Videos … so far

I am trying to upload all my videos, past and present, that I have made about kayaking and sailing. There is quite a lot of them, but in case people want to see them I feel it is a waist to leave them on a hard-drive and let them unseen.
So here is a collection of videos so far that I have uploaded and you can have a browse if and when you feel like it:


In Coming Tide

They say the Solway Estuary has the 3rd fastest tidal flow in the UK. It is quite a boast, but when the tide is at its highest it can be quite something to see, especially with the Solway Bore.

A less modest, but also impressive experience is to stand in the flood tide and feel its power and force. The local Haaf Netters have done this for centuries, and can tell more stories about its power than I can, but I produced this video to show its force.

The Summer is Over…Long live the Autumn

One could say the “summer is over” all activities seem to have stopped and I find myself being “back at work” which for me is making small-pipes and busking. But I can still write about the various activities I have done over a month or so, some of which were a welcome change: a travel to Orkney (a birthday present to myself); sailing once more after a period of 3 years; going to Piping Live 2015 in Glasgow; and a trip to the Isle of Arran (my last visit was when I was 21, a few moons ago!), and where my small laptop got a wash in seawater and decided not to work again (the laptop I had used on many of my previous blog entries R.I.P.)

There was a new insight into my electric bike which I will add to the review blog. I will be reworking my Dinghy Cruising Association articles for the blog, as I think they could be of some use to those who wish to cruise the Solway Estuary.

Over the next few days/weeks I will be writing several blogs on these topics and others too, such as: folk sessions; a new Small-pipe workshop which will be in October; and unintentionally learning an old instrument, the recorder! An instrument I hated when I was at school, but I find myself starting again.

So the summer might be over but let’s look forward to the autumn!

Lake District on my 50th Birthday


My 50th birthday was turning out to be a depressing day. I had not found anyone to spend it with and I was seeing that as a reflection of my current position in life. “50, alone, friendless…” not a good beginning. I had decided to go off to the Lake District to walk to Watlendeth and have a coffee at the farm house coffee shop; the walk is always nice if you get off at Rothswaite walk over the tops into the valley of Watlendeth. A bus to Keswick then another to Rothswaite by using the North West Explorer Ticket is still good value.

My walk was still in a negative mood, the weather was not brilliant and the people I met were all coupled. Having my coffee was not much better; everyone seemed to be with someone and all talking about children, relations, and friends. I decided it is better to be alone than to spend it with others as one can feel lonely in a crowd.

I changed my route and retraced my steps not choosing the easier flatter option to Ashness Bridge and Surprise View. When I got to the top of the pass I decided to change my route again and go off the path into the hills. It was a little like a fairy story of going into the “magical forest” my mood began to change, I began to be happier, I began to take pleasure in getting my boots dirty, in noticing the beauty around me, I was alone but not lonely.

I took videos and photos I sank into the bog; I slipped over long grass and scrambled over rocks. The view was different; no longer the same route I often take, my perspective was changing.

Later, I regained the path and descended to Rosthwaite, but then I took another path one I had not been on before. A less used path through trees and high ferns.

I video emptiness, the magical forest was indeed magical a stillness and beauty with the richness of the colour. I was heading back to Keswick but it felt like in a different country.

I got to the road but then I decided to go another route again this time I did not know where I was going. I climbed, and when I fork came, on the disused track, I took the higher path.

It ascended sharply, was it an old shepherds track or a sheep path, it was certainly unused. I walked through high ferns, often the path disappeared underneath the grasses. It went higher, steeper; the flowers became wilder, colorful.

I thought to turn back as I had to get back for the bus, but again I found myself continuing higher, further way from the road. Sweat was pouring down my face, no water and feeling a little tired, the heat was intense. I was enjoying myself immensely.

the path went up the mountain

I got to a stone wall and saw the path going higher but this was my limit, I knew it. So I turned back and descended the same way. It took me a fraction of the time, soon I found myself by the road and then I detoured off the road to the river. Standing in the cold water splashing myself with water I felt very good, not lonely, not depressed, and only content. I did not need people, I needed to find myself and I had found it that day from going to new places, new routes, and new journeys, it had engaged and interested me.