7th beer of Christmas

You may remember that the elves down at Ales by mail managed to muddle up 7. Here it is in all its glory.

Alechemy Brewing – Talisman – 4.1%

  
Having used cascade as my first ever adventure into hops with my home brewing I have come rather fond of it. This lager is complemented with a moderate bitterness that while not pulling at the tongue allows the cascade hops to give a good kick.

6/10

Curved ridge on Buachaille Etive Mor, Glencoe

Curved ridge on Buachaille Etive Mor, Glencoe Curved ridge on Buachaille Etive Mor, Glencoe

Last weekend we headed up North again, this time to adventure in Glencoe. The Curved ridge on Buachaille Etive Mor was our goal. A rather infamous climb and probably considered the wrong side to climb. Its a formidable sight as you drive through Glencoe and the triangular shape of Buachaille Etive Mor appears with cloud capped ridges. Curved ridge on Buachaille Etive Mor, Glencoe
Curved ridge on Buachaille Etive Mor, GlencoeProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

The first bit is a gentle stroll up the path to the left, across some rivers with waterfalls, all very idyllic and lulling you into a false sense of security I reckon. It’s not long till its helmets on and careful consideration with every step as we get to the bottom of Curved ridge.Curved ridge on Buachaille Etive Mor, GlencoeProcessed with VSCOcam with lv03 presetCurved ridge on Buachaille Etive Mor, Glencoe Curved ridge on Buachaille Etive Mor, Glencoe

Eventually we got to a bit that was just a little stretch too far. Thankfully Euan was at hand to assist with ropes and we soon were up and over. It was rather patronising for the fella below to scramble up the side of the mountain face as we grappled with a small four metre wall on Curved ridge.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with m3 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with m3 presetCurved ridge on Buachaille Etive Mor, GlencoeProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Soon we were at the summit and like most Munros’ summits there was a dog there, full of energy and ready to climb the mountain fifty times again, making our feat seem insignificant. This was Summer, she had even found time to roll in fox poop and was well proud of herself. a27Processed with VSCOcam with x1 presetAfter all that, this is the descent that was ahead of us. Not that impressive but lovely stone steps all the way down, my knees did not thank me for this.

 

The top of Fermanagh & the Great Wall of Cuilcagh

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While I was back in greener and wetter pastures I managed to take a gaunt up to the highest point in all of Fermanagh and Cavan. Recently it has become even easier to make the 666metres(665m in some books) to the top with the building of a wooden walkway and stairs up the Fermanagh side of Cuilcagh. It even got itself a wee article in the impartial reporter, not that I am jealous.

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It’s a rather impressive structure and it made the walk a lot easier and a whole lot of a drier experience than I remembered. It shall be interesting to see what state a Fermanagh winter leaves it in. It does come to an abrupt end at the top and leaves the adventurer amongst the insane moon scape that is on the top of Cuilcagh. A flat barren top with no real features or points.

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The limestone pavement, mixed with textures and shapes makes for an impressive location. It really got me thinking about Fermanagh and the abundance of gorgeous scenery and locations. This strange scenery is even used in Game of Thrones season 3 for Beric Dondarrion’s hideout. Which was filmed just down the road at Belmore Forest.

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New Years on the Isle of Mull

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The adventure began before we even got onto Mull. I love the calmac ferries, the vintage feel to them reminds me of caravan holidays. The smell seems to achieve this too. Not sure why but you feel both equally unsafe and at home on them.

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The beauty of Mull is breathtaking and getting out into it during the few days I was there really inspired me. Along with some amazing local stories that got my mind rushing for wonderful short films. The visuals up there are now very high up on my list of ideal locations.

I even managed to get some photography in. I forgot how gorgeous the night sky is outside of the city, went out on a few nights to do some long exposures. The old 550d though is starting to show signs of deterioration as I noticed a number of red pixels. Was also rather disappointed with the impossibleproject film I had brought, it takes nearly an hour to fully develop, is easily damaged and the colours are rather poor. I have used previously out of date Polaroid film that has always been great so was gutted after spending so much on this stuff for it not to deliver.

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One of the joys of a cottage is of course the fires and this wee place had two. One was an amazing wood burning stove and the other was an old open coal fire. Keeping them going was great fun, hard to beat a bit of early morning wood chopping. The place was fully kitted out and could happily spend months there.

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The journey home via the second ferry was a lot of fun and this wee pub was a welcome sight after driving through mountains and gorges on single tracks for hours.

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And then we were home. So quickly the whole festive break finished and back to the grind. Straight into publish, publish, publish. The relentless drain of the clunky CMS.