Ginesday: Pronounced Gin-esday, like Wednesday, but with Gin!

Gin is a popular drink at the moment. I’ll be honest with you, I spent 56 years not liking it very much, and then things changed. It was at my Mother-in-Laws funeral, or to be more exact, the funeral tea. Did that, for a split moment, conjure up images of people in church swigging out of gin bottles? It did for me, so thought I would clarify.

After the service at the crematorium, we had a lovely afternoon tea, with no gin, at least not for me, and then 14 members of her immediate family remained on to have supper.

It was here that a round of drinks were ordered for everybody, a round of gin. There was no choice, it was gin, or gin. So I decided that to toast her life, I was going to have to take at least a sip of G&T.

Well I took a sip, and then another, and then another until it was all gone. And then when another round was ordered, I added my name to it. I quite liked it.

That was 2 years ago!

Gin Cocktails

I would be lying if I said I had become a connoisseur, but I have set myself a target of trying more gins, and I have just joined the Craft Gin Club. Each month a bottle of gin, along with mixers and nibbles will be delivered to my door. I am getting quite heady just thinking about it. Does anybody else belong to a gin club such as this? Please tell me your experiences of it, if you can remember them.

I am so looking forward to combining training for Kilimanjaro, and then coming home to a gin.



Note Please drink responsibly.


It’s OK not to want to Walk

So today should be a hillwalking day! But I’m not. I am not out on the hills walking. Why? Because I don’t feel like it, and that’s ok.

I went to bed last night full of expectation that this morning I was going to wake up, get up and go, despite the weather forecast looking like it might be snowy and windy. That wasn’t going to stop me, I was prepared. But at 7.15 am, when the alarm went off, I could hear the rain lashing on the bedroom window, and I stretched out my arm, turned the alarm off, and went right back to sleep, with the intention that I would get up in my own time, and walk over the Carrick Hills which are very local to me.

Today is the annivesary of my father’s death. 29 years ago. I feel numb. I don’t want to do anything, and I mean, ANYTHING! It is the 1st day of a fortnight’s history of pain and misery, culminating in the stillbirth of my son.

To walk, I need to eat, and I am not hungry. I am sitting here typing this post, willing myself to get some motivation, and like raindrops dripping off a branch, collecting in a leaf below, my levels are rising, slowly.

I am trying to look forward, and think of the sense of satisfaction and achievement I will have, when I get home after a walk. But that really isn’t doing much for my motivation. Even reading this motivational quote is not doing it for me today. Although if I was somewhere where I could run along the beach barefoot it might be a start. It is 1 degree celsius in Ayr today.Activity, movement, physical exercise, health, joy, plato

I am away to meditate, to see if that improves my mind. I will update you.

Thank you for reading.


PS After 20 minutes of Tonglen meditation, my motivation came up enough to put on my thermals and go out to the local hills. I was so glad that I did. The air was so cold that I could feel the coldness deep in my lungs, but the views from up high was stunning. It was clear enough to see the isle of Arran, and although the top of Goatfell was obscured by clouds, it was a sight to behold. I revere the majesty of the Creator of such magnificance.


At the cairn near the top of the Carrick Hills I came across a little plaque, which just about summed up my mood. It made me realsie that I am not alone in my misery, that many others are struggling with the loss of a loved one too. I did a few Tonglen breaths and took their pain into my body and transformed it into love and hope.

It is doubtful that I will ever know who left that plaque there, but I hope they felt my universal love.

Self Indulgence

Are other bloggers like me? That when someone likes a post, you head over to their blog to see and read a little on their blog too, and return the compliment?

Well a couple of days ago, I heading over to Little Miss Traveller’s blog “Love Travelling” and had a read-around and come across this quote, which got me thinking.

The World is a Book

I love to travel, explore new places, cultures, peoples, the lot, but training for a big climb has forced me to get out into my local area, and see places that I would never have done so, if I were not planning on going on a bigger adventure.

So yes, travel is like reading many books, but looking closer to home at what surrounds you, on a fairly regular basis, is like having a favourite book that you read many times, over and over again, and each time you do, you discover something new about the book, and even yourself each time. I have a local walk that I can do right from my back door, and each time I do it, is a different walk. It changes with the seasons, and different activities take place at different times of the year. In the past year, these 2 sculptures have appeared.


I love them, what do you think? What do you think when you look at them?

Thank you to Marion, for maing me think about my travels both far and wide. Have a great day.




Late January Hill Walk

This morning I woke to the sound of howling winds. For several hours the winds tore around the house, but by mid-morning they had calmed enough to go for a walk. Burn Anne Walk is 15 miles from my house, so it means a jump in the car to get there. I parked in Barr Castle car park, in Glaston, which is a masonic lodge.

Cass Castle Galston

Barr Castle Galston

From the car park, it is a short walk on quiet roads, to get into the countryside. The walk starts by going through the woods of Burnhouse Brae and Cessnock Woods, before entering more open land. We had had quite a lot of rain overnight, well this is Scotland, and the path was imprinted with all the people who use this walk. There were footprints, paw marks, the occassional horseshoe imprint, and the tracks of a couple of mountain bikers. It is good to see the countryside being used and enjoyed by so many.



It was on the open land that the ground underfoot was frosty in places, and the patterns of frost on the fallen leaves was a reminder that this was the last weekend of January.

My training has begun in earnest. This week I hope to do another walk on Tuesday, with OiR, then a stretch class on Wednesday, and a Nordic walk on Friday.

Thank you for reading this far. This is a post in the series for “Training for Kilimanjaro” Namaste



Where did 2018 Go?

Every Step logoed

I am finding it hard to believe that I have not written a single post for almost a year. I wish I could say that I have been busy training, but that would not be the truth, although I have climbed a few more hills in the past year, than I have ever done in my entire life.

Now that 2019 is here, and the real countdown begins, then I am upping the walking and fitness routine in a big way. The weather has been a bit of a hindrance, and the wind is whipping up out there as I type, and tomorrow’s walk to Conic Hill has been cancelled. Oh Well!

On the plus side, I have done my first Nordic walk since this time last year, today.  And I am very pleased to say that my fitness level has improved dramatically over this time last year, so I am on the right path. As tomorrow’s walk is not happening now, with Ayr District Rambling Club, then I will take myself out on Sunday and do a local walk.

In the coming weeks and months, I will be adding a weekend walk, either Saturday or Sunday, and then come April, start to walk on both days at the weekend, as well as my Tuesday hillwalk and Friday Nordic walk. Include into that, a stretch class, and lots of stretches at home, and I think I will be fit for the climb come September.

Thanks for reading, and if you have any tips on how I can get fit to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in seven and a half months, then I would love to hear from you.


Blessings, Joy