I'm being rubbish at updating lately aren't I?
OK so what's new? I seem to have the beginnings of a career as a freelance webdesigner going: one contract's almost completed (just some niggling bugs to work out and a bit of coding to tackle this afternoon,) and another pending (will know better if/how that's going after a meeting on Thursday.) It's not exactly how I want to be earning my crust in the long run but it certainly feels like a step in the right direction. Better still it should see some money coming in, as well as preventing my CV from atrophying. Got some other work irons in the fire too but I'll keep quiet about those for now on here at least.
Away from work life is still great, I spent the weekend away walking with Justin
and his friend Toby who was up visiting. Playing it by ear according to the weather reports we set out towards Oban on Saturday. We fetched up at a servicable (and very cheap!) campsite at Bridge of Awe
in time to get pitched before puttering down to the jetties at Taynuilt. From there we watched the sun setting over Loch Etive, lighting up the most startlingly brilliant rainbow I think I've ever seen on its way down. Retiring to a nearby bar in the failing light we pored over the OS Explorer
* sheet to plan Sunday. We discarded a tentative plan to climb Ben Starav
(far too long a walk up Glen Etive from where we were,) in favour of an extended ridge walk around and above Cruachan Reservoir.
Sunday morning we woke at the sea level campsite to see Saturday's clouds burning rapidly away. Climbing through almost unbroken sunshine and astonishingly clear visibility we took a route anticlockwise round Cruachan, over Stob Diamh
(998m) and then Ben Cruachan
(1126m) before descending back to the reservoir (which sits at about 400m,) through the Bond film-esque landscape of the underground hydro station's tunnel entrances and vaulted dam
. Last but by no means least we took a detour over the lower slopes under the dam to a disused military road. That took us most of the way back to the car before it petered out in the middle of dense woodland, leaving us to track a small stream down, under a railway bridge and back onto the main road. Brilliant! My legs ached all day Monday from keeping up with Toby and Justin, both of whom are considerably fitter than I, but I still loved every minute of it and can't wait for the next such adventure...
Almost as a social counterpoint to all that outdoorsey excercise and wild scenery, Friday was spent in the civilised and stylish surroundings of Hamish
and Dave's new flat. Picture one of those impossibly large and swank urban pads you see in sitcoms: the ones with acres of window looking out over unbelievably gorgeous urban landscapes of parks and handsome but comfortably distant neighbouring buildings. Yep, that's the place. Ten of us met there for a liesurely dinner, which disolved into hours of easily invigorating conversation - I'm very happy for my friends for finding the place, especially since they seem happy to have us hang out there from time to time!
So that's the balance of my life at the moment. Work is steadily taking shape while my social life stands as a solid pillar around which to build. I get to divide my time between a vibrant and gorgeous city filled with engaging sharp witted people whom I love, while occasionally escaping into the nearby wilderness for a couple of days' adventuring. Life is good.
*Over the course of the weekend I found myself repeatedly contemplating just how lucky I am to live in a part of the world that's as meticulously well mapped as the UK is... probably one of the many old occupational hangovers, musing on the quality of available information resources when one's halfway up a breathtaking mountain, but living in a country where even the most overgrown and forgotten of disused tracks appears on the map certainly has its advantages when it comes to walking through it.