Happy New Year!

It’s the final day of 2013 and my posts have been few and far between this year but I did want to wish all of you a very Happy 2014. Janice and I had a wonderful trip to Ireland in September and I’ve posted a nice selection of photos on Flickr. I didn’t get any long rambles in but we did put over 2300km on our little Nissan Micra. Everyone will be relieved to know that I managed a “Pint of the Day” each and every day (and almost always Guinness).

On a less happy note my 2014 walk has been indefinitely postponed. I’m going through a restructuring at work and taking a 5-month Leave of Absence is not in my best interests. I’ve decided to stay at home and pay off the mortgage. Hopefully many of you are planning long walks in 2014 and if you’re blogging please let me know so I can follow along.

Although I’m disappointed not to be rambling I am looking forward to 2014. Some of you may know that I research and commemorate soldiers of the First World War and so the centenary will be both exciting and poignant. I celebrate my half-centenary very soon and I’m using this milestone as a catalyst for change. I’m keenly on the lookout for new opportunities and hope to make better use of my skills and passions. If anyone knows of some work for a rambling, blogging, real ale & Great War enthusiast please let me know. 🙂

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Victoria Day weekend

The Victoria Day weekend is here and the forecast is for the showers to die away this morning and for the sun to make an appearance this afternoon. Not surprisingly a city named after the queen goes out of its way to celebrate her birthday. One such tradition is the 115th Victoria Day Parade taking place on Monday and another is the 150th Victoria Highland Games. I’m looking forward to the massed pipe bands, haggis hurling and of course the caber toss. Even Prince Andrew has made the trip to celebrate the 150th Anniversary.

I’ve been tinkering away on the blog this week and have added indexes to both my LEJOG and Thames Path walks. Finding a particular blog entry has always been time consuming but that’s no longer the case with these handy indexes. The LEJOG index also includes actual mileage, walking times and route summaries as opposed to the estimated figures that appear on my Route page (which was posted before my walk).

I’m following several walking blogs at the moment and earlier this week I learned of another LEJOG attempt starting in July. This one’s not on foot but instead is using local buses to make the journey. Alex Johnson is a student and bus enthusiast who is raising money for the British Heart Foundation. He’ll cover nearly 1000 miles in six days using 41 different buses! You can follow his journey on his LEJOG Bus 2013 blog and on twitter (@lejogbus).

I thought I’d also mention a free app that walkers might find interesting. SkyMotion is available for a variety of mobile devices and on the web using a browser. It provides forecasts for destinations around the world but of course there are hundreds of apps that do that. What’s special about SkyMotion is that it provides a “Nowcast“, a 2-hour minute by minute forecast for your current location (up to 1 sq. km). As of today Nowcast’s are only available in North America (the technology was developed in Canada) but they will be adding other countries soon and since this app is of particular interest to walkers and cyclists I would imagine Britain must be near the top of their to-do list. I’ve been using it for several months and it is pretty darn accurate. While I agree that in most cases if it starts to rain you just have to put your head down and plod along it may be worth knowing that the downpour will arrive in 25 minutes, especially if the next pub is 35 minutes away. Better still, why rush your pint when you know the skies will clear in a quarter of an hour! 🙂

Splashy new theme

A few weeks ago I renamed my walking blog and today I’ve switched to a new WordPress Theme called Superhero. It contains many of the same elements as my old theme but it also offers a big splashy photo slider that grabs your attention.

Stunning scenery is the highlight of many a good ramble and so I’m looking forward to featuring many of these wonderful vistas on my blog. For the time being I’ll highlight some of the images from my previous posts.

If you like the new look let me know!