Don’t back down

Happy 1st Birthday

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It’s Blue’s birthday today.. at the grand old age of 1. Happy Birthday lil’ man, thanks for the laughs.

Written by rufdog

December 3, 2009 at 9:59 am

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This is an old pic of Blue, I just love how happy he is, taking a breather from chasing his tennis ball.

Written by rufdog

November 26, 2009 at 11:36 am

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November Sun

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I love walking in the Autumn. Despite the wind and occasional horizontal rain, it seems all worth it when the low sun baths the land with its gentle warm glow. The shadows are unbelievably long and it feels like you’re walking through a watercolour painting. In one of his favourite fields, Blue stopped to gaze through the wire fence with an alert but calm inquisitiveness. I snapped this pic on my aging mobile, but it came out rather well.

Written by rufdog

November 15, 2009 at 5:25 pm

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No Running

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Poor old Blue is not allowed any major exercise after his op. Yep, he had ‘them’ removed, the poor sod. There has been no significant change in his behaviour, but maybe now he’ll stop trying to hump his bean-bag toy dog 24-7. The collar has to stay on for another week, until then, he’ll have to continue his routine of crashing into doorways and giving me ‘the big stare’.


Written by rufdog

October 19, 2009 at 11:04 am

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Malvern Hills

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Three of us headed to the Malvern Hills on Sunday (just gone). Unfortunately the weather sucked. Still we walked up and around North Hill, Sugar Loaf and Worcestershire Beacon (Highest point in the Malverns – 1395 ft). We were rewarded with views of bugger all. Still, we’d worked up an appetite & headed for the nearest pub for some food. Suitably stuffed we emerged from the pub to find the weather had cleared, so we headed back up Worcs’ Beacon for some stunning views.

malverns_002Trig Stone on Worcs’ Beacon

malverns_003Mike & Andy heading down Worcs’ Beacon towards North Hill

Written by rufdog

October 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm

Lost on Kinder Scout | Part II

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kinderscout2_011Shot by MJW

As my first solo attempt to find Kinder’s high point was thwarted by the Peak District’s ever present threat of low cloud and the resulting dismal visibility, I thought it was time to have another crack at it.

I headed up there with a good friend of mine, Mike. Despite a favourable forcast, the drive through the Peaks was mainly wet. Thankfully, it cleared up and we only saw rain sporadically throughout an otherwise glorious day. The climb up the cloughs was straight forward, emerging into the strange peat bog on the plateau. Then we had to set about finding the infamous ‘cairn and stake’. We scanned the horizon, both looking for a large pile of stones. It was Mike who spotted it first, and it was comical. What we found was a stone topped mound of peat no higher than a small dog, with a sorry, but proud looking stake emerging in the centre.

We headed for Pym Chair and the Pagoda, had a climb around and polished off lunch. We followed the ridge of the plateau, missing our intended route and adding several kilometers to the fabulous trek back to Edale.

kinderscout2_007Shot by MJW / The ‘Peak’

kinderscout2_002Mike surveys the plateau

kinderscout2_003Eroded stones form the Wool Pack

kinderscout2_008Shot by MJW / Approaching Pagoda & Pym Chair

kinderscout2_010Map + wind issues whilst hunting for the ‘Peak’

Written by rufdog

October 10, 2009 at 8:23 pm

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Twilight in Cambridgeshire

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I caught this twilight shot on my mobile phone late last week in Cambridgeshire, at bang on 7pm. A bit of Googling shows that actual sunset was 6 minutes before. Sunlight is still striking the brooding clouds and stratosphere.

Written by rufdog

September 29, 2009 at 1:54 pm

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Lost on Kinder Scout

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kinderscout002Vale of Edale

After being in the Lakes for a week, the office can become a tad claustrophobic. So I hatched a plan to drive up to the Peak District for a days walking. I set out from Edale to tackle Kinder Scout on a bright but slightly overcast day. All was going well, a simple trek along the Pennine Way led to the foot of Jacob’s Ladder. From here I followed my downloaded instructions. A difficult, but immensely pleasurable climb up the waterfalls of the Cloughs led to Kinder Scout’s plateau. Unfortunately as I emerged from the Cloughs, the cloud suddenly descended. Visibility dropped to around 200m in this very alien strange place of grough strewn peat bog. A truly amazing place. For those not familiar with Kinder Scout, it is a large plateau, with several (three I think) high points, all at 636m.

I couldn’t see any landmarks to get my exact position, despite wondering around up there for a fair amount of time. If it wasn’t for my compass I’d have been screwed, every direction was identical. As I’d never visited the area before, I was getting a tad worried and decided to abandon my planned circular route and head roughly south to pick up a path. I ended up at Noe Stool, so I followed the path south back to the safety of the Pennine Way. I can’t wait to go back during fairer weather.

kinderscout001Peat Bog in all directions on Kinder Scout’s plateau ‘summit’

kinderscout004Noe Stool emerging from the cloud

sheepObligatory random sheep shot

kinderscout003Dog topiary in Edale village

Written by rufdog

September 1, 2009 at 2:26 pm

Three Peaks

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scafellpike01View from the summit of Scafell Pike

As mentioned a few months ago, a recent trip to Scotland saw myself and a friend climb Ben Nevis, our first mountain climb. Well, mine anyway. It was exhilarating and I/we definitely got the hill walking bug. So, a few weeks ago myself and four friends headed for the hills with a new found ‘mountain bagging’ confidence. As we had Ben Nevis under our belts, we hatched a plan to complete the ‘Three Peaks’, albeit in three months, unlike some nutters who attempt them in 24 hours. First on the hit list was Snowdon, Wales’ highest mountain at 1,085 metres (3,560 ft). One of Snowdons attributes is the many routes to it’s summit. After a bit of research, we planned to ascend via the South Ridge route from Rhyd Ddu and choose the descent route at the top.

snowdon01At the summit of a cloudy Snowdon

snowdon03Andy behind Snowdon’s visitor centre

snowdon02We found an old mill at the end of the Ranger trail, near the end of our Snowdon walk

Early Sunday (9th Aug) we set off from our lovely B&B in Betws-y-Coed for our start point. After parking up in Rhyd Ddu train station, we headed off towards the cloud covered hills. The South Ridge path shares the same first section with the Rhyd Ddu path but we missed the fork point and ended up on the Rhyd Ddu path, which didn’t really matter the low clinging clouds offered poor visibility. One reward was Bwlch Main, an exposed knife edge ridge. As we trudged up it there were no views, but a spooky soup of cloud either side of the ridge below us.

The summit seemingly appeared out of nowhere through the mist and cloud. It was a strange alien place, grey, cold, wet but strangely endearing. With the new visitor centre designed to blend from the emerging rock, it looked like a scene from a nuclear winter. We climbed the stone steps up a small crag to the actual summit where a brass plate set in a summit stone listed the various views that abound on a clear day. Wet and getting a little cold, we took shelter in the visitors centre, grabbed a warming coffee and tucked in to our packed lunches. A small souvenir shop proved useful, as amongst the tat were some t-shirts, mine was sodden through.

After a well deserved lunch, we consulted the various routes and headed North along Llanberis, the ‘tourist’ path. Our intention was to fork off west onto the lesser used Snowdon Ranger path, but we missed it by half a mile or so. The Llanberis path looked so dull, we climbed back up in search of the fork. It was a pain in the arse, but well worth it in the end, the Ranger descent was great. The cloud lifted and there were only a handful of other people doing the Ranger route. Eventually we got back to civilisation on the main road, only to discover we’d missed the last Sherpa bus, but a very kind family gave us a ride in their Defender to our car. That evening we stuffed our faces with steak and the next morning headed off to the Lake District, with Scafell Pike, England’s highest peak next on the menu.

After a couple of quiet rambling days we headed for Scafell. Our starting point, Seathwaite proved to be quite elusive. Unknown to us, there are two Seathwaites. We got the wrong one after 3 hours of driving the windy exposed roads from Bowness. Apparently it’s fairly common, sat-navs (& Google maps) take many souls to the wrong place. For reference, make sure you’re heading to the Seathwaite near Seatoller. With the morning wasted, we headed to Coniston and climbed the ‘Old Man’ in mixed weather, which I found very difficult, maybe Snowdon had taken it’s toll.

oldmanconiston01Old Man of Coniston

The next day (Thur 13th) we wearily headed for Scafell again. This time we decided on starting from Wasdale, a shorter route as we felt that the Old Man of Coniston took it out of us. One big bonus was the weather, it was glorious. Wastwater and it’s surrounding area was bathed in sunlight and was jaw-droppingly beautiful. You could spend weeks just exploring the area.

mickledore01Looking back at Mickledore

After suncreaming up, we got going, but immediately my legs weren’t having any of it. I found it difficult to keep up with the others, in the end I gave up trying to keep pace and went at my own speed. Guy hung back with me, so I wasn’t walking solo. We ascended via ‘Brown Tongue’ but we (Guy & myself) took the advice in Wainwrights book and split off right to climb Mickledore. Wainwright wrote something like ‘Mickledore is as magnificent as the other route dull’, he was right, and we were very glad we took this route up. Scrambling up the narrow ridge was great fun, and the instant you reach the top you are rewarded with a stunning view to the west. From here, we walked the narrow ridge of Mickledore towards the flatter boulder strewn top of  the summit. We met up with the others, who had got there ahead of us by some time. The summit was just covered in a thin hazy cloud, with amazing vistas coming and going. It wasn’t an issue as views were plentiful just a few hundred feet below the 978 metres (3209 ft) summit. We all headed down the ‘tourist’ route which was a nice gentle descent back down to our start point. We dumped some gear in the car & headed for the nearby Inn for a well deserved ‘3 peaker celebration’ pint. Brilliant.

scafellpike02Guy & Mike at the trig point on Scafell Pike

I’d like to say a big THANK YOU to whoever handed in my camera to the Coniston Information centre. I left it on a tree stump at the bottom of the Old Man of Coniston walk. I was so glad I got it back, as it held the only photo of all of us at the summit of Snowdon. (Andy – get your arse in gear & send me the pic of us at the top of Scafell Pike :0)).

Written by rufdog

August 31, 2009 at 2:27 pm

When Driving Becomes Writing / The IQ Font

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IQ font – When driving becomes writing / Full making of from wireless on Vimeo.

A couple of talented font designers get together with a pin sharp stunt driver to produce a new font using Toyota’s IQ.

Custom software, designed by interactive artist Zach Lieberman, tracked the IQ from above to produce the final font.

Typographers: Pierre & Damien –
Font Driver: Stef van Campenhoudt
Interactive Artist: Zachary Lieberman –

FlickR Photographs


Written by rufdog

July 18, 2009 at 10:04 am

Posted in Design

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