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March For Our Lives – Asheville

In between my own posts.

This personal window onto the American gun problem is poignant.

It could be us next.

Please read.


I didn’t know what to expect when I wandered downtown this morning. The website said the march started at 11 am. Did that really mean 11 am? Or did that mean 11:45 am? Or even noon? Is this an on-time town? The skies were a dismal grey, and though the rain had temporarily stopped, it was still very cold. Would people show up? Would people stay in their warm houses? Would I show up? For about half a minute I considered staying home, and then I realized that was ridiculous. I had to show up. I had to show that I’m horrified by the amount of gun violence in this country. That I’m horrified that it was even *suggested* that teachers carry loaded guns. That I’m horrified that the two NC Senators who supposedly represent me, Thom Tillis and Richard Burr, have accepted among the greatest donations from the NRA…

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I could keep this theme going for some time, like bad movies they often, perversely, bring out a sequel.

The weeks go by at a slow pace since the problem started in my left hip. I’m waiting for the Xray results. In the meantime I’m trying to walk a few miles on the flat. Any stepping up on the left leg however still produces instant pain.

There have been some beautiful frosty days and this morning the Bowland Fells were covered in snow. My friend Sir Hugh is 2 weeks post knee operation, the second he has had done. He must have walked thousands of miles on the first. A trip up to Arnside was suggested. Driving up the Lakeland winter vista across the Kent estuary was magnificent, mocking our present inabilities to step foot in the hills.  [poorly captured above on my mobile]

Pleasantries over he requested help in putting up his Christmas Tree.This proved more difficult than I’d imagined. The artificial tree came in many sections, supposedly colour coded. The process was similar to erecting a tent for the first time, though in the comfort of his living room we had no wind to annoy us. He hopped around on his crutches whilst I built up the pieces from the bottom. Strangely when we had finished there were several branches spare. Anyhow it looked good enough so we retired to a nearby eating emporium for a well earned drink with excellent fish and chips. No17 is the clue. He’ll soon be back on his legs and we look forward to 2018.

A sparse but busy week.

After all the walking activity of the last few weeks things have slowed down, in fact stopped. For many reasons – visiting dentist and optician, purchasing new washing machine, boiler and car, catching up with family and introducing a new rescued cat to my household [phew] I don’t seem to have ventured far. But things are changing, there has been less rain and some sunny days, boulderers are venturing onto Craig y Longridge, joggers and cyclists are everywhere and the sunsets from my garden show promise of better things to come.


Pendle viewed from the car.

                                                                    Pendle viewed from the car.

Two weeks further on with my foot convalescence and it was time to drive again. My temporary raised surgical shoe wasn’t allowed for insurance reasons, this meant using normal shoes for driving and taking the former if I had to walk anywhere. A right pain! [or rather left]  Despite starting my car up a few times over the last weeks the battery was completely dead when I came to use the car. So it needed a spell of trickle charging to bring it back to life. So town, friends and relatives are now in reach but it was only today whilst the sun shone that I thought of driving up Longridge Fell for my favourite views. Glad I did as all the usual vistas  [Pendle, Yorkshire three peaks, Bowland, Morecambe Bay and North Wales, aren’t we lucky with our location]  were clear and despite being frustrated that I couldn’t wander up any of the fell tracks I positively felt a surge of optimism and joie de vivre.

This lead me to thinking about recharging my own batteries. I suspect in the circumstances it will be a trickle charge of trips like today rather than any jump starting.

I’ve got a lot of catching up to do as on top of the car not starting my house phones died [what a wonder is internet shopping when you are house bound?] my mobile seemed to block all texts and to top it all my computer then came up with the blue screen of death! Couldn’t get round it for a week until my son was able to work his magic and restore the workings without any loss. A good reminder to always back up to an external hard drive. Anyhow here we are again but I realise my deficiencies in the modern technologies.

                                                          I’ll continue trickling.


                                                             Sunset from home.

  Cabin fever – no not the feeling you get from a luxury Caribbean cruise but the feeling you get cooped up in the house for three weeks with your foot in the air. The boredom and restlessness have only been partially relieved by  good books and some climbing DVDs. The cricket I was hoping to enjoy was a disaster. Didn’t seem able to concentrate to get round to sorting through my recent photos of Israel for a post, still coming to terms with that strange conflicting trip. TV was even worse. Friends have been very supportive, particularly those who took me to the pub.

But somehow I imagine my body and mind must need outdoor activities and some interaction with nature. Even simple things like watching, from my bedroom window, the morning sunrise seemed to be uplifting. I found I started to anticipate and appreciate a lot of minor events outside that window; birds flying by, the laughter of kids in the road, the hail hammering on the glass and the swish of bending trees in the gales we have been experiencing. There has been some awful weather over the holiday period, that was one aspect I was happy to have an excuse to avoid. There is another storm blowing in as I write this.

Sunrise across the field.

Sunrise across the field.


Xmas and New Year have passed without much fuss, another positive aspect of my confinement!  I’ve not starved, the toe is healing, the stitches out and the crutches ditched.

   There have been a couple of bright and sunny days this week so have managed to hobble down the road for a brew and chat with neighbours. Great to get out of the cabin under my own steam. I’m still wearing the fashionable platform surgical shoe and this gives a lovely mismatch with the walking boot on the other foot. All seems to be progressing well, there is new life in 2014. The surgeon said it would be 2-3 months before I would hopefully feel the benefit !?!?

                        See you at the crag and up the fell soon.