14°C, sun, humidity.

Video: we’ve hatched a great idea at work ( or at least I like it!). Carl has a head mounted video camera, we can use it to make a video of the 3~peaks challenge. We’re carrying on the fund-raising after the event which would get some support if these is a flashy video to view, put on the plasma screen. By Flashy I mean it can be embedded into Flash and played in a Flash-componant player via a web-page.
Computer bits bought online: today the new case finally arrived. After visiting the Post Office 3 times, it’s finally here. Opening the huge and heavy box, 9 little shards of black plastic fell out.
Weight loss: only 14 stone now, hell-bells- where has it gone? Less joint stress for the climbs I suppose. I don’t like loosing weight though.

Final arrangements

23°C, clear sunny & more humid.

3~peaks: final plans are set, we’re staggering the start. The 3 summits group are going up Nevis at 10am, then the 24hr group start at 16.00hrs. We may cross each other near the bottom. The second group don’t have a break on making the descent, they just eat something warm then get in the minibus to drive immediately to Scafell Pike from Wasdale Head. Then both make the technically challenging Scafell Pike together and finish Snowdon together.
This video is made by another team with higher aspirations than we, their level of fitness is higher and they seem to have spent more time training in the gym and less on mountains than we have.
See the BMW c4 videos.


21°C, summer!

Linseed: adding dynamic range to the painting using linseed diluted "ivory" black. Put the walking poles back in and generally given the picture much more weight. See below. I’m beginning to like it again.
Cycling: missing out one some Sunday rides this summer. Yesterday was taken with recovery, next Sunday we’re on holiday, the one after is the 3-Peaks challenge itself. Riding to work still though, today recorded 24 minutes- probably my best time ever.


20°C, sun & light winds

At home: a quiet day, mow the lawn, walk the dogs and sleep and sleep. this knee is trying its best to be good but sometimes is strikes a lightning bolt up my leg. ouch.
Rice: is a good thing. Good for returning energy to tired muscles. Rice pudding on the drive yesterday was amazingly effective. The pot of pseudo-potnoodle was not- the lid burst.
Below is a photo taken last time on Snowdon showing the effect of clearing clouds from the summit.

Head in the clouds- twice in one day.

9-14°C, showers, v. windy

Two mountains in 12 hours: lots of walking, lots of rushing about and vast amounts of driving. 2 litres of water were drunk per mountain, but that was not nearly enough.
Firstly– Scafell Pike: very windy, fog & rain at the top but we found our way, no falls this time and no injury*. The climb was without problem, though retrospectively- we thought too many stops- but we had to be sure this time). We began at 06.05 ( after waking at 4.30am. There was a steady trail of people coming down at that time- some said they’s started at 03.00 am- that’s why they were wearing head-torches!
Visibility near the top was minimal, but cairns could be seen in the mist, normally two- so the route was marked out well enough. I was however, at that point- the highest man in England. I know that being the tallest in the group.
Coming down was far too slow- that added up to more than five hours in all. Still a lot of time was spent waiting for the stragglers- a tricky time because that’s when you can get cold.
Drive to Snowdon– at a furious pace until we were caught up in a traffic jam that took an hour to get through. that did give sufficient time for recovery (for me at least). The start of the journey was miserable- lack of sleep and physical exhaustion meant my body was crying out for rest, food, water and sleep. By the end, arriving in Wales- the sun was out and the possibilty of a dry summit seemed believable.
Snowdon– fully rested- the sun came out and got the adrenaline up. We set an exciting pace- reaching the summit in 1hr 50 mins. Excellent & very satisfying. There were a few breaks in the cloud on the summit- so we caught sight of some magnificent views. I was personally worried about the descent though. *A knee pain was distracting when I moved my right-knee in certain ways. So I dosed up on Ibuprofen for the drop down out of cloud. Inbetween sudden sharp pains and foul language from me, we kept up the pace. The last half is an excellent path that can be run on.
No photos today – I didn’t take a camera.

Scafel Pike- going back

16°C, grey, some drizzle.

3~peaks: we’re going back this weekend to beat that mountain: as a bonus- we then drive straight to Snowdon to do the Miner’s track ascent on the same day. Plans are laid- Friday I get homefrom work as soon as I can, then start the drive up to Cumbria just before 17.00. Bags are half-packed and now need topping up with food & emergency supplies.
that pesky Zipper is fixed now- the runner came of the teeth so I couldn’t zip the fleece inside the raincoat properly.
New computer setup (Core 2 Duo etc) is working-up nicely- it needs some silencing modding asn well as the RAM replacing- still haven’t done that. A new case is onthe way- which will help hugely.

Actionscript 2

18°C, rain then showers and sunny bits.

Actionscript: it’s such a frustrating process, full of errors and unfathomable messages. I spent quite a bit of my free time working through a tutorials book today and am trying to reproduce what I’ve learnt today at home. The only clear conclusion I can draw is that I have learned little. Every step is stifled by tiny, inperceptable errors, sometimes deleting an object and making it again in exactly the same way sorts it out. It shouldn’t be like this.

Boy’s toys

16°C, rain clearing to bright sun.

The computer hardware market is ever-so-slightly silly. Look at these pictures-
The OCZ thing is a memory module, it will be fitted inside the case and is fairly small. Why then does it come decorated with a camouflage pattern? Furthermore, it has "cooling" plates on the faces, with vent holes, OK I know that modern memory chips do get warm- especially if they are over-clocked- but take note of the sticker warning that the warranty may be void. that sticker is blocking the cooling holes.
The photo is of the faulty card that I am sending back for a replacement. Hopefuly they only have non-camouflage ones in stock.
Linseed Oil: keep the session short, and easy- too tired to do anything complex.

This is England

16°C, heavy rain, no cycling

Cinema: This is England– set in a typical working class English town in 1983. A story of unrelenting grimness, broken characters falling into destructive lifestyles set against a background of changing Thatcher’s Britain. It could have been made by Mike Leigh, but it wasn’t. It lacked Leigh’s sparkle- humour and irony. The filming, acting and production was flawless, but the story & character development was hopelessly grim.

Cycling is called off today due to heavy rain. That gave me a chance ot paint- but the results are probably not going to look radically different to the last photos shown here.

Linseed: Worked on two paintings this morning. Chages are probably harder to discren from photos but both now have their first linseed layers- so some richness of colour is starting to form.

Here’s a short sequence to show the progress of the horseStalking

My lower back still aches and next Friday we’re going to Cumbria again to take on the mountain again- this time we’re not only going to beat it, but drive to the next one for a part dress-rehearsal.  Two climbs in one day, with a 5 hour drive between ( use that for recovery). This time, we know the route, I have some better gear- in a new rucksac that it partly packed right now.
That’ll be a tiring weekend then.

…there you are- a blog entry that should have been written over several nights.