Month: July 2013

Difficult times

This isn't me by the way !

Sorry there hasn’t been an update of in a few days.

A simple thing like carrying some camp chairs to an open air Blondie concert is all it takes to cause lower back pain.

My excellent Dr, advises that the problem will pass in 1 to 2 weeks, and that the problem is relatively common and not serious at all.

He also points out that the pain is far disproportionate to the seriousness of the problem. All I know, is that I can walk, or lie down for a short while, but after that, I’m in agony.

Putting on socks takes me about 25 mins, as the pain is that intense.

I know it will be gone in a few days, but the main problem is frustration. I have loads of important things to do at work.

With the pain, I literally can’t think straight enough to type an email, and if the facts I put in it are wrong, it will be worse than if I didn’t type it at all.

Worse still, with the hectic nature of my life, I dream of free time to do random things in the house.

So now, I have the painful irony of looking at jobs that need doing, but not having the energy or the pain “resistance” to do them (especially, I have updates for this website that desperately need doing, yet I’m lying on a sofa fighting of pain and fatigue).

25 years ago, I was on a once in a lifetime trip called the Hambrose cruise, with Fairbridge Drake. It was a multi activity trip, which shaped and directed my life. During the sailing, I had severe sea sickness.

After several days, I pulled around. Tony and Nadiah both looked confused that I had suddenly become so talkative. I said simply, I was in a dark place until now and normally,  if I can’t think of something positive to say, then I’ll say nothing at all.

The reason I’m posting this ? its simple. The next time I’m getting of a train, and have to wait while someone old is in front of me and struggling. I wont be so quick to judge.

On this occasion, I’m not searching for anything, just an end to the pain…


Glenn’s week of Birthday celebrations is complete

Glenn's birthday bash

The main event complete:  11:45 am, 07/07/2013:

Well, what is there left to say.

With all the preparation of a Royal wedding, Glenn’s amazing birthday evening went to plan.

For a brief moment, I thought something had gone horribly wrong, and I was worried. I arrived at the Weighing room, said hi to the bouncers and then headed upstairs to the private room with a few friends.

When we arrived, the room was empty and no-one was there. For a moment, I had emotions much like Charlton Heston in the closing moments of Planet of the Apes.

But everything was ok. Because of the superb weather, Glenn and his entourage had set up stage in the beer Garden outside.

Loads of cool people came. Friends from the walking group, IVC, Snow boarding, someone from military fitness and even Glenn’s brother Gwyn. Too many to name individually, but 20 +. A fantastic turnout.

Glenn also received several presents, including the cup he is holding in this photo, labelled his Lordship (chosen by Alex, I don’t think I could have picked a better present myself).

Lights in the background were heaters, but gave this photo a “rock star on the stage feel”.

Mini Burger at Weighing room. Quite delicious

In some ways, the food at the Weighing room, could be called poncy.

I had this mini burger (I’ve put a fork next to it, so you can see how small it was). However, it was delicious and only £4.50. Since most starters cost around a fiver, I thought it represented good value.

Although tables had been booked at the Church and Barton Rouge, we ended up having a few drinks in the Townhouse (previously called Politic). Later we visit a curry house on City road. I got to bed at 3am.

Fab event, thanks to everyone who came, and especially Glenn for organising it.

Dress code

Urgent – message from Glenn :  12:28 am, 05/07/2013:

It was mentioned earlier in the week, but Glenn has asked me to re-enforce the message about dress code.

Just like job interviews, marriage proposals, court appearances and visits to Buckingham Palace, there are times when being dressed the right way is important.

That’s like tonight. There’s a good chance we’ll be visiting the Church or somewhere like that later in the evening, and it will be a major downer if 1 of us gets knocked back for wearing trainers, jeans, a gimp mask etc.

* I grabbed the diagram above from the web. Glenn has asked me to point out that cleavage isn’t a problem in and of itself, but male cleavage must be covered at all times.

A group of complete strangers having a good time

Update – All the systems go :  08:28 am, 05/07/2013:

The hour is at hand. Yes, the Sun is out, and its the day of Glenn’s birthday do.

Adopting something of a “work hard, play hard” mentality, me and the lads (I mean my team at work, not the fish) are cracking on, and getting loads of work done, in advance of this evenings frivolities.

Promises to be a superb evening, see you all there.

Birthday boy

Update – Glenn’s legal birthday :  12:01 am, 04/07/2013:

Popped out tonight for a couple of beers around Chester with the crew from IVC.

Left a pub about 11:15, then hit on the idea of getting a pint, and celebrating Glenn’s birthday “in-situ”.

Sure enough, the excellent Church was open, so we whiled away the hours, with Andy, Phil, Giles and Hillary (and obviously me and Glenn).

And here you have it. Glenn at 1 minute past 12, aged 40.

The table in the curry house, is now booked at Barton Rouge after the private swaree at the Weighing room (details bellow).

Brill news, is that several other people out tonight, heard the sound of the pied piper (Glenn) and now there’s even more of us coming on Friday.

An artists impression of the incident

Update – Glenn’s birthday bash:  6:50 am, 02/07/2013:

I’ve just returned to my house, after finding that the 5:40am train to Warrington, collided with some cows in Mickle Trafford and they don’t know when the next one will be available.

But instead of feeling miserable, I was elated. Why ?

Hearing about Mickel Trafford reminded me, that its only 3 days to Glenn’s birthday bonanza, when the weekend comes to life.

Whilst I’d like to offer my sympathy’s to the bovine families of the fatally injured cows, every cloud…

Replace photo

Update – Glenn’s birthday bash: 15:10 pm:

OK, we’ve just got the low down straight from the horses mouth, so here’s the money shot. Friday the 5th of July, 7:30pm sharp.

Initially, Glenn will be receiving guests on the first floor of The Weighing room on Common-hall street, Chester (private room booked, cocktails on arrival, if you buy them yourself).

We will be  spending an hour or 2 here, while we give the “cake mix time to set”.

Probably another pub or 2 (all obviously of the highest possible calibre) and then its fine dining at Barton Rouge curry house at 11pm.

Smart casual attire (hardly needs to be said for a high profile occasion like this) attractive single girls should be aware that Alex Ford may be present on the evening, and should dress accordingly !.

Promises to be a superb evening, don’t miss it.

Update – Glenn’s birthday bash: 2:30 pm:

Still no granular details about the big event.

Having been served a writ by CAA (who handle all Glenn’s affairs) we’ve decided to change the photo (shame, as I thought the other one had more of a Miami vice feel to it).

More news when we have it !.

First look, Glenn’s birthday party.

Hot of the presses, that man-about-town Glenn is having a birthday Bash.

Rumours traversing the internet are that the Chester event of the year is to take place sometime on Friday next week.

More details as we get them here at and best of luck to people awaiting an invite.

!!! Were expecting an update about 2pm today !!!

Hilbre Island and WBC

Walking to Hilbre Island

Out the other evening with the walking group.

I don’t normally go to evening walks, but Hilbre Island is somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit.

In a previous life, I was at a party in West Kirby, and people were talking about an Island you could walk too, only if the tide was out. That’s the stuff that adventures are made of.

To my eternal shame, it would be 6 years between that conversation and actually walking there.


There are a few private building there, and a sort of museum, but overnight stays are forbidden. I wish someone would build a youth hostel or a bunk house there.

Apparently they couldn’t get a park ranger to stay on the Island, as they couldn’t cope with no running water and no electricity.

I’d love it.

Alison working as a first aider

This weeks featured friend is Alison B.

I met her through Chester IVC, and since then we’ve become good friends.

Of special interest is her work with Saint John’s ambulance service. The work is entirely voluntary, and she was photographed here at Chester races (this picture actually featured in the Chester Chronicle).

The hut at Wild Boar Clough

About this time last year, I was invited to stay at Wild Boar Clough. The offer came around again this year, and I couldn’t resist.

I should point out, that quite a few people who said they’d go, dropped out at fairly late stages, and as a result, the event was nearly cancelled at 4pm on the evening we were due to set off.  I’m not perfect, but if I say I’m going to do something or be somewhere, then a visit to the hospital is the only thing that will stop me.

No matter. We drive to Macclesfield (passing by Rainow, I think about Lyndsay, and the Gritstone trail I walked last year with Tony), then walk over with our gear to our now familiar dwelling Cumberland cottage.

Leanne has been to China since we were here last and has acquired some skills of equipment selection and packing (so our walk in, doesn’t look like Younghusband’s trip to Lhasa this time).

Once set up, its off to the Crag pub for dinner (before setting off, I was disappointed that my kettle was no longer there !).


Walking across the moors

Next morning, I sit outside with my mug of tea and breakfast bars, and contemplate the day ahead.

I do most of my walking now around Snowdonia and the Clwydian mountains, so its nice to be somewhere a bit different.

Trekking to the Cat and Fiddle pub

It’s shaping up to be a beautiful day.

I’ve brought a packed lunch, but Aidan had arranged it so we’d be at the Cat and Fiddle pub (the 2nd highest in the country) in time for lunch.

I’d always wanted to visit the Cat and Fiddle, but never had the chance before.

Inside the pub


Pub turns out to be fab.

There’s a ramblers bar with a fire and stuff like that, but its packed. We head to the back bar where its quieter (In the above photo, I’m standing in the back bar, and Aidan is ordering Food in the ramblers bar).

I was delighted to see that they had a jar with Black Jacks and Frutella’s. They were 5p each, and it you wanted, you could have your change in Black Jacks.

I had sandwiches with me, so I decided to eat them later on the trail, and instead had 2 pints (this is after all !).

It only rained once the whole day, which was otherwise mostly sunshine. Amazingly, as we were sat in the pub, the heavens opened. For 30 minutes there was a monsoon, which luckily, we just sat through eating and drinking, and by the time we came to leave it had finished.

Amazing timing.

Stopping on the trail

We carry on along the trail, and spend some time walking through the woods.

I chat do Leanne, and we discuss (among other things) how appalling the bar service is at the Church, Newgate street in Chester.

On the subject of church’s, we sit in a church yard and I finish of my sandwiches, before continuing.

Heading for Shutlingsloe, the Cheshire Matterhorn

From here we finish our walk with an ascent of Shutlingsloe (nicknamed the Cheshire Matterhorn).

For some reason, when we get near the top, I decide I’ve enjoyed the day, and will instead circle around the peak. Lately, I’ve started to “stop short” on some walks. I almost feel like I’ve got enough out of the expirience, and just want to relax. Its not that I cant do it or anything, and I’m lucky to have walking companions who understand this.

Heading for home

Back at the hut, we pack up our stuff, sweep up etc and then walk down the trail to get some dinner and head for home.

Another smart time away from home.

Would it have been more convenient to stay at home, and spend Saturday watching tv ?. I’m reminded of a quote by Kahlil Gibran.

The lust for comfort. That stealthy thing that enters the house a guest, then becomes a host and then a master.