Tuesday, 24 March 2009

The Mighty Deerstalker report from our very own mighty deertslker

After two or three false starts from home (forgot the race pack and maps) and a few twinges in the back to remind me of my visit to the osteopath the day before I finally made it to Innerleithen mid afternoon in plenty of time for registration and for the pre race nerves to kick in nicely. As the race is planned to start at 5.30pm with a threat of delay should the day prove too bright I was relieved when we started more or less on time. Having been warned that the best way to beat the queues at each discipline was to get on a good start I set with the thousand odd other people up the first hill and over the wall of bales. There was then a nice steady run along roads and through the park...this was going to be an easy run.....The First discipline;- THE PONDS looks like wet grass until you jump in and suddenly you are up to your waist. Immediately refreshed by the icy water I headed off up the first proper hill, I decided from the outset that I would walk the steep bits having been left behind whilst running by a power walker. The relief at the top was soon overtaken by the descent through the trees. Having tried to control my descent I soon realised that it was better to go with the flow....literally and hope that the legs would keep up. Back onto a flat road which felt strange at first but soon I was wading up the middle of a river. After this came the incline to the SCREE SLOPES. I was quite happy to reach this still in the daylight but wishing I had set off in only T shirt and shorts as my now drenched leggings were trying to get down to knee level. The soaked gloves in my jacket pocket gained me a few pounds too. On to the scree slopes, having tried to pass somebody below once I soon re joined the line and waited my turn. Then over the balance poles at the top of the hill followed by one more delightful steep descent on grass with no trees to grab in order to slow the downward motion. A brief run on the flat then another steep down through trees meant the head torch was now a necessity. Then came for me the worst part which was a very short but steep incline from the edge of the river resulting in exploding calves, down into the town where both the calves simultaneously cramped leading to a decision between stopping and stretching or running on my heels. The heel running released the muscle cramp and I continued at a less than fast pace not knowing what was coming up next. This proved to be a disorientating but uneventful run back to the race village. Finally with the end in sight I was spurred into life by someone trying to overtake me under the scrabble net and managed to put an entire 2s between him and me by the finish line. Then the hardest part of all...untying the chip out of my laces....I advise anyone to remove your shoe...not bend. A fantastic ceilidh then began but unfortunately so did my three hour drive home. Next year I will take the tent! I felt great the day after but now calves and bottucks are as tight as a very tight thing.

Time 1:53:18 Position 226/1000 odd registered 833 finishers

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Lovely day

After waving Garret off to his Mighty Deerstalker run (he tried to sneak back a few time but we eventually got him away, and Toby off to work the girls and I cycled to the stables (Garret took my car because his..well, that's another story) for a bit of R and R, riding and restoration. Glorious weather and good exercise for the one who had to run along side......

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Not raining today!

A lovely soft, warm spring day today of the kind we do best in Argyll so I ambled along the shore on Lewis to see what I could see......There were several of the "oops" variety as Lewis twisted round to see what the clicketey noise was, deleted the rest but quite like the one I left in.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

MapMyRun.com | View 03/17/2009 Route in Argyll And Bute, United Kingdom

MapMyRun.com | View 03/17/2009 Route in Argyll And Bute, United Kingdom

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Ten weeks and counting...time for me to be boring re running.

Yes, ten weeks to go until the Kintyre Half Marathon. In an attempt to be organised this year and try to minimise some of that gut wrenching panic, and indulge my desire to make lots of lists with things I can cross off I have downloaded a training plan from the web...and have even started following it...good eh!! Two runs by the programme this week, nine and a half weeks to go. As the running prescribed for week one is less than I usually do I probably should not feel to smug just yet. It is running all the way here as we are getting closer to our Inveraray jogscotland group starting on the 21st, and I am nagging Garret into getting going for the Bluebell festival run up Dun Na cuiche that he is organising.

The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House.
Wednesday March 18th 1992
Next Problem!
We have now discovered that the land and house are covered by a feu, conditions imposed by the feudal landlord. Briefly summarised the feu holder needs to be informed and approve of:-
• Any changes/additions to buildings
• Any new buildings
• Business ventures
• No alcohol to be sold
• No tents/caravans/no bonfires
• No fishing rights.
Now looking into the implications of these. ? can buy the fue.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Another rainy day...

The weekend seems to have spun past in a whirl of "shall we shan't we" be able to get the kids skiing (Saturday shan't, Sunday shall!). Saturday was clearly a no go with high winds and rain coming sideways even here so we went for a long walk instead....Sunday we raced up to Glencoe to get there slightly late for lessons. the three offspring did really well and Freya has now made it down Mugs Alley, whilst Rosie played most competently on the plateau unaided. A very satisfactory day. Wind stopped play mid afternoon but we were more than ready for hot chocolates by then so elated with all various successes we descended via a swaying chair lift to the cafe.No photos as Garret had charge of the phone/camera for the afternoon.....

The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House.
Monday March 16th 1992
Got a mortgage! May the Yorkshire Bank thrive forever and their profits increase thrice fold! We are able to borrow £30,000 at 4% over base rate until the house is habitable and therefore mortgagable.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Red Nose Day

Freya and 4 pals at school organised events to raise £350 and counting...well done girls!

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Some horsey Friends

A wee quiet moment on the yard today...just me and the gang.

From the top.

The Girls
The Boys
Bubbles' best side
Other best side
Front side
Pretty Boy
Aaaahhhhh...my boy Lewis

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Rainy day in Argyll

Rainy, rainy today and mild unlike the below date. So, an at home day doing Mummy things and catching up on a pile of ironing that appears to be making a bid for permanent quarters in the kitchen. I have avoided entering any bedrooms other than my own on the grounds that if I actually see how disgusting they are (this is just referring to the offspring's rooms not the guest ones....) I shall have to take action. Ostrich, head and sand situation. My life in a nutshell.

The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House.
Wednesday March 11th 1992
Very cold. Heavy snow on the hills. Light fall at the house.

Met Mrs Martin. Historic sites planning officer. Gave some useful advice re planning permission grants etc. Looks doubtful for bungalow. However sees no problem with house and Mill conversion.
Pm. Dow to Dunoon to see Mr Digby Guy (Bidwells) grated unlimited servitudal right of way through access road. Other areas to be taken up with the solicitor i.e stolen tiles. Back to Stonefleet
(Stonefleet was my family home, in Tockwith, North Yorkshire, England)

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Have had some sleep now...

Yesterdays skiing was off and on so many times that we could not quite believe it when we were on the lift going up...and then we nearly blew off it.Just Liz and I this time as this was her only day off and hence the anxiety to get up there. The rain and needle sharp snow were...ummm, challenging. We did actually blow off one of the tows but luckily only my pride was dented so all was well. When the skies momentarily cleared the snow was, to use a phrase I really don't like but does, on this occasion sum it up AWESOME!!

The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House.

Tuesday March 10th 1992
Rain sleet and snow. Snow on the hills
Problems. The Royal Bank of Scotland has rejected the application for a mortgage. So it’s on to plan B, only we don’t actually have a plan B. Looking at expenses etc we have £75,000 between us and need £20,000 to meet the purchase price of £80,000 and for the renovations. So it’s back to the banks or the whole deal is off.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Busy day

Too sleepy to write much about today....skiing, running and swimming...all in that order so off to bed.zzzzzzzz
The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House.
Monday March 9th 1992
Very wet morning; Clear pm
Found solicitor. Measured windows. Long walk pm up to the Folly above Inveraray. Wonderful views.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Then only

The “Then” blog. For details see entry for March 7th 2009. In brief the restoration of Claonairigh House.
Sunday March 8th 1992

Beautiful day; Bright blue skies
Walked in Crarae gardens, spectacular rhododendrons and then to house. Discovered mains water-no cess pit. X2 trees near bridge will need to come down. Photographed interior.
Pm Garret and Peter found cess pit near the mill and identified mains water stop tap and source to house therefore the house has electricity, mains water and drains. Not bad for a derelict. G and P met the neighbours-very pleasant and knowledgeable. The house lived in until 1968 albeit by navvies working in the forest-all 25 of them. Several writers have found peace and quiet in Claonairigh House including one with one leg shorter than the other hence “Leany’s Walk”. The house was bought in 1958 for £7,000 from the Campbell estates. Some letters were subsequently found in the attics ceiling with valuable stamps worth £2-3000. The paddock at the rear of the house should make good growing. The forestry commission used it as a nursery for seedlings. The neighbour also assures us that there are no ghosts!!
(In 2008 we had the son of the people who bought the house then visiting as a guest, he said the stamps were not as valuable as that and that his parents returned to Devon when his mother became unwell)

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Present days, and Olden days

Then and now...or now and then...whatever!!

So, we take them skiing on a wet windy day and what do they do...build snowmen! They did great at a spot of skiing too...we make hardy kids North or the border!

That is what we were doing today. Here is something different...what we were up to 17 years ago. Recently we unearthed the diaries that we kept when doing up the house to show to friends, re reading them bought back many forgotten details to mind about the struggle we had (in hindsight) to get the house together and working for us. Garret and his father Peter, a self employed plumber took a year out of (paid) work to re build Claonairigh and hence start a very different phase of our lives. This was pre children and I stayed in Yorkshire with my mother beavering away in my job as Sister on ICU at St James Hospital in Leeds. Communication between us was not frequent as mobiles were yet to be in common usage and the nearest pay phone was initially 4 miles away (we even wrote the odd letter...well, one of us did!). I asked Peter and Garret, or whoever was around to keep a record for me to read when I came up as shifts allowed. I thought that I would post the diary alongside our modern day comings and goings for anyone who is interested.Satisfyingly the days of the week are the same in 2009 as they were in 1992. The brackets show the author of that day’s entry if it was other then me. I have copied verbatim changing nothing, even if events subsequently altered the facts as we saw them i.e. the house history. Occasional notes given at the end of an entry to help understanding. I would love any feedback/comments!!

Saturday March 7th 1992
Raining-Clearer pm
First proper look at the house. First impressions;lots of rotten wood and enormous holes in the floors and ceilings.?? Found the cess pit!! Picniced on the stairs (Mum, peter, Russ, Gail, Garret and I)-very, very cold. Very wet underfoot but wonderful torrents crashing down over waterfall.

Supper at The George. Frosty, clear evening.
(Russ= Garret’s brother, Gail his then wife)

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

A(nother) run in the snow

After a truly dire day of rain and hail with a bit of light relief thrown in occasionally by flurries of sleet I was sort of hoping that Liz might call off our carefully (children wise) choreographed and overdue run up Dun a Cuiche in preparation for the organised run in May. As we opened car doors at the parking space the first flakes of snow were whirling down and then kept on coming....when we got back an hour later the road was thick with fresh fall. We managed to keep going on the way up despite Liz realising half way up that memories from student days were patently dodgy as she is not sure she has ever run this before. I have been assuring everyone for years that she was the only woman to do it at the highland games that year. Now she thinks she ran round a field.....I managed to juggle several forms of mobile communication as I struggled my way up, one from Toby requesting permission to play in the snow once bedrooms were tidy (The term "tidy" is apparently negotiable as I discovered when I got home), he commented that I sounded rather breathless. The other was a text from Garret who knew of our plans simply saying "Ha Ha". The run down was not much quicker than the run up due to not being able to see the rocky path but we did it and here are the photos to prove it!!!

1.At least the driving rain has turned to snow....not so steep here.
2.Not much view at the top
3. and 4.We both made it!!
5.nearly back
6. I love the snow
7. Biiigggggg flakes
8. Pretty Castle
9. Oppps better stop taking photos, she is getting away from me
10. One more...That's where we went, ALL the way up there (and back too)