Saturday, September 19, 2015

Step by Step: Walking the Scottish Highlands

There's definitely an extra spring in my step as I set out to walk the Scottish Highlands Way.  This virtual journey will take me just over 200 miles, from Glasgow to Inverness, and I'm looking forward to seeing many interesting & beautiful sights along the way.  I'm also wondering if I'll be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Nessy, the Loch Ness monster, as I make my around the shores of her home.

As someone who's already done a virtual Walk to Mordor stranger things have happened!

Now walking in the footsteps of Frodo & Sam was quite a bit of fun, especially at the start, but I found that as I neared Mount Doom my feet started to drag.  It turns out that the thought of entering such desolate wasteland wasn't exactly the best motivator to keep me walking.  Go figure!

I'm certain I won't be experiencing the same buzzkill on this adventure as the creative force behind Walking 4 Fun has done an amazing job re-creating the virtual trails and making the journey most enjoyable.   Encouragement abounds in the maps, pictures. badges & descriptions provided by the site and, as an added bonus, Fitbit fanatics like myself can have their mileage automatically logged.

Instead of worry about logging my steps for the day, I can just keep on daydreaming that I'm Claire Beauchamp from Outlander making my way back to Inverness.  Let's face it, Frodo Baggins has nothing on Jamie Fraser in the fantasy department.

The other lesson I learned from my previous virtual walking experience is that it's really a lot more fun sharing the experience with friends so if you're interested please give me a shout.

I'm a plodder (pushing myself to get 10k steps / 4 miles a day) so I expect to be walking for the next two months.  Feel free to contact me at any time and we can support each other along the way.  I'll be signing the Register as I go and as "walking friends" we can keep track of our respective whereabouts using the trail maps.

Now I'd better get up & get moving as I hope to be in Milngavie by sundown!

Check Out My Current Location:

Trail Location

See this Post's Comments for Related Walking Journal
Step by Step: Walking the Scottish Highlands by  on 2015-09-19 A virtual journey that will take me just over 200 miles, from Glasgow to Inverness.

Images: Original by Visit Scotland; Additional Graphics by Tatiana Dokuchic

Find Tatiana Dokuchic on Google+

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Potager or Ornamental Kitchen Garden

A Potager at Château de Villandry, France

Designed to feed both body and soul, the potager or ornamental kitchen garden is the ultimate combination of parterre and vegetable patch.

Fruits & vegetables, flowers & herbs, are artfully arranged in symmetrical garden beds that are surrounded by low clipped box hedges.  These individual plots, separated by sand or gravel paths,  are precisely placed to form striking geometric patterns.

Six of the Nine Villandry Potagers

Initially developed by French monks, the potager evolved through the French Renaissance styled garden to the more formal Garden à la française with an emphasis on beauty realized through the studied application of measure and proportion.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Embracing Canada's 30x30 Nature Challenge

Canada's 30x30 Nature Challenge 01 by Tatiana Dokuchic

Will I become happier & healthier by participating in Canada's 30x30 Nature Challenge?

Will my well-being be increased by adding a daily dose of nature to my routine?

I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that all these good things will indeed be coming my way!

It's not that my crystal ball is extra shiny this spring, it's just that I'm already convinced of the restorative powers of nature. I believe that devoting thirty minutes a day for thirty days will give me a boost and so it will, even if only because of the placebo effect!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter Bunnies

I have bunnies on the brain this Easter
Vintage Bunnies
Chocolate Bunnies
Cartoon Bunnies
Beatrix Potter Bunnies

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Kitchen Renovation: Updating a U-Shaped Layout

I'm sure that the thought of undertaking a kitchen renovation has given pause to many.  After all, the kitchen is known for its potential to be one of the most expensive areas of the home to update.  Add to that the inconvenience & time required and even the most stout-hearted homeowner must become trepidatious.

I knew that careful planning was in order. To start with, I needed a clear understanding of the benefits that we already enjoyed as well as  the problems that we expected this renovation to solve.  In other words, I needed to identify The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly!

Now I've had years of experience analyzing & architecting computer systems but experience reviewing a kitchen, not so much.  Let's face it, developing a critical eye can take years and though I was capable of doing the research I was unwilling to pay for the mistakes I knew I would make along the way.  So I took a practical approach and consulted with experts.

Tanya Collins (Tanya Collins Design) and Richard Heller (Richard Heller Renovations) helped me navigate the renovation perils and revealed wonderful options that I never would have discovered on my own.  I could write a whole article on the benefits of including experts on your renovation team (and probably will at some point) but right now I'll return to the task at hand, analyzing the state of the old kitchen against my family's current requirements.

Here's what we came up with.