1st Gear

The bairn has been scooting around in reverse for a wee while now but he’s just cracked forward motion in the last few days. Actually, maybe cracked isnae quite the right word yet – it’s a bit wobbly.

Reverse parking next.

The Week in Pictures

Congratulations to Mr and Mrs Kormylo!


Ben Rinnes in the sun.


New bike light. I’ll need to come up with a way of dipping the beam for road use but it’ll be grand off-road.


I should really take holidays more often! :O)


The lad’s properly mastered rolling over recently, so multiple rollovers are now the preferred means of travel. He seems delighted with his wee personal milestone.

Frankly, I quite liked it when he stayed where I’d left him.

Glen Feshie to Linn of Dee

The last time I walked through Glen Feshie and down to Linn of Dee, on a failed coast to coast walk in 2007, my enjoyment was somewhat moderated by ankles that decided they had walked quite far enough already and wanted a long sit down. I spent the night with my feet up then hobbled on to the doctor’s office in Braemar and then didn’t get out walking for another two months in probably one of the best parts of the year, missing April and May entirely.

So here’s a suggestion: don’t push your luck if you’re injured on a long walk. You can always go back, take your time, take some more photos, wonder why they’ve closed the perfectly good upstairs room in the bothy, say “Christ – I just hopped across this river last time” and quite simply do it all again with a smile on your face.

It’s good to be back.

Bike Edinburgh to Galloway … fail!

Edinburgh to Galloway turned into Edinburgh-to-nearly-Moffat-via-Peebles thanks to the A701 being closed at the Leadburn junction for resurfacing work, and the small matter of two burst pedals and not enough cable ties. The constant headwind was slowly breaking me anyway.

Still, it was a good bike ride while it lasted and I had a nice wee break in Galloway. More importantly, I tried something challenging for the first time in a wee while. I’ve missed that a bit, even wrapped up in this new parenthood gig as I am.


Note to self

Stop swearing so much in Mothercare.

Never mind the photos

Sorry if you’re here looking for mountain photos. It’s baby stuff again! If you’re one of the grandparents then click it to play. Everybody else, move along. :O)

Clean yer bike!

No fewer than four people have said to me in the month since I bought this new bike that it’s better not to clean it. The theory seems to be that it will run more smoothly without any interference.

What a load of shite!

After a muddy ride like yesterday, you really have to clean the bike up. Leave some mud on the unimportant bits if you’re daft enough to think it makes it look cooler but clean your drivetrain at least. All you need is twenty minutes, some car shampoo, hot water, a sponge, a rag and wee scrubbing brush of some sort. Lube it up again afterwards and you’re golden.

Mouseover the pics below to see the difference and decide for yourself which will last longer and run better …

Pentlands Bike Loop

So, an unexpected free Saturday afternoon is declared on Friday. What’s a man to do with himself? Take the bike out of course!


Now, I don’t think I’d really recommend starting this loop in the Pentlands at the Union Canal outside town because there’s a hill, then a hill, then a hill, then you lose a wee bit of height before a total bastard of a hill. After that there’s another hill and at that point you’ve really just arrived in the Pentlands proper above Harlaw reservoir.

You could jump onto the same loop from Flotterstone and have a much easier time of it. Saying that, you could start at the carpark at Harlaw as well. Or Bonaly. Please yourself but I live near the canal so I came up through Heriot Watt, the donkey track, Kirkgate and then straight on as if heading for Craigentarrie.

Anyway, drop down to Harlaw reservoir and take the track around the south side then cross the slipway and head along the path to the north of Threipmuir reservoir. Peel off through the woods before you hit the car park then go left along the road that takes you over the bridge and up towards Bavelaw Castle.


Go left at the top of the hill, over the gate, and through the field to the track that leads to The Howe. This track to The Howe could well be the best bit (opinions vary) so enjoy it. Then you’ve got a long easy stretch downhill past Loganlea reservoir to Glencorse reservoir.

Just after the Kirkton road-end, and just before the sharp bend in the road at Glencorse, hang a left onto the track between Bell’s Hill and Harbour Hill that leads back to Harlaw. Now your legs get a break as you head back to the canal.

It’s twenty-three-point-something miles if you start at my house. A few more days like that and I’ll maybe have the legs to put some slicks on it and try to keep up with Stef on his road bike for a couple of hours!

More photos as ever if you want to see them.

Man in New Mobile Shocker

Okay, so my old phone broke and I had to grab a new one. What’s changed since the last time I looked?

Hmmm – well, I get a camera that actually works decently (with flash), a big touch screen, Bluetooth (which works properly these days too), GPS, wi-fi, combi TV-out/headphone jack, live BBC, live Sky Sports, BBC iPlayer, various mapping applications (of which Google Maps seems to be the best), decent web browsers that run Flash and umpteen other media formats, a full QWERTY keyboard, handwriting recognition, impressive battery life, IMAP/POP3 email, an accelerometer, excellent audio, microSD, video and sound recording (30 fps), an office document viewer, video calling, MSN chat, Yahoo! chat, ICQ, Skype, Geocaching, a radio, USB, and loads of other things that aren’t interesting enough to mention.

A few screenshots from the new phone …

Google Maps satellite view:
Google Maps satellite view

And Google Maps street view:
Google Maps street view

The main menu:
The main menu

Part of the applications menu:
Applications menu

BBC iPlayer:
BBC iPlayer

Fring app

IMAP email:
IMAP email

Some of the connectivity options:
Connectivity options

QWERTY keyboard:

Playing with the on-phone photo editing (size reduced for web):

I’m impressed

All part of a free upgrade on an existing cheap contract. I’m delighted to have had my expectations surpassed for a change.

Well done, Nokia. Maybe everybody will stop havering on about iPhones now. :O)