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  • Ben Nevis - Big Tick!

    Probably the hardest thing I have ever done, made more so by adverse weather conditions, but we did it!  And I am very impressed to have done it in 8 hours, despite a stretch at snail's pace and wondering if I really would get there...


    Ben Nevis 2012 010.JPG

    Yes, that's snow at the top!  The first of the season (and by heck did it sting!)

  • Psalms of Ascent... or Yomping Songs

    When I hill walk, and the going gets tough, and my creaky joints creak, there are several strategies I use to keep me going.

    One is to anticipate the exhilaration when I (finally) get there.

    One is to consciously call to mind the reason I am doing this - whether 'just' pleasure or as a fundraiser; if the latter I deliberately imagine walking with me the people who inspired the fundraising in the first place.

    One is to count the paces - no stopping until I've done 100, 200 or whatever it might be... inevitably by the time I reach that figure I've walked through the latest 'wall'.

    And one is to sing songs and hymns to myself.  As often as not 'Father hear the prayer we offer' with its line 'but the steep and rugged pathway, may we tread rejoicingly'.  This morning I've been wondering what others I may need to get me up Ben Nevis, especially if the predicted snow arrives! (They were predicting sun a couple of days ago).  Among those I know pretty well 'off by heart' are...

    One more step along the world I go [or, up the hill I go!]

    Brother, sister, let me serve you... we are pilgrims on a journey, and companions on the road, we are here to help eahc other, walk the mile and share the load  [or, companions on the Ben]

    Step by step, on an on, we'll walk with Jesus til the journey is done....

    The journey of life may be easy may be hard, there'll be trials on the way...

    When we walk with the Lord...


    Any other suggestions gladly received!  Though it may need a transmat beam for them to reach me!!


    Many, many thanks to all who have sponsored me - the total this morning is £1300, and there are still a few promised donations to come.  That is wonderful news.  See here for some of the ways the money might be used.  If you happen to live in NHS GGC and are unfortunate enough to join this 'club' you will almost certainly be given leaflets produced by this charity as part of your info. pack.


    Back on Monday... blog silence whilst I am 'up north'.  Have a good weekend everyone.

  • Unintentioned Intentionality

    'What?'  You ask.  Let me explain, or try to.

    I have been a Girls' Brigade leader for a little over thirty years - scary in itself.  The GB leaders a generation 'above' me tended to sign off letters as 'yours in Brigade' and we all kind of knew what it meant.  At various times I have met people who are/were GB leaders and we instantly fell into deep and hilarious conversations about all things GB.  There is something about the intentionality of the organisation that runs quite deep.  My Guide friends report the same thing.  Indeed, to be fair, GB and Guide leaders are capable of similar unintentioned intentionality when they get together.

    In a couple of hours I am due to pick up an online 'friend' at Glasgow airport and see her and her husband safely onto their train to Fort William where they are travelling ahead of the weekend's Ben Nevis climb.  Combine the ridiculous lack of a rail link from Glasgow airport into town, with Scotrail's crazy route, and they are slightly bewildered.  Easier by far that I collect them and dispatch them from the centre of the universe that is Hyndland station, possibly on the self same train that Scotrail told them to get from Glasgow Central via Dalmuir (the Fort William train goes from Queen Street....)!  She and I share some common experiences over the last couple of years, and so there is a similar unintended intentionality going on.  This morning, I had an email from another online 'friend' who is part of the same 'club no one wants to join' saying she wanted to travel up (from Cumbria!) to welcome us back off the mountain.  The same kind of instant connection arises as does with the GB/Guide leaders.

    So.  Question.  Is this a 'girl' thing?  Or is it a shared experience thing?  It happens to an extent at Baptisty events, but never to the same intensity.  I have never shared real belly laughs with individual, unknown Baptists, and sometimes they really wind me up form the get-go.  What do others think?