Thursday, October 13, 2011

A whole mess of...mess.

It's been a while since I last updated, but I've had a couple of time-consumptive projects due and a real lack of motivation to do anything resembling work outside of those.

Let me 'splain. No, too long. Let me sum up. (if you don't know the reference, shame on you)

We've been working on a couple of projects in class that have consumed a good majority of my time, along with the reading for class. I feel like I'm reading everything there is to learn about publishing. I should be a genius or an idiot when I finally apply for a job. An idiot because I will have forgotten everything I've ever read. So I've been focused on school and outside group meetings. By the time I get home my brain has switched off. I also attended a cocktail party on the 6th with the Society of Young Publishers (for people with less than 10 years in publishing) at Dragonfly Cocktail Bar in Edinburgh. The event was fun and a pretty nice opportunity to hang with the rest of the publishing crew outside of working on projects and class. My weekend passed without too much excitement. I put off my birthday celebrations until the following Tuesday (the 11th) because we all had a bit of project work to do, so my weekend was free.

While planning an upcoming trip to Pitlochry on my break (read: partial break because I have three assignments due around that time), I stumbled across a relatively easy hike from Bridge of Allan to Dunblane, roughly 2.5 miles. The walk, Darn Walk, is said to date back to the Romans, and I'm not sure what its importance is or if it even has any. With a little encouragement and coaching from Dad (I'm blaming him for everything from now on), I took myself off on the walk on Monday.

Mud. Everywhere.

The walk started pleasant enough with a paved lane...that quickly turned into an unpaved lane...that quickly turned into a regular dirt path. As a result of being relatively small in size, I'm generally pretty quick on my feet and move around quite a bit so as to escape perceived threats. Unfortunately, I fought and the mud won.

Altogether, the walk wasn't a bad experience. I took many, many pictures, got a little dirty, and managed to enjoy some fresh air - sans rain! I also finally learned how to fully operate my camera, grew an appreciation for rocks, and passed three people who commented on the state of the mud. See - I wasn't the only one.

A few shots from the beginning of the trip:

The beginning of the journey - no mud yet.

A little off the beaten path view of Allan waters. Still no mud, yet.
Beginning of the mud. 
Bridge referenced in walk guide. I knew I was going the right way.
There was really no getting around that mud. Unless I hugged a barbed wire fence.

The beginning portion of the trek was pretty simple and offered several views of Allan waters, which runs through and lends its name to Bridge of Allan. I started the walk a little ahead of two very serious looking hiker-types, but they pretty quickly passed me up when I stopped to take pictures. By the bottom picture you see here, I had completely lost them. I hope they made it. I passed a horse farm, where a horse was wearing booties or some sort of foot apparel. Not quite sure what those were. I also passed a field of sheep,   a random bridge to another unnamed trail, an inappropriately name landmark, and another landmark of significance to literature lovers.

The other side of the trip:
What the hell are those blue things on its feet?
Yes, those are steps. Covered in mud.
Cock's Burn - No lie, that's what it's called. Runs into Allan water.
The other half of Cock's Burn. I was standing on a bridge over it.
A cave Robert Louis Stevenson used to sit and stare at. - said to have inspired Ben Gunn's cave.
No significance - just a really funny looking sign.
FOREST.  And the trees were all in a line.
I'm really proud of this picture. 

So there you have it. A visual tour. There are tons more pictures, which I will make available on my Picasa site - to be linked soon. This week was pretty daunting, but more on that later. Maybe tomorrow. When I can breathe again.

Until next time.