We Begin…We Conquer…We’re Still Not Sure…

The Meikle Bin has been our “starter” hill ever since we began hillwalking.  Every time we have a prolonged lull we start back here.  Are the legs still working?  Is The Fatdog still remotely interested?  If we don’t make it to the top of this wee lump is it time for the tar pit?   Always a lot of questions…and rarely any answers worth considering, given the ease with which this hill could be conquered by a one legged centenarian with chronic heart disease.  One thing was apparent – The Fatdog is up and running – with a vengeance!

When you’ve done a hill sooooooooo many times there’s not much more you can say about it…so we ain’t gonna even try!  Well…other than you might want to go to this one sooner than later as the views to the west from the upper forestry section will become obscured in a year or so’s time.  That’s the problem with trees…they grow!  The views from the upper hill are fine – it’s just that an hour of plodding up a forestry track with no view might be considered a bit boring.  Anyhow as it stands the Meikle Bin is still well worth the effort…even when the wind is one step off taking you into the next county.

The Fatdog Broadcasting Corporation has spared no expense in bringing you the video shoot of yesterday’s walk.  YES…VIDEO!  (just)

The Corporation budget has come under severe pressure due to the current economic climate…so the video was shot using…the (ahem)…”wee fuji” – as were the stills.   Sadly the quality is somewhat lacking.  And if you thought the picture quality was lacking….wait until you see the editing!  😀 .  The wind noise was deliberately kept in for the upper reaches .

We thought the production required a bit of an “art house” feel…so the accompanying track is a wee bit of Scottish Dance Music 😀 .  Jimmy Shand – you say?  Naw…not that type of Scottish Dance Music!  This is the late and great Martyn Bennett at his best.  We can certainly promise you an uplifting moment of epiphany (or maybe the “fear of God” might be more like the thing)…but by the end you’ll be reaching for your glow sticks.   Here we go, “Big Box…Little Box…!”


24 thoughts on “We Begin…We Conquer…We’re Still Not Sure…”

  1. Lovely sunny looking day. She looks very impressively calm for a labrador; our Chocolate one’s manic – never going slower than full speed!
    Glad to see she’s got the same obsession with sticks though…

    1. Hi Chrissie, welcome to the blog! 😀

      Maisie will be 9 in April so is a pretty laid back “crater”. What you see was probably full speed…and has been for most of her life. It’s made hillwalking very easy as she just plods up the hill, rarely deviating from the path. She used to lead out most of the time as she followed the scent of the lunch in front! 😯

      Do you take your lab walking with you?

      1. Hi! Yes our lab – Tilly – comes hillwalking with us, but she’s only just 3 a couple of months ago. I actually think she’s read that Marley book and is trying to out do him. We also have a boxer – Dixie – who’s now 10, and she can also be a bit manic still. I take her backpacking with me as well as day walks. They are nominally ‘his and her’ dogs – Tilly is Geoff’s, Dixie mine – but really we both love them both just the same!

        1. Maisie was about three and a half when we started on the hills. Her temperament was ideal for it though – incredibly calm – other than when approaching a summit, where she anticipated there to be many rucksacks filled with goodies. She managed to be right most of the time 😆 .

          Great that you enjoy taking the dogs walking in the hills. I know Maisie really likes the hill days – I suppose that’s why we’re making the effort to get back up there…again! 😀

  2. Just dropped in and viewed your video….. actually pretty doggone good! Maisie is such a happy dog…. can’t help but smile seeing her.

    Wanna hear my walking feats? Now…. remember I’m pushing 80, so my stories are not exactly spell-binding. My husband’s new nursing home is 0.7 miles from where I live and
    I walk over every day. Takes about 12 minutes, and I thoroughly enjoy it. Weather has been ideal, and the walk is through a quiet residential neighborhood. I extended the round trip today to a full 2 miles, carrying a weighty handbag and a canvas bag with groceries.
    For someone who’s not accustomed to daily physical exercise of any kind, I’m really proud of myself and look forward to that walk every day. Using a treadmill at home is deadly boring,
    and I gave mine away when I moved. It’s OK if you laugh! :o)

    1. Not laughing at all Florene. Getting out there and walking is great exercise…good on you! 😀

      I have to admit I couldn’t face a treadmill/running machine day after day.

      Thought it was about time we did a video of Maisie…you can’t get quite the same effect from stills. I do wonder if people who have read about her for years see the same dog in the video that they imagined from the still photos?

    1. Hi Geoff – Happy New Year! 😀

      It was good to get out again. This hill has near all round view. You can see features from both coasts. On a good day the Bass Rock east of Edinburgh and to the west the mountains of Arran and the Ailsa Craig. This is not forgetting the hills above Callander, the Arrochar Alps, the Ochil Hills, the Pentands, the Lomond Hills…etc. Not bad for a wee 570m pimple!

  3. Wayhey! Great to see the Fat Dog abroad again. Looks like you picked a fantastic day for it. I enjoyed the film – had to turn off the music though – it was too frightening.:) The slide transition was a bit swift – I would have appreciated a longer look at some of those snowy mountain views. This looks like a strong contender for inclusion in my embryonic book project: “Small Hills with Disproportionately Magnificent Views”.

    1. Hi Mark…don’t worry I’ll put up a gallery for you…and others of a timid disposition 😉 . The video was a bit of fun and the transition deliberately quick to match the music.

      As I said to Geoff (above) this is an amazing hill for views – but – most are distant. The snowy tops were zoomed (max). Amazed they came out ok given the wind strength 😯 .

  4. Maisie is looking good!
    It’s great to see her enjoyment of the simple stick. Too many modern canines have abandoned sticks in favour of the X-Box.
    I see that you managed to keep p with her scintillating pace too. This is all good.
    (I haven’t forgotten your email, btw, Ken – still mulling it over)


    1. No X-Boxes here – The Fatdog is very much a traditionalist!

      As for keeping up with her pace…hmm…I’ve only just realised that she doesn’t set the pace 😯 – she just seems to know what speed I’m walking at and then matches instinctively…leading us up the hill. Damned clever though…the ultimate lead out! 😆

      Wondered about the email. Then I read all the bits and pieces again and realised I still had the wrong end of the stick 😆 .

  5. Heh, heh – there’s a wee thumbnail photie appears on my blog whenever you stick a new post up. Based on the way Maisie’s ears were blowing in the wind, I pretty much knew where you’d been even before I clicked on the link.


    1. We should keep a tally to see who’s been up there the most Scott. 😆

      Like the new photo on your blog headline…a cracker! 😀

  6. Any chance of the sequel to the video being played to the Prodigy’s ‘Smack my Bitch Up’? It was pretty damned close in places…I need a copy of this music, Father: I need a copy! But the Meikle Bin again – how many starters does one man and his dog really need? 😉
    See you on Monday. I’ll bring my camera…and my MP3 player (as he frantically searches CDs for something even stranger)!

    Cap’n Jack

    1. Thought you might like the track…different…eh? 😀

      You’ve never been up Meikle Bin, have you…must rectify that. Or do you want to wait until your legs start giving you problems?

  7. Nice video ken.I,m afraid the charms and delights of Muddy Bin failed to seduce me though.Once was more than enough for this happy camper.Good to see you made it to the top though or was the device cunningly strapped to a solo Maisie by this point?

    1. Ah, Bob. You being originally a south-sider cannot be expected to understand the charms which fair Meikle Bin has for ex-Dennyites like Ken or for me, brought up in darkest Moodiesburn. My grandpa taught me that Meikle Bin was an extinct volcano. I must confess to being a tad disappointed when I eventually went up it about 20 years ago. However, the sight of Meikle Bin poking over the Campsies when travelling north on the M74 always does something to me.
      Don’t forget the words of Kenny McGlumpher, the Queenzieburn Seer. “The day will come when a raven, attired in burberry and baseball cap, will drink his fill of Buckfast on Meikle Bin, three times a day, for three successive days.”

    2. I have to concede that the legs were making heavy weather of it (compared to previous visits). Can’t expect too much though given the nature of the beast and the length of lay-off. I’m hoping a lot of walking and training will allow me to push past the heavy leg syndrome in the next month or so. 😀

      Had great fun with the video – will definitely do this a bit more. Never used an editing prog before but the more I got into it the more I enjoyed it.

      In the next few years the walk will become incredibly boring as the trees on the upper reaches grow. Only the open hill section near the summit and a couple of points on the early section will have any views. 😦

      Next trick is to get Maisie to operate the camera. 😯

    1. Hi David 😀

      It was a good couple of hours out. Maisie is definitely winning the recovery race…hopefully I’ll catch up in a few weeks time.

  8. Maisie looks in fine form there, the simple pleasures of water and sticks. Hopefully she’s on her way back to peak performance.

    Got to ask, where is this quality little hill. Like Mark I’m a huge fan of small hills – best places to view the bigger ones

    1. Meikle Bin lies in the Kilsyth Hills (Campsies) in Central Scotland above Carron Valley reservoir. It is an amazing, all round, viewpoint. Though I have to say everything is fairly distant. It was full zoom for more than a few of the shots! 😆

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