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Widecombe Walk and other bits

Posted in The Chief’s Ramblings on Thursday 16th October 2014 at 10:08 am by Steve

That really can't be comfortable!!!

Walking down towards Grimspound

The view from Hamel Down trig point

Had a busy weekend at work and at home. Last Saturday was spent making trips in an old Landy to a small area of trees on the farm to collect wood from a Beech tree. The tree had already fallen and had previously been cut into rings. So it was just myself, Paddy and Festa with the task of splitting the wood, loading it into the Landy and then transporting it back to the farm. Well, since Paddy and Festa are collies it would be down to me to do all the work, very good they are though at fetching sticks and getting in the way. Paddy insisted on laying in the back of the Landy on top of the loaded wood with the intention of sleeping. As the wood piled higher all he did was keep repositioning himself on top of the wood. Who said dogs were intelligent. After three trips and alot of splitting the job was done. Took most of the day but at least now we have a ood supply of wood for the winter.

When I awoke early on Sunday it certainly felt that I had moved a fair weight of wood the day before. Unfortunately it was an early start as I was due to be at Widecombe for 08:00. It was the Marie Curie Widecombe Walk and each year we marshall the event. We set canes out along the route to help guide the walkers along their way. I usually set these out in the morning as I never really know what the visibility will be like on the tops of the hills. Luckily we had a clear but grey day and my race along the tops to set the canes before the walkers caught up with me was made easier. Standing around it got pretty cold, but if you were walking it was ideal weather. The event was a success and was finished off with a cream tea in Widecombe. Great way to end the day, certainly earned it.

On Monday I was up after repacking the car to go down to Dartmouth for an overnight expedition. To say it was raining on Monday would be an understatement. It lashed down all day and only finally eased at about 19:00. Luckily just in time to cook their pizzas. Tuesday was a totally different day and we had another great day on the river to end what was eventually a great trip.

We have a busy weeknend ahead with three groups arriving on Friday evening and staying until Monday. I will hopefully be out on the Saturday morning training with the Swift Water Team with DSRT Plymouth. I have a bit of time in the office today and tomorrow going over the details for the weekend.

Great mornings paddle

Posted in The Chief’s Ramblings on Thursday 2nd October 2014 at 3:00 pm by Steve

A mirror flat River Dart

Another cracking evening

Yesterday morning I ran a paddling trip as part of the activities during our Dartmouth camp. It was the first day of October and it was like a summers day. We even spotted a Kingfisher at it flashed past close to the rivers edge. 

As well as having a great morning on the River my evening excursion with the dogs was just as impressive. I know the picture is very similar to my last post, but what a great view.

It has been an incredible autumn.

Cracking Sunset

Posted in The Chief’s Ramblings on Friday 26th September 2014 at 9:12 am by Steve

Fantastic burst of light

Looking out from the ranges

Looking back towards Great Nodden and Brat Tor

Yesterday evening I took the dogs for their usual walk up around the ranges at Wilsworthy. What a stunning evening it was. A great time of day to be out with the dogs. At one point the sun broke out from below the cloud and lit up the whole area in a bright orange light. Tried taking a few pictures on my phone but they obviously didn't do the view justice. Thought I would share them anyhow. 

The fine autumn weather looks set to be around for a little longer. We have had schools at our Dartmouth site camping all week and what a week they have had. I am down there again next week for an overnight experience with a group of year 7's from Paignton Community and Sports Academy. Once we have finished the activities and have sat around the camp fire it will be time to hone those whittling skills!!!! As I tell the other members of staff "spoons are for Amateurs!!". Must remember my box of plasters!!! 

A Nursery Rhyme Springs to Mind

Posted in The Chief’s Ramblings on Friday 19th September 2014 at 10:27 am by Steve

I saw how they run!!!!

I came into work this morning and was posed with this question from John "Who is in charge of mice within the Spirit organistaion?". Knowing it wasn't in my job description and to think of it no one elses I took it upon myself to enquire further. On looking into our waste paper bin a movement was detected followed by a brief flash of a mouse. I meant that it moved quickly and that it was not exposing itself in any way!!! As I removed the waste paper I noticed that there was not one but two and then to my amazement three appeared.

A nursery rhyme sprang to mind about a trio of visually impaired rodents. To see how well these would run I removed the bin containing the aforementioned mice and transported them to a release spot from which they would not be able to find their way back. Luckily the bin didn't topple over enroute despite the efforts of the jumping captives inside. They certainly sprang from the bin and disappeared within an instant.

Hopefully now it will be safe to leave the staff biscuits unattended overnight!!!! 

Varied couple of weeks

Posted in The Chief’s Ramblings on Wednesday 17th September 2014 at 12:38 pm by Steve

Great Orb Web Spider, "Now can you get it off my leg!!!!"

HML candidates feeling the pressure in the sunshine

Exploring around Burgh Island

The Tour of Britain

Topping out on "Reverse Cleft"

Ray of Light

It has certainly been a few weeks since my last entry on the blog, partly because I took a few weeks out. Prior to that I have had a pretty varied time at work.

Since my last entry I have run a HML assessment, worked with John on a SPA training, paddled around Bigbury, watched the Tour of Britain flash past and have even got back into the routine of cycling to work.

The HML assessment was great weekend to work on as a course director as all the candidates passed. Some found the whole process quite emotional with a few just rattling the bar, but all met the required standard. The weather was very testing at the start of the course especially on the night nav when the rain and hill fog added to an already difficult night. Luckily for the candidates the weather eased as the weekend progressed. On one of the days it was quite noticible that there were alot of Orb Web spiders around on the moor. Some were quite impressive in size and had some fantastic markings. Apparently, once the female has laid her eggs in a silken purse she will stay with the eggs until she unfortunately dies. She would not have gone off to hunt for food during that time whilst minding her eggs. We also spotted frogs of all sizes whilst we were out and about and averaged about two a day, at least!!!! Thats a useless fact for you!!

Whilst on one of my days off I paddled around Bigbury one afternoon. A stunning afternoon it was, with clear flat water, a gentle breeze and the warmth of a late summer sun shining down. As the tide was quite low I had a great opportunity to exlpore a few of the many inlets around Burgh Island.

The Tour of Britain has been and gone and it always amazes me at the speed at which they travel. It is a great experience and the enterage of police out riders and team cars is as impressive as the cyclists themselves. Managed to get a shot Sir Bradley as the Peleton past at speed. The stage they cycled that day would be a day out for me including numerous tea and cake stops along the route. Think they would have finished as I would have been arriving at the summit of Haytor!!!!

Last weekend I was working with John on a SPA training and a great weekend it was with autumn weather still holding out.

The other morning I managed to capture a picture of the sun breaking out through a hole in the cloud highlighting a dot of land in the distance. I am out again on the bike trying to get into the routine of cycling to work. Hopefully I will now be able to keep it up. It has been difficult during the summer months as I have been camping with our Young Spirit trips on many of the weeks. Lets see if the weather holds, as it would be nice to have some pleasant weather to cycle in before the Autumn really turns!!!  

Next week I will down in Dartmouth for a couple of days followed by another few days in the office. Still alot of courses to plan for the autumn. Kettle on then Martin!!! 

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