“You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting.”

Er…hello again!


Um…so…where to begin…ok…
…after about five wet and soggy winter/spring months of wandering around two empty fields (for reasons I won’t go into at the minute) the “pups” and I emerged, near brain dead, desperate to experience life in the outside world. This idealistic notion did not last very long.
Early March found us in the snow with the inestimable Mr.P on the Corbett, Meall na Fearna.


With two “pups” on leads this proved to be such an interesting experience I vowed never to repeat it and so…

…I ditched the doggies in favour of solo walking and had a rather enjoyable outing to the Marilyn, Bishop Hill, in central Fife.


I should point out at this juncture that to interact with the “great outdoors” in such a carefree and abandoned manner I was loaded to the gills with a combo of paracetamol and ibuprofen to counteract what one might call the less than carefree effects of my ever encroaching sciatica.
This short programme of Spring trials would determine whether or not my vision of full blown Munro bashing would begin in earnest come September, when the pups would be developed sufficiently to take on the big mountains on a regular basis. One thing I hadn’t considered when this forthcoming adventure was initiated (nearly two years ago now) was the fact that I might not be up to the task. The next hill on the list was to reveal my shortcomings.

On the 8th April 2014 I gulped down my pills, packed my rucksack, and headed for The Stob, a wee Graham near Balquidder. By all accounts an easy wee hill, a half day amble at most.
All it took was one very short, steep, section off-track at the corrie end to reveal an underlying problem…a chink in the armour of my great plan. Minutes into the climb the back rebelled. I made it onto the ridge but the problem was pretty apparent…I was not going to be able to manage any further steep-ish ascent. I had one short haul left to the summit – which I dutifully ignored and wandered round the back of the remaining section of hill to find a shallower amble to the top. The descent followed a similar pattern as I eased my way, rather carefully, back down the slope into the glen beyond. My final route plot is a homage to the artist, Jackson Pollock. Not even he could have imagined such a random splattering of lines on a page.


Crackin’ route plot eh! Can’t tell the difference between it and a Jackson Pollock? Told you it was all over the place.

Only a few days later my back demanded further recognition of its declining state and not even my overdosing on non-prescribed drugs could entice it in the direction of anything vaguely uphill. That was a couple of months ago now and the head scratching still continues as to a new direction for myself and my two thugs.

But, as ever, there are always things about which the odd word can be written and the odd photo taken. And so “Reservoir Dugz” will be creaking into life once more over the next month or so. By the end of the summer I hope to have devised a new series of adventures for me and at least one of the wee monsters…fingers crossed.

(title quotation – from A Knight’s Tale, 2001)


16 thoughts on ““You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting.”

  1. I did try a comment earlier…but WordPress refused it: all I said was knees!
    I’m used to mine being uncooperative, but latterly they’ve found a new trick when going downhill…putting my back out – painfully – so you have all my sympathy.

    Could you train the thugs to pull a sled?

    • Sorry to hear about the knees/back issue Helen. 😦 Looks like it has to be only uphill for you from now on.

      It has taken a few years since the start of the sciatica for the back to come into play but now that it has it seems to be quite determined to become a bit of a nuisance. The thugs could pull the sled…assuming they didn’t eat it first!

      I think MrP might have had the same problem earlier when trying to comment. I noticed stat counter recording a comment from Derby but none appeared on the blog. Maybe it was all sweary words and WP kicked it out! 😀 Maybe he just thought the better of it and sneaked off. 😆
      WP was really slow when I was writing the post so maybe there was a server issue.

  2. “To trudge: the slow, weary, depressing yet determined walk of a man who has nothing left in life except the impulse to simply soldier on.” Sorry to hear about your ongoing state of naffness. Any end in sight? As usual, your all too discerning site has declined to accept my comment.

    • 😆

      Under the blog’s strict quality controls your comment was no doubt weighed, measured and found wanting. 😀

      Sadly I think this more recent development in the sciatic debacle is more than a temporary glitch. If there is any strain at all on the back (enthusiastic pups being the guilty party) then a wee while later an ache creeps round from the lower back onto the left quad. At this point prolonged walking becomes…um…tedious. I’m not sure I can even do long walks on the flat without it kicking in. I will be experimenting through the summer but I have no plans to do any serious hillwalks again. The problem is coming up too frequently and randomly to be able to predict so I shudder to think what some descents could turn into with this niggle.

      I’m hoping to get out and about with the camera to some places I’ve hurried by in the past. On the plus side I’m a full stone and a half lighter than when I hillwalked! Typical.

    • Just realised your comment was showing your email address Mr.P – Sorry, don’t know how that happened. I have deleted it. I won’t admit to how few people might actually have seen it. 😦

  3. I did wonder where you’d got to……

    So sorry to hear you’re having such problems. I sincerely hope that something can be sorted somehow to get you all back into outdoor circulation.

    Our Tilly (choccy paws) has had similar problems herself. About 10 weeks ago, she suddenly couldn’t move hardly without screaming. A visit to the V-E-T, and less than 24 hours later she was at a private doggy clinic having an MRI scan. (Puppy insurance….) This revealed a ‘disc protrusion’. As far as we can tell, this seems to be the doggy equivalent of a slipped disc/trapped nerve. Six weeks of greatly reduced activity followed, plus a cocktail of drugs – Tramadol, Gabapentin (both of which are actually human drugs and not actually licensed for use in dogs, but the specialists have found that they work) and Metacam.
    She now (fingers crossed), seems to be pretty much back to normal, although it looks like she may well be on a daily dose of Metacam forever. We don’t care about that though – if it gives her the quality of life she needs, that’s fine by us.

    I look forward to hearing more positive stuff from you soon X

    • What a shame for Tilly – hope she’s over the worst. It’s amazing how they do recover. I remember Maisie having a touch of arthritis and the tablets did a grand job – after 3 months or so she went on to do a few more Munros without any problems. In fact I was speaking to the owner of one of Maisie’s old pals (a Welsh springer) only last week and I’m sure he had had a similar problem to Tilly’s though maybe not quite so dramatic. He was put on metacam – and was all set for tackling the pups! (he’s 11).

      The problem I have is very minor in the scheme of things – more of an irritation really. It’s just not practical to tackle the mountains due to its unpredictable nature. I do know for certain that the back doesn’t like uphill – neither does it seem to like downhill overmuch 😆 so hopefully something a bit flatter will provide a compromise. 😀

  4. “Never knowingly on the wall” is back! The body letting you down is a bit of bugger for man and canines it seems. Knees for me, too many lunatic fast descents down steep slopes in my youth. What about roller skates towed by the thugs? That could work! 🙂

    • \o/. You made it! Looking forward to the message no matter what it was lol. I have not touched the link yet but I’m betting it is an old country western classic my dad had on an LP “Life gets Teejus Don’t It” (or similar). Can’t remember who sang it though. I’m off to press the link now 🙂

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