Monthly Archives: December 2013


A post for those who need the surgeons knife occasionally to keep them in the hills.

My left foot.

My left foot.

Thursday 12 December [Better than Friday 13th.] was scheduled for my toe operation.The plan was to remove bone around the left big toe joint [Cheilectomy  of  Left 1st MTP joint.] to make life less painful and hopefully get my foot back into those tight Red Chili rock shoes. All went to plan and I was back home with my foot up by mid afternoon. Haven’t been far since!

My instructions are to keep the foot elevated as much as possible for a week or so, to avoid swelling or infection. I’ve been supplied with a  nifty shoe which takes all the pressure off the toes and a pair of elbow crutches. Was also given a bag of pain killers for when the anaesthesia wore off – forgive any spelling mistakes.

     My new Coat of Arms.

Ensconced in my my bed with the foot duly raised on many pillows. I’m catching up with some book reading that has been neglected recently whilst away. Deep into Robert Macfarlane’s The Wild Places an environmental study with vivid imagery. Despite being unable to walk I’m lying here being stimulated to roam in the night, climb some trees or find a local wilderness. Out with the bivi bag…. Getting a bit ahead of myself now – should have been content with the prize crossword in today’s paper.

My cat, Seth, can’t understand all the fuss.

My cat Seth.


There's hills up there ...

There’s hills up there in the grey …

The more uninteresting the post the more catchy the title has to be ……

After all the storms last week the forecast for today was dry and milder. My walking pals didn’t believe me and declined a short trip. How right they were. It was raining most of the morning but by lunchtime the skies had brightened. I was determined to get a walk of a few miles in as next week I’m going into hospital for that toe operation.

Hadn’t been out long before the greyness descended once more. Nobody else was seen on what is normally a popular circuit on local lanes, maybe the dogs refused to venture out.

'Mile Lane'

‘Mile Lane’   Grey with a bit of green.

Drizzle set in to make everything appear even more miserable. Not much was visible so I was focused on my own inner world [toe operations!!] and on the ground to avoid the puddles.

Mainly grey.

Probably because of my limited vision a highlight of the walk was the sweet aroma of silage feed coming from a barn on route. Childhood memories of life on the farm.

The trees also drew my attention with their barren branches.

As I made my way home through the village the shops were closing on what had been a busy Xmas shopping day but now the street looked shabby and depressing. The miserable little Xmas trees doing little to brighten the place. At least my neighbour’s garden shone brightly in the gloom.

Talking of Christmas trees I’ve just returned from The Holy land and was in Bethlehem just before the famous tree was decorated. On the flight home we met the Christmas Decorators from Liverpool who had been doing the work!!  Watch the videos —

Will post on the Israeli trip soon – a land of contrasts and contradictions.

I can hardly believe that only a couple of days ago I was swimming in the Med off a lovely beach at Tel Aviv with the temperature 27 degrees! No wonder I’m feeling grey today.

Gordon Beach  Tel Aviv.

Gordon Beach Tel Aviv.