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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
BleckCra
2017-10-08 19:21:23
"" from BleckCra Contract pics
Picture: (Contract pics)

Felled
You 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.
GSheehy
2017-10-06 12:15:54
COMING DOWN THE MOUNTAIN by Mark Roper
.
.
.
.

You have been
where you have been
someone else,

a place of peat, pool and sky,
stripped by wind
and swept by light.

You walked yourself
transparent, rock
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 ramís horn,
a special feather
or a piece of eyebright.

They fade, as a pebble
picked from a river
will fade.

What lives up there
lives only up there.
And yet, long after

youíre down,
youíll find
something inside,

something beyond
thought and word,
gifted

by those hours
you spent alone
with stream and stone:

where a ravenís call
took all your attention;

where the news of the world
didnít rate a mention.
BleckCra
2017-10-05 21:49:51
"Typical Hillfart" from BleckCra Contract pics
Picture: Typical Hillfart (Contract pics)
Knockmealdown with a feather
In 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.

Knockmealdown.
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.

Conclusion
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.
jackill
2017-10-04 06:03:55
"Bandits." from jackill Contract pics
Picture: Bandits. (Contract pics)

The Highwayman Challenge
I 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!
BleckCra
2017-09-29 20:50:08
"" from BleckCra Contract pics
Picture: (Contract pics)

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.
Alora ecco.
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.
BleckCra
2017-09-29 18:35:45
"" from BleckCra Contract pics
Picture: (Contract pics)

One man's Merrick
Ah. Alas Simon, and as always, you have managed to talk and data yourself away from dealing with my observations and queries, none of which have ever been so complicated to warrant ... I can only call it .... such "streams of consciousness" - and such defensiveness.
My query is why you call the Merrick a Marylin when I know it as a Corbett. I am not challenging your authority and it is not a big deal. Any chance of a simple answer to a simple question?
Secondly don't blame someone else for the spelling of Kirkcudbright. Same old - the eminent source says X, therefore mv says X. You are the publisher. In law you are the principle. You have to get it right and would you not want to anyway? It's a detail - not a matter of Simon's last stand.
Wind yer neck in oul lad. It's only a bit o' banter.
simon3
2017-09-29 09:57:44
Bloop, beep, plonk.
Bleck Cra: Delighted to hear you have visited your old locality and indeed your past. And delighted to read such an eloquent posting on being temporally challenged in hillwalking. Folks we can all also learn some wisdom from BleckCra's last post about coming off a walk:

"I mean the bit when we start going home; the bracken and the brown hill cattle; the patchwork fields below, the smell of trees and a stream - and coming away from the best, the very best show on earth."

Poetic metaphor for life. We oldies have to stick together don't we?

But to the matter at hand. You have revisited our page for Merrick in the Carrick & Galloway area of Scotland. You told us in Jan 2014 you had climbed it and now you are wondering why we don't call it a Corbett. Part of your fond remembering has been wrenched from you so requiring MountainViews be 'disabused' and generally struck with the usual whip of poetic license.

Well the trouble with lists is that there can be too much of a good thing. Hill Bagging who is a fraternal website say that Merrick should be considered a "Marilyn, Hump, Simm, Corbett, Donald, Historic County Top, Current County/UA Top, Administrative County Top, Trail 100". Does that information add much to the typical user on the island of Ireland?

Not convinced? Take a look at http://www.haroldstreet.org.uk/waypoints/ which contains a list of lists. EIGHTY SIX (86) of them, with new ones being added quite often. They include the main lists of Britain and Ireland. (Even some that MountainViews popularise such as the Arderins but a huge range of British lists.) The take-home? We have to choose.

MountainViews is a website for hillwalkers on the island of Ireland. Most of our content and most of our members come from Ireland. It is natural that we concentrate on where we live and walk. However we are delighted to include a page on most summits from the neighboring island and of course we publish dozens of shared tracks from places as far flung as the Lake District, the Pyrenees, South America etc.

We promote various Irish lists of which the main ones are the Arderins, the Vandeleur-Lynams, the County Highpoints, the Local 100 etc with new ones such as the Irish Islands. It's a family of lists that people can start at any level and move to further levels as they visit more places. As for Britain we thought it appropriate to include a modest selection of mostly metric lists: the Munros, the Marilyns, the 600s and the 500s as well as an all Britain list. Anyone visiting Britain from Ireland north or south should find a summit page or perhaps a shared track for hills near where they visit.

If there really was demand for more, sure, we would consider it but generally we want to maintain a relatively small number of lists that fit together. We do make changes from time to time in our lists. Last month we slightly altered the formula for the 100 Local. Shortly we will be formally introducing the Irish Islands with a mechanism by which users can indicate separately whether they have visited the island or visited it's highpoint.

So, less whipping please. And more reflection and not just in the mirror of years gone by lyrical as that was.

**** Definition
Corbetts - Scottish hills between 2500 and 2999 feet high with a drop of at least 500 feet

**** 'Kircudbrighshire and not as MountainViews spell it' -- we are using the list and names from database of British and Irish hills. Take it up with them.
BleckCra
2017-09-28 23:13:27
"" from BleckCra Contract pics
Picture: (Contract pics)

Bloop oopy do?
Help me here, if someone will - and I can't imagine I shall wait long.
Just happened to zoom into my old manor. I find the Merrick described by mountainviews as a British Marilyn. And it seems that is what it is. YUK.
Where I come from - and it's there I come from - when you start a sentence with "when I was wee (small/young).... " the listener will understand that they are about to be disabused of some modern notion.
When I was wee, the Merrick was a Corbett.
Incidentally where it is, is in Kirkcudbrightshire and not as mountainviews spells it.
ScotJim
2017-09-28 15:35:11
"AL 2 March Stone" from ScotJim Contract pics
Picture: AL 2 March Stone (Contract pics)

MARCH STONES
Currently trying to locate a series of 8 march stones marked AL separating The Seven Shielings from Lude Estates in Perthshire Scotland. This is part of Atholl Estates just outside Pitlochry. In a document dated 1763 directly relating to the position of these march stones it refers to two hills which obviously have Irish names - Knockvalon and Knockbreakmore. Can anyone help me with an Anglicised translation of these names. Cheers Jim
BleckCra
2017-09-26 21:22:24
"" from BleckCra Contract pics
Picture: (Contract pics)

...
Today I put an old gentleman's socks on. I brushed his teeth, washed his face, combed his hair .... and I watched him in the mirror.
When I was twenty I thought it would trouble me; when I was thirty, forty; when I was fifty; and now ....? It turns out it's not that troubling.
I am troubled though that my chests have set sail for my navel. I am troubled that the skin on my arms feels like rice paper. I am troubled that I need a brown pair of specs to read and a blue pair to see the telly. I am troubled that I ask people to repeat themselves. I am troubled that my left knee sometimes goes up like a balloon - for no reason.
The desperate gravity drop off Ben Crom, Craig Meagaidh and the Aonach Eagach. The gossamer flight of bog cotton on the Annalong Buttress or behind White Coomb. The razor slice of winter sun off Carlingford, Doan, the silver Solway. The blistering howl and roar of needle hail on Slieve Commedagh and Meall nan Tarmachan. The bastard Rocky Mountain that got me eventually with a 4' rock hole and made me lame.
And I would do it again and again and again and again ....
An ingenue once asked me which part of hillwalking I liked the best.
"Going home" I said and I still wonder if she thought I meant "well thank fk that's over."
But I don't. I mean the bit when we start going home; the bracken and the brown hill cattle; the patchwork fields below, the smell of trees and a stream - and coming away from the best, the very best show on earth.


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