Last day in the lakes this year. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it, and it’s been great catching up with people.
Today I tried to get on a shorter walk as I was returning home. After some confusion, I ended up going to Patterdale from where we walked up Grisedale toward Grisedale tarn. The car park was partially flooded, as had been bits of the road on the way down, but I parked blocking Rach H’s car in. The car park was far cheaper than Glenridding which made up for the new lake.
We’d chosen that route because even though the rain had eased, the weather was still a bit windy, and being in a valley meant it was more sheltered. Part way along the route was Ruthwaite Lodge, a shelter, which was a sight for sore eyes, however it had been restored in memory of two outdoor persuits instructors, and was locked. Still we took five minutes to, as we call it, faff and have a small amount of food before the ascent.
We were met be a couple who had turned back because the wind was to severe, and as we got within half a mile of the tarn the wind did become a bit of a struggle, particularly for Claire L was considerably more slight than the rest of us, and had to be shielded by Andy K (not the one on the right there!).
The return journey was much quicker, however the one landmark we were looking out for, Ruthwaite Lodge, which turned out to have been hidden behind a crag. Obviously when you come to think of it, else the building would have its work cut out providing shelter.
I think my walking has benefited from me losing weight and getting fitter, I managed to keep up with the others easily.
I got back to the car at ten to three, and noted that Rob and Phil were in the pub, but with an appointment at Ikea, and in Beverley I decided I couldn’t dawdle, so drove straight back here for a shower and to get changed.
Funnily enough I have both enjoyed my brief walking trip, and am not sorry about leaving earlier than the rest.
Up early to help cook breakfast, my phone alarm not enamouring me to Curly who was in the top bunk. Last night was spent in a traditional new year pursuit, that of extended games of Risk (the board game). The game was only ended when we all decided to go to bed, ages after everyone else. There was no clear winner.
My culinary skills weren’t up to the usual standard, and I was my usual early morning untalkative self.
We stayed in the centre till about half ten as the weather through certain windows was terrible, as anyone venturing as far as the car park would attest. Eventually we headed to Keswick, and walked out via a cercuitous route to Portinscale, whereupon all but 5 of us turned back. The remaining 5 continued to a pub near the Hawes End centre, and many of us ordered starters from the bar menu to supplement our sandwiches. We were joined by R&R plus 4 who decided to drive.
The weather had cleared by the time we had to head back and we walked the return trip in half the time, leaving an hour or so for an attempt on the North face of Keswick High Street. RB bought himself some new walking shoes, to replace an old pair, as it is not permitted to leave New Year with less gear than you came with. I failed to find a camera case I liked, thinking those available either too flimsy or too expensive.
The evening meal is goin to be some sort of curry, there are tins of coconut milk in the pantry so I’m wondering if it’s anything on the lines of my usual repertoire.
Spent last night at home in Steeton with Sarah. Sarah has returned to Hull and I’ll be joining her on Saturday. I meanwhile have travelled up to the lakes to spend a couple of days with BUSAG PMA.
I arrived at Rookin House at 10am just a few minutes after the others had left. Unfortunately I was heading in the wrong direction when the message came through and I had to turn round and head back to Glen Rydding.
So I bought myself a new map case at the village store and headed up the path toward Helvelyn. It was quite a dry if cold day and I made good progress on the pathway that was very wide and clear. I reached the junction with Swirral edge and was about to head back when I spotted the others just ahead of me. Some of them remarked how well I’d recovered to be up there so soon after my accident. I think the exercise regime and losing all that weight had helped, I certainly wouldn’t have caught up otherwise!
A good days walk and a good start to this brief trip.
There’s been a bit of a furore over Charity gifts recently. In particular two organisations Animal Aid and the World Land Trust have both been campaigning on the message that gifts of animals provide unsustainable assistance as in the long term they cause more problems than they solve. Their messages have been partially discredited, Animal Aid are not, as their name implies, an aid charity, but animal rights campaigners ideologically opposed to the use of animals in… well anything. The World Land trust have their own charity gift scheme, in competition with .
I have yet to find out any independent analysis of the goat giving phenomenon, that isn’t either repeating the received wisdom of the two organisations above, anecdotal reportage in a lower quality Sunday newspaper, or on the lines of “well they would say that, wouldn’t they, they have a vested interest”. However I would still not be that pleased with a charity goat as it would show the giver didn’t even bother to look at the catalogue and find something less ubiquitous!
From the publicity you would think goats were the be all and end all of charity gifts. Oxfam unwrapped list loads of different types of gift, most of which lead to projects that don’t involve animals in any way shape or form. However isn’t the charity gift just clever marketing, a way of packaging up what is really just a simple charity donation? Oxfam Unwrapped are quite clear, open and honest about the fact that your money doesn’t actually directly buy the thing that represents the gift. For example if you buy someone some exercise books, your money may not actually buy exercise books, but something from a list of things relating to education. So if I was a vegan, giving my charity catalog gift, how sure could I be that my gift of a school desk wouldn’t fund the purchase of livestock? I’ve no problem with my gift of an Aids education session turning into condom kits, but if it turns into something totally unrelated I may as well have just avoided the expensive marketing and just put the money in the collecting tin.
Certain charities do ring fence your money, and what you pay for is actually bought. However, I’m not sure I’d really want to be so fussy as not to trust my chosen charity with any flexibility over what they did with my gift. I also have an image in my mind, probably erroneous, of the charity telling the recipient of the nice person from England who paid for the gift, and I’m not sure I’m so comfortable with that!
I may come up with a less psuedy title if I can think of one.
Most of the people or organisations I am involved with are interested in people being nice to each other in some way. The Lib Dems believe in a society where we balance the values of liberty, equality and community, and where no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance and conformity.  Which basically boils down to lets all get along and be nice to one another and encourage people to improve and grow. The Scout Association believes in encouraging the physical, spiritual and mental development of young people , and the ways it does this is by encouraging them to help others, be aware of the world around them, and to understand other cultures. This seems to boil down to more or less the same thing.
Sometimes I wonder though, whether I’m reading my own values into the stated values of both organisations and imagining stuff that isn’t there. It is true to say that there are many in both who don’t fully subscribe to the values of the organisations they are members of. Some Lib Dems who are really socialists not liberals, or indeed join the party because it’s nicer than the others. Some Scout Leaders are just in it for the outdoor activities and look down at those who provide a broader programme at the expense of the summer expedition to Mount Everest. In Scouting I will sometimes see leaders with a severe right wing outlook and wonder how they get on with the whole “helping others” ethos behind the movement that takes up most of their free time. And I wonder if my own view of what the association stands for is filtered by my own values.
A notable deviation from the official line of the Scout Association’s message of inclusiveness is that it doesn’t quite stretch to atheists, although it includes just about everyone else. And given this I’m sure that Britain being Britain there are one or two Scout Leaders and Commissioners who are culturally Christian, but are really closet atheists. Indeed there are probably many members of the association who told the right kind of truth in the warrant interview.
Because of my beliefs I often find I’m the one pushing the global and environmental side of the Scout Programme to make sure they are adequately represented. This has been dismissed as “hippy cr*p” by some of the leaders I have worked with. Recently a quick review of the unit programmes locally showed that the programme our unit was running was a lot closer to the values and ideals of Scouting as promoted in the literature and training materials, than the programmes of the ambitious types in the district. And yet these ambitious types, with their unbalanced programmes, were the ones sneering at the quality of ours.
I tend to look on politics as service to community through other channels, and feel that gaining control of any public office is no good if you make no effort to help others through it. It does worry me to see people who lose focus on why they want to win in order to concentrate on winning. It jars with me when more extreme political types have bad things to say about Scouting when fundamentally it is trying to achieve similar ideals through different means. Yes, I can see that it’s fair that some have an image of Scouting as a white middle-class Christian club, even though that is not accurate. The truth is one in three members of the world Scout Movement is Muslim, and the representation in this country fares well when compared to the population as a whole. As a liberal I don’t believe there should be any law against having such prejudices, it’s what you do about them that really matters.
I often question whether I am confusing my sets of values when I hear an argument from a member of the movement beginning “I’m not racist, because…” or speak to Lib Dems who would rather take pictures of piles of litter to shame their opponents, than put on some gloves and clear it up.
It could be that for all the waffle the fundamental values of both organisations are quite generic Good Things that most people would subscribe to, and that many of us see more than is actually there. Both organistaions are in their own way a broad Church in which the members do their best to make the world a better place.
Oh hang it all I’ll just try and do the right thing.
 Preamble to the federal constitution
 Not a direct quote of POR
 The leader who said this is now a born again Christian. That’s probably not relevant.
An example of how ludicrous it can be.
My eye was drawn to the little box on the right, where I saw the quote:
“… Star Trek fans are being offered a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to buy props, models and sets from the show …”
Censorship is a serious issue, but sometimes you need to laugh in order to cope.
People may be interested to know that both Robin Hood and Torchwood have been renewed for another year. Cynics may say that this is because it’s cheaper to spread the set-up costs over two “seasons” but I know plenty of fans for each programme!
Torchwood has even made the leap from being a programme targetted at the BBC Three market, to a BBC2 show. Whether this will mean any changes to the tone we will have to wait and see.
1. Confidence and slickness of presentation, particularly in interviews, is usually inversely proportional to intelect and ability.
A confident person is often just bluffing or parotting. One who hesitates and stammers is thinking about what he says.
OK, yes it is a gross generalisation, but it’s closer to the truth than what many appear to believe. Too many people confuse lack of confidence with lack of capability, and too few have the expertise to see past nerves and lack of confidence to the ability beneath.
Went to the cinema to see James Bond with the explorers. I did put in the email that the explorers should tell their parents what they were about to see, even though it was rated 12A. Lesley spent half the film hiding behind a Christmas card, having not enjoyed the explorers previous choice of film on a hostel trip in Newcastle.
So on to the film. I think Casino Royale was Flemming’s first bond novel, so Eon productions have taken the chance to start over. The film depicts Bond as an established agent at the begining of his career as a 00. Many, but not all, of the conventions of Bond films which were beginning to weigh the franchise down have been discarded in order to start afresh, but this is still very definately an Eon film from the makers of all the others. As well as learning from their own legacy they have also brought in elements from the books previously glossed over. Yet this film is definately part of the same legacy of the others, and even learns from other makers of the spy genre.
Daniel Craigs bond for all his violence and detachment is a more human and realistic than previous bonds, while the script still keeps the film within the realms of fantasy. Whereas the Connery bond would tell jokes about his victims Craig only jokes about his own escape from death. It has also been a criticsm of previous films that if Bond was as smarmy and good looking as all that he would stand out too much to be a good spy. Daniel Craig’s facial features make him a more realistic Bond, while I’m told his physique still gives the girls something to look at.
While I thought the violence was a little too much, I did approve of the slightly less comic book approach. This bond does nothing without a struggle, no quick dispatching of the bad guys and walking away with just a crooked tie to straighten. The violence is shown to hurt, and killing is shown to be horrible, not some jolly fantasy to aspire to. The Bond girl is traumatised by James’ actions, even though they were in self defence against villains. While it made for a less pleasant film, it also made for a better and more moral one.
This interpretation of James Bond is as much rooted in the early 21st century as Brosnans was in the 90s and Connery’s was for the 60s. It dragged toward the end, but was still very good.
And we still have “Bond, James Bond” and the cumquat song.