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Why I'm back(pack)ing the Cape Wrath Trail. – PilgrimChris.com

Why I'm Back(pack)ing The Cape Wrath Trail. – PilgrimChris.com

I ve been backpacking for over 30 years now and walked half of the Pennine Way when I was just 15 years old. I have since walked many of England s long distance trails as well as hiked in Europe over the years, but have done little backpacking in Scotland. I am now looking for more challenging routes and the Cape Wrath Trail is renowned as one of the wildest and most remote walks in the UK it s certainly one of the most challenging! I have wanted to hike this trail since 2010, but various things conspired against me including me simply putting it off . However, last year I heard rumours of the military attempting to buy the area around and including Cape Wrath[1] and this saddened me. The military already own vast areas in the north west of Scotland and I know that, at certain times, these areas are closed to the public which flies in the face of Scotland s wonderful land access policies. So I decided that this was the year I would put aside excuses and go for it after all, if the military get their way then access to this iconic area might be restricted, or, at worst, lost! Then something happened that not only galvanized my resolve, but also gave me the opportunity to help protect Cape Wrath. I am a large user of Social Media and Networking sites where I promote myself and share ideas and experiences with like minded people and recently I was followed on one of these sites, Twitter, by @GoCapeside[2]. When I looked at the profile of this this new follower I saw that it was the Twitter account for the Durness Development Group Ltd[3], the community charity for Durness.

On Social Media as Cape Wrath Buyout, this charity is trying to purchase the 45 hectares of land surrounding the lighthouse at Cape Wrath to save the area from a military buyout and keep the land in local community ownership. To quote the Durness Development Group

Durness Development Group Ltd, the community charity for Durness, are trying to purchase the 45 hectares of land surrounding the lighthouse at Cape Wrath.

Tourism to this remote corner is extremely valuable to the community and by purchasing this land, the community will be able to:

  • Ensure continued public access this is a public space. It is the end of the Cape Wrath Trail, The Scottish National Trail and part of the International Appalachian Trail. Community ownership will enshrine the right of public access.
  • Improve the visitor experience through sympathetic development of the facilities, Cape Wrath attracts thousands of visitors a year from all over the world and by all means of access, some come by minibus, some cycle and increasingly more walk in. However, there are very little facilities to cope with the numbers of visitors and one of the first things that the community would like to undertake is the installation of some public toilets.
  • Undertake essential repairs and maintenance of this historic site from the dry stone dykes to the Lloyds buildings to the old stables, the site at Cape Wrath is in a worryingly poor state of repair. The community intends to raise the monies to maintain and restore these historic buildings and landscape features.

Cape Wrath is a wonderful destination, it is remote and wild and a place that truly captures the imagination of the more intrepid individual, the community wishes to ensure that visitors can enjoy this wild and rugged landscape for many years to come. On behalf of the communities of Durness and Kinlochbervie we would like to thank you for supporting this extremely worthwhile cause.

This seemed such a worthwhile endeavour, and one that will resonate with many walkers, hikers, cyclists and other people who like to roam the land, that I ve decided to dedicate my Cape Wrath Trail backpacking adventure to this worthy cause. I will be setting off on the Cape Wrath Trail around the 13th April this year (2016) to hopefully help raise funds for the Cape Wrath Buyout Charity and humbly ask if you, my friends and followers, could help save Cape Wrath for future adventurers and donate a little money to the Durness Development Group[4] by clicking the image below.

Why I'm Back(pack)ing The Cape Wrath Trail. – PilgrimChris.com

I thank you all in advance and hopefully, together, we can do our small part in keeping Cape Wrath in community hands for future folks to enjoy and put a stop to the military getting their hands on this beautiful part of, not only Scotland, but of the UK! You can follow my progress once I start hiking the Cape Wrath Trail via Social Hiking ShareYourAdventure.com[5] and I will be writing further blog post about my hike including, believe it or not, a kit list! I know who would have thought that I would ever write a kit list Why I'm Back(pack)ing The Cape Wrath Trail. – PilgrimChris.com I will edit this post to add links to subsequent Cape Wrath related posts as I write them so stay tuned folks .

Links of interest

Use the map controls to Zoom and Pan
or click HERE to view the map full screen[6]

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References

  1. ^ military attempting to buy the area around and including Cape Wrath (www.heraldscotland.com)
  2. ^ @GoCapeside (twitter.com)
  3. ^ Durness Development Group Ltd (www.developingdurness.org)
  4. ^ Durness Development Group (www.developingdurness.org)
  5. ^ Social Hiking ShareYourAdventure.com (www.shareyouradventure.com)
  6. ^ HERE to view the map full screen (www.shareyouradventure.com)

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News: the Design Museum in London has announced 76 nominations for Designs of the Year 2014, including a floating school in a Past winners of the award include BarberOsgerby’s Olympic torch and the UK government’s redesigned website. The Yard Theatre in Hackney, east London will present The Mikvah Project by Josh Azouz from 17 February to 14 March 2015. Directed by Jay Miller, the production includes ancient rituals, live singing and an onstage Mikvah. It features designs by C cile But at home in his backyard of Fife the decade-long boom in the UK; and perhaps that has forced its business leaders to think beyond the allure of the money men. While Brown is jet-setting, they are formulating big ideas for lifting us out of recession The design is based on a re-creation of a slice of the great Derbyshire It used to be that they were essentially display gardens along the Ideal Home Show model, replete with practical ideas which householders could use. Or else they were glorified Designed by renowned Canadian architect Arthur Erickson, the squat little flat-topped cone – “a giant, overturned fruit bowl” – with its distinctive glass exterior had taken seven years to rise from the rubble of a former Canadian Pacific freight yard. Loaded with creative design ideas, high-tech materials and functional features it including the first fashion led safety trainer to hit the UK market. All Scruffs safety footwear is manufactured using both synthetic and natural materials that conform .

Travelport wants to help new businesses with big ideas get of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005. He has worked in regional newspapers (Escantik Enquirer) and started his career in journalism at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. The instructions say you should use a yard of new denim fabric for the back As she says, the page covers sewing and quilting techniques for denim, ideas for quilt designs, quilt top layout samples and patterns for various easy quilts, and many WeWork often builds spaces in developing neighborhoods like the Central Market/Tenderloin district in San Francisco and the Navy Yard in Brooklyn delivered a new place to gather and exchange ideas. The stage stands midlevel with the audience so Metahaven is an Amsterdam-based design studio made up of its two members and founders which is a self-proclaimed nation on a former war platform near the coast of the UK. We didn t stop working on that project, but wanted to keep going with it. .

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Dominic West: I think women should be more indulgent of affairs

Two minutes after I arrive in Dominic West s house, he s asking me why wives make such a fuss over infidelity.

I mean, I think women should be more indulgent of affairs, he says as he me makes me a cup of tea.

I really do. It s daft to kick someone out over a fling. Isn t it? Everyone should turn a blind eye to men s behaviour between the ages of 40 and 50. Let it all blow over. He pauses. Milk and sugar? Whether he believes this or not I m not sure. The 46-year-old star of The Affair and The Wire certainly likes to provoke. He rolls around in controversial statements like a dog in fox poo. Wolfosh: Dominic West in his Sheperd’s Bush lair

A week ago I saw him host a fundraising quiz at the Bush Theatre in Shepherd s Bush and he told the raffle winner whose prize was a shopping spree in Westfield Rather you than me. Make sure you take a bomb-proof vest.

Today we re discussing Letters Live, a week of shows that started last night at the Freemasons Hall organised by publisher Jamie Byng of Canongate Books. West will be on stage on Tuesday reading the poignant last letter Peter Sellers wrote to Spike Milligan. The Affair – season 2 trailer

While I sit he stands in the middle of his sitting room, bear-like, radiating presence, scooping hummus out of a pot using a hunk of bread and talking with his mouth full.

He has a deep and filthy laugh, describes his hair as like Virginia Wade s , and says overall he looks like an old Jewish lesbian .

Anyway, what is it I m supposed to be saying? he calls to the PR in another room. Something about a matinee on Saturday? To me: There s a matinee. To the other room: Who s in it? Jude Law? God, you don t need me to publicise it if Jude Law s in it. Who else? Russell Brand, Ellie Bamber, Sir Ian McKellen. He shoots me a smirk. Ooooh, I like Sir Ian, he says. Gave me my first film job, actually. Richard III. But whenever I see him I start talking about how big his d**k is.

“I don t know why. It s embarrassing. A tic. But then he loves it because apparently he has got a big d**k and the more people who know it the better. Anyway, he continues, it ll be a very well-hung matinee.

It s hard to tell whether this is just what West is like or if he s spent too much time with declamatory posh people. He was educated at Eton and Trinity Dublin and his wife Catherine is an Anglo-Irish aristocrat who he fell in love with at university, and re-met after her marriage to the Earl of Durham collapsed. He s about as far from prickly, precious Hollywood as you can get. He ll always go for the gag, even if it falls flat.

For instance, he remembers being decorated with an honorary doctorate at Sheffield Hallam University.

I thought I should make a joke about Sheffield, so I said: I was taken around Baltimore with the writer of The Wire who was showing me this derelict tower block where the lift was broken and smelt of pee, and we looked out over the derelict steel works, across empty rows of houses, to the stadium of a football team languishing in the lower divisions, and he turned to me and said, Isn t it terrible?

“And I said: No, it s just like home. I thought everybody in Sheffield would erupt with laughter. There was silence. F**king tumbleweed. The university official said: You haven t been to Sheffield for a while, have you, Dominic? No, I said. Sorry. But even today he can t wholly take it back. Thing is, he whispers, anywhere in the world with a beautiful blue sky seems to beat the misery of a drizzly day in a high-rise in Sheffield.

“I ve just been to Jordan to visit a refugee camp Dominic! I cry. No. He grins wolfishly. Interviewees usually need to be goaded. West, you re dragging back from the minefield. None of this has stopped him landing juicy blockbuster roles, though.

He s starred alongside Julianne Moore in Surviving Picasso, Toni Collette in Diana & Me, Michelle Pfeiffer in A Midsummer Night s Dream, and then there was 28 Days, which I tell him I ve seen. He winces. Dreadful, dreadful script, he says, but it had Julia Roberts and that s why it was popular. Er, I don t think it was Julia Roberts, I say. Wasn t it? He looks at the ceiling. Oh, sorry. That one was Sandra Bullock. It wasn t so bad, was it?

“It s the Julia Roberts one that was dreadful. What was it called? Mona Lisa Smile. God, I played an a**ehole. I did a few a**eholes.

There was a brief stint in a circus-y rave thing with the De La Guarda troupe and an avant-garde Argentinian director, which he claims was his best job ever . Then I got The Wire and it propelled me into obscurity. Actually, the Wire was the most critically acclaimed of all his roles, a drama set in the housing projects in Baltimore, in which he played a chaotic, alcoholic cop called Jimmy McNulty.

It never got any television awards, he says. Not one. As I kept telling the producers: there s too many black people in it. So the industry is racist? Of course it s bl**dy racist, that s old news, he says. But racist makes it sounds as if people are being lynched. I suppose those people like to watch shows about themselves.

“My sister is a doctor. She ll come home from work and watch ER, and you think why? And I suppose most people in the industry are white people and they like watching white people.

For all his brass, West has always been sensitive about his education. In the past he s shrugged it off, playing up his northern roots, saying he was a fish out of water and that his accent was mocked. But his contemporaries remember a very popular pupil with a gift for acting so great that his portrayal of Hamlet aged 17 inspired Damian Lewis (in the year below) to take up the profession too.

Yeeeees, West admits. Damian was saved a lot of grief by just being proud of his background instead of embarrassed. It was such a waste of time being ashamed of it.

“I used to get paranoid, and upset about being pigeonholed. But everyone is, and if you have to be pigeonholed it s a nice one to have. Damian, he reflects, was always wise. So what was his background? Dominic Gerard Francis Eagleton West grew up a Catholic in a big old suburban house on the edge of the moors in Derbyshire , and his father George owned a plastics factory.

As the sixth of seven children he was anonymous but could get away with things although the hierarchy maintains. I know my place: sixth. Second last. Childhood involved gambolling around fields, dressing up and playing crowd scenes with his siblings in the local amateur dramatics, to which his mother was devoted. I think she played all Shakespeare s heroines. Family summers were package holidays to Majorca . All seven of us, with about 20 suitcases. My dad took cereal and milk, and all the things you couldn t get out there, and God the f**king logistics! The airport chaos! I have no idea how they did it.

My mother always said: Oh, well, you only ever have two kids. Then they start looking after each other. I guarantee that is not the case.

West has five children, ranging from the 17-year-old daughter he had with ex-girlfriend Polly Astor, to the four he has with Catherine, aged nine, seven, six and two. Is he still a practising Catholic? Not really, no, he says. He took his eldest to the Brompton Oratory the other day to hear the music, which I still love . She said: Dad, this is creepy and weird . He also tried taking the little ones to Mass because that s what I used to do, and because I wanted them to learn to sit still. They were bored stiff. Then I had the brilliant idea of telling them what was going on.

I said, you know what the priest is doing, don t you? And my little boy shook his head. I said, He s eating Jesus. Eating Jesus! And now he s going to drink Jesus s blood. My son was rapt.

I d always found the idea of transubstantiation a bit abstract but it s just cannibalism. I said: And now he s going to chop up and eat some of Jesus s flesh. See that? I m going to go and get some, do you want to come?

At 46, West is about as happy as he s ever been. In part because of work but mainly cos of her and the kiddies, he says, indicating with his elbow to where Catherine is playing with their toddler. Their car number plate is a marginally more sophisticated version of Dom 4 Cat and he laughs at that.

I fell in love with her when I was 21 and she fell in love with me about eight months ago, when she realised all other options had been exhausted and she had four kids. In truth, his womanising days are long over. He has often spoken about how much he hurt Astor with his carousing while filming The Wire.

That got a lot of things out of my system hopefully, he says. And now I just act it. There are a lot of sex scenes in The Affair. If Catherine was in something like that I would not be happy. But she s OK with it. She s cool.

Do you watch it together? Oh, f**k no! he says. She saw a bit of it on the plane once, and I saw a bit of it on the plane. Neither of us watches it. Can t bear to although apparently it s quite good. Instead he watches documentaries ( TV drama is too daunting ) and reads nature books by Roger Deakin. He d like to do another film, possibly with Ruben stlund, director of Force Majeure.

He s really good at those difficult moral dilemmas and embarrassing situations. West is grinning madly now. He said to me, I love embarrassing situations . And I said, Yeah, yeah, yeah, so do I! So hopefully something will come of that.

Letters Live the live celebration of written correspondence is at Freemasons Hall, WC2, until Tuesday, letterslive.com

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