blogs and still get nothing done. I also like Twitter very much!
46. I drive a Ford Fiesta but only because I couldn’t afford a Volkswagen Polo GTi at the time.
47. When I have a fried egg I only eat the yolk! Boiled eggs... I eat the lot! Weird I know.
48. I love my curly hair especially since I discovered diffusers on hairdryers and hair straighteners for when I want a wee change of style with straight hair, it is great!
49. I currently own about 45 pairs of shoes including 3 pairs of Converse gutties, 2 pair of Dunlop, 2 pairs of Nike and a very 1990’s pair of Muddy Fox hi-tops plus numerous heels, boots and 1 pair of walking boots.  I take a size 3 or 4 by the way.
50. There are 4 books on my beside cabinet and they’ve been there for about 6 months. I’ve started reading them all but have yet to finish one. They are: Eat, Pray, Love (Elizabeth Gilbert), Born to Run (Christopher McDougall), Death of a Ladies Man (Alan Bissett) and The Man Who Cycles the World (Mark Beaumont).
51. I think David Tennant is so completely attractive. But Christopher Eccleston was a better Dr Who! And he is one of my favourite actors.
52. I’ve learned that I should always trust my gut instinct. I’m usually right! (in the good and bad way).
53.  In 5 years in my current job I've only been off sick for 3 days and that was this year after Nepal.
54.  Lance Armstrong is my hero.  But you knew that already. 
55.  I would say 2009, my 32nd year on this earth has been the best in my life so far.  The places I've been, the things i've done and the people I've met - I love you all.

And that has been a little bit about me.  Now, tell me something about you that I don't already know?

Ange xx

Advent Calendar - Doors 14, 15, 16, 17 & 18 (snow special)

Friday, 18 December 2009

Blah, blah, forgot, blah, yadda yadda.... no excuse really!
here they are

Door 14 - snowing you snowing me haha...

Door 15 - Enchanted forest

Door 16 - Snow hole

Door 17 - the beast awakes from its slumber...

Door 18 - no, i'm not smiling

ok, ok.... some bonus tracks...
sugar or snow?

my favourite ever snowy photo by Me!

The Self Portrait

Ange xxx

Advent Calendar - Doors 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 & 13 - platinum edition

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Okay, okay so i might have forgotten again to post some more advent calendar doors but instead here is a few cool little Christmas songs to get us all in the mood for Santa coming!  Yay....

This one is a cool wee song and you'll all be singing it before you know it...

And finally the best Christmas song in the whole world ever!!

Woops.. nearly forgot this one... Christmas number 1?!?!

Ange xx

Advent Calendar - Doors 7 & 8

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

So doors 7 and 8 are going to be treats for me in the hope that Santa (or many Santa's) are watching and seeing what I want on my Christmas list.  They are also pretty cool!!

Door 7

A beautiful little website of really really cool illustrations and prints that you can buy!!!  It is called The Speakerdog Shop by Ben The Illustrator and it made me smile when i saw it yeserday.  I'd love to put the photos on here of the illustrations but I won't cos I guess that would be against the copyright law (or something) so I'm just going to list the links and you can pop along by there to see them...

Street Talk poster set (Santa, don't bring me this, I have already ordered it) but isn't it just great? 

Marshmellow Daze World Lovin poster - another cute pic!

Feast for the Senses World Lovin poster - fabuous colours... loves it!!

plus there are a few others that really caught my eye.  I hope you like them as much as I do and can say that this would brighten up my Christmas festive period of one of these came down the chimney...

Door 8

I adore this picture taken by Peter Aughton on our EBC trek.  I think it just totally captured my contemplative mood at that time when the rest of the group headed onwards and upwards and I headed backwards and down.  It is just above the village of Pherice which is famous for having the Himalayan Rescue Post/Hospital in it and is the first port of call for mountaineers with altitude related problesm when they are on the mountains.  It also featured on the BBC and Sky tv documentaries on Everest.  It was a nice place with an excellent lodge with the only 10 out of 10 toilets on the whole trip (ie not a drop squat, and actual toilet, ha ha).

Anyway I think the picture is wonderful.  I hope you like it too.

Ange xx

Adevnt Calendar - Doors 4, 5 and 6 (bumper edition!)

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Ok so I forgot to update the advent calendar over the past couple of days.  Things happen and you forget - oops!  but here goes...

Door 4

I call this the walk of pain.  A gully on Bidean nam Bian in Glencoe.  Took me hours and hours to walk down to that car park in the distance.  It teased me all the way down and never came any closer until the last few painful steps.  June 2008.

Door 5

That wonderful majestic looking mountain Ama Dablam in the Solukhumbu valley, Himalayas.  I love this picture that I took with my very own hands...  great!

Door 6

A cool place, somewhere up the hills...  I like it...

Ange xx

Advent Calendar - Door 3

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Behind today's door number 3 is the first wee dusting of snow atop the Ochils (Dumyat) seen this season.  Taken at work. 

Door 2 competition has now closed as the first one to comment (BBF) guessed correctly.  The answer was Loch Treig. 

Ange xx

Advent Calendar - Door 2

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

So for door number 2 we have a little competition give-away!!!!... Yes! I hear you cry ;o)

Take a look at the picture below and tell me if you know the name of the stretch of water in the background glistening under the daytime early winter sun?

First person to answer correctly in a comment below wins a prize (yet to be decided but it's a good one - honest!)   You have until 11am on Friday 4th December.
(Hint: you can click on the photo to make it bigger)

Happy guessing...

Ange xx

Advent - Door 1

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Gone are the days when I'd wake up and run down the stairs with great excitement at the prospect of what i might find behind door number one of my advent calendar.  Not your chocolate all singing all dancing type either just the plain and simple Santa Claus or Nativity scene types.  I don't think I ever had a chocolate advent calendar come to think of it.  Anyway, I used to love the wee pictures that were inside; a drum; a spinning top; a Christmas tree or a doll.  Retro they'd be called in these days of chocolates or mini toys inside the little doors.  Or if you're lucky a fun size Milky Way.  

So I thought what better thing to do than create my own Advent Calendar on here each day.  I don't know what form it will take but there'll be a treat here each and every day from 1st to 25th December.  There might even be a give-away along the way too!!...

Door Number 1

Taken from the summit of Beinn Teallach, 27 November 2008

Ange xx