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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!

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Number Nine.

Route map Torridon to Arbroath
Well, I've done it - my route for the 2011 TGO Challenge has been submitted and I await my vetter's comments. This will be my ninth official challenge walk (I say 'official' because 2001 was truncated owing to the foot & mouth outbreak and although Alan, Mick & I did achieve an entire crossing, we officially signed in at Newtonmore).

So Nine it is - that makes this walk quite important to me, as the next, being my tenth, means an automatic acceptance when I next apply. Apparently it also confers upon me the title of "Legend" in Challenge circles, although I hasten to add that plodders such as I are distinguished from the real legends by the careful pronounciation of the term: "Leg - End".

I still blame Alan Sloman for all of this (see this post for evidence of his guilt) but at least I have come to understand his evangelism for the event. Now I am guilty of it too. I have already had my brother-in-law cross with me in 2004, and a potential victim for 2012 has already been selected. Time to hone your backpacking skills, Dave!

Planning a route is a real part of the pleasure, and a real intellectual challenge too, as you consider distances, ascents, terrain, possible weather conditions and your own mental and physical condition from day to day. It can be very easy, warm and cosy at home, dram in hand, to imagine great deeds done traversing high mountains. At such times it is well to recall being up to your knees in a freezing bog, in pouring rain, utterly tired out and inexplicably 'misplaced'.

Now that phase is over. The maps of Scotland are stowed away. The dining room table is once more used for dining, the PC for things other than boggling at Memory Map's stratospheric ascent figures. Christmas approaches with all its temptations ... oh dear ...

So the New Years resolution will be the same as always: get out, find a few hills and whip this sorry carcase back into shape.



Blogger Alan Sloman said...

With your current "no fat" diet, your physique by May should be that of the proverbial racing snake. This route should hold no terrors for you!

For everyone else, perhaps...

I believe Miss Whiplash's exhortations for the extra mile this coming Winter should indeed be heeded. You will be "thanking her for that" in May...

December 8, 2010 at 11:37 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

She always says that "You'll thank me for this in May" thing as she unmercifully extends our training walks.

Yet have we ever thanked her in May?

No. We've just been grateful that the training is over.


(just back from a morning's slog across the frozen Suffolk tundra with Miss W's "encouragement" ringing in my ears).

December 9, 2010 at 12:15 PM  
Blogger Alison Hobbs said...

We're already rooting for you. Enjoy your little strolls in the meantime, and Merry Christmas, both!

December 10, 2010 at 4:38 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Hi Ali,

Strolls ... STROLLS! Your sister-in-law is a strict mistress and I am already under the lash :-(

A Merry Christmas to all chez Hobbs (Canadian branch).

December 10, 2010 at 6:27 PM  

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