Forvie Beach

The forecast this weekend was for torrential rain and it did eventually come, but in all honesty, I was expecting far, far worse. Anyway, with that forecast in mind, we decided to keep it local, and to get out and about really early.

Forvie fitted the bill perfectly and it’s been a short while since our last visit so it would make for a nice change of scenery. From the utter lack of people at Forvie, it would appear that most people had decided against venturing out.

Had I remembered that it was Tern mating season earlier, I doubt I would have opted for the Croozer. No other buggy would have coped and, even with the Croozer, we had our work cut out. Had we been able to stick to the beach route that we normally use things wouldn’t have been quite so bad. However, with nesting season upon us, you are forced to take a short-cut, cutting off a chunk of our normal route, that involves a considerable amount of time in the dunes.

At one point Leanne was pushing me while I pushed Harris! It certainly made for a good workout! I don’t know if it was the undulating terrain or the beautiful scenery but Harris decided not to fall asleep until the very end of the walk. As such, I opted to walk to Newburgh, along the handy path with connects Newburgh to Forvie, meeting up with Leanne (& the car) again at the far end of Newburgh.

A useful discovery was that the Croozer fitted assembled and upright, with the exception of the handlebar, into the back of our Alhambra. Handy to know that we can leave it assembled when moving between locations, providing there’s not much else in the back of our Seat Alhambra.

Within minutes of loading up the car with the Croozer and a newly awakened Harris, the skies opened up. Talk about perfect timing :o)



Cairngorms Holiday, May 2014

We were due to arrive in Coylumbridge on Friday 25th April. However, a sickness bug struck myself and then Leanne, rendering us unable to travel until the Sunday. Two days gone out of our seven before we had even arrived! Given how bad we both felt (I lost 1/2 a stone in 24 hours thanks to vomiting alone!), we were happy just to be there and determined to make the most of the remaining 5 days.

I’ve seen us spend 14 days in the Cairngorms in the middle of Summer and have 13 days solid torrential rain so my expectations are never that high when it comes to the weather. Monday started misty but soon gave way to temperatures of 22 degrees, making the Cairngorms the hottest place in the country. Bonus! The rest of the week, although not as hot, ranged from sunny to very occasional rain showers and ended with a beautifully sunny day that saw us delay our planned departure by a good few hours.

Myself and Harris made the most of the trails on our doorstep for our early morning run/walks, with Harris enjoying the comfort of the Croozer. We were then joined by Leanne and various family members for walks throughout the day, enjoying trails both old and new.

The above gallery gives an indication of where we went, exploring the trails of Rothiemurchus, the Uath Lochans & Farleitter Crag, Lochan Uaine – The Green Loch, Revack and Loch an Eilein.

So, back to normality come Monday but I can’t complain too much. We are heading back to the Cairngorms for another week in a months time. Can’t wait :o)

Birthday Bargains

So it’s almost 28th March, my birthday. This year I will have the pleasure of looking after my son Harris as it falls on a Friday, also known as ‘daddy day’. It’s been a month since I dropped down to a 4 day week so that I could spend more time with Harris and split childcare with my wife and her mum. The past 3 weeks have, for one reason or another, seen me working just 3 days a week – great for spending more time with H, not so good for keeping up with things at work!

It has to be said that looking after a 1 year old is considerably harder work than being at actual work! It’s just sooooo full time, with never a second off. Hats off to all the mums and dads out there who do this day in, day out. 100% knackering but also 100% rewarding!

With a bit of luck, the sun will shine, and we can do what we have been doing most daddy days, heading off for nice long walks and/or heading off in the Croozer.

The most noticeable impact of the arrival of Harris for me has been:


Or should that be lack of training. When your little on is up at the back of 5am and heads off to bed at 7pm that doesn’t leave much scope for training. Come 7.30pm, after a quick tidy up, all I want to do is get horizontal and chill!


Or should that be lack of finance lol! Pre Harris, I was generally able to find the money required to maintain my admittedly self centred fascination with kit, one of the main attractions of running if truth be told!

Since the arrival of Harris, this has been put on the back-burner somewhat!

Thankfully, my priorities changed without any concern. I’m definitely in a happy place, enjoying parenthood and not overly concerning myself with the impact on training or the reduced volume of shiny new kit.

Thankfully, my position as a product reviewer for The Running Bug, Barefoot Running Magazine and, of course,, means that I do still receive some kit free of charge to test out.

When it comes to obtaining other kit, there are two great opportunities, Christmas and birthday, and, for me, the latter opportunity presents itself this week.

The majority of people give me money which always works for me :o)

This year especially, I was keen to get as much bang for my buck as possible and, whilst one of the new The North Face or Inov-8 race vests was most definitely appealing, I opted for utility maximisation, opting to get kit that could be used as much as possible in everday life as well as out on the trail.

Armed with a budget, a PC and a keen eye for online bargains, I reckon I did pretty well. The Montane Fireball Smock was THE bargain buy, but was unfortunately as a result of the demise of a store. Some well timed sales at Pete Bland Sports and Wiggle provided the rest of my bargain buys.

If there’s anything left over, I will most likely opt for some of the newly released Montane Prism Gloves, RRP 35.00, which sound like just the ticket to see me through to Summer and beyond.


Product RRP Purchased
OMM Rotor Smock £130.00 £63.00
Montane Fireball Smock £120.00 £36.00
Salomon Exo Wings Twinskin Short SS14 £70.00 £30.00
Salomon Fast Wing Vest AW13 £70.00 £35.00
Total: £390.00 £164.00