It’s been "oh so quiet"

Cairn Gorm, dawn from wild camp
Off back to the wintry delights of the Cairngorms National Park

I’ve not been prolific with the blogging of late. Planning for ‘The Cairngorms in Winter with Chris Townsend’ has taken up much of my time, and also I’ve been watching and waiting for the weather to improve before heading on back – of which I shall be doing tomorrow.

Alas, the blog will continue to appear inactive as I won’t be returning home until early March. This is the “biggie month” for me working on this project. I’m hoping to get 90% of the filming done in the coming weeks. These include the usual landscape scenes but more importantly the majority of the shoots I need to do with Chris.

Even though the film is primarily going to be about Chris and his passion for the Cairngorms, it will obviously feature a number of his favourite walks including a camp or two. Thankfully for me, all of these are in pretty much the same area. Saying that, logistically I’ve already found it to be extremely challenging!

This is mostly down to the distances involved to given locations but also the terrain and prevailing conditions. I literally have to play it by what the weather dictates a lot of the time. The winter wonderland that cakes this wonderful wilderness is another factor I have to seriously consider too. The gear I wish to take to enable me to achieve certain shots, the weight on my back – the list goes on.

To say this is the toughest project I’ve worked on is an understatement. Some of which if I’m honest I’ve underestimated. But I’m adaptable and somewhat tenacious, and have consequently amended my plans – all with a Plan A, B and C. And of course being able to pick Chris’ brains on locations has been a blessing too.

All said and done, it’s slowly but surely coming together and come March I think all involved will have a clear idea of how it’s going to turn out as a final film.

I’ve also been quiet on the blog lately due to a health scare. A couple of weeks or so ago the most peculiar incident happened to me.

I walked out of a shop and suddenly my lower right lip began to feel warm and tingle which lead to a totally numb sensation. Over the course of a few minutes this then spread down my right arm, then each finger before encapsulating my hand. In total it lasted just shy of an hour and was a bit freaky to say the least. The best way I can describe the overall experience was that someone had injected anaesthetic in me.

To cut a long story short, I’ve been in and out of hospital since as those wonderful folk at the local NHS suspected I suffered from a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) otherwise known as a “mini-stroke”.

Thankfully, I’ve passed and cleared most of the tests I’ve had to do and am now only waiting on results from a CT scan on my brain (yes, they did find one!). I felt perfectly fine and healthy before and since this weird episode and am not concerned in the slightest. But I’ll admit initially when I was submitted to hospital it was all a bit unnerving for me and my family to say the least.

Even the consultant thinks I’m in the clear but wishes to double-check what I suffered wasn’t a TIA and furthermore discover what in fact actually happened to me. For all I know, I may have felt the effects of a severe allergic reaction. Who knows? But all is well now and I’m eager to crack on out into the outdoors!

So, there you go. We’re not immortal. Live life to the full folks. I for one never take anything for granted, but after this wee health scare it’s put a small rocket up my arse when it comes to personal goals I have for 2013.

Take care and speak soon!


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