Jogle Blogle – ‘Blogle HQ control, we have a problem.’

At 9:32a.m. on Saturday 29th June 2019 the following distress signal was received at Blogle H.Q.

Blogle HQ control we have a problem STOP Jogler sub-support system experiencing chronic fatigue STOP Catastrophic repeat CATASTROPHIC failure imminent STOP Emergency re-supply requested OUT

Our hearts were heavy and our eyes were moist as, not for the first time on this mission, we prepared ourselves for the worst. Would Steve’s walk from John O’Groats to Land’s End have to be abandoned?

Immediately we back at Blogle HQ began poring over the technical manuals to identify a) the problem, and b) the answer.

Also it was imperative to locate the position of the Mini-Jogler to establish as to whether a successful re-supply mission could be attempted, if and when a feasible solution was found.

Fortunately the problem was found to be immediately apparent. Not only that but the cause was quickly identified.

From in depth analysis it was determined that the Joglers sub-support system was indeed compromised and that any, all, or a combination of the following conditions had led to this vital component of the Jogle becoming at risk of sudden collapse:-

1/ The Jogler had eaten far too much custard and cake on his journey, causing him to gain weight as opposed to losing it.

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2/ The Jogler had consumed too much ale, with the same consequence as (1) above.

3/ The Jogler had consumed too much custard AND too much ale, leading to failure as described in (1) above. High level discussions determined that this combined with (4) & (5) below were by far the most likely scenario.

4/ The unfortunate decision to include the 3 peaks on the Joglers charity walk from John O’Groats to Land’s End had led to a serious miscalculation regarding the durability and life expectancy of the Joglers sub-support system.

5/ The Joglers ridiculous decision (as highlighted by the Blogler on many occasions) to climb each peak and then return in the same direction, rather than carrying on over the top and down the other side, had increased the mileage to be covered by such an extent that the Joglers sub-support system was simply doomed to failure. Perhaps at this point I should simply say, I told you so! And who has to sort it out for him? Exactly, little old moi!

The answer was blindingly obvious. The Jogler needed new footwear – immediately!

Fortunately within minutes the Mini-Jogler (by now back at Jogle base camp, here in the Black Country) had also responded to the distress call and had contacted an ancient but noble sect of shoe makers to commission another pair. And that load of old cobblers would not let us down. Immediately they began crafting footwear of the finest quality products from this region. The uppers were made from the finest cut glass lead crystal (toughened of course) proving once and for all that the glass slippers of Cinderella were no myth. Laces were wrought from the very same iron which created the chains which held the Titanic anchor. The tongues were each lovingly carved from a single scratching upon the virtuous thigh of a Black Country maiden from a mould previously made of the Jogler’s foot. The soles were forged from nails to prove that a proper mon from these parts can walk on anything. The left hand side was inscribed with the letter ‘L’ to ensure that the Jogler did not become confused whilst the Jogler sub-support system was being installed. And of course there was the corresponding ‘R’ sole.

The difficulty now became exactly how to carry out the re-supply mission. Communication with the Jogler was sparse to say the least, but he was believed to be somewhere in Mid-Walles, accompanied by the Jogleress.

It quickly became apparent that the Mini-Jogler was in no fit state to carry out the mission as he had yet to recover from his exertions in climbing Snowdon a few days previously.

Contact had been lost with the Jogleressette, who was missing, presumed abducted by aliens (or dragged off by the Baggies at the very least).

If you recall, in the previous emergency, when the Jogler had to be topped up with wi-fi, see

https://mistybooks.wordpress.com/2019/06/03/jogle-blogle-emergency-interim-report/

the ‘Crippled Duck’ had been deployed. Contact was made with the Blogler’s Mate, but unfortunately due to extreme wi-if exposure that proud craft had had to be buried beneath a lake of grey peas ‘n bacon. We salute you noble vessel and thank you for your gallant efforts!

It was decided that a stealth mission should be launched. It is well known that the Wellsh llanguage is so dangerous that the ‘Ll’s’ and ‘Ff’s’have to travel around in pairs to avoid being mugged by random lone ‘Y’s’ which are reported to be very vicious.

To that end, the Bllogller’s Lland Rover is being readied, a bllack Ffreellander modell, to hopeffulllly avoid detection. 

As the Jogller and Joglleress’s  position is not preciselly known, the Bllogllers hounds, Bllue and Milllly, are being readied to ffollllow the scent.

Allso, in anticipation of the Blloger becoming incapacitated by llack off ffood, the Bllogllers Wiffe is also being prepared ffor the mission.

Updates willll (sorry- I’llll just switch scramblle code mode to offff) There’s better, isn’t it, look you! As I was saying, updates will follow but they may seriously compromise and delay future Blogle transmissions. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. Lush!

FOOTNOTE: (Footnote! Dear oh dear, I have to smile myself sometimes!)

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As witnessed by the Jogler himself whilst in darkest Scotland when he was passed by the 4:20 Virgin to Inverness, part of the account above has been found to be erroneous. Due to a distinct scarcity of Black Country maidens, the tongues of his shoes have had to be made from man made polymers and therefore the longevity of this replacement pair cannot be guaranteed!

 

 

 

If you cracked so much as a smile during this Emergency Blogle, then feel free to contribute to Steve’s just giving page for Macmillan Cancer Support at http://bit.ly/2Tzmjwi

After all, you’d pay good money for this if David Walliams had written it!

If you failed to even titter, then this post was written by, David Walliams.

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Jogle Blogle – Day 41

Jogle Blogle – Day 41

Having spent a thankfully uneventful rest day in Beddgelert our Jogler awoke refreshed and ready to continue his walk from John O’Groats to Land’s End on Day 41 of his journey – and guess what, the Sun shone! If only someone had joined him we could have had a picture of the Jogler’s sponsored tee shirt in all its glory. But no, Steve was alone on his meander through the lanes and villages of the Welsh countryside. 

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After visiting the grave of Gelert (fake news) and the local railway station he sauntered down past Maentwrog parish church.

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Wildlife of the day was this – I don’t know – grass snake? I know you lot will put me right if I’m mistaken.

 

 

 

 

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The man made lake at Trawsfynydd is home to the only U.K. inland nuclear power station for which it supplied the cooling water. The plant was shut down in 1991 but won’t be fully decommissioned until 2080. You have to wonder if it was worth it really don’t you? It only produced electricity for only 26 years and then will take the best part of a century to make the place marginally less toxic.

 

 

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A statue to commemorate – Hedd Wyn who was made the winning bard at Birkenhead Eisteddfod in August 1917, posthumously- less than a month after his death in Flanders during World War I.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And so the Jogler having sauntered to his destination at Coed-Y-Brenin (wherever that is) retired to his feast of hula hoops and Welsh cakes. We’ll leave you with some scenic pictures of his trip.

 

 

 

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Stats of the day were,

Mileage: 19.3      Total: 736.43

Steps: 38,484      Total: 1,498,922

Time taken: 7 hours 11 minutes and 23 seconds

Steve has some gruelling mileages coming up before his next rest day back in England on Day 50. If you’d like to support his charity walk for Macmillan Cancer Support, his just giving page link is http://bit.ly/2Tzmjwi

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Jogle Blogle – Day 39 & Day 40

Jogle Blogle – Day 39 & Day 40

Day 39 dawned wet and rainy again as the Jogler and Jogleress prepared to tackle the third mountain on this, my brother Steve’s walk from John O’Groats to Land’s End and 3 peaks challenge.

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But hold on, what’s this? The Mini-Jogler has turned up for moral support and bought with him a seemingly random bunch of blokes. There’s Ian, Matt A, Matt W, Mark, Rob and last but not least – last seen working in a chip shop – Aaron. Incidentally – see if you can guess which one has the selfie stick? That’s right – Bruce Willis.

Now as you know dear reader I have not shirked in my dedication to the Blogle but if you think that I’m going to write, the Jogler, the Jogleress, the Mini-Jogler, Ian, Matt A, Matt W, Mark, Rob and Aaron from the chip shop, every five minutes – just to get the word count up, then you’re very much mistaken. In light of the fact that my brother still hasn’t heeded my advice that when he reaches the peak of a mountain he should carry on in the same direction but instead turns around and comes down the way he went up, I have a plan. We’ll call Ian, Matt A, Matt W, Mark, Rob and that well known Elvis impersonator Aaron, collectively – Two Direction.

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IMG_3471So they set off in the direction of Snowdon with Two Direction in tow. The weather brightened. Hooray! Then it got worse again. Boo! Which meant that at the summit, as has been the case on all of the peaks, there wasn’t much of a view. So we only have the obligatory shirt waving selfie. The occasion was marked, fittingly by Mark, with a celebratory bottle of Bathams.

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And so to the descent where they encountered wildlife of the day – a mountain sheep.

 

 

 

 

 

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And then – I’m afraid that then the inevitable happened. After one final selfie in slightly better weather, Two Direction split! Yes, Aaron (after a successful solo career) and Rob probably dissatisfied with the direction that Two Direction we’re going decided that they would be better off as a duo and legged it. Isn’t it always the way?

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Ian, Matt A, Matt W and Mark decided to keep the group name as they posed for one last photo at the start of the Rhyd Ddu path (although it was their end) as a reminder of their day of glory before they too melted away into obscurity – well, after a quick pint anyway.

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The Jogleress and Mini-Jogler bade Steve a hearty farewell, leaving him to Jogle alone back along the valley to Beddgelert, as the skies brightened, and to his digs for the night, looking forward to a well earned rest on Day 40.

Well done bro – it’s all downhill from here. 

If you’d like to find out Steve’s reasons for doing this and perhaps donate to his chosen charity, Macmillan Cancer Support, then visit his just giving page at http://bit.ly/2Tzmjwi

Stats of the day were:-

Mileage: 14.4   Total: 717.13

Steps: 35,334   Total: 1,460,438

Time taken: 8 hours 7 minutes and 8 seconds – but I’m guessing that some of that was in the pub! 

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Footnote: Once she got back to civilisation, the Jogleress posted a picture of the group at the summit of Snowdon on Facebook (other social media platforms are available). Facebook’s facial recognition program tagged me, the Blogler, as being there. When I looked, the little white square thingy indicating that FB thought it was me, was actually around the fizzog* of the Jogler. Now I’m not denying that the Jogler is an exceedingly handsome chap, but this can only mean one of two things. Firstly, that Facebook assumes that I am seven years younger than I actually am or secondly, it thinks that Steve is seven years older – well he did have a hard paper round! 

*The Jogle Blogle accepts no responsibility for any Black Country terms which may accidentally have been used.

Jogle Blogle – Day 38

Jogle Blogle – Day 38

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IMG_3395The Jogler and Jogleress stopped for a mirrored selfie as they left Betws-Y-Coed on Day 38 of the Jogle. No rain today for a pleasant change during this walk on the next leg of Steve’s traipse through the countryside from John O’Groats to Land’s End which was along relatively traffic free roads. This was the best picture they could get of Swallow Falls as they were unwilling to pay the £2.50 entrance fee. Entrance fee!? When did that happen. And who owns nature anyway! 

By the way – just a reminder that it is also Day 38 of the Blogle on this, National Writing Day @writeday

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They nearly passed the Ugly House – a renovated tearoom come conservation, boulder built cottage owned by the Snowdonia Society – but they took a side road instead which led them past this stagecoach, a local landmark in Capel Curig belonging to the Tyn-Y-Coed Inn. The original coach was purchased by a former owner from the film company which produced Hitchcock’s, Jamaica Inn. In the 1980’s it was exchanged for the current Yorkshire Stagecoach which was then completely refurbished and painted in the livery of the Royal Mail. Why a stagecoach? The Inn stands on the A5 which was built by Thomas Telford to take, among other things,  Irish M.P.’s in style from Holyhead to London.

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They stopped at The Caffi for a cream tea at elevenses before making their way past a nice little church and the National Outdoor Centre at Plas Y Brenin.

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Wildlife of the day was a Golden Eagle, although it may have been a seagull.

 

 

IMG_3420IMG_3425Another selfie, this time blocking out the scenery at Llyn Gwynant before finding out that in this part of the world, cabbages are a protected species. 

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Past the copper mine and into Beddgelert. Now I’m not going to regale you with tales which may or not be true of the hound named Gelert which was mistakenly killed after protecting its family, but instead as a purveyor of children’s stories will tell you that the writer and illustrator of the Rupert Bear tales, Alfred Bestall once lived here. Also the area around here has been the setting for many a film, including The Inn of the Sixth Happiness and Tomb Raider 2.

 

 

As you can see from the stats below, today’s mileage was relatively modest, but the Jogler has amassed some 200 miles in the last 8 days. Quite impressive for someone of his advancing years. And Snowdon awaits tomorrow, so join us on the Jogle Blogle then. Meanwhile, if you’d like to donate to Steve’s chosen charity Macmillan Cancer Support, the link to his just giving page is http://bit.ly/2Tzmjwi

Mileage: 18.1   Total: 702.73

Steps: 36,898    Total: 1,425,104

Time Taken: 6 hours 24 minutes and 38 seconds

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Jogle Blogle – Day 37

Jogle Blogle – Day 37

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fullsizeoutput_80bDay 37 of our Blogle following the Jogle. The Jogler and Jogleress paused to look down on Denbigh where they had just spent the night and to the ruins of the castle and town walls which were commissioned by Edward I in 1282. That initial phase was completed some 25 years later.

 

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IMG_3377IMG_3385With some great views across the surrounding countryside our intrepid pair came across this signpost helpfully pointing the way to Cornwall. (Incidentally – I think this tells us all we need to know about why the Welsh use so many ‘L’s in their language – they’ve been nicking them off Cornwall!) A great aid you would have thought on Steve’s walk from John O’Groats to Land’s End. But no! The Jogler ignored the directions. Is he mad? Can he not read? Has the Jogleress persuaded him to abandon his quest? Ah – here’s the reason – there’s another mountain to climb. Snowdon, the last of the three peaks on my brother’s charity walk for Macmillan Cancer Support, lies in the far distance as the Jogleress by some magical trickery points out.

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fullsizeoutput_80eAfter a dearth of wildlife of the day the Jogler seems to consider that this shot of some cows should suffice and get this, says that there was a Red Kite hovering above them! Yeah Steve, whatever!

At last, they reach the Snowdonia National Park. 

 

fullsizeoutput_80dAnd an info board about engineering – at last, something the Blogler can relate to – William Hazledine was known as ‘Merlin’ by Thomas Telford because of the wonders he could wrought with iron. His ironworks in Shrewsbury manufactured the beams and columns for the world’s first iron framed factory in 1796 and  he subsequently founded a foundry in Ruabon from where he supplied material for the Pontcycyllte aqueduct. Telford and Hazeldine worked together on some of the most iconic bridges at Menai, Conwy and this one here, the Pont Waterloo Bridge of which the Jogler notably forgot to take a picture. Tsk!

IMG_3392Finally down into Betws-y-coed, their stop for the night.

And the stats are as follows-

Mileage: 22.5      Total: 684.63

Steps: 47,434       Total: 1,388,206

Time taken: 8 hours 16 minutes 57 seconds

And if you’d like to donate to Macmillan Cancer Support, Steve’s just giving link is: http://bit.ly/2Tzmjwi

 

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Jogle Blogle – Day 36

Jogle Blogle – Day 36

Before we start out on Day 36, all here at the Jogle Blogle would like to give a massive shout out to Mavis Paterson @MavisCycle who, in her own cycling Lejog, went from Land’s End to John O’Groats in an amazing 23 days for her 960 mile trip. At 81 she secured her place in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest woman to achieve such a phenomenal feat! Like Steve she will also be donating her proceeds to Macmillan Cancer Support. Well done Mavis – fantastic!

I promised you a more exciting day today didn’t and how’s this for starters – The Jogleress is back! No, I don’t know where she came from either, but I’d know that rucksack anywhere now, wouldn’t you? So leaving the glorious architecture and ancient history of Chester behind  oath the Jogler and his wife set off on another leg of their John O’Groats to Land’s End. The sun shone and at last the Jogler was able to show off his Jogle tee shirt. They passed another reminder of home (well Sue did anyway – she is a Brummie after all, although after 25 years with the Jogler I do reckon that she’s an honorary Black Country wench by now). Chester bade them a cheery goodbye as they went on they’re merry way out past the racecourse and river, finding themselves in Wales, where the Welsh live. Airbus, through Mop where they passed this plaque commemorating the digging up of some ancient Brit in 1831 and how all the stuff they found was nicked by the bloody English and put in the British Museum. Down into the countryside where they came upon Offa’s Dyke in all its glory. Built around 1250 years ago the dyke is an earthwork consisting of a ditch with the spoil from that excavation piled onto the Mercian side and roughly marks out the border between England and Wales. And the king of Mercia during its construction? Some bloke called Offa, obviously. I’ve told you before we’re better than the Open University we are.

The aptly named Castle View B & B in Denbigh was to be their digs for the night in the appropriately named Dudley room.

Steve’s just giving link is

Stats for the day.

Miles: 27.5

Steps: 54581

Time taken: 10 hours 10 minutes and 31 seconds 

Jogle Blogle – Day 16

Alright, alright, alright, that’s quite enough of that, thank you very much! There’s been far too much frivolity on this site of late I’ve noticed. Let’s just get back to the business in hand – Jogling.

If you recall, my brother Steve set out on the 18th. May from John O’Groats in an effort to walk down to Land’s End (a so called JOGLE – they’ve got acronyms for everything these days)  in 65 days. He’s doing it in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, check out his reasons for doing so here at http://bit.ly/2Tzmjwi

At Inverness he was joined by wife Sue who accompanied him along the Great Glen Way to Fort William where they met up with kids, Rachael and Michael along with Rachael’s chap, Andy. The appropriately named Jogler, Jogleress, Mini-Jogler, Jogleressette and Jogleressette’sfella then proceeded to climb Ben Nevis – did I not mention, he’s doing the 3 peaks en route as well, mad as a box of frogs I tell you!

After a successful up diddly up up and down diddly down down, the kids left and were replaced by Steve’s former boss Phil, now to be forever known as Bossin Thejogle.

IMG_2180IMG_2182We catch up with them on Day 16 as they set out in foul weather for the trek to Inveroron along the West Highland Way.

 

Leaving Kinlochleven they pass Ice Factor, one of the top 5 attractions in the highlands. In an aluminium smelting building is housed the biggest ice climbing wall in the world. The former Alcan smelting plant was served by a hydroelectric power system which also meant that every house in the village was connected to electricity, the first village in the world to do so.

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Wildlife encounter of the day was with this one antlered stag in the car park of The Kingshouse (lunch was taken),  just across the road from the Glencoe Mountain Resort. 

 

 

 

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And some moody shots as the weather eventually started to brighten and the merry band of travellers made their way across Rannoch Moor and along Thomas Telford’s cobbled motorway into Inveroron.

The stats for the day were as follows.

Mileage 18.6, so total now 253.13

Steps 41,439 so again total of 523,577

The walk was 7 hours 17 minutes and 48 seconds at a maximum elevation of 1797 feet