Thursday, 29 September 2016

Birthday curry -- new arrangements

Sorry about this guys, but the 19th was a problem for Malcolm as his wife had already organised something special for him that night. I have cancelled the arrangement on the 19th and provisionally booked the 26th October at the Jewel in the Crown. I will confirm the booking when I return from France and we know the numbers attending.

Sorn towards the Haugh 28 September

Allan, Davie C, Davie Mc, Dougie, Ian, Jimmy, Kenny T, Malcolm, Paul, Rex, Robert

The trip to Penpont had been postponed due to the adverse weather forecast and it was drizzling when we assembled at Sorn for our familiar walk up towards the Haugh. Wet weather gear was donned from the start and little time was lost making our way up the road to the War Memorial above Catrine and then down steps further along Chapel Brae leading to the Square and thereafter to the riverside path. By this time the drizzle had intensified and eventually reached serious rain proportions. Reaching shelter under the road bridge at Howford we were well drookit and took time to have coffee and to dry off.
Jimmy (who had left his waterproof trousers in the house), Allan and Malcolm decided enough was enough for one day and set off on the return journey whereas the rest continued on their way. The three retraced their steps to Catrine and then took the riverside path back to Sorn arriving two hours forty minutes after having left. To be honest the rain had eased substantially on the way back, and by the time they had got changed and had their lunch it was dry. Whilst waiting for the main party they checked out the memorials to the Covenanters in the churchyard and then went over the road to check out the smallholding where some chickens had gone on to the road holding up the traffic. Malcolm, the chicken whisperer, used some fowl language and managed to get the errant burds back home. He was then propositioned by a rather large sheep, and as they say, the rest is history.
Before they knew it the main party appeared, having gone up to the viaduct and venturing a bit further before deciding to turn back. They had taken an extra fifty-five minutes (including lunch) and were glad for dry clothes.
FRT was taken at the Black Bull in Mauchline which is fast becoming a favourite especially when the barmaid presented us with sausage rolls and pies. Very unexpected, but very much appreciated. Thank you, we will be back!
Despite the conditions we got some much needed exercise and, as always, the banter was good.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Panto at Oran Mor

This year's panto is 'The Princess and the Pie' by Morag Fullarton. The cost is £16.87 per head, which includes a pie and a pint.
On Wednesday 7th and 14th December there is one performance at 1pm. On 21st December there are performances at 12 noon and 2pm. We normally go to the 12 noon performance so that would restrict us to the 21st, although that is a bit later in December than normal.
I suggest we go for the 21st and,  rather than deal with the strange amount, I ask you for twenty pounds, the extra going towards the cost of the Ooters calendar. Those not attending the panto but wishing a calendar would contribute three pounds.

I assume that the following will wish a ticket:
Alan, Davie C, Dougie, Ian, Jim, Johnny, Kenny R, Kenny T, Malcolm, Rex, Robert

Those not going would be: Davie Mc, Gus, Jimmy, Paul, Peter

If you wish to change your status, let me know by this Sunday. If another date is preferred, let me know your preference by then as well. Tickets will go quickly for the week before Xmas so speed is of the essence.


Birthday Curry Jewel in the Crown

Booking made to celebrate Malcolm and Dougie's 65th birthday at the Jewel in the Crown,Kilmarnock. The booking has been made for about 15 people at 7 for 7.30 on Wed 19th October.. Please confirm your attendance with me before the event so that I can give them an accurate   number for seating.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Ness Glen Walk

You should be able to follow most of Wednesday's route on this pic.


Thursday, 22 September 2016

Ness Glen 21 September

Allan, Davie C, Davie Mc, Dougie, Gus, Ian, Jimmy, Johnny, Kenny T, Malcolm, Paul

Getting ready for the off
There was a ’fresh’ breeze blowing across Loch Doon as we started this familiar walk. Once away from the loch we were sheltered and walking conditions were to remain good for the rest of our day. Being creatures of habit we went high to begin with before dropping down to the bridge over the river to complete the first section of our figure of eight circuit. The footbridge is closed due to its unsafe condition so we crossed at the adjacent wooden road bridge then continued on the track to the seats beside the tarmac road for coffee.

This bird has lost a lot of weight trying to make a trunk call
Continuing across The Promised Land we skirted Bogton Loch and headed up towards Dalcairnie Linn. Johnny and Allan followed the road up to the Linn whereas the majority cut off left and followed the track approaching it from below. Lunch was taken here, breaking the recent trend to have it at the top of the hill.
Looking over to picturesque? Bellsbank
Soon we were on our merry way again, although it has to be said that it might be more appropriate to say that Jimmy was on his gay way again, as he was very good at certain impersonations, too good, if the truth be known! Over the hill and down to Graigengillan was the next stage before the river was reached again. Johnny, Allan and Davie C decided to return by the high route whilst the remainder continued up the gorge and reported that work had been done to repair the path. The low-levellers reached the cars first three and three quarter hours after having set off.
Did John Wayne ever fall off his horse at Fort Carrick?
FRT was taken at the Dalmellington Inn where we were well received by the regulars. Those having coffee were not disappointed as the Inn had a coffee machine and the coffees were served with the usual Kit-Kats. It has to be noted that our resident Kit-Kat Kid rather ungraciously turned down the offer of a finger! However, the thought of it brought a smile to his face.
A guid day oot!


Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Thursday, 15 September 2016

A Bridge Not Too Far (Apologies to Cornelius Ryan)

Alan S, Davie Mc, Gus, Ian, Jim, Jimmy, Kenny R, Kenny T, Rex & Robert

The bridge at Arnhem may have caused great difficulties for Major General Urquhart and the British 1st Airborn during operation Market Garden but the bridge we were to conquer today presented no such difficulties. Ours was to be the Erskine Bridge over the River Clyde and there was no enemy to prevent our crossing. To mount our operation – which we shall call Operation Fish-supper – we rendezvoused in Caulders Garden Centre in Erskine at 10:00 hours. There we enjoyed a casual cup whilst plans were made for this was to be an easy and short walk.       
Due to the easy nature of the walk it was good to welcome back our walking wounded in the form of Jimmy recovering from his back problem, and Gus nearly recovering from his Achilles injury.
On a warm but slightly overcast morning we came on to the walkway that would take us over the bridge. The views from the bridge are special on any day, and today was no exception. We stood on the highest point of the bridge, by the plaque indicating that it was officially opened by HRH Princess Anne in 1971, and looked down the river to Dumbarton Rock and the Tail o’ the Bank. Below us lay Erskine Golf Course with ant sized golfers trying their luck. Eastward the view was upriver to the city of Glasgow and nearer at hand Clydebank, our destination.
We came off the bridge into Auld Kilpatrick and found there the path alongside the Forth and Clyde canal. We would follow this to our destination. All along the path information boards told us something of the history of the area. One such told us that the last Erskine ferry sailed across the river in 1971 made obsolete by the new bridge. Reading the information boards and dodging the many cyclists who were enjoying the day as we were, we came to Clydebank.
Where the Dumbarton Road crosses the Canal we stopped to admire the Beardmore monument. Sir William Beardmore (1856 – 1936) was an entrepreneur and shipyard owner in the town. He sponsored Ernest Shackleton’s expedition to Antarctica in 1907, an expedition in which Shackleton named the largest glacier on the continent after his sponsor. The monument at the corner of Dumbarton Road and Beardmore Street is spectacular as befits a man of Beardmore’s standing.  (Ego, more like – Ed.)
From the monument we still followed the canal through the busy Clyde shopping precinct to McMonagal’s fish and chip restaurant.  Her we dined alfresco on some of McMonagal’s wares.
After the repast we returned to the bridge by the outward route. Once again on the high point of the bridge we halted, this time to watch a container ship with what looked like sections of wind turbines aboard crawl slowly under us. But why, we asked ourselves, was the pilot boat astern of the container one?
More ant-like golfers were trying their luck on the course but we were more interested in the path that ran down beside the water. We suspect this to be the Clyde Coastal Walkway and look for forward to trying it out some day.
Today was short and easy but for two it was enough. Perhaps their recovery will be sufficient to tackle something longer next week.

We returned to The King’s Arms in Fenwick for FRT today.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Tinto Hill -7 September

Davie M, Rex, Paul, Ian, Robert, Kenny T, Jim.

We gathered at Davie’s and wasted no time in getting on our way. Heading towards the M74 the day began to look promising, with plenty of blue in the sky, but as we drove south, heavy cloud could be seen sitting on the hills. Tinto’s top was in the clouds and as we stepped out of the cars there was just a smirr. Some opted for waterproofs, others didn’t.

Optimism was rewarded because the rain didn’t come to anything. For some of us this was the first ascent of Tinto, for others it was the first time for a couple of decades.  Your scribe was in the latter group who all agreed the hill had become considerably steeper in the intervening years.

Davie, Rex and Holly raced away at a rate of knots although Rex eventually fell back to the main group. One man and his dog headed into the mist whilst the mere mortals, seeing the steepness of the next section, opted for a breather, a coffee and a share of Rex’s jelly babies.

Revived, we tackled the final ascent with a spring in our collective step. And whilst we were getting our caffeine fix the mist had cleared, so we were greeted from afar by Davie, sitting in the lee of the summit boulders, sheltering from a fairly strong wind.

“55 minutes” he proudly proclaimed.  No one was particularly impressed. As we huddled behind the rocks we could see a figure ascending quickly. A chap in shirtsleeves. Of course, we had to ask how long he’d taken to climb Tinto. “About 45 minutes” he declared. We were impressed. Davie didn't appear to be, though.

Although the visibility wasn't perfect, the view from the summit was good. The Pentland Hills above Auchendinny  seemed no distance at all and we could just make out the Bass Rock and Berwick Law.

From the top we headed NNW descending a broad hillside affording more fine views. Lunch was taken behind a convenient wall, since the wind was still blowing.

We completed our descent down a steep bank, at the foot of which an artic was loading up logs. By now it had warmed up enough for sun hats and t-shirts to make an appearance as we made our way down a green lane and then onto tarmac for the last couple of miles back to the cars.

An excellent walk, estimated at 9 miles in all.

We decided to return via Muirkirk and the Empire Bar, where we were warmly welcomed by the regulars, whose numbers today had been augmented a little. Today’s canine joke. A man with size 14 feet has lost his dog. What’s the man’s name?

Absentees should have an answer prepared for Wednesday.

by Paul

Arrangements for 14 September

Meet at the Garden Centre on the south side of Erskine Bridge at 10 am.

The aim is to walk across the bridge and up the canal to the fish and chip shop in Clydebank and back.   Bring a piece if you're not having a fish supper lunch!

Friday, 2 September 2016

Muirkirk to Glenbuck via Cairntable

With Alan, Davie C, Davie Mc, Ian, Kenny R, Kenny T,  Rex, Malcolm and Paul
(T Rex  - LOL! the typist)

Route - Kaimes car park, Muirkirk - Sanquhar Bridge - Cairntable - Parishholm - Glenbuck Loch

Weather - a cold wind ascending Cairntable and a 10 minute heavy shower going down the glen but glorious sunshine going round the loch.

first to the top

Time taken - one and a half hours to the top of Cairntable, 4 hours and 5 minutes in total.

How many Ooters to open a plastic bag? Nice plums, Gus, BTW

FRT taken in the Empire Bar as usual when in Muirkirk.

Report by Davie McM