Adventures of the Early Ooters

Thursday, 4 February 2021

Ooters 'Virtual' Burns Supper 3rd February 2021

The Burns Supper was a roaring success with many excellent contributions. Thanks to all who were involved especially to Alan and Robert for making it happen. It showed exactly what we've been missing all these months and lifted the spirits, both mentally and physically.

At the request of some of the company, I've posted last night's Ode to the Ooters : the Covid Year(s)

The virus from China was nothing to fear

The Brits treated it with an initial sneer

And then events in Italy made us doubt

But we’re GREAT Britain, we’ll keep it out

It would never reach our shores

However, our borders had open doors


The first wave knocked our country for six

As the politicians and scientists sought a fix

Lockdown came and the country was jolted

The stable door was shut after the horse had bolted


In March the Ooters were forced to stop walking

But with Zoom at least we kept talking

By summer the restrictions began to be eased

And back to walking we were teased


No pubs, no coffees, no FRT

But getting together it was good to be

And just as we thought it was safe to be out

The second wave hit us with a clout


Too many folk had been to Spain

Returned with a tan and a brand new strain

The schools re-opened and so did the unis

Mismanaged by some of our elected loonies

And before we knew it restrictions were tightened

Alert levels everywhere all were heightened

By September we were back to Zoom

Locked away in our own wee room

By Christmas full lockdown was imposed once more

No surprise given the numbers were sore


But the guys who had toiled for success in the lab

Had produced a saviour in the form of a jab

It remains to be seen where we go from here

Will we be back to normal by next year?


Covid-19 was what it was named

For so many lives it was rightly blamed

From bats, wet markets or escape from a lab

No matter, we still have to pick up the tab

Maybe Donald was right, it’s difficult to say

The Chinese were to blame and should be made to pay

No chance of that, so we just have to pray

And borrow more money for our weans to repay


In 2020 the Ooters lost a lot

But we’re still here, are we not?

So what was there that we all did miss

Well, here’s a go at a reminisce

No walks, no beers, no birthday curries

Replaced with ‘stay at home’ and lockdown worries

No Christmas panto and then to the Jewel

At least we saved on our bill for fuel

No Burns Night out in Johnny’s house

No stabbing the haggis or ‘To a mouse’

No Arran, Cumbrae, Galloway, but still

No shouts of ‘Get me aff this fecking hill’

No Glasgow, no canal walk, no Castle Semple folly

And sadly, no more walks with Holly

No Wetherspoon’s, Drouthy Neebors, or the Brown Bull

No Crown in Sanquhar, there to sit on a stool

No Empire Bar with its less than fine dining

At least every cloud has a silver lining

No Dalmellington Inn and its free Kit-Kats

No Black Bull in Mauchline with its copious snacks

No River Ayr walk wi’ the water in spate

No Ness Glen circle or figure of eight

No Isle of Bute or the Greenock Cut

No journeys down to Alan’s hut

No Lowthers, Tinto or Culter Fell

No Carlin’s Cairn or Rhinns of Kells

No Portencross or Arthur’s Seat

No valley walks then the pub for a treat

No New Lanark or even old Lanark at that

No lost villages including Benquhat

No Grey Mare’s Tail or Falls of Clyde

Or icy paths down which to slide

No Cumnock circuits or Deil’s back door

No Ballageich or Whitelee with turbines galore

No four lochs, four tops or Durisdeer

No Windy Standard or Cobbler to fear

No Ballantrae or Dailly Hills

No leaving Blackcraig with its thrills and spills

No Dumgoyne or up Ben A’an

No Whangie and a curtilage ban

No Merrrick with its thunderous rain

No Hill of Stake or Beinn Bharrain

No coastal walks or Culzean Castle

But at least no more parking hassle

No Blacksidend or down to Glenbuck

No Barony Hill and a trail through the muck

No Corsencon or to the Lunky Hole

No Cairn Table which can take its toll

No Muirkirk Sanquhar, the very first walk

Too far now? Some might baulk

No Lochranza to Sannox and the chase for the bus

No sloes at Penpont over which to fuss

No drive to Maybole to go on tour

To Kirkoswald or even Dunure

No chance to do the Luss horseshoe

Or visit Dollar, the Ochils to view

No Dumfries House, Ochiltree, or an ‘A’ Frame day

No Hurlford to Galston and the Chris Hoy way

No Carrick Hills over which to drool

Then back to Rex’s for a game of pool

No Knock Hill or the Gogo Burn

But, but, the Ooters they WILL return


And when we do start to get on the move

It’ll take a wee while to get back in the groove

We’re not as fit as we used to be

And have to stop more often for a pee

Maybe some moderate walks for a start

That to me would be more than smart

So from the big hills, for a wee while, we might refrain

When the Ooters bandwagon hits the road again



Sunday, 20 December 2020

Where's Holly?

Just for fun for the holidays. Holly got around in her 14 years. We'll give you a couple of weeks to puzzle over her whereabouts then we'll add captions.

Holly is crossing the stepping stones at Overmills just off the Ayr bypass. This is part of the Annbank to Ayr walk.

This is towards the end of the Greenock Cut with the Firth of Clyde in the background.

Some of the Ooters enjoying a pint outside the Sannox Bay Hotel which is unfortunately now closed.

Something has caught Holly's eye at Culzean Castle.

The top of Burn Road in Darvel showing the slopes of the Irvine Valley.

The clue is in the background; it's the golf ball (or in Davie's opinion the football!) on the top of Lowther Hill. This is the reservoir at the foot of Green Lowther.

Again the background gives it away  -  Ballochmyle Viaduct. Holly and Davie are on their way to Fishers' Tryst.

Holly was always first to the top of the big cairn on Cairntable at Muirkirk.

This might have had you scratching your heads if you weren't there on the day. It's the Cross Well in Linlithgow. 

 Holly and Kay are standing near Glenbuck Lodge.

A walk the Ooters have done many times; Tibbie's Brig at Muirkirk.

Another part of the Greenock Cut Walk on a glorious day.

This one may have posed a few problems. Holly is making her way towards Lochranza Castle.

Again the clue is in the background. It's the pier at Portencross.

Dalcairnie Waterfall, oops sorry Jimmy, Dalcairnie Linn at Dalmellington.

The lung bursting climb up Culter Fell with Tinto Hill in the background.

This is A McQ's bothy which we visited on our rain sodden walk between Talla reservoir and Broughton.

Probably one of the hardest. The three are having lunch beside a wind turbine on Windy Standard, New Cumnock.

Another hard one but both the foreground and the background are the clues. Holly is standing on the kiddies' playground at Loch Riecawr between Loch Bradan and Loch Doon.

One of Davie's favourite photos. This is Beinn Bharrain heading toward the last climb before heading down to Pirnmill on Arran. In Davie's opinion, this walk and the Rhinos of Kells walk are the two best walks the Ooters have ever done (excluding Mosset walks). Davie would  be interested to hear of your favourite walks.

With Arran in the background, (that's the clue) this is us having lunch on the top of Brown Carrick on a beautiful winter's day. Holly loved the snow as well.

Easy peasy. Dumfries House near Cumnock.

Holly is in New Lanark on the Falls of Clyde circular walk.

An old calendar shot! It's Dunure Castle.

The end of lunch at Loudoun old kirkyard near Galston.

The top of Loudoun Hill. Holly is hoping for a piece!

Standing the old Howford Brig with the new bridge in the background. judging by Johnnie and Davie's hair, it was a windy day.

St Blane's church on our Kilchattan Bay walk on Bute.

A teaser. The bridge in the background is the Gadgirth bridge between Stair and Annbank, part of the River Ayr Way.

Central Station, Glasgow. (Just kidding) Obviously Wemyss Bay station.

The loch is Loch Doon and Holly is standing on Blackcraig, not Coran of Portmark as some of you might have thought.

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Saturday, 19 September 2020

Hurlford to Galston 16 September

Allan, Billy, Davie C, Davie Mc, Dougie, Gus, Hugh, Iain, Ian, Johnny, Malcolm, Robert

We set off on the Grougar Path on a very grey morning, keeping socially-distanced as per the guidelines. Robert had a record of all present so that Test and Protect protocols could be observed and we thanked him for his fastidiousness. When we reached Milton Road, we deviated from the tarmac on to the path which passes by the river and then across some fields. Thankfully, the going was not too bad although nettles proved to be an issue for those in shorts. Reaching the road again, Loudoun Kirk, our coffee spot, was reached about twenty past eleven, and everyone stuck to their own space.

We did not take the tarmac road to Galston, but took the track, again with only a few wee muddy bits, towards the A71, which we crossed, and found the path which took us to Portland Park. Having crossed the park, we walked up through the scheme to join the Chris Hoy Way for our return journey. Most continued on this path right into Hurlford, but a few, having reached the bridge over the Cessnock Water, took the alternative track, down off the tarmac, to reach the cars that way.

We were back at our starting point in a tad over three hours having covered the best part of nine miles, and, no, we did not stop a second time for lunch.

The weather had stayed dry but overcast, underfoot, on the overland bits, had been OK, and it was good to get some exercise and have a chat with the guys, an all -important part of keeping good mental health.

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Arrangements for Wed 23rd Sept.

 Meet in the  Portencross car park at 10.00.a.m. The walk will be the Portencross circular.