The Call of Yorkshire (Everest Base Camp – Only 20 weeks to go!!)

Sunday 16th June 2013 Father’s Day.

A Happy Father’s Day to all you dad’s out there.

Next week  it will be in the teens, it is getting closer, very quickly. Funny how time seems to be slow and then quick, quick, slow and then very quick. (I admit. It could be my age!) After three weeks of marking time and ticking over, in a still keeping fit way, I am starting to re-energise, spurred on by the need to reach and break our money raising target. Plus the support I keep receiving at home from people helping with fund-raising and messages from those who have already completed the trek, both older and younger than me, especially from Australia. They are an out going, active, fit, adventurous lot Down Under.Thanks for your messages, they help me to climb up the next Fell.

This last few weeks I have had to be up and out very early, or very late, (we needn’t go into the reasons here), this season of the year makes those times even more special as spring rolls into summer. On a late evening bike ride, very hard work climbing up to Langbar, (almost like three weeks ago but not quite), and a long late walk through showery sunshine I was struck by the sounds and sights around. It seems to  heighten awareness and your senses. There is hardly anyone around, few cars (or cyclists!). The sun is shining, it’s warm, the countryside is stunning, you are alone (or with one other) yet you are not really. There is the fox darting after a rabbit down a lane, the sheep grazing in the warmth, the cattle basking in the peaceful grassland munching and chewing away. The hare tearing across the flower laden meadow. Owls flitting across to the next tree. The cuckoo, still, calling out and seeming to move along the valley or ridge with you (maybe it is following). Countless birds filling areas of the sky as they dive, swoop, climb and glide about their business. This week’s highlights include a big cuckoo (I was sat under the tree at the time!), tawny owls, buzzards, falcons and the Call of Yorkshire, The Curlew. Wherever you go in the Dales, from our house up to the Howgills there are curlews. They have been with me since I started this training and are always about. They always very active chasing, swooping, calling; it’s like they are saying, ‘Keep going we’re with you it’s all fine, we see you and we know why you are here!’ The sound they make as they do all this fits their situation, our countryside and the time of year. For other parts of the country I’m sure it is another bird or animal, for Yorkshire, for me, it is the curlew. It could never be anything else. If you think this is all lots of nonsense try this link on You Tube. It really is the sound of my training at the moment. Ilkley Moor and all points North towards The Lakes (even Barden Fell?!?!!).

Curlew Capers (and song) To view scroll along poular uploads at  betacygni betacygni

See, it was worth it! It will haunt you, in a nice way, whenever you visit this corner of our world. If Vaughan Williams had done another suite on this theme he  should done the curlew and then The Lark Ascending would have had a rival piece  for us all to listen to. In fact if I had the time I’d start some kind of campaign to have the Curlew as the Yorkshire sound and the Yorkshire bird. (Better than On Ilka’ Moor Ba’tat).

So to the stats of the week. Yoga sessions, one. Circuit training, three. Weight lost two pounds…hurrah. Chocolate is now off the menu, for me. Someone I know is making up for us both! Walking; 12:3mls, 4hrs 25mins and 2200ft climbed. Biking; two trips, 34:1mls, 3hrs30mins, 2367ft climbed. Hfh met none. Brain games three, you thought I was not doing them didn’t you? Well I am and I’m still no good, but I will stick at it!

A reminder that Macmillan is not just about the nurses it provides different kinds of services. From the website, ‘We provide high quality, up-to-date cancer information for cancer patients, their families and carers. All of our information is written and reviewed by specialists.’

Finally to those who still believe I’m sat in my front room orchestrating all this from the settee. Some photos of past training days. I’ll keep putting them on, but normally there is usually only a camera with me when there is another human, ‘cos I’ve always the curlews to keep me company.

Con Dib-Cap'stone  Gate (17)

A glowering sky at Conistone Dib. We did beat the storm back home.

Winder (12)

Your author two thirds of the way down a Howgill Fell. No curlews there!


Malham Tarn a beautiful resting point towards the end of a long day’s hiking!

As always, can I ask you to pass the blog address,, on to your friends, they might read it, and support Macmillan. Alternatively, they could also do this by visiting

Have a good week. Goodbye.

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