Archive for April, 2013

Imagine waking up to this every morning:

Imagine waking up to this every morning

Imagine waking up to this every morning

Now – I’ve only had the privilege of working at Real and Smooth Ltd. for just under a year – but in that time I’ve seen a large number of initiatives but I just don’t think anything quite compares to the hype and excitement that the 5 peaks challenge is generating. I have a feeling it’s somewhat down to the way in which it was delivered and presented – thanks in no small part to Ed Stafford and Michael McIntyre at the RSL Conference.

Not only does it have people excited – it also has people keen to get out there and experience the beautiful countryside the UK has to offer and above all, feel fitter and healthier. And, on a personal note I’m getting to blog… a step in the right direction of a lifelong dream to become a journalist maybe? Anyone?!

No? Oh well, back to the topic in hand then.

A little update on Team Scotland:

LP is currently still sunning herself in the Canaries and, last I heard: “I’m drinking wine, eating tasty food and partying till the early hours… I may die!”

Alison reckons that her stony silence on the matter is purely down to a case of what us Scots call “canny-be-arsed-itis” in replying to emails rather than the confidence of actually doing the challenge. Although I was somewhat reassured this morning as I understand she has now purchased walking boots. Pink they may be, but walking boots nonetheless. Now she is going to spend 2 weeks wearing them as slippers around the living room to wear them in.

Karen is currently on a “30 day squat challenge” which has resulted in her making some really odd movements around the office – prompting all kinds of hilarity. I’ll say no more.

Rob has been busy sorting out the office for the impending loss of Phil “The Crack” Reed – but he’s a fitness buff anyway – can’t see him having huge issues. Incidentally – a big shout out to Rob Crumlish is required here as he has already raised and broken the initial £150 per head fundraising target – well done mate!

Gerry is using his influential skills on the programming side of things to get us a mention or two on Smooth Glasgow and Real XS Glasgow – so hopefully, when the time is right, we’ll generate a bit of publicity on that one.

James – Our resident mountain goat was out climbing in a blizzard this weekend – he’s the one you want to be respecting – check out a couple of images from his walk of Tarmachan Ridge on Sunday… can’t believe he’s still smiling!

James 1 James 2

And as for me… well I’ve been racking my brains as to where I should go on Saturday. It really is a tough choice to make when you live where we do. I’m thinking about going walking around Applecross this weekend and driving the Bealach Na’Ba – it’s a 6hr drive north of here but boy is it worth it

This video was taken the last time I drove up there with Michelle!

So, those photo’s serve to highlight all the beauty that our country has to offer – including Snowdonia and Wasdale Head.

For those of you that fancy an extra challenge… fàilte gu Alba, as we say up here!

For further information and blogs, please visit:

Alison McDonald:

Steve Dunbobbin:

Charley Dwyer:

Finally, I’d also like to wish good luck to Gemma Mainprize and the rest of the team at Real Radio Yorkshire who are taking part in the most hardcore of training this weekend – a marathon! Best of luck!


Well hello!

I’d completely forgotten I had a blog – so thought I’d make use of it for training stories for our 5 peaks challenge.

Firstly, if you are reading this blog expecting to be entertained or wowed by the prowess of my literary skills… I suggest you leave and go visit – he’s the man with the creativity!

Anyway, Team Scotland for the Real and Smooth 5 peaks challenge consists of:

Myself – Local Market Analyst
James Stephens – Agency Account Manager
Karen Hodgson – Smooth Glasgow Account Manager
Lynn Proudfoot – Local Enterprise Manager
Gerry Burke – Head of Presentation, Smooth Glasgow and 96.3 Real XS Glasgow
Robert Crumlish – IT Engineer
Alison McDonald – Broadcast Journalist

As far as I know we all have a fairly decent level of fitness / love of the countryside. James and I both share a passion for hiking/climbing/the great outdoors – although I think I’m on my own with the fell running.

Karen and LP both like getting out and about as far as I know and are both pretty fit – Gerry enjoys Roamin’ in the Gloamin’ and Robert is a bit of an ironman.
Alison on the other hand… I genuinely have no idea about – but she’s not showing any signs of fear which leads me to suggest she’s more than capable!

Here’s some images from the walk I did at the weekend – Ben Vorlich and Stuc A’Chroin – near Lochearnhead in Perthshire… we can’t not train properly here… did you know that 40 out of the top 50 tallest peaks in the UK (including the entire top ten) are in Scotland? The walk I did at the weekend climbed the 165th and and 182nd highest peaks in Scotland… quite a frightening statistic given that one is taller and the other is the almost identical altitude as Scafell Pike, the tallest of the five in our challenge.

As you can see I was only taking it half seriously… but given there were 70mph gusts and ice/snow on the peak, it would be feckless of me to say I wasn’t prepared. I should advise every single person in this group that if you are planning on doing these training walks on your own, make sure you are prepared:

1. Make sure you tell a friend/family member where you are going, how long you expect to be and when you expect to return.
a good thing to do as well is leave a note on your dashboard of the car with a contact number and ETA of return in case anything goes wrong.

2. EMERGENCY RATIONS – Energy Bars, Chocolate, Pepperami’s – Water and Lucozade Sport are all great to have to hand in case you get lost/stuck

3. A mobile phone – sounds stupid? Lots of people leave it in the car

4. A compass / GPS unit – you can download GPX Lite or similar for your iPhone/Smartphone.

5. A torch in case you take a lot longer than needed.

6. Layers, and lots of – cover your face, neck and body in the event you get stuck on the top. Especially on the higher peaks – the weather can change at a moments notice (as you can see from the photo’s).

7. If you are doing anything over 7-800m at this time of year – I’d suggest you also take crampons and a pick as I required both at the weekend.

Sorry that’s the serious bit over… I personally witnessed a hiker lose their balance and tumble over 100ft down a snow covered hill to a ledge on Saturday – it’s more common than you think.
TAKE CARE PEOPLE – I don’t want to hear of people being reckless!

Anyway, back to the fun… I thought I’d take a video and make an inspirational speech – only, as you can hear… it was quite windy. The best script for this film mailed to me by Friday close of play will win a prize of my choosing