Happy Holidays

 
Darn this infernal machine, blogger just ate my text.  It went something like the next paragraph, but it was longer, and a bit funnier:

The close of the year has been a squeeze, work at terminal velocity and my other half being made redundant in a flurry of poor management and waste. 'Management', now there's an oxymoron 9 times out of 10 - whatever will they think of next.  So our planned getaway has come in the nick of time, I hope.  In the New Year, we're off to the Cairngorms, to do a short winter skills course at Glenmore Lodge, some walking and maybe a bit of a wild camp around to Loch Avon and back if we're feeling brave.  It'll be our first time in Scottish winter conditions so we'll see what the weather has in store.  We've been shopping for BD raven pro axes, Kahtoola KTS crampons, even Rab Hispar gaiters (which we've resisted up to now), and borrowed some ski things from a relative, so plenty to learn from and look at in the coming months.   I'm getting nervous about the night time temperatures and am not sure if our set up is warm enough to stay out up there - it'll be something Heath Robinson with silver foil blankets and a few mats, and we haven't got our snowholing badge as yet!  I could go on about what I'm planning in more detail but I can't face typing that bit again.  I'll try and make a proper list and review it after we get back.

But hang on, its the festive season here in Kola County.  I nearly forgot to wish you all a very happy holiday.  I'm raising a prayer flag to every one of you, as a believer in all faiths but no religions, and I wish you all health and happiness.  I need not wish you wealth because wealth is immaterial, and physical life is temporary.  Besides, with the amount of kit we've all got between us...?!

Lets enjoy what we have, whilst we have it.  And here's to many more amazing, life affirming and life changing walks in 2011.  Thanks for reading, and to the other bloggers reading this - thank you for sharing your inspiration and information.  ''If this ain't fun, I don't know what is''.
 

Mount Kailas, house of Shiva, holy mountain and source of the three great rivers of Tibet, the Indus, the Yarlung-Tsangpo and the Sutlej rivers, the biggest water tower in the world.  Image courtesy of http://adreampuppet.wordpress.com