Saturday, 5 July 2008

Back to Reality

In the last 4 weeks I have been mainly keeping my left leg elevated and following the doctor's orders. She's been a great doc, and my leg is merely itchy now, and breathing a lot better. Enough for me to get back to work yesterday (with the obligatory "welcome back" interview with HR), and thank my workmates for picking up 4 weeks of classes. Strange how much work changes in that time of absence, even when keeping in touch via emails.

So, I've a pile of things that I haven't tested yet.

The TNF Hedgehog GTX XCR trail shoes, bought on 12 hours before I phoned NHSDirect (no link implied). I refuse to wear them on my short walks that I have to take in the last week after my meds changed.

The Blackfly#3 that I bought from Tinny in the USA  - kindly resent when the original never arrived.

The doc was concerned that I couldn't look after myself - I did point out some of my recent hikes, and how much food I had in the flat. But I've still to try some FreezerBag recipes, as I'll need to find storage space in my kitchen for all the ingredients currently living in a box on the floor.

The Aquagear Survivor water filtration system needs another trip out before I write up my report. I have a Nalgene bottle carrier to strap it onto my belt, so I can access it when walking. It should allow me to carry less water in Camelbak, as I like to drink without stopping. It is important to keep hydrated, otherwise strange things happens to the body's systems.

Mike collected the Akto's inner from Tiso's. Good repair job, good price. Oh, and I measured the cord length again, and it is the recommended 165cm.

Dawn's had another clear-out, and I've a pack-full of excess gear to collect on my way down to Dartmoor later in the month. I'll need a dust-off before then, especially to make sure that my leg is up to a weekend of exploration.

In week 2, I was able to elevate my leg and use my computer at the same time (footstool with 4 cushions on it did the trick). I caught up with some tech podcasts, mainly from the TWiT stable. I lodged my interest in the new iPhone with O2, and was really enthused watching Steve Jobs' keynote speech, but was less enthused the more I listened to podcasts like MacBreak Weekly and Today in iPhone. I gave up on Trail magazine and will not be renewing my subscription, but have been reading the forums - I haven't bought a membership there, merely the magazine subscription.

Watched a pile of dvds, highlights "Doctor Who: The Beginning" (first 13 episodes from 1963), and "The Day the Earth Stood Still", lowlight "King Arthur" (not as bad as Braveheart, but sodding close. Great kit, good sets, poor - really poor - story). Finally bought a copy of "Scottish Hill Tracks" and can see why people on the TGOc like it, and why it was useful for Gayle and Mick in route-planning their country-long trek. Also realised that I didn't have Paddy Dillon's "The National Trails", so rectified that as well as buying "Walking on Dartmoor" by John Earle.

As it is impossible to paint while keeping leg elevated and major dosage of anti-biotics setting the daily routine, I've been unable to paint figures. I have, however, been planning my trench system, and would love something as detailed as this, but doubt I can achieve that level of realism. I treated my research to a blast of the "Charley's War" reprints - I forgot how realistic they were. Pat Mills answers his critics with research.

The Palmolive bottle still hasn't been eaten by the meths/water mix, so that's another piece of kit for the dust-off test.

As to the blog, I've added some 'non-ads' to the sidebar. Unpaid, unsponsored, unasked, just highlighting some companies that do a good job. The only other change I made was to change the type of "map-amung -us" to show where about current readers are.

Think I might get the iPhone 3g as I think Web2.0 has reached it's limit for me. It becomes just noise rather than information. Despite being laid up for this time, I've still got piles of podcasts and blogs to read, as well as programmes to clear from my recorder. As people require log-ins before comments can be left, or become protective about the purity of comments (see podcast about responsibility), as there are more media-podcasts being set up in direct challenge to the dire terrestrial broadcasting schedules, will we see an end to the lowly ramblings on forums, newsgroups, blogs? Is the term "friend" being demeaned by its use in social networking? Is the brain being rewired by the reliance on the Net (or is that, shudder, the "cloud").

TGO just dropped through letterbox, time to get a move on.


Anonymous said...

It's been a while since I passed this way, sorry to hear you have been in the wars. I hope you are now on the way to full recovery.

Sue (How the Other Half Camps)

Londonbackpacker said...

I`ve just got the 'Scottish Hill Tracks' book too; just waiting on 'The Cairngorms: Walks, Trails and Scrambles',Walking the Munros: Northern Highlands and the Cairngorms 1,Walking the Munros: Southern, Central and Western Highlands 2 to arrive, plenty of reading for the summer :-)

AktoMan said...

Hi Sue. Nice to see Hollar's name in print - I haven't heard it for a while. Watched "Girl With A Pearl Earring", and the kit was amazing.

Leg is still itching, but I'll need to get out this week after I clear my paperwork.

I'd like to see some photos of any musters you get to. Especially any involving the RA art'y. I lurv the smell of gunpowder in the morning ;-)

AktoMan said...

Hi George. Sounds like you've got the bug :)

Ronald Turnbull's book is a cracker. Unlike Cicerone's Dartmoor book, they included maps in this one. And it includes Munros too. Oh, and also goes as far as Lochnagar.

The Cicerone Munro books work in tandem when you get south of Braemar. Some are in one book, some in the other, depending on access route. Good books.

I'd add the SMC books too. They have geology and history. Too big to take on trips (photograph n print out relevant pages, or read from photos via camera's memory card).

Two other books that I use in planning are Cameron McNeish's "The Munros", and the Pocket Mountain Series.

Oh, and then there's the Internet. But I hardly ever bother looking back through routes in magazines. I'll read some in passing, but not for planning - too many pages to leaf through.

If you're wanting some history Peter Drummond's "Scottish Hill & Mountain Names" (maybe I'll by 2nd ed with birthday money), and "Scotland's Mountains before the Mountaineers"

Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds as though you've been keeping busy. Glad to hear your leg is better, although I don't think I ever heard what was causing problems in the first place.

AktoMan said...

Doc nr two successfully treated me for cellulitis. No idea of the cause. At least it wasn't DVT. Nor was it lymes disease.