Saturday, February 28, 2009

Curry Night on Tiree

Jo and I always enjoy visiting Fiona and Mark's Farmhouse Cafe in Balemartine.  We particularly enjoy a good bowl of soup at the cafe after one of our Saturday morning coastal walks.  So when we found out last week that Fiona and Mark were having a curry night we made a booking immediately.  We went down last night (it great to have somewhere new to 'eat out' on a February night on Tiree) and ate our fill.  Unfortunately - or fortunately, whatever way you look at it - the main course comprised a buffet where you helped yourself and went back for seconds if you so desired.  So I had beef Rogan Josh.  And when that was finished I had chicken Tikka Massala.  Along with an excellent starter and dessert we were well and truly stuffed by the time I hauled myself back behind the wheel of the car and took us home.

Earlier this week I joined up with Mabel Macarthur and a bunch of amateur Thespians at An Iodhlann.  Mabel is producing a series of short Gaelic plays and I'm glad to say I'm a member of the cast.  Before anyone gets the wrong idea my grasp of the Gaelic hasn't taken a quantum leap.  No: there's one English speaking part in the proceedings and your truly is occupying the role.  We had a lot of fun last week and I'm looking forward to being part of the production.  I don't think there is a date as yet but I'll let you know as soon as I do.

I attended the surgery last week to get the first of my vaccinations.  These were: diphtheria, tetanus and polio.  On Monday I get the vaccinations for Hepatitis A and Typhoid.  Hitherto, my trip to Nepal has seemed remote, unreal.  It's beginning to dawn on me that I'm really going - I'm really going to trek in Himalya.

Please support my efforts to raise funds for when I trek to Everest Base Camp in April 2009.  Visit my site - - for details or donate online right now at Thank you!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oban Times Article

At the moment the total amount of hard cash you and the good people of Tiree have raised stands at £387.00.  This is something like £107.00 for the week.  Wow! thank you so much!

This week, my trek is featured in both The Oban Times and An Tirisdeach.  I've attached a copy of the article for you to look at.

I mentioned last time that the trek had been publicised by my good friend Steve Walker on his Phedippidations podcast.  If you want to listen to what Steve had to say you can find the audio extract at 

Thanks again to everyone who has supported me in my mission to raise money for Sense Scotland  If you haven't had time yet to support me I wonder if you would consider doing so?  Remember you can donate online at 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Greetin' Faced Cowboy

The greetin' faced dude on the left looks as if he lost a fiver and found a shilling.  

You may be thinking this is some old time western hero but you'd be mistaken.  Sure, at various times in his life he has been referred to as 'a bit of a cowboy'.

But no: this is no lasso-tossing cattle-punching star of the rodeo.

It's me!

The reason for the sombre sombrero look is simply that I couldn't make up my mind if this hat suited me so I took a quick self-portrait.

I picked up this little number in Oban last time I was over.  It was going cheap and I thought 'that'll do me'.

As I was buying it I had a flashback to my childhood when I was bought a 'cowboy' hat with a star-shaped sticker on the front that said 'sheriff' and a fringe of red and yellow lips about the brim.

I have to go the Doctor's next week and ask about vaccinations.  This is something I'd forgotten about.  I was surprised when I checked out how many vaccinations I would have to get: at least five.  I don't particularly like being jagged in the arm but I'll try to be a brave soldier.

Jo and I had an interesting conversation the other day.  For some reason it was mentioned that I was going 'on holiday' by myself.  I denied I was going on holiday.  In my own mind this Everest Base Camp Trek isn't a holiday.  

Having said that I'm just not sure how I regard it.  An adventure, certainly; and, hopefully, a very enjoyable experience.  But a holiday?  I seem to be rebelling against the notion.

Fund raising continues to go well.  At the moment we're at £377.00 after two weeks.  The donations have been slower this week but perhaps they will pick up when the article appears in the Oban Times and, hopefully, An Tirisdeach.

I was very pleased last week to get a mention on Phedippidations, the most popular podcast for runners in the world.  You can listen to the section where Steve talks about my trek by going to

Please support my efforts to raise money for Sense Scotland while on my Everest Base Camp Trek by visiting

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Insured For Adventure ... but not for stupidty

Insured for Adventure.  Doesn't quite have the ring of Licensed to Kill but it'll do for the moment.  Anyway, this little card came in the post today from the company which is insuring me during the Everest Base Camp Trek.  I must admit I quite like the sound of being insured for adventure.  It makes me feel slightly dangerous.

However, the simple truth is that the only person I am a danger to is myself.  
This afternoon I went for a short training walk.  I went back over to Ruaig and there I retraced part of the route taken by Jo, Caroline and I last Saturday.  This time I went up the little hill which seems to demarcate Ruaig from Milton.  There's a little water pumping station up there and I was curious to have a look.

Actually, the hill turned out to be nothing more than a bump on the landscape.  Strange; from a distance it looks much bigger.  Long before I got to the top the sheep were peering down at me wondering what the heck I was up to.

Just as I got to the top of this little lump the rain started.  I'd seen it coming from the west and expected it.  So, I went into my little kit back and pulled out my waterproof trousers and jacket.  They took the short downpour rather well.  I was bone dry throughout.

I tried to take some pictures but the rain really put paid to that.  So after taking in what I could of the landscape around me I clambered down and made my way back to the car.

As I said, I was bone dry.  But what I'd forgotten was that the little kit back I was carrying on my back isn't.  I had my phone in there, my iPod and my wallet.  All were soaking wet.  When I opened the phone I heard it crunch, as if somehow sand had got into it's workings.  My wallet was absolutely sodden.  But - and this is the bit that really hurts - my iPod had given up the ghost.

My precious iPod.  I mean, how do you live without an iPod?

When I got back I quickly consulted the font of all knowledge - Google - for a solution to the waterlogged iPod.  Apparently I should leave it for a couple of days, let it dry out and then try turning it on again.  If I'm lucky it will come back to life.

Unfortunately for me The Mighty Google advises me not to try turning it on as electricity and water do not mix and I may end up frying the thing completely.  Of course by the time I'd read this I'd tried to turn it on at least ten times!

So there you are: today's instalment of Adventures in Stupidity.  Here's hoping I am blessed with a little more common sense before I head off to Nepal.

Please support my efforts to raise funds for when I trek to Everest Base Camp in April 2009.  Visit my site - - for details or donate online right now at Thank you!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Walking / Tiree Images

It's been a couple of good days for walking.  Yesterday, Saturday, Jo and I met up with Caroline over at Ruaig .  Caroline took us on a ramble cross-country to Milton Harbour from where we got back on the road and walked back to Ruaig via Caoles.   For most of our walk we had to cope with quite a strong, chilly wind but we got there.  Once again we were indebted to Caroline for taking us to another beautiful corner of Tiree we didn't know existed.  

I know I've said this before but it's amazing that after almost 16 years we haven't been everywhere there is to go on this tiny island.

Today I put on my thermal base layer clothing under my outdoor clothes and went for an 8 mile walk via Hough , Moss, Heylipol , Island House and back to Cornaigmore.  I wanted to find out how the thermal clothing would work - whether I would sweat too much if the temperature was too high, for instance.  In fact it felt very comfortable and I'm sure I'll feel the benefit when I'm in Nepal on the Everest Base Camp Trek.  Today I also wore my backpack and carried what I expect to be carrying when actually on the trek.

The fundraising for Sense Scotland is going well.  Day 2, almost 7 pm, and £220 has been donated.  Tomorrow I'll get the sponsorship sheets out to shops.  Hopefully they'll agree to keep them visible for a couple of weeks.  Tiree people are very generous and I'm sure they'll respond to the appeal.  The other thing I have to do is write a little piece for An Tirisdeach.  Maybe the editor will be kind enough to run it.

Another week of intensive walking with a bit of hill walking lies in front of me.  If you see me say hello.

Please support my efforts to raise funds for when I trek to Everest Base Camp in April 2009.  Visit my site - - for details or donate online right now at Thank you!

Jim Murdoch's fantastic photographs of Tiree can be found at 

Friday, February 06, 2009

Help Me Support SENSE SCOTLAND while trekking to Everest Base Camp

UPDATED:  Now you can donate online.  See below for further details.

About two months ago I saw an television appeal which really moved me.  Before you read any further please CLICK HERE and watch the video.  (If you have problems with the link you can CLICK HERE and click to view in your preferred format.)

Sense Scotland is part of the UK National Deafblind and Rubella Association and is registered as a company with charitable purposes in its own right in Scotland.

The roots of the charity go back to a small group of parents of deafblind children who came together in 1977 to offer mutual support and to press for the development of services. 

Sense Scotland was formalised in 1985 and now has a number of years of experience in providing highly specialised services.  

It is a significant service providing organisation which is also engaged in policy development for children and adults with complex support needs because of deafblindness or sensory impairment, learning disability or physical disability. 

Sense Scotland is also a leader in the field of communication and innovative support services for people who are marginalised because of challenging behaviour, health care issues and the complexity of their support needs. People who are deafblind, or who have sensory impairment and other difficulties, can need special help with communication, information, learning and mobility.

The charity relies a great deal on the generosity of the general public to continue much their work. 

By sponsoring me on my Everest Base Camp Trek you can help us make a difference in peoples' lives.

In a few days time I hope to have sponsorship sheets in the local shops.  

If however you do not live on Tiree and would like to donate to there are two ways to do it.

You can send a cheque made out to Sense Scotland to

Gordon Scott, 1 The Harbour, Cornaigmore, Isle of Tiree, Argyll, Scotland PA77 6XA.

Three things to remember:
  • Post-date your cheque 26th April.  This is the date on which I am due to return from my (hopefully successful trek).
  • Enclose your contact details (unless you know I already have them) in case I need to contact you (for instance, if I failed in my attempt to complete the trek).
  • My Everest Base Camp Trek is entirely self-financed.  No donations will be used to subsidise my trip.  All the monies raised go to the charity.
Please, do not make your cheque out to me.  The cheque should be in the name of Sense Scotland.

Alternatively, you can log on to and donate online.

To learn more about Sense Scotland please visit  There you will find a host of online doucments and publictions which will tell you all about the work done by the charity in Scotland.

To learn about what is involved in my Everest Base Camp Trek CLICK HERE.

I'm sure you will agree that this is a wonderful cause.  Any amount is welcome, large or small.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Walking Up The Hill

This morning I got out the door fairly early and drove over to Ben Hynish.  It's about time for me to start getting some walking uphill under my belt.  I well remember the first time I walked up the road at Ben Hynish in the company of former Head Teacher Colin Hunter.  This was, oh, about eight years ago and I wasn't very fit back then.  I recall having to stop several times.  Today, an older but wiser man, I fairly whizzed up.  Actually, there's no challenge in that road and the only reason I decided to go there this morning was to start my  new training slowly and surely.

At the bottom of the road, as we all know, we are told that the road is private.  This is because the Civil Aviation station sits atop Ben Hynish and some degree of security must be observed.  I don't think they really mind as long as you don't actually enter the compound (which I didn't).  In any case, only the tarmac is 'private' and in the training days and weeks to come I don't intend to be on it very much.

It's a beautiful wee Ben and tomorrow I intend to go explore it some more.  I'm fascinated by the dry stane dykes that are up there.  What work went into their construction!

Tomorrow I'll take the camera with me and make a wee video.

Today's picture is of the personalised license plate of my friend Archie MacKinnon who lives in Guelph, Ontario.  Apparently personalised license registration plates cost a fraction of what they do in this country.  I had a look at the DVLA site a little while ago and - by way of an example - TY57 REE is going for about £1200.00!