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"Deaded"Never would have thought it but it turns out mountains can can be named after insects. Despite all my decrying this site for its translation of Meelmore as Hill of the Ants, I find right on the doorstep of my old manor, in Kirkcudbrightshire, Maggot Hill. And so, my apologies.
Local 100I just wanted to say well done on the change to the local 100 conditions. I was nearly there but the last 2 or 3 would have involved almost going through peoples gardens etc. so I abandoned trying to finish it several months ago. On revisiting today I see the change which is absolutely great, very sensible, well done. Just 2 to go now and its easy to find 2 doable summits, thank you.
RISE TO ITFor 30 years I worked as a senior creative in above-the-line-advertising. Executive Creative Director with the then biggest ad agency in Scotland.
It was the tail end of the Madmen era and a place where the very best creative advertising was born and I was lucky enough to apprentice under some of its progenitors.
My first job out of university was as a junior copywriter, working alongside a well known and sometimes sober designer; and was from this font I learned an amazing thing about commercial creative work, through the context of corporate logo design.
"What makes a good logo?" I asked artlessly.
"You see son, you make it that they don't get it at first but then they do. That way they think they worked it out themselves and that way they remember it."
Placenames. Once you've negotiated your way through the Irish, the Polish, the Bantu, the Quechua - once you've unpicked it all, you think you've "worked it out". Thing is, the man just called it that, because that's the way it looked to him.
I have baited Simon 3 many times on mountainviews' translations of mountain names.
I continue in opposition (a compulsory practice in a modern democracy) and he continues to take his ball home.
I am disappointed - not the kind of disappointed in a bank manager's letter - but nearly the disappointed of a lovelorn Shakespearean hero - that no mountainviewer has hopped aboard this funicular with his or her thoughts.
For me, placenames in their native tongue are about as important a thing as you can get.
An invitation into a culture, a history, a people. Devil take the geography.
Is Donard to do with an Irish Saint or a high fort? Is Carrauntoohil any of the exotic possibles or just O'Toole's Carn/Cairn. Or why its parent mountain range is attributed to a Scottish son and not an Irish one. Is there a fundamental and important difference between Hill of the Pig and Pig Hill?
My manor is the Mourne Mountains in Co Down and mountainviews proposes some place name translations here, that prescribe a treatment of breathless laughter and dumb disbelief. Meelmore is my fave. Big Hill of the Ants. Irish wrong; English bad translation; and no ants. Bearnagh is next. Gap toothed. Wow. Some splendid nonsense about boats re Binnian's Back Castles. Doan a fort - yep surrounded on all sides and also confused with Cove Mountain.
Are there any other word crunchers on board this creaky vessel that would like to debate these matters?
If so, can I propose we take a handful of mountainviews translations, work off camera, interrogate them and come back with some constructive suggestions/proposals? If there are any of course.
If form is anything to go by, we shall certainly fail as persuaders, hidden or otherwise - horses and water - but it would be an interesting exercise.
Get me on the Community Messaging service - and that's a whole other thing too.
MountainViews' Pub QuizA great evening was had by all (and a great number of pints were also had by all) on Wednesday 18th at the MV Pub Quiz in the Lansdowne Hotel. Thanks to Jim Holmes for his entertaining turn as quizmaster and for everyone who attended. There were prizes galore (almost one for everyone in the audience!) and we raised a substantial sum which was divided evenly between Mountain Rescue Ireland and towards the maintenance of the MV website.
But it's amazing that no one in Ireland seems to know the meaning of Aer Lingus or the plural of 'mongoose' but almost everyone knows where the Isles of Langerhans are!
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.