Monday, 2 December 2013

On top of things - Coniston Old Man 2012

Here's more of the Muffin, on top of things again. 
We hadn't planned on climbing mountains this day, we started off the morning lazily drinking hot chocolate and coffee in the van, enjoying the unexpected good weather, and the beautiful views at the foot of the Old Man. We'd arrived at a little known wild camping spot well after dark the previous evening, and had no real bearing on where we were. But, one thing, as it usually does, lead to another, and before we knew it the summit was in sight, and it would have been foolish not to pop up for a photo opportunity.
This time the moutain top is The Old Man of Coniston in the Lakedistrict. 

See more stuff on top of things here.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Happy birthday Muffin - the adventure

These were the weather conditions the greeted us at the start of our surprise birthday adventure. 
When making the plans I had foolishly imagined mild spring weather and fresh breezy days. Days that would lead to mild evenings, where we could gather round the campfire for warmth, and talk well into the night. 
I am however a realist, so had prepared for April showers and typical windy conditions, but not the record levels of snow that we received. This made things interesting, and was a good indication that this was not going to be a normal adventure . . .

Happy 30th Birthday Muffin

Despite all the best efforts of friends and family, Richard Shaw, more commonly known as the Muffin, reached 30 years of age in March this year. Such a momentous occasion required great celebration, and a new adventure. (The perfect opportunity to try and finish him off once and for all!!! . . .)

This was the proposed plan, and was kept a complete secret from the Muffin until the very last minute.

It involved all the Muffins favourite things, gathering with the family, climbing mountains, smashing down hills on bikes, and consuming lots of fine food and drink.

However, as all best laid plans go, there were one or two minor hiccups, which meant the plan became more of a guideline, and much improvisation ensued...

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Bank Holiday shenanigans

Cragg Quarry - red route from The Muffin and The Unicorn on Vimeo.

Here is the muffin, doing his thing, and getting some air over at Cragg Quarry. A nice way to spend the bank holiday. I thought I'd use this opportunity to firstly catch my breath, and secondly take my first tentative dabble into videography. The result is this . . .

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Skiddaw 2011

This picture was taken on top of Skiddaw, in the Lake District National park mid March 2011.
It looks cloudy, damp and generally unpleasant up there on the top of the 931 ft peak. That's because it was!!! What the picture does fail to portray is the relentless wind, which expertly cut straight to the bone. It was a sharp contrast to the rest of the Lake District below us (somewhere through all that cloud), which was of course bathed in sunshine.
There was one cloud in the sky that day, and it decided to sit on top of skiddaw with us. Still - undeterred the Muffin clambered to the very top, and we had a celebratory picnic of mini Mars bars and Ribena cartons before heading back down.

As many of us are aware mountains can be difficult and challenging places. On this windswept foray up Skiddaw we discovered a completely new and unanticipated challenge – mountain vs. hair. As you can see the mountain won.

This look has since been called “Mountain Hair” and it’s a very common problem for the unicorn.

Mountain Hair. (noun) colloquial.
A phrase used to explain the dishevelled and excessively rebellious appearance of a persons hair after they have been on, up or anywhere near a mountain.

See more stuff on top of things here.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Personal essentials

It came to my attention one morning whilst camping with friends, that every seasoned adventurer to has their own mug.
It’s almost expected from you, to emerge from your van or tent in the morning clutching your faithful companion filled with the steaming morning beverage of choice. Your mug goes on every adventure with you, and the more weathered and beaten the mug the more esteemed adventurer you are.

These are our mugs, and as the newest additions to the van, they are still pretty pristine and somewhat lacking in character. But they are now part of the essential kit that never leaves the van (alongside the thermal gloves and the Haynes manual). And with a long summer ahead of us, they can only get more beautiful.

The muffins mug after on use
Mugs are a very personal thing. The mug you own says something about you. Weather it’s your favourite colour, a testament to a hobby your into, or how creative the family were with the Christmas presents this year. Ours I think follow in the same vein as wrist bands with your blood type on them and simply state what to be filled with if found empty or in need, which I think says a lot about how we feel about our morning drinks!!!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

A new adventure . . .

Like all of our adventures the fun started long before we arrived at the airport, with 10 inches of snow turning our usually sturdy van into a wheel spinning go-kart of death. So needless to say we were in high spirits when we got to the airport, on time and in one piece.

Here are some classic airport views, from our seats on the plane. I love the constant buzz of action that surrounds planes at an airport, and I'm particularly fond of all the specialised airport vehicles, they seem to all have their own personality.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Beach combing


And here we have more whimsical uses for treasures brought home for the beach, I’d love to fill one full of little tiny doodles and stories about adventures, and maybe even a treasure map or two . . .
They can be found on Odelae’s shop on Etsy.

See more of our found things here.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

On top of things . . .

It was mid Movember 2012 (as you can tell by the fine growth of facial hair on display) and one of those clear winter days that leave your extremities at severe risk of getting frost bite.
We went exploring the moors on bike near our current residence, a fine mix of disused quarries, peat bogs, wind farms and chossy footpaths.
We made our way up to the highest visible point, which happened to be Knowl Moor (which was a challenge with the bikes) but worth it for the view, and more importantly the descent. Find more stuff On Top of Things here.