Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Happy Birthday Blog!


I started these scribblings on 1 October 2007, exactly two years ago, so it is now six years since I was last in full time employment!

Doesn’t time fly!

Whilst the blog is basically my indulgence, it has proved to be a good medium for keeping a diary and recording activities etc on a fairly timely basis.  It has enabled us to keep in touch with family and friends from distant parts.  New friends have also been made, too numerous to mention, as a result of the blog, and also as a consequence of me and Sue continuing to take part in the TGO Challenge annual backpack across Scotland.  The image above is taken from this year’s Challenge, and shows me on the south summit of Gulvain towards the end of our toughest day, on 10 May 2009, with the Nevis peaks in the background.

Scotland can be wonderful in May!

Here’s a picture from last year, with Tim and Kate Wood, on their 10th Challenge, crossing the bridge over the River Spey at Carnachuin.  Sadly, Tim and Kate were unable to take part in this year’s walk, so this may be the last time they crossed this characterful bridge, as it was washed away in this year’s August floods in Scotland.


Readers may be aware that Sue (Nallo Lady) is out of sorts at present and unable to get out as much as she would like to (she can’t carry more than a small bum bag, and has limited ‘range’).  I shall miss her company whilst she remains incapacitated, and it’s a solo entry that has been made for the 2010 TGO Challenge, so the old Phoenix Phreerunner tent will be accompanying me on that trip.  It astonishes me, when I read so many whinges from backpackers about condensation problems in their tents, that this 25 year old single skin tent seems to have retrospectively skipped beyond the current leading edge of tent technology.  Whilst its old seams need TLC, the tent is, and always has been, free of any condensation.

Anyway, whilst Sue has been grounded, she has made a new friend.  He lives in one of our window boxes:

0103spider1 0104spider2

She also discovered this pretty little devil in her apple tree; with its bright yellow stripe, red dots and two ‘horns’ it should be quite easy to catalogue, but we have no idea as to its identity.


Today’s plan had been to enjoy the Snowdon Horseshoe walk, just as I did six years ago to celebrate my new found part time status (I recommend it), but with a four day trip starting imminently I’ve been lazy and stayed at home.  Hopefully Susan from Connecticut will join me on a stroll up Snowdon later this month.

I wrote a year ago about my feelings on this blog and its place in the outdoor blogging community, and those feelings haven’t changed.  I enjoy the process and will continue so long as that is the case, aided by whoever I can get to vary the monotony by way of guest entries.  There’s certainly plenty to read for those with time on their hands – 123,000 words in the past year (1st year: 165,000!), with about 1,200 images (1,200).  The blog is now publicly followed’ by 25 people (4) and has 52 subscribers (17).  This is pretty middle of the road for an established UK outdoors blog, with many bloggers achieving a much larger readership (as a result of their notoriety or charisma or subject matter [gear?] etc), with Lighthiker seemingly leading the way with an astonishing 593 (200) subscribers.

Finally, today the page loads for the blog have hit the 50,000 mark (year 1: 18,000; year 2: 32,000), with some 30,000 unique visitors and 10,000 returning visitors (both roughly having doubled in the second year).  This is all pretty irrelevant, but it is nice to know that some folk appreciate the entries, whether they be regular visitors or have found the blog through a search engine, in which case I hope it has been a useful resource.

Hello to all of you, thank you for visiting, and your comments are as always most welcome.

Now where’s that rucksack?


Nielsen Brown said...

Congratulations on two years, I suddenly realised that my blog was approaching its second birthday as well. Do you have any photos of the phoenix Phee runner? I have heard a lot about it but it is hard to find photos.

Thanks and keep up the entertaining writing.

whitespider1066 said...

happy blog birthday and I hope Sue gets well soon.

John J said...

Good show!!


Lighthiker said...

Keep on walking and posting!

Louise said...

So glad I happened upon this blog when I did, thoroughly enjoyable, informative and regularly has me chortling at the screen, to the annoyance of hubby who can't see what's tickling me!

Keep up the good work, your acitivites keep us amused and you fit, excellent state of affairs.

Paul said...

Good stuff Martin. Your "real-time" blog posts whilst on the road (moblogging?) have been a particular favourite of mine.

You've helped me out identifying various alpine flora in the past, so perhaps I can return the favour. I'm pretty sure the caterpillar's a Grey Dagger (

Martin Rye said...

Great blog and full of great adventures. Numbers don't matter Martin. Feed Burner gives higher numbers then Google Reader and other counting programmes disagree with Analytics's. In the end what matters is the blog full of the authors views and experiences in the outdoors. Keep up the fine work.

sulo said...

Happy Birthday Phreerunner! Hope to be able to do the Snowdon Horseshoe with you in a couple of weeks. It's up to the weather gods.

Hello Nallo Lady! Looking forward to seeing you both.


Dot said...

Hello Martin
At last I have caught up with all your travelling. I am so sorry that Sue's activities are restricted and I know you miss her company. I look forward to seeing you both this week. Love

Alan Sloman said...

Well then,

Still here then? I thought everyone had gone home - was only checking in to see if there was any beer left...

Well done Sir.

Hem Abb.

Phreerunner said...

Nielson - hello, there's a picture of the Phreerunner behind me on the 'thumbnail', also a few on the 'Yorkshire Dales' tab, and a good one on Day 4, here:

Thank you for your comments, everyone, and hope to see you soon for more beer!