The journey begins - disappearing into the distance along the canal.

by Administrator 1. May 2008 10:57


Before and after measurements, or size and shape matters.

by Administrator 30. April 2008 21:16

My (Tim) last day today, the department made a cake (of me outside a tent), maybe a photo later. One thing I did this morning was to formally measure my height 177cm (I seem to have lost 1cm somewhere, probably my lumbar discs) and weight 80.3kg  BMI 25.6 (Oh Dear! that makes me just overweight). But I was also connected to a bio impedance machine that claims to measure my fat proportion my lean body mass and my body water. I post these results with the intention of repeating them when I return. Alright so the physiology is not up to Mike Stroud and Ranulf Fiennes, but then neither is the physical challenge. Still I hope that the constant exercise and use of more calories than usual for me may result in a better shaped Digger.  Fat 14.6kg  Lean65.5kg   Water49.4 litres   Extracellular water20.7 litres  Intracellular water27.7 litres   Basal Metabolic Rate 1903kcals. I really don't know what assumptions this machine makes in calculating these numbers but any changes when I return may be interesting.

We shall see, I start on the long road tomorrow and we must cross the channel with the help of friends on the weekend of the 17-18th May, I hope the River Severn is better behaved than last year as I plan on travelling down its banks to the Wild Fowl Trust at Slimbridge.

Further updates will probably (by me wait until 10th May)


Kit and Kaboodle

by Administrator 27. April 2008 11:57

I have been continually adding and subtracting kit overe the last few weeks, 5 months is a long time (there is a box of reserve items to be brought out 3 times during wifely visits), but I do have to carry it all.

Equipment Weight KG Comments
Tent  Terra Nova Laser Competition 1.3 Minimum is claimed at 0.86Kg but spare pegs and bags make up the difference
Sleeping bag Vango 600m 1.1 Quite an old bag plus silk liner.
Thermorest Mattress 0.6 Vital for older campers.
MSR pan set 0.6
MSR Dragon fly stove  0.51
Fuel for MSR 0.61 650ml petrol unleaded
Mug  bowel and eating irons 0.3 Including Swiss Army knife
Medical Kit 0.2 Antibiotics painkillers steristrips antiseptic lotion etc
Clothes spares and warm  1.7 3pairs socks 2 spare pants(rohan) 1 Buffalo Mountain Shirt, shorts and trousers
Washing Kit 0.48 Pack towel soap tooth brush and paste
Torch  Petzel  head torch 0.015 new seriously light includes spare batteries
Sandals  0.25 Flipflop style  only other foot gear 
Boots  KSB 600 Bought last year and worn several times.
Rucsac 1.9 Karrimore Hurricane  suits me 3 -4 years old maybe too many straps and bits
2 water containers  0.18
Food Dried and assorted 2.3 pasta rice various dried bits and Muesliwith dried milk.
Waterproof cape and overtrousers 0.7 covers rucsack as well
Raid running Gaiters 0.11 maybe .less wet feet
Swiss Army knife 0.25 Thanks to Penny
Book 0.3 Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Laptop, camera and chargers 2.4 Samsung Q30, Minolta Dimage. 
Total   15.805
Plus water variable    

And I expect to sleep in this for how long?!


The semicolon in my sentence. Why am I doing this? In less than a week I am starting to walk maybe 2000 miles.

by Administrator 27. April 2008 09:17

I am nearly 55 and am taking early retirement from my job as an NHS consultant in intensive care and anaesthetics, I need a complete break from everything that has gone before in order to stop doing what I have been doing for the last 25 years.

I have been a keen walker, climber, canoeist and diver and want to do something truly memorable. So to set off from home in Stourbridge West Midlands to walk to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, North Spain as was done in medieval times by many thousands of pilgrims and to travel without any use of modern transport (including crossing the channel) seemed to be a way of punctuating my life.

Yesterday I attended a farewell in the department at Russells Hall Hospital where I have been since it opened and was overwhelmed by the number of people who had come to say that they would miss me, to all those there and those who would have wished to be there, thankyou. Those wishes mean much more than the very generous gifts that I was also presented with. The socks especially will be very useful!!!


Thanks to Jane Head of Medical Photography for the picture. All others will be the fault of myself or Tony Dyson.

While the planning for such a journey cannot be too detailed some preparations have been made not least practice with the rucksack , walking from home on those days that work has permitted, via the canals of Dudley has I hope provided the necessary additional fitness for the journey.


I hope to return to work before the year is out in a less intense fashion and possibly I may not shout at anyone ever again.

Thankyou to all my collegues at Russells Hall Hospital. Especially for the cake.



My first pilgrim

by Administrator 24. April 2008 16:56

We went to visit the cathedral in Lausanne today (organist playing Bach's Toccata & Fugue on a magnificent gigantic organ) and met my first pilgrim!

She was a nice Swiss lady complete with a shaggy dog carrying a pannier.

She was expecting a relaxed walk so maybe we will meet her again in Spain.

When we looked around we found scallop shell signs right through the city marking the way.

 The Swiss lady and her dog are both sporting scallop shells.



The Skye Team

by Administrator 11. March 2008 18:53


For many years a group of us has been walking and scrambling on the Isle of Skye, usually from the Camp site on the foreshore at Glen Brittle. Unfortunately we will miss the annual gathering this year, but several members have promised to join us for more or less of the walk.



Macleods Maidens with the Cullin in the far distance. One of the finest coastal walks in Britain.

About 16 miles along fairly rugged coastline. Sheep farming has intensified on the beginning part of the walk recently.



A well earned pint after a hard day on the hills.






Blaven from the base of the Inaccessible Pinnacle.