To Blog, or not to Blog? That is the Question.

We’ve been in a bit of a pickle, The Fatdog and I.  We lost our raison d’être which is quite frankly a bit of a bugger.  Losing one’s raison d’être might also, in certain quarters, be considered exceedingly careless and not something of which you would wish to make a habit.  Ours disappeared about a month ago and hasn’t been seen since.  The Fatdog wandered aimlessly round the house in the hope of tripping over it but for some reason concluded that it was hiding in the Bonio box.  A couple of weeks after its disappearance we gave up trying to find it and embarked upon a mission to procure a new one which has not been as easy as it sounds.  I mean…where on earth do you find a suitable raison d’être when you don’t know what it looks like?

You’ve no doubt gathered by now that our hill walking has finally come to an end.

Only a few days after my legs called off Torridon (about a month ago) I took Maisie to the vet who handed over a  barrowload of pills and told me to cut out the big walks.  She then took a look at Maisie and decreed that her hobbling was early stage arthritis and that she was to do the same.  I think we both knew it was coming.  A few days later my dodgy lower back decided to get in on the act as well and wreaked its own brand of mayhem.

It was Saturday; J and The Cupcake Queen set off for Glasgow leaving me, my back and The Fatdog to fend for our respective selves.  Given that my lumber region had only started acting up on the Friday night we hadn’t had time to fully consider the implications such as; would I manage to take Maisie out for a walk and, more importantly…could I dress myself beforehand?  Pantomimes don’t just happen at Christmas, you know.

Anyway, the upshot is that while I may venture onto the big summits again at some point in the future – The Fatdog will not.  It’s much shorter and less taxing walks for her from now on.

So…here we are about a month later still pondering our options.

The good news is that The Fatdog Broadcasting Corporation will not close…though its continuation was, for a time, seriously uncertain.  One possibility was running full time with the food blog “Anyone for Porridge” that I set up earlier this year as a wee trial, but felt that it might be too restrictive in its scope.  I’ve noticed that food blogs tend to be a bit much of a muchness…and subject to some horrendously gushing writing.  I don’t do gushing.  I have never gushed and have no intention of doing so in the future.  But…as food is a matter close to my stomach and to that of The Fatdog…it will feature heavily in the re-vamped blog arrangement.

I came very close to the brave decision that was ditching the “Where the Fatdog Walks” brand…but just couldn’t do it.  The title will now be subject to the readers interpretation…however warped their imagination may be.  No longer does it mean Fatdog + Mountains = Blog (a dubious mathematical equation in any event).

My early retirement in June has heralded a number of changes in our lifestyle so, through the pages of the blog, I’ve decided to explore where this major decision takes myself, J and The Fatdog not to mention the cast of characters that have become familiar to you over the past couple of years.

Sadly this may mean goodbye to all the outdoor bloggers and walkers who have visited over the past couple of years – thank you very much for having taken the trouble to keep up with our exploits in the mountains and good luck to you all.  Of course I would be delighted if you want to stick around but I do realise that the change in the blog direction might not suit everyone’s taste.

Anyway, that’s the current situation.  I’m off to contemplate some blog re-design and to do a bit of writing.


29 thoughts on “To Blog, or not to Blog? That is the Question.”

  1. Gushiness is anathema to me, wherever it appears. Absolute turn-off, and I know what you mean when referring to food forums. Gag.

    I feel a bit of gushiness in terms of Maizie, and you, but it’ll remain internal and personal, and be expressed only as a sincere regard for both of you, and your developing life changes. Since I’m way ahead of you in longevity, I’ve experienced those changes, and will continue to do so.
    The Golden Years are over-rated, especially when our bodies and health are less than golden.
    I liken those older years to the ones we experienced in our teens…. this brave new world we enter, without any training, and we don’t have parents to direct us. You’ll find your place, and Maizie will find hers, and most likely together in some form. I do look forward to whatever you blog….. it’s important that you do it, and never give that up. You’ll have an audience,
    some previous followers will continue, and you’ll gather new ones along the way.

    I’ll try to check in more often. My lifestyle has changed radically in the past four months, and I’m plowing new ground every day. Not what I had hoped for so early in my Golden Years. Early?
    Yesterday, a lady at the nursing home asked if the patient was my father, and I thanked her as I told her, “No, my husband”. He’s only two years older than I am. :o)

    1. Thanks Florene…greatly appreciated. 😀

      I reckon we never grow up and that every age has its ups and downs. As long as we can keep learning new tricks I think that’s the best we can hope for.

      I did think about ending the blog….mainly because I was busy doing other things and the time and the walks didn’t seem to be there anymore. But I eventually reckoned there was a bit of mileage in what we’d been up to recently which would allow me kick off a revamped blog. I think the new post style will be shorter than that of the hill walks and will have to rely more on the writing than the scenery…which is a challenge.

      As for gushiness and other less attractive trends…

      There was overarching self promotion as well – “Ooh…I’ve reached 1000 Twiiter followers…thank you all!”


      Didn’t the poor girl realise that a lot “followers” on Twitter are what could be described as cold- callers, junk mailers or spammers. Too busy with the “Look at me!” image I concluded.

      Nurses know how to get on a person’s good side 😆 .

  2. Oy. Get your own ideas. I’ve just done the big tearful farewell.
    And I’m seek tellin’ you there’s plenty crackin walks for a retired gentleman in an advanced state of debility without trekking off to Teuchterland. A perusal of the back pages of the excellent “One Small Step” blog might provide inspiration.
    However if all else fails there is at least one silver lining – you’re rare and handy for the hospital now ! (Little local reference there, folks)

    1. I’ve still to visit the new establishment OM. I believe it has a Starbucks and an M&S. Maybe they wanted to attract new customers.

      There will still be walks…I’ll just have to lie about the length of them. 😉

      Anyway…there’s no such thing as a new idea. There is, however, such a thing as unfortunate timing.

  3. That’s a shame, Ken. At least it’s a shame in theory that Maisie won’t be dragging you up any more Munros in the incessant rain and gale force winds, and icy wintry blasts that make Scottish hillwalking so enjoyable.

    Actually, I’ll maybe find a reason to retire myself.


    “I’m off to contemplate some blog re-design and to do a bit of writing.”

    Looking forward to it!

    1. As The Fatdog was in possession of a court order preventing me from taking her walking on days of intemperate weather we were never subject to the horrors described so eloquently in your comment, Scott. Thank God for the legal system 😆 .

  4. Ach..that`s a pity about Fat Dog 😦
    As long as you still continue to spout drivel on your blog I`ll suffer it and keep visiting though. Unless it`s food orientated that is 🙂
    My own collie couldn`t get up the stairs without a struggle at one point due to arthritis.Vet prescribed a thing called etacam and the difference was amazing…he was chasing rabbits again within a few days 🙂
    Your blog got a mention on WalkHighlands today as being a blog of some merit would you believe 🙂
    PS: There`s always trig points to bag …….

    1. The one thing about drivel Alex – is that it is endless! There will be lots of food drivel though…but I’ll make it as palatable as possible. (Yeah…a foody “joke”)

      Maisie has her tablets and they do seem to help….but not quite as dramatically as with your collie.

      Clicked onto walkhighlands to see what it was all about. Someone with exquisite taste I think! 😆 Shame its relevance is now a bit questionable. Paul Webster, who runs the site, used to drop in.

      As for trig points…I’ll stick to drivel. 😀

  5. You thought we came here for the mountains?

    It’s more like walking into your local and getting abuse. that’s why pubs and blogs exist, surely? You can read books about mountains. You can go to a supermarket to buy beer.

    But pubs and blogs are just magic. Keep writing, you old bugger!

    1. Thanks Alan 😀

      This was the first time I nearly stopped blogging…and not through being down about the end of our mountain adventures. Just didn’t seem to have time (ironically) and didn’t seem to be over-concerned about not blogging. Odd.

      There was an issue over blogging material…mainly because I couldn’t get a handle on what else I could blog about without the hill walks and associated outdoor material as the mainstay. Luckily a series of events over the past couple of weeks gave me the idea of the route a re-vamped blog could take. And so it was time to reach for the keyboard again.

  6. Sorry to hear of your curtailed (for now) walks but I will continue to visit to see what you and Maisie get up to in the future. Hope you find a new raison d’etre thats suits your needs! Cheers and thanks

    1. Hi Iain…always good to hear from you and thanks for the support.

      I think we’re getting there with the new direction for the blog…it’s just how to wrap all the ideas into a coherent format that’s the difficult bit.

      Thought you’d still be in mourning…only 3rd!

      We’re used to defeat and find it much easier to cope with losing 😉 .

  7. Well, I shall be by from time to time to read whatever it is that eventuates. 🙂

    So long as there’s the occasional picture of the outdoors and a smiling FD, so I can get my Maisie fix, I shall be happy.
    And so long as the writing continues with the usual degree of wit, I shall be entertained, pretty much whatever the topic is!!!

    I do hope that by a combination of pills & potions and whatever exercise is tolerable that both you & Maisie can keep pain free as long as possible too.

    Give Maisie an ear rub from me,

    1. Thanks Annie 😀 Always good to hear from you. I promise there will still be pictures of Maisie 😆 .

      You’ll sympathise with this after last year. As I recall you had a new kitchen put in? Kitchen renovation time here. Place is like a bomb site – the dining room filled with the kitchen contents. Cooking and clearing up is a nightmare. Still – all be over in a couple of weeks. 😀

  8. Have you looked down the back of the sofa? In the understairs cupboard/glory-hole? Under you bed? Yes? Well, you’ll just need to get a new raison d’être! Don’t ask me where to get one though as I can’t help you there, and I’m as clueless as you as to what they look like.

    Sorry to hear the Fat Dog’s big walking days are over. But even with a bad back and dodgy legs (you, not Maise!) I don’t believe you’ve got nowt to blether on about. You do it so well. 😉

    1. Thanks Sheila 😀

      It’s not so much about the writing…I find that the easy bit. I just like to have some sort of mission statement to work to saying “this is what we do.”. I can then ignore it and thus feel rebellious and anti-establishment. 😀

  9. I was beginning to wonder where you and Maisie had gone.

    Raison d’être’s come in all shapes and sizes and can be hidden in plain sight, keep looking, it’s there somewhere. Mine is “never grow up”. I take being called childish as a compliment.

    Keep blogging, it’s always a cracking, funny, slightly off the wall read regardless of the subject.

    Welcome back!

    1. We’re still here Andy 😀 . Been off on our October break and blog-wise – more “thinking” than “doing” recently. Great run of posts from you on France btw….just making my way through them the past couple of days – crackin’ scenery. 😀 .

      I never grew up either (thankfully) 😉 . Definitely helps with the blogging. 😆 I suspect that things might get even more “off the wall” here now that the trip report format will not put in so much of an appearance.

      1. Just commented on your “blogs vs forums” post. Yours is the one I look forward to reading when I need cheering up.

        “Fatdog Broadcasting Corportation – never knowingly on the wall”

        1. Thanks Andy 😀 . Like the abbreviated mission statement “never knowingly on the wall”. Maybe I could get a coat of arms with that as the family motto.

  10. Thanks for providing some great trip reports over the years Ken.

    I once thought I’d finally bumped into Maisie on the hill, but it turned out to be an equally hungry imposter.

    Keep blogging as you’ve been an inspiration to us all.

    1. Hi Geoff 😀 . Many thanks for the comment.

      It’s amazing the number of people over the years who have been on the lookout for Maisie in the mountains. It’s such a shame that it’s so unlikely to happen now. Years ago we “ambushed” one of her fans from who I knew was climbing Ben Ledi with her club on a particular day – ended up with a great day out on the hill. 😀

      The “tails” were originally a way of breaking into a forum as a discussion point. I then wondered if I could write these trip reports such that an overweight labrador, who quite frankly had no business in the hills, could actually become a minor celebrity. It was amaing how it took off. It then became apparent that people just starting out were using these reports as a benchmark. In other words if we could do it then so could they. That accidental spin off meant that we’d actually done something useful…even if we didn’t really mean to. 😆

      The blogging was just an extension of the trip reports but allowed me to write stuff that wouldn’t have suited a forum.

  11. I thought that you were now going to be posting tales of your prowess on the green machine? If not there is always this: .

    “as food is a matter close to my stomach and to that of The Fatdog…it will feature heavily in the re-vamped blog arrangement.” A blog of matters close to the Fatdog’s stomach could be remarkably non-gushy.

    1. Thanks for that MrP – As it happens I’ve had to design a few things in the Falkirk area to meet those requirements! 😆

  12. Speaking as one of the people who took the view ‘if they can do it so can I’ really sorry to hear this. 😦 I hope that you both are OK and sorry I hadn’t seen this beforehand.

    1. We’re both kinda hobbling at the minute. Maisie has new medication to try so hopefully that will help. My sciatic related issue comes and goes a bit – but has reached the risky stage for the hills. The last walk we did we hit a bog before the slope which drained the legs out…and for the first time I seriously considered the prospect of having to give up on what was a fairly average gradient. This was the opposite from last year on CMD when although the legs “went” on the arete – I still knew I’d make it up the Ben.

      I took that last walk as a warning. Then when the legs got a wee bit worse I knew I had to pack it in. 😦

      Fortunately I’ve loads to occupy me just now and hopefully, if Maisie’s new medication works a bit better than the last one, we’ll start getting back to some decent walks in the next week or so. 😀

Now it's your turn...

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s