Archive for the ‘Rory’ Category

Meall Ghaordaidh

Today was a momentous occasion in Rory’s life: his first Munro. He’s been up lots of hills this year, including three ascents of Ben Ledi! But until today he had never bagged a Munro.

Chris had heard reports of ring ouzel and ptarmigan on Meall Ghaordaidh, and hoped to add them to his Stirlingshire year list. We set off for Killin with our friends Ben and Helen, and headed off up the hill.


Chris and Ben on the ascent, with Glen Lochay behind.

Despite walking at a fairly leisurely pace, we reached the top in 3 hours.


Helen, Chris and Ben with Rory at the summit.

Despite a forecast for the weather taking a turn for the worst in the afternoon, we only had a brief shower of rain, and the cloud lifted from the top, allowing us to get a good view to the north.


Glen Lyon from the summit.

We took a different route down.


Eventually we got back to the car and celebrated with hot chocolate and cookies.


Rory has been given a bath and the obligatory tick check and is now lying beside me on the sofa in his favourite position, with all four paws in the air. And I’m afraid Chris didn’t see any ring ouzel or ptarmigan. A good day, nonetheless.


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One year on

Remember the tiny puppy who came home with us a year ago? He’s now a fully grown, handsome dog.


Rory has brought us so much joy and love over the last year. It’s been wonderful seeing him mature from pup to adolescent, while still retaining his energy, enthusiasm, friendliness and love of stealing shoes. He’s been up several hills (I think he’s already done Ben Ledi three times and Ben Cleuch at least twice) and since he’s been a year old and fully grown I’ve started running with him. He’s a wonderful running companion – in fact, he’s even better behaved when I’m running than when I’m walking. He still pulls on the lead and sometimes runs off to investigate things, but for a dog of his young age he’s really very good.

He’s lying at my feet on the patio as I write this, no doubt looking forward to this afternoon’s run!

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Ben Cleuch

Yesterday we tackled Rory’s biggest hill to date: Ben Cleuch in the Ochils. We started from Tillicoultry, and walked up the Law. To those who are properly hill-fit, the Law is probably not too daunting, but it is very steep and I’d run 8 miles with the running club before starting out on the walk! All the same, I think we managed a fairly respectable ascent (although I still can’t imagine being able to actually run up it – and people do! There’s a race and everything!).

From the Law it was an easy ascent along the ridge to Ben Cleuch.


Rory kept diving into the snow and coming up with a face covered with snow.


In fact, it’s very difficult to take photos of Rory when he’s outdoors because he never stands still.


From Ben Cleuch we walked down the ridge of Ben Ever and then down to Alva Glen.


This was the first outing for some of my new outdoor kit – an OMM Last Drop 10l backpack and a Platypus. Both performed very well (although the plasticky taste of the Platypus will take some getting used to). I’m particularly impressed with the backpack – despite its small size it comfortably fitted in it a litre of water, our lunches, my woolly hat, gloves and cowl, spare gloves, my lightweight waterproof, emergency torch, a map and compass. And I was barely aware of it on my back! I’ve also used it for running part of the way home from school, and it’s perfect for carrying my clothes, iPad, portable hard drive, etc.

I think we’ve done more walking this January than we did the whole of last year. It’s fantastic, and come Spring I think all three of us will be ready to take on some Munros…

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King’s Seat

Today was a momentous occasion – Rory’s first hill! We made it a small one – King’s Seat, in the Ochils, from Dollar Glen. We went with my inspiring running buddy Helen and her husband, Ben.

Rory and Chris were on a mission from the start:


By the time we got to the top it was cold and foggy, but that didn’t dent our enjoyment!


As you can see, Rory rarely stays still long enough to take a photo of him. He spent a lot of time off-lead, racing around joyfully. He got so muddy we had to give him a bath when we got home. He’s now curled up on the sofa, looking very tired!

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New arrival

It’s the summer holidays! Woo! The time of year when I am usually cramming in as much crafting, baking and allotmenting as possible. All these things are still going on, but in a slightly more haphazard way than usual, because we have a new arrival to contend with. May I introduce Rory!

Rory is a 10-week-old working Cocker Spaniel. He came home with us a week ago. I now have the rest of the holidays to train him so that he’s ready to go into the office with Chris when I go back to school! He gets his second jab next week and I can’t wait to be able to take him for little walks. I have been carrying him around in a specially made dog carrier, which worked well for a brief while but quickly broke.

I’m waiting to see if I can get a replacement, as we’re off to Skye later in the summer and Rory won’t be up to walking very far! (Also, spot the FO!)

He’s settled in amazingly well. Within a week he was sleeping through the night without crying to go out, he’s been exploring the garden almost faster than we can dog-proof it (and he has a worrying tendency to eat stones!) and he already knows several commands (although he currently views them more as requests). I’m just starting to introduce the whistle – while we wanted a working dog so he would have the stamina to come running and hillwalking with us, I’ve been doing lots of reading about gundog training and I think I’m going to at least try some of the basic exercises. It’s really interesting, and I’m going to have to look into going along to a game fair or something – I’d love to see properly trained dogs working.

Incidentally, his name has always been one of my favourite male names, and I liked the fact that it also contains a bonus Doctor Who reference!

I’ll leave you with a picture of Rory with his favourite toy, Dave the Duck:


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