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Doodlecat's Homepage

Picture of Doodle - a 
black cat

Welcome to Doodlecat, where we enjoy the pleasures of life (with a slight bias towards the outdoors). This page is regularly updated with news and views plus information about any additions or changes to the various parts of the site. It acts as Doodlecat’s Blog too, so the odd rant considered opinion may pop up from time to time.

I would love to be able to say that Doodlecat is all my own work, but it isn’t. Much of the outdoors content is courtesy of the splendid people who participate in the annual TGO Challenge (there is a section entirely devoted to this unique event) and many others.

To help in tracking down that elusive morsel on Doodlecat, the search facility under the title bar above is tailored to help you find it, either on this home page (Doodlecat's Blog) all the rest of the site (Main Site) or – if all else fails - the internet!

So have a rummage around the old cat basket and enjoy your time with us!

Monday, December 31, 2007

Bothy Competition Result

It was a tough competition (I don’t let go of a bottle of cask strength that easily) so very well done to those who got all four – you certainly know your bothies. There were some very imaginative entries too, one entrant convinced that they were all shots of the same place!

The final entries are in, and Miss W has just drawn the winner…who is….Colin Crawford! Well done Colin, and commiserations to the other competitors.

So, where were these elusive bothies? No actual GRs are given here on a public forum, as some bothies get unwelcome visitors, but the names should let you know if you were right or wrong.

1) Oban Bothy – MBA maintained bothy well known to many Challengers
2) Taigh Stobh Uaine – Estate bothy east of Glen Albyn
3) Loch Chiarain – MBA bothy
4) Red Bothy – Well known bothy near River Dulnain (and not, as one wag had it, the Betty Ford Clinic, Aviemore).

It’s been fun doing this, and the next competition will be a lot easier in that specialised knowledge is not required, but good map reading skills are! It’s a photo competition, but this time we’ll tell you where and when the photo was taken. What you have to do to win is work out the GR that the photo was taken from. That’s for Easter, though. Right now I’m off for a little lie down after all this excitement – gotta be at my best for the New Year frolics this evening.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

New on Doodlecat.

Hi all - hope you've all had a good Christmas. We have a couple of crackers here for you.

Steve Smith's excellent Munro Diaries are now published in our 'Random Doodles'. Steve shares his thoughts and emotional ups and downs as well as his adventures in the mountains, all served well seasoned with humour and the odd dash of sheer terror.

And in the TGO section, Peter "Mr Grumpy" Goddard has another entertaining challenge account, where you can follow his adventures from Oban to Long Meg in 1995.

Happy New Year to all - and not long now 'til the draw for the "Bothy Competition" so if you haven't got your entry in....

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Where there's life there's Hope

After seven months waiting I at last had the cartilidge in my knee trimmed up and the surgeon told me the good news; he had made a lovely job of it, then the bad news; the knee is worn out and I should avoid walking on rough ground, going up and down hills and definately no running, (the last one is easily complied with!). After feeling sorry for myself for a couple of weeks I thought; "where there's life there's hope" so last Sunday I headed north through ice and fog on a journey to Hope.

Arriving in Strath More, Ben Hope was twinkling above in the morning sunshine encouraging me in my endeavour, a steep path took me rapidly up into the sun and although cold there was almost no wind which made for a delightful walk to the summit and a chance to admire the incredible scenery through the haze. The descent was harder but "no pain no gain!" and I was off the single track roads after a beautiful sunset before it got dark. A lovely hill in a perfect setting (it helps to have perfect weather!) and my hope is restored, (not sure about the knee).

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

When it's wet why not get wetter?

It has to be said, the weather this autumn has been pretty abysmal. In fact it was getting so wet and muddy out there that every dog walk required a hosepipe wash down for my two hounds who no longer resembled anything from the canine species but more like something from Stig of the Dump. So what to do in the circumstances? Well, why not get wetter!

My husband Stu and I had been toying with a few ideas for future holidays and thought it would be a great idea to go jump in a quarry where the water is just 9 degrees C. Now obviously to do this we weren't reckoning on doing it in the all-together, ohhh noo! Drysuits, scuba and fins were more like it! And all so we can get our OWD certificates to go to the sunnier climes of the Caribbean next year (NOT 9 degrees C there we hope!!!) - you see Phil, I hadn't finished this blog when I posted it by a slip of the finger earlier......

But what really threw me was not the cold waters (in leaking drysuits as it turned out) but navigating under water! It appears I can NOT swim in a straight line. So, although quite happy to navigate across those Scottish hills for over 200 miles in snow, sleet and rain it seems I need a spot of practice in getting my fin power equalled out if I don't want to keep swimming in circles. Oh, and if you ever take up diving the instructors will probably get you to do a spot of 'blind' navigation practice across a car park - this is easy because YOU ARE WALKING, unless you have your compass outside the coat that has been flung over your head so that you can neither see where you are going nor the compass, that is ....... not me but I could mention names.......

So to keep it brief, here's some pics of us getting wetter!!!!
But hurray - last night there was a frost and it is clear and sunny today! And had wonderful crisp walk up on Long Preston Moor with superb views of the flooded Ribble valley below reflecting wintry blue skies and Pendle peeping through its misty layers beyond. The dogs still got muddy though!

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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Doodlecat's Christmas Competition

Instead of the usual top photo round up, there is a little Christmas competition over in the Image Gallery this month - open to all. Have fun!