Thursday, 5 December 2013

A Walk to Red Tarn, 2nd February 2013.

Hi Avid fans.

My latest upload is titled "A walk to Red Tarn 2nd Feb 2013" filmed in my home county the Lake District with my trusty friends Mark and Inga, slightly long and perhaps boring in places, but worth watching the part at the Tarn as it was iced up, very windy and freezing cold.
This was filmed back in Feb 2013, a month before my brain haemorrhage so it's by no means new but I have only just got round to finishing the edit.

The trip was kind of unplanned really.
As I remember, we sort of agreed early on in the week to go and do something on the week end but had no real thoughts on where or what it might be.
I had been hankering to have a walk up Hellvellyn  again for some time and so the idea of a trip to the Tarn formed with the sneaky hope that when we arrived at the Tarn the weather would be favourable and the company would still be feeling energetic enough to make it to the top.
After planting the seed with my friends and digging out the relevant laminated section of OS map from the stash that seems to breed from my printer, it was only a matter of selecting some items from my outdoors gear (a large pile of that also seems to breed on its own) and by the week end we were off with a spring in our step.
The walk up was at a steady pace with lots of breaks to take in the scenery, it always seems to have a unique feel to it as the weather is always changing and I can't think of ever making the trip twice with exactly the same conditions.
We arrived at the Tarn to be confronted with a scene of such splendour, a vista beyond my hopes and one that was truly unique as always.
The top of Hellvelyn was shrouded in cloud with mists trailing like tendrils below, ever thinning until the clarity of the frozen Tarn at its base presented itself as we approached.
Striding Edge to the left and Swirral Edge to the right of the summit, fell down to our sides swooping round us with capping's of snow and ice as if to embrace us into the frozen heart of the mountain.
The Tarn's water had frozen solid only to be broken into small bergs by the winds and refrozen multiple times, like the ice floes of the arctic, the waters were a jumble of ice blocks at random angles, broken and yet blended by the still of the Tarn.
The wind blew a razor sharp edge into my exposed flesh and sank deep as I stood transfixed for a moment in awe at the scene before me.
I'm sure I was not alone in the appreciation of what lay before our eyes.
The wind tore at our clothes as we searched for a rock to shelter behind and having chosen a suitably sized one with appropriate orientation to the onslaught, we hunkered down to eat our rations and top up on energy.
My fill consisted of a 500g block of Marzipan, a Snickers that due to the cold seemed as solid as a bar of steel and about half a litre of ice cold water from my old 58patt issue water bottle.
As cold as it was I could have stayed there all day in the biting wind taking it all in.
Indeed, I was a little disappointed that no attempt would be made up Striding Edge to the summit, but sane decisions must always be made in such weather and although I longed to fulfil my secret desire to stand at the familiar trig point at the top, I knew it would be folly to attempt it without an ice axe, crampons, ropes and partners experienced  in such endeavours, not to mention the list of other equipment sat at home that should be included for such an attempt in these conditions.
Sanity kept my feet firmly on the ground and after taking some photos we turned and started the walk down, I never mentioned my secret desire.
The descent as always seemed to pass faster then the trip up and as always my knees waited for this point in the trip to play up, heating up like the radiators in a lottery winning pensioners house and with every jarring step a hot poker stabbed through them, but turning off the pain in my mind we talked and joked most of the way in high spirits.
Mark true to form decided to do a close inspection of the path just before reaching the road "he does all his own stunts" and as is the rule, both myself and Inga just took the piss out of him.

Both Mark and Inga did well considering the conditions and terrain and are great friends.

I'm sure they both enjoyed our day as much as I did and I hope you enjoy watching the video of it too, thanks.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

A day in the woods with Karen.

Hi Avid Fans.
A short video taken a while back on a walk in the woods with Karen.
Nothing exciting, just taking in natural surroundings and "Tuning in"
It was a very relaxing day and Karen got to use her new fire steel and learnt to light a fire with it using cotton wool and Vaseline.
The simple things in life are often the best.


Avid Fans.
A picture that speaks a thousand words. Two Army Veterans plead with the awe inspiring man. This is a Gurkha Veteran currently on hunger strike opposite Downing St. When this picture was taken last night it was day 12. As you can see he doe...s not look well. We cant allow this great man to die so we need to get this story out there. All they want is equal pensions so they can look after their families. Thats the least we owe them as they have fought for our country alongside our Forces for 200 years. Shame on the Government for ignoring these loyal Gurkhas. Please share this picture everywhere you can think of and lets get these fantastic lads what they deserve.
Thank you.

What our Idiot government don't seam to grasp is that this guy will hunger strike with the same absolute determination that he served our country with when he soldiered for it and unless they do something and resolve this he will give his life for the cause just like he would have given his life for this country. Our government should be ashamed of themselves. I served for my country and my mates, not the government. They are all spineless self serving wankers and I despise the lot of them.

Friday, 18 October 2013

RESET POINT. "a new begining"

Dear Avid fans.

Firstly, yes I'm still here.
I have not fallen into a black hole or lost interest in this Blog or even been abducted by Aliens.

A lot has happened in my life recently and I now find my world kind of standing on it's head compared to my life previously.
This is not intended as an excuse for not posting in such a long time. And I do apologise for the long absence. However, life has a way of turning your best laid plans to shit at times doesn't it.

Prior to March 2013, I had lots of plans and ideas for this Blog. There was such a lot of stuff I wanted to put on here but life being what it is, I always had other things that held priority for my time. Things like work, personal admin regarding bills and paperwork, keeping up with chores and at the same time fitting in a little leisure time on the hills, forests or in the canoe.
So Blogging was at the bottom of my pile if things to do, even more than having fun outdoors.

Work hard, long hours, tasks, chores, keep up with life, fit it in, squeeze it in, make time from out of nowhere for so much.......

March 17th 2013. Brain haemorrhage. All engines full stop.

I was Very fortunate that it was a Sunday afternoon at home when I blew my head gasket.
Had I been on an outdoor adventure or at work I would not be here writing this now. I would have been on my own in my lorry or up a fell side or in the middle of a lake without any help and in no condition to call for my own emergency assistance.
Fortunately I was at home with Karen "an ex nurse" She called the ambulance and got me to hospital. I was immediately sent from our local hospital across the country to Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary who specialise in head gasket failures and was operated on the very same day.
Yes that's right, brain surgery, full on messing about with the jelly up top.

The result is, I am alive and kicking. Thank you so much Karen for your fast reactions, and thank you to the RVI for fixing my little problem.
I'm told its down to Karen's quick response that I'm here today and for that I can never thank her enough.

OK, so the result is that I now cant think or do things the way I could before. This is a good point to explain that I may repeat myself on here, fail to explain things the way I could before, loose the thread of what I'm writing, get things arse backwards and generally come across with less clarity and eloquence than before. Hmm thank fuck for spell check eh!

I can no longer work and I need 24/7 supervision apparently, but Karen is now my carer and has taken over running life in general for me so again thank you Karen.
They tell me I will improve with time and Visits with the specialists helping me "cant thing what you call them at the moment" And the bottom line is It's all new to me "especially as I have short term memory loss" so give me a break when I screw this up lol.

I'm lucky, lets face it.
I now as a result of all of this see the world in a way slightly different than before.
I'm not just talking about the effects of the condition but in the way I evaluate the world I'm in on a philosophical level.

My plans are to get better where possible and adapt where not. I also find now I have lots of time on my hands. OK, so money is very tight and I also cant just go off adventuring without someone to hold my hand but what I can do is re evaluate my life and focus on what I can do. So here I am. Direction once again, I'm just not sure where it leads ha ha.

I will from now on be posting the stuff that's on my mind. I would like to start the post thread I was planning about wilderness skills and outdoor skills but at the moment its maybe prudent to avoid topics that have serious consequences if I get messed up explaining things. I can however share my views on life and the things I think are important.
I just hope I don't bore the arse off you in the process.

First topic. Man is not invincible and we should all learn to expect the unexpected.
I have always thought this way but sometimes its easy to veer of and forget. Well now my thoughts on this have been realised it has served to crystallise this opinion.
We all need to plan for the future, even the least expected future, just encase.
Yea yea, I hear you. It will never happen to you, maybe on the telly or people you know but never you.
Well I got news, It can happen to you so you better get used to the possibility and toy with the idea of what if. Just encase.

I'm not talking about a brain fart like mine "but its possible" I'm talking about the hundreds if not thousands of other things that could go wrong.
I'm not talking doom and gloom here, after all we have insurance for our cars, house contents, holidays we take and even insure for fire and theft. That dose not mean we are hoping or dwelling on what if's, we are just being practical and responsible adults in accepting that things can and do go wrong in life. So why not contemplate other things that can go wrong.

OK, I was not expecting a brain fart and to be honest I never even put it in the what if box. But that's besides the point.
What I'm suggesting you do is this.
Take a moment with out distractions and without bias opinion, to contemplate what you really need from life to survive and be happy. I'm not talking about like, want, desire or consumerism driven need but real need. what do you really need.

I will leave that thought with you for now and talk a little more when you have pondered it.

So, to recap, lots of things have changed including the future.
I'm still here.
I still intend to Blog about my interests, but I will expand the subject matter and re prioritise postings due to recent events in my life.
I don't expect or want sympathy, but a little patience with my current abilities would be greatly appreciated.
Again I want to thank Karen for saving my life.
Actually Just to prove what an absolute diamond Karen is she not only got me through it and stabilised "a point where most people would walk away from the burden of life care" she also stuck by me and continues to do so.
Karen is one of life's few rare people that you know you can depend on. I solid rock in the storm of life and one of the true friends I can count on one hand.
And as of last week she is also my wife, committed to us.

Have I lost the thread of this blog yet lol.
Time to sign off I think.
Back soon, regards Jack.

PS you may think there is nothing wrong with my writing and therefor I'm just being thick.
But what would have taken me ten minutes to write before now takes me hours to construct and correct, re-phrase and try and present in a intelligible Blog.
I hope your not to picky and can still put up with me.

Ta ta :)  

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

There Is Only Bushcraft...And Bacon...And Axes...And Coffee...Ok I'm Done.

Dear Avid Fans.

I thought I would share this video with you. It's seldom you find such purity on youtube these days.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year 2013

Hi Avid fans, and a happy new year to you all.

2012 has been quite an eventful year for me in so many ways.
It started with the usual mundane work at Jewsons, long trailing days devoid of customers, my trusty friend mark to keep me sane and the infamous manager from hell to give us all something to marvel at as we spent our days in awe at the skill with which he demonstrated his total lack of business, management, customer care, administration and people skills.

On the home front, my Jollys with Mark were few and far between, money was tight and life was lived on a day to day basis. So all in all it wasn't an amazing start.

Things were to change as the year progressed. Our illustrious leader continued to dig himself an ever deeper hole while somehow managing to avoid falling into it "the one thing hes good at is bullshitting his way through life". Myself and Mark started training for the Keswick to Barrow 40 mile challenge, so most weekends were filled with walking again all be it on tarmac, a fact that proved unfavourable for my shagged knees, but it was necessary as the majority of the K2B is on tarmac and so we needed to accustom our feet to the unforgiving surface they were to endure.


The K2B date arrived and myself and mark both completed it with times we were both happy with and he proved once again he is a mate to be proud of, I myself don't actually remember the end with much clarity as I floated over the finish line on a cocktail of Ibuprofen Cocodamol and Paracetamol in copious amounts due to the excruciating pain in my right knee with the left almost as bad. 40 miles of tarmac in 13 hours of non stop pain.

Eventually the exploits of our leader from hell became to much to ignore and after after a heated discussion with sed tosser I found myself suspended on full pay pending an investigation as it was alleged that I had used threatening behaviour. Well if you call having a stand up row with your boss threatening behaviour then guilty as charged, but I wont be called a liar in front of customers to cover up his inability to do his job.
After an enquiry involving the top brass I was told things would be looked at very closely in future and changes would be made but they could no longer employ me as threatening behaviour constitutes gross misconduct. And I thought we were all big boys in the building trade, able to have a row and get on with our jobs!!!!
And so I walked out of the meeting no longer an employee of Jewsons. 14 hours later I started work at my new job, a considerable pay increase and no Saturday hours. Thanks Ian.

Once again life threw a spanner in the works "like is does" and with a little malicious help I found myself arrested and sleeping in a nice cell, only to be promptly released the following day. The good old boys in blue also saw fit to seize all my guns, but after three or four months of scrutinising serial numbers and documentation they were all returned to my door by two nice policemen in a police van with no action to be taken. Its nice being squeaky clean isn't it.

Some outdoor adventures were undertaken and at some stage I may even share the photos but for now this is all you get.

And here we are December 31st is soon a thing of the past.
My finances are in order. I work a 50 to 60 hour week but my weekends are free and I have some money in my pocket.
After having experienced some ups and downs I find myself free of legal issues and indeed the good old boys in blue are taking action by way of the "Malicious communications act" to prevent me experiencing any further problems from a certain person or persons.

2013 looms and I look forward to having the time to not only go on more adventures but to also start documenting them on here along with several new blog threads accompanied by video blogs.

Work is good.
Life is good.
I may have only a few friends, but that's by choice. And what good friends they are.

Happy New Year my friends and avid fans.
Jack x