Quotes of the Week

*‘No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible’ Poet Stanislaw Jerzy Lec, quoted in The New Yorker*

‘If you judge a fish by it’s ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid’ Einstein, quoted in The Mail on Sunday

‘The only words that don’t offend a single human being are words delivered without a purpose’ Lena Dunham, quoted on Glamour.com

‘The man who says his wife can’t take a joke forgets that she took him’ Oscar Wilde, quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle

‘The first casualty of war is not the truth, it is room service’ Journalist Chris Buckland, quoted in The Daily Telegraph

‘Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will’ Frederick Douglass, quoted in The Guardian 

‘Like a narcotic, rudeness offers a sensation of glorious release from jailers no one else can see’ Novelist Rachel Cusk in The New York Times

‘A man who works hard stinks only to the ones that have nothing to do but smell’ Laura Ingalls Wilder, quoted in the Independent

* My favourite if i had to pick one
All quotes from The Week Magazine


Ilkley Moor

Today, I had such a brilliant day, despite the wind, we went out as a university group for a hike on Ilkley Moor. It was a beautiful day! We got our maps, compasses and walking boots and had a fab day with great company. I love my university course sometimes! 

Quotes of the Week

‘Don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax that fellow behind the tree’ Warren Buffett, quoting Russell B. Long, on CNBC

‘Always remember the golden rule of polictics: never kick a man until he’s down’ Gerald Kaufman, quoted in The Irish Times

‘Writing dialogue is the only respectable way of contradicting yourself’ Tom Stoppard, quoted in the Daily Telegraph

‘The free market is not sent by God. It is what happens when ministers and councillors go home to bed’ Simon Jenkins in The Guardian

‘The trouble with always trying to preserve the health of the body is that it is so difficult to do without destroying the health of the mind’ G.K. Chesterton, quoted in The Daily Telegraph

‘Importance in literature isn’t important. Good writing is’ Kingsley Amis, quoted in The Sunday Telegraph

*‘I still enjoy sex at 74. I live at 76, so it’s no distance’ Bob Monkhouse, quoted in The Times*

‘Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a mans character, give him power’Abraham Lincoln, quoted on BusinessInsider.com

‘Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth’ Mike Tyson, quoted on Fortune.com

*my favourite if I had to choose one

All quotes from The Week Magazine 

Kanga Valley Railway

Hop on the train at Pathankot to take the 164km journey to Jogindernagar, India. You will not be complaining about how slow the train on the Kanga Valley Railway takes (approximately just short of 10 hours) because of the amazing views to take in along the way. Encountering 33 stations and 970 bridges, people marvel at the engineering involved. The trains are simple but characters and culture are magnificent; stalls on the platform, cups of tea passed through train windows and Hindi songs being sang for tips. Travel past beautiful orange groves and tea gardens, playgrounds were children take their school lessons, low-forested hills and snow-capped mountains.

The most amazing thing about this experience is that it has an astounding price. A ticket for this train is 35 rupees, equivalent to 42p! Astonishingly, not many tourists take this train; only a fraction of the amount of people that take the celebrated ‘toy train’ up to Shimla, about 70 miles South.

The stretch of 18 miles from Mangwal to Kangra is the most picturesque with the majestic Ban Ganga Gorge and the deep Kangra Chasm. Approaching Palampur you will be presented with snowy peaks, 15000-16000ft in height. From here, the line runs parallel to Dhauladhar range (much nearer than any other railway in India).

If you need any more persuading, just look at pictures online, its breathtaking.


Idea from The Week Magazine

Quotes of the week

‘Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it’ Federal Judge Learned Hand, quoted in The Washington Post

‘Autobiography is probably the most respectable form of lying’ Humphrey Carpenter, quoted on Forbes.com

‘Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent’ President Calvin Coolidge, quoted in The Guardian

*‘Technology is the knack of arranging the World so that we need not experience it’ Max Frisch, quoted on The Browser*

‘The day I realised it can be smart to be shallow was, for me, a deep experience’ Donald Trump, quoted in The Guardian

‘I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anyone tell you any different’ Kurt Vonnegut, quoted in The Spectator

‘The main business of a lawyer is to take the romance, the mystery, the irony, the ambiguity out of everything he touches’ Antonin Scalia, quoted in the Economist 

‘The child is a sort of vicious, innately cruel dwarf’ Michel Houellebecq, quoted in The Guardian

*my personal favourite

All quotes are found in The Week magazine

Day out to Otley Chevin and an encounter with Storm Doris

This blog post is to write about the day I had today at Otley Chevin in West Yorkshire, and it may give some ideas on teaching map reading and orienteering. 

We do physical education with outdoor education at Leeds Beckett and one of our modules this semester is called ‘OAA Journeying’. This basically consists of going away in a small group for 2 nights. We can go wherever we want to go, as long as one of the nights is wild camping. So for ‘practice’ for this residential, as a seminar group, we are going out and experiencing days full of maps, compasses, gale force winds and rain, sounds like fun right? 

Our lecturers today thought it would be a brilliant idea to take us all to Otley Chevin. For those of you who haven’t been there, it’s a huge area consisting of crags, walks, hills, woodlands etc. and also has a few huts, for seminar work (or for arts and crafts for brownies and scouts-but were classed as ‘too old’ for that (maturity is arguable though)). 

We ran up to uni at half 8 this morning in the beginnings of the wonderful storm Doris. We were drenched. We hadn’t even  got to the place where we were going for the day yet, and my hands were turning blue and my muddy walking boots squelched through the sports reception as we went to meet the rest of our group. 

We got in the mini buses on the way to the Chevin, and took the 20 minute drive to get there, before all running into the hut for shelter and warmth as soon as we got there. 

Our first activity was drawing a map. We had to draw what we thought the map of the room we were sat in would look like. We had to decide what would go on the map and how we would portray the different heights of things. It was quite interesting to know about different shadings and how that puts across how tall something is in comparison to other things. We then moved on to map symbols.

This might seem quite simple, like I have seen hundreds of maps in my life but matching up 52 map symbols to their descriptions was harder than I imagined! This is great to do with any age because you can progress it or regress it to fit with their ability. What we didn’t realise was, was that there was actually a small number on the corner of each laminated card, and the map symbol and the description actually had the same number as each other on the card, so it could have been so much easier! (Yes we are third year university students and didn’t even realise!) 

Next of the agenda was grid references. Playing bingo for this was so fun. We had a map between two, and our lecturer read out a grid reference, which we had to find on the map, and shout bingo when we knew what it was. I WON A SPORK. 

Me and Ash then had a 10 minute conversation about how it is actually a fork, knife and a spoon so should be a snork, but then I thought ‘why does the fork get most of the name’ so my name for it was a snook. Any suggestions on names for a contraption that offers a fork, knife and a spoon just let me know!

So with a little competition involved this got fun! Next was dinner time, I brought cooked pasta (I forgot a fork that morning so actually had to steal one from the food court at university…turns out because of my snook, I didn’t need it).

After dinner, we got in our residential groups and went on a 1.2km walk. We were all given a map and a way to walk, to get to the east side of the Chevin. We got there in good time, 10/10 for top navigating skills to me!

While storm Doris brewed on and made herself louder and clearer, we worked out our pacing for 100m, so we could work out our distances. Turns out my pace for 100m is 71 paces, one of the highest numbers in the class which means I must have small legs, brilliant. 

For this, our lecturer had marked out 100m, which is easy to do by finding landmarks on the map suitable for the activity, we all then walked together. The pacing is every two steps, so you would only count your right foot, for example, when walking between the two points. 

Orienteering was next. And it had started to get cold. We went through using a compass and the best analogy I got from today was ‘keeping red Fred in his shed’ when matching up the north arrow to the red arrow below it on the compass face. It was very easy to pick up but I have done it multiple times before. Experiential learning is key for this though. People will only learn orienteering if they have a go. 

Our final task was an orienteering challenge in our small residential groups. We had one hour to find as many points on the map as we could. We absolutely bossed it but counted our points wrong at the end. I wouldn’t say I was competitive, but it still makes me angry when I think we were cheated of the prize. I really wanted that prize biscuit. But I know we won overall, so pride is good enough i suppose..but I can’t dunk pride in a brew! 

Otley Chevin is a great place to go, whether for educational purposes with a group of people or even taking the dog for a walk or going on a stroll! A few crags for the climbers around here too. There are a few decent walks around there and plenty of orienteering challenges to conquer, some harder than others! Absolutely beautiful sites from multiple places. Remember to check the weather though, you don’t want to be battered by a storm like we were! Hopefully Doris will be gone soon!