Tag archives for family

Driesh and then Mayar [Munro 2 & 3]

Driesh is the closest munro to our new house in Scotland, and Mayar is only a couple of miles on the same ridge from it. So on Saturday 22nd July Alex and I went for a walk to bag two more munros by doing Driesh, and then Mayar. We did them in that order because of the proximity, even though most of the guides have the walk in the opposite direction. Our route was up the Kilbo path on the  side of the Shank of Drumfollow to a saddle between Driesh and Mayar. We then detoured East for a mile to the summit of Driesh, and then back to the same point to approach the summit of Mayar from the East. We then turned North and walked to the source of the Fee Burn and then descended into Corrie Fee…
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Moving North

I haven't written for a while, and there are good reasons behind that, we're moving North! Until February all my spare time was spent online looking at houses in Scotland that we could move to. Moving North Finding a New Home in the North The February half term week was spent with a massive driving expedition across Scotland. We stayed at Blackridge, between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Over the course of the week we saw several houses on both coasts of Scotland and both south and north of the central belt. In the end we chose a fab house outside the area we'd been expecting, in NE Scotland between Dundee and Aberdeen. Preparing to Move The living room in the old house being packed ready for moving north. (Photo: James Kemp) Since then it's been a mix of packing books, of…
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To the Brink of Death (part 1 – becoming unwell)

I am back from the brink of death thanks to the heroes of the NHS who pumped me full of industrial quantities of antibiotics and other drugs when I felt unwell last week. This time last week I was in hospital, overnight on Wednesday I was so ill that if it hadn't been for the medical intervention there is a high chance that I could have died. My temperature was over 40C and my heart rate was over 120. My blood pressure was really low. I got IV fluids, oxygen and antibiotics injected into me. However that's not where the story starts, and we should start at the beginning. Demolition Job The old shed in the aftermath of demolition and its contents (photo: James Kemp) On Monday afternoon my wife and I set to demolishing our old hut. This was…
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Real Family Holidays – Slapton [Review]

The back garden in the real family holidays centre in Slapton, Devon (photo: James Kemp) The Field Studies Council (FSC) run what they call Real Family Holidays in their centres across Britain. The idea behind real family holidays is to get back to enjoying nature and being outdoors. It certainly works for our family. There are several FSC centres that offer real family holidays around Britain. We went to Slapton in Devon, where they have two locations in close proximity. There are some in Wales, the Lake District and in Scotland. Real Family Holidays Real Family Holidays have a back to nature, organic recycling feel to it, although no hand knitted cardigans or sandals. The idea is very much around sustainability and people interacting with each other and with nature. Real Family Activities Low ropes at the Real Family Holidays…
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Forgotten War – Fighting Japan in the Far East WW2

Tomorrow is the 70th anniversary of Victory over Japan (VJ) Day. On 15th August 1945 the Japanese Emperor Hirohito formally surrendered unconditionally. My maternal grandfather and his brother both served in the Far East. I only met my Great Uncle once when he came back from Australia for a visit when I was about 7. My Grandfather died when I was almost nine, but he spoke to me a few times about what he did in the war. Their stories are all but forgotten. Private David Coats, 2 Argylls Private David Coats, 2nd Bn Argylls I have a picture of my Great Uncle in uniform, I'm not sure where or exactly when it was taken but my suspicion is that it is a post-war photo (he's wearing a 2 year good conduct stripe). The details have been forgotten. On the back…
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