|General||Whatever you want to say that doesn't fit under the comments about places or another forum.
|Post details||Post (Contract pics)|
Back with a vengeance. Knee with a twinge.Ah Vertigo. Your mellifluous scratchings and I am back on solid ground again. Well boggy and smelly ground according to you.
For a moment I thought "is this all there is - when the fog lifts over the Louth skyline, all that's left: numbers and letters?" Also known as grid references. Zzzzz. And passion?!
I first noticed I was not there and then I noticed you were not there and I find we were in adjoining cells in stir, all along.
Exhaustion. All it was. For me, 35 years riding the range from Kenmore to Kenmare and barely a weekend missed. And like Wells Fargo, carrying the news to every poor ingenu that would listen.
Then your "life [got] in the way" - no it didnt; I got a complainy knee - no I didnt; domestic responsibilies - give me strength, no there weren't.
Exhaustion. All it was. A chapter old chap.
The kids up, the money in the bank or the river, bags packed, on the bus. Nothing left to do - but be exhausted.
No epiphany at the foot of Howling Ridge, no Damascus moment on the lip of Ben Crom, no revelation above the cliffs of Sliabh Liag.
Just a soft, creeping mist and half a step slower every day.
But it got us here - and here we are. The better for it - and it the better, I hope, for us.
Absence Makes The Heart Grow FonderI did my last walk in April and between work and family have not been out since.. I feel my absence from the mountains like a dull ache, a loss, a bereavement. Meanwhile everyone tells me that I am out of breath if I run up the two flights of stairs to my office to take a call. The other night I was putting the bins out at home and whatever air was drifting across the plains of Meath I could have sworn that I could smell the lovely boggy watery aroma of the mountain places. The longing is intense. Has this happened to any of you. That life gets in the way? Meanwhile I looked at this site and discovered the resurrection of Bleck Cra and felt that Hope Springs Eternal
The MountainViews Pub QuizJust a reminder to everyone that there's just a week to go until the MVs Pub Quiz in the Lansdowne Hotel, Pembroke Road, Dublin 4. Kick-off 7.30pm
Arderins in metres. Adrenalin in litres.Last year I became a paying member of MI. After an entire mountain career, other than a brief run out with the Galloway Hills Rescue, of avoiding everything important and self-important about the hills, I joined.
I thought I should. Not because I thought I was missing anything but because if I am to become one of the oul boys and be taken seriously - spare us - I should be able to quote Mountain Log at will.
I coughed up for this year and got confirmation and a copy of Mountain Log Autumn 2017. This copy, as with others I can now freely quote at length, I find workable, informative and useful.
And excitement? Boy is it light on excitement.
Pics - here am I eating my dinner - here am I standing on a hill - here am I getting a certificate.
Copy - here am I talking about erosion - here am I not talking about erosion.
I exaggerate of course, but to make the point ......
I am not seeking to return to the kind of womb from which my own hillwalking career was untimely ripped. A rake of nutfks hitting the mountain like blizzard hail, teeth and claws. Desperate. Driven. Beer and more beer at one of the Clachaigs or Kings thingy pubs ... and a 3 hour return journey condensed into 1.
To any MI movers and shakers glued to this website..... Mountain Log. A merciless, exhausting worthiness pervades it; clings to it like clay mud. Everything good and none of it exciting.
G Sheehy or however he titles himself on this site - his challenge enterprise seems to me to be fixing that thing that has been broken for too long. The sense of sheer unmanageable excitement. Will I apply to join them? TBD. The fuel octane is way down nowadays. But if asked, they can have my last shirt, my last Rolex Oyster watch, all my Faberge and Tiffany jewellery.
Hyperbole. What excitement is made of. The time we did 14 Munros in a day.
An excerpt from "Can't believe it's not Better" movie, Lucy.
Already I hear the scratch of quill on parchment and boney fingers bent on trying to out-letter and out-number me.
"One plus one equals two". That's all we've learned, but one plus one has never equaled two - there are in fact no numbers and no letters. We've codified our existence to bring it down to human size, to make it comprehensible. We've created a scale so we can forget its unfathomable scale."
.... and to the detractors and begrudgers ...
Tomorrow you might be dust. We, yes we, shall always be stardust.
MVers and friends in the Nephin BegsMember Liz50 organised a walk on which some 17 members and friends came.
The route was the circuit of Glendahurk in the Nephin Begs and includes the knife edge arete between Corranabinnia and Corranabinnia SW top.
Here is the group at the Mass Rock on the north side of Bengorm near the start. In the background can be seen the amazing drowned drumlins of Clew Bay.
FelledYou could hear the thump across the glen. That's the way it seemed anyway when I went down; down on Commedagh from a standing start. On to one shoulder with the nut following just as those cycling and motorcycling safety ads say.
As hard as I had gone down, I rose like a sylph in a mantle of nonchalance, as if it had been made for me.
It crossed my mind, you know that where someone walks away from an RTA trauma, passes all the tests and wakes up dead the next morning.
"Slippy," he said.
The dog looked at him and then looked at me as if to say "He said something. Now what pithy and incisive thing are you going to say back?"
"Bollocks" I said.
Self evidence is a simply wonderful thing. It was slippy; I had slipped. It is perfect, rounded and impregnable. It can't be loosened, shaken or intimidated and can be interrogated but only by an idiot.
Wood. A nice word ruined by today's nouveau middle class.
... but that's for another day.
Self evidence. Wood made up of trees and made out of trees. A natural association since Seamus O'McSeamusy's grandfather got off the coracle from Spain and started digging.
The old mixed wood on the Glen River, rising to beneath The Saddle (the Slieve Donard / Slieve Commedagh col) has been felled.
... and the transformation is magical.
Apart from a bit of wear and tear and some injudicious path management, much of the Glen River and Donard Wood has been as it was for the 20 years I have been in it.
Now great swathes of the wood are wood to use and wood to go back into the ground. The smell of cut pine fills a clearer, brighter air and a whole new baffling map of modern and ancient tracks are emerging.
There has never been a good reason not to visit the Mourne Mountains. So go check out the Glen River now. It's self evident.
As for the first mentioned early descent on to the head, no harm done and I am off to dig up bacon and catch potatoes for my dinner.
COMING DOWN THE MOUNTAIN by Mark Roper.
You have been
where you have been
a place of peat, pool and sky,
stripped by wind
and swept by light.
You walked yourself
your bone and motion.
But you have to return,
to walk back down
into your life again.
You try to bring
something with you,
a sliver of quartz
or a ram’s horn,
a special feather
or a piece of eyebright.
They fade, as a pebble
picked from a river
What lives up there
lives only up there.
And yet, long after
thought and word,
by those hours
you spent alone
with stream and stone:
where a raven’s call
took all your attention;
where the news of the world
didn’t rate a mention.
Knockmealdown with a featherIn the current News tome, Jackill advises on a rake over the Knockmealdowns at a blistered pace and introduces some Bleck Cra or other as the authority on hill name translations, anthills and mountains out of them.
Jack - urban slang for self abuse.
Ill - the inevitable consequence.
Cnoc, a hill, anglicised to Knock and sometimes vocalised in conversational Irish, r replaces n, as eg in fearr gna, Luimneach and notably Croagh Patrick.
Meal from O Irish Meall/Maol/Meel/Mweel/Mill/Mull/Moll/Millie/Malcolm/Mulkandbiscuits; pronounced myowlowlyowlkxz meaning ant. Not to be confused with Meal, a precursor to sexual activity. From the Formic lexicon. The Formicic culture came from Table Mountain in South Africa and emigrated to Ulster which is now known as the Black North.
Dun, a vendor of soft footwear and cavehold furnishings. Also a fort, a brown thing and a type of Ulster hill cattle.
Our options, reference the English meaning of Knockmealdown are as follows:
Bald Hill Fort
Brown Hill Biscuits
Patrick Cattle Sex
Crock Ant Bull
Anyway, as he Jackill writes, yes please come along and enjoy.
The Highwayman ChallengeI have found myself dragged by the ears out of semiretirement to lead the A walk with BleckCra on this local walking festival. Please come along and support us if you can. Or give us a lift in a car from the halfway point back to the nearest pub!
Bonnie Bonnie Gallowa'A thousand battles and a thousand years ago - when I posted my very first comment to this website: berating eejits who take three course dinners on to the hill. I wrote something like "if you want to have a three course dinner and watch a hill, go to a motorway service station in Cumbria."
.... and the same goes for .... abroad. If you want to know about abroad, go there.
In Simon Free's recent oeuvre, he tells us perversely and as such, characteristically, that mv is an Irish site and concerns itself with Irish things, while at the same time indulging random, considered and worthy jottings on foreign airts. D'accuerdo? Hardly.
Galloway. Sticking out bit of land (wick) of the Gaels. A viking word and the same as Galway. The people known by the rest of the country as the Galloway Irish. A clear view of Larne in Co Antrim and Donaghadee in Co Down.
.... and in Scotland. Scotch, before an English man told us we were Scots - and awa an' bile yer heid.
The Galloway Hills have been described as the greatest unspoilt Scottish wilderness outside of the Highlands. They are.
Crazy, wild, meandering low ridges that will set you, your compass and your map at odds; desperate granite drops to black nothings; an emptiness vast and unsettling; remorseless studded cliffs and glittering bogs; fairytale lochs; and baffling skies.
Wonderful, wonderful names. Curly Wee. Ben Yellary. The Rig o' the Gloon. The Back Hill o' the Bush. Dungeon Hill. Clattering'shaws. The Awful Hand. Mulwharchar, bald hill of the wolf. Two more baldies. Millfore and Millfire.
.... and trotting down into the golden and glorious Solway Firth.
The ferry price is outrageous, the local accommodation is indifferent and tourism passed it by, enroute to Glasgow and Edinburgh.
.... but absolutely go there.
Gatehouse of Fleet is a good and pretty option. Moffat which has its own hills is also good.
Not much else. The experience will make up for it all though.
.... and you'll be back home in time for your three course dinner.