Walk like a man…

Well, maybe not. There was a serious amount of chaffing going on yesterday after The Kiltwalk, some guys just don’t learn ! (Boys – wear pants under your kilts and use Vaseline!)

So, 27th April has been and gone, as has another Kiltwalk. I’m delighted to say team In It To Gin It survived, and apart from a few minor ailments, are all in one piece today. Which, considering my lack of training, is quite impressive. The day before was my birthday and I spent it enjoying some hospitality at Glasgow Warriors, watching them beat Edinburgh to win the 1872 cup. There were a few alcoholic beverages taken and a rather nice meal, so more #wilmastraining than Kiltwalk training! However, it was another superb day from start to finish, quality banter with Geraldine and Sandra and plenty of money raised.

We started at The Hydro this year and am sure we gave some of the locals a fright, 6000 people in kilts strolling along Dumbarton Road isn’t your average Sunday morning. As always, the charity pit stops were great – our favourites being the sausage and tomato crisps, orange quarters, fizzy cola bottles and flying saucers – just what us athletes needed.

The locals who come out along the way to cheer us on and offer support are fab – although I can’t believe I missed the famous ‘pop ups’ – superb to see them and their banner at the end ! One of the highlights for me was as we got to Bonhill bridge we could hear music, we thought someone on the bridge was playing it, but turns out it was Des and Louise McFarlane belting out the tunes themselves in their garden to give us a wee boost ! Check them out on Facebook – they were great!

Balloch was overrun with Kiltwalkers and the park was full, with free burgers and goody bags as well as the party in the marquee. Believe it or not, after 23 miles the Kiltwalkers still have the energy to sing, dance and enjoy a beer or two!

The senior members of In It To Gin It did us proud by completing the 13 mile half walk – would be rude to mention their ages, but let’s just say over 70. Top effort by Mammy Coleman and Aunty Anne.

Special mention to the team behind the Kiltwalk who make it all happen – Carey the CEO was still cheering people through the finish line when we left at 930pm and Zoey felt the need to show us photos of her blistered feet today – thanks for that ! Rumour has it that Ian Rutherford is signing up for all the other Kiltwalks this year to avoid being given chores – and a blue jacket…

A massive well done to Rhionna McCulloch – she’s 10 and did the full 23 miles – with a rucksack full of Easter eggs that was seriously heavy! Superb achievement🙂

And thanks to you guys for sponsoring us and helping along the way – Michelle Rodger did phone to check up on us, but we know it was only because she thought it might finish us off and she had her eye on my new handbag ! The twitter and Facebook messages were highly entertaining as always. If you haven’t sponsored us yet, it’s not too late – we’ll keep our page open a bit longer. http://t.co/RGoTrN1Zwn

Same time next year, girls ?



It’s Raining Again

Aye, Supertramp weren’t kidding when they sang that. Must have been about Glasgow. Having spent the rest of the weekend concentrating on #wilmastraining, I decided today I really had to start my Kiltwalk training. I know which was the easiest ! Friday was a big day – top notch lunch at Red Onion (and I didn’t have a prosecco Chef Q!) then a night in Shanghai Shuffle courtesy of our chums at Scullion Law. Safe to say there were many drinks taken and much dancing done – I blame Kathleen McDermott Carberry for the superb song choices – I mean, who can sit down when ‘Proud Mary’ is on? Must count as exercise🙂

But back to today. It wasn’t raining when I got up, but that didn’t last long. After some domestic chores and a visit to the Grandparents it wasn’t too wet, so I thought I’d set off, trainers and Bonny Bling bunnet on for the first time since last April. As I don’t do hills – in fact the only walking I’ve done in the last 10 months has been from the house to the car – I decided to leave the car at the start of the Dams to Darnley walk and trot round the dam. Off I popped, singing along to some classic 80’s tunes. All good. Until 15 minutes later when the heavens opened and the rain started pissing down. Not good. But then the hail stones started. Along with the bad language. Not a happy Duff. But – I carried on, 3km in all, although I really had no choice if I wanted to get back to the car. So, soaked and grumpy I headed home thinking of the lovely warm shower I could have… only to arrive back and be told the shower was out of bounds as my Dad had re- sealed it !! Is it any wonder I take a drink ??

However, a big coffee, couple of hours in the office and Sunday roast at McPhabbs with Geraldine have sorted me out. Now I just need you lovely people to make a wee donation to our Kiltwalk fundraising page – that would make my day !



Here you come again…

Dolly Parton had it right when she sang “just when I’ve begun to get myself together”. The Kiltwalk 2013 has been over for 9 months and the pain of those 28 or so miles (not that we’re counting!) is all but a memory. And here I am, digging out the trainers and thinking about getting some practice for this year in. I say thinking about it, it did coincide with a box of Krispy Kreme donuts in the office on Friday and a big night out involving gin, vodka and red bull. So, my training will commence next weekend instead. Despite another night out on Friday. And the Six Nations. Not that I’m procrastinating – no way! And I’ve 83 days, surely that’s plenty ?

Team In It To Gin It’s fundraising page is almost up and running, so get ready to dig deep – it’s all for the kiddies🙂 And anyone who’d like to join our team, please get in touch.

Any donations of things we can raffle etc would also be most welcome!



Walking all over the world…

Well, not quite all over the world, but who knows what’s next for the Kiltwalk – I hope Carey’s going for world domination🙂

Having just come back down to earth after the Hampden Kiltwalk, it was back to old clothes and porridge for Duff. Well, it can’t be all glamour ! Actually, in the last few weeks quite a bit of it has been, so no complaints🙂 Had a most pleasant and unexpected evening out with clients, which started with me showing them round the flat they’d bought in the West End with champagne and ended with dinner at their brother’s house, which has probably the best roof terrace in Glasgow. Good times.

The following night was the Beatson Sporting Dinner at The Hilton, courtesy of Zoe and Brewin Dolphin – a cracking night, which raised plenty of money and had great speakers in Frank Bruno and Andy Nicol. There was much banter (particularly from Maxine) and even more wine, all part of #wilmastraining🙂

The following week brought an invite from the lovely Alison at the Kiltwalk, to the CHAS Ladies Lunch at Oranmor. Am a fan of Oranmor. And lunch ! Was a top notch afternoon. Alas, Zoe couldn’t join me, but Maxine stood in beautifully. It was hosted by the legend that is Cat Harvey – we even had her do a wee slosh on stage for some extra dosh. Rumour has it that when it’s for charity there’s nothing she won’t do… Also on form and in fine singing voice was Michelle McManus, a top girl, with superb self deprecating humour. Ask her about Superdrug if you see her… Met some lovely ladies from TACC, Sunday Post and Lomond Shores too. Clearly 430pm was too early a finish, so we went for cocktails and forced big Gav to come and join us. A 12 hour lunch is the way forward. And over ÂŁ8000 was raised, so a great result.

And back to reality. The Kiltwalk were looking for a hand with some stewarding for the Edinburgh walk yesterday, so I volunteered the services of myself and my Dad. It was a smashing day out. We avoided the rain in the morning and manned our spots not far from the finish at Murrayfield for 4 hours – just arriving in time to see the first finisher ! Despite walking all those miles, the majority of the 1500 faces that passed us were still smiling and in some cases singing. And even the ones who were in pain were determined to finish. There were people of all ages, babies being pushed in buggies and one lady who I am told was 85 – she looked great ! The walk had been started by Scottish rugby superstar Chris Paterson, who was full of smiles and chat and posed for photos and autographs. It was nice that STV took notice this time, hopefully they’ll do the same for the remaining 3 Kiltwalks this year🙂 My favourite bit of the day had to be my Dad, full of importance in his hi-vis stewards vest, refusing to let people park at his spot, as there were walkers crossing the road. He loved it! We left before the last walkers returned, but I’m sure they were greeted with open arms by Alison, Carey, Ian etc – who did a superb job🙂

And now a shameless plug. Our fundraising site closes tomorrow, so all last minute donations are very welcome – and thanks so much to all who have donated already. Seeing the photos of the kids that the money goes to help on the route yesterday really makes you want to do more. We still have a signed copy of the SAY nominated ‘Tree Bursts in Snow’ cd donated by Admiral Fallow – we’ll put everyone in a draw tomorrow to win it.




We did it!!!!

Yup, it’s true. Kiltwalk 2013 well and truly in the bag. And what’s more, we have witnesses!! And the aches and pains too. But what a day. Despite the fact I couldn’t get out of bed yesterday other than to throw up, I still had a great time. And I do believe I speak for the rest of team In It To Gin It, Geraldine (@ginorgym) and Mark (@gymguymark). Alas Michelle (@tartancat) and Amanda (@nowaffle) were invalided out (probably something to do with their age or incontinence), but it did mean we didn’t have to listen to Michelle’s singing for 8 hours – although she did phone and threaten it !

Our last training walk hadn’t gone well, it was a manky, rainy day so we went to the gym rather than walk outside. I am convinced I have an allergy to gyms, they really don’t agree with me. We managed 4 miles on the treadmill before we gave up and headed back to Michelle’s to whinge and eat soup. All in all not a great last training session !

However, we are made of strong stuff. Geraldine and I did a spot of #wilmastraining on Friday, had some lunch and a stroll round the shops in the West End. Then it was early nights all round on Saturday, Ian (@cribfather) was monitoring the Kiltwalkers on social media sites and forcing us to get the lights out and off to bed, so we didn’t argue. Well, not much. I was painting my nails tartan at the time, so was difficult to type back to him🙂

The alarm was set for 630am on Sunday, gear was all looked out and bag packed. It was pishing
with rain in true Glasgow fashion, so I was delighted with my ÂŁ2.50 fluorescent jacket and my Bonnie Bling hat (@bonnie_bling) to keep the rain off. I’d talked my Dad into driving my car back from Hampden, so he came along to take photos and see what it was all about. So much so that he’s considering the 13 miles next year ! However, the highlight of his day (and by the look of it, lots of other people’s too) was meeting Boaby the barman from Still Game – the legend that is Gavin Mitchell (@gavsterno1). I’d asked Gavin to come along and join in our Kiltwalk warm up of the slosh as “he lives his life through the medium of dance” – and top boy that he is, after a bit of chat with Cat Harvey, a huge Kiltwalk supporter (@realewenandcat) he decided to do the full walk!

Slightly tense moment for Duff at Hampden when Cat said “if you just turn round with your back to the crowd when you’re doing the slosh” … Brilliant – almost 3000 people looking at my backside while I slosh on the terrace at Hampden. Managed to position Cat’s pal Anne and Gavin in front of me, so hoping the footage of that isn’t too bad. Shaun Ward (@shaun_ward) was there taking photos with his team, who were on the route and at the finish line – have seen some fab ones already, watch out for the feature in the Sunday Post on 28th. Shame that STV were asked to come along to Hampden and declined, clearly reporting on football and giant burgers were of more interest than people raising ÂŁ500,000 for Scottish charities.

We trooped out of Hampden in the rain with the pipes, including the award winning Spud (@spudthepiper) and drums giving it lady, and the banter started. We kept up a steady pace, in fact if it wasn’t for Mark’s incredibly small bladder we’d probably have been a lot quicker ! The chat was great and everyone was well up for it, nice and friendly. There was a great game of shag, marry, throw over a cliff going on at one stage – with some shocking answers, but comedy gold. Am naming no names…

The stewards were all nice, happy smiley and encouraging and the charity pit stops full of goodies. Was lovely to see so many people out supporting, including the couple who kept popping up at various points along the way and were at the finish line too. As predicted by Dougie Baird (@bairdtravels), the sun came out when we got to Clydebank and stayed out the rest of the way – lovely walking conditions. Loads of great people watching – loved the guy in full drag queen make up and wig. And an amazing array of kilts, along with leg colours – mainly Scottish pale blue, but some spectacular fake tan mistakes which kept us well entertained.

We got to the finishing line at Lomond Shores without any real pain issues, the ibuprofen on the way round was an excellent idea – and were greeted by the Coleman girls and a top notch In It To Gin It banner, complete with fairy lights! They were more emotional than we were. So many supporters cheering everyone on at the finishing line – was great to see.

And then time for a beer. It was special Kiltwalk beer, so it was our duty. Was great to catch up with the others in the marquee, Darren (@jeangebbie) and the Beerhunters were on good form, Gavin was ready to do another walk, Ashley (@ashley4d4mson) had sped round so fast she’d been there for hours, Kayleigh who was having bum issues and we missed the MacRoberts team, who’d headed to the pub already ! Loved that Jill had foot trouble and had to go buy some old lady shoes, which were not the most attractive, but the tequila rose that Trish had helped ease the pain. You have to try this stuff – Tequila and Baileys, tastes like strawberry milkshake.

The atmosphere in the marquee was fab, great music from a range of people, including a live performance of the cracking version of ’26 miles’ by Gary and Maiya Speirs, the crowd loved it and there were plenty of tears too.

Despite the walk, there were plenty of us throwing shapes on the dance floor, in my case thanks to the beer, gin and wine consumed. And we lasted til the 1030pm bus, which was most impressive. Carey outdid us by getting the last bus, but then again he probably hadn’t done much all day! Couldn’t resist that🙂

So, it’s all over. Yesterday was a painful day, but bearing in mind how unfit I am, was totally expected and deserved. And today I’m grand, so all is well. And more importantly, we’ve raised over ÂŁ2000 for some very worthy charities. We’re keeping our page open for a bit longer, so if anyone wants to make a donation they still can, and we’d really appreciate it.


Have a look at the Kiltwalk pages on Facebook and read some of the stories about the kids and families that the money raised will help – heartbreaking and inspiring.


Huge plaudits to the Kiltwalk team, Carey, Ian and all the others for the huge amount of work and organisation it must have taken – I hadn’t realised the scale of it until Sunday. Top boys.

And on a final note – registration for 2014 opens on 1st May – go on, get a team together and do it. If I can do it, and even enjoy it – so can you !!



It’s a miracle

Yup. Not just the title of one of my favourite songs by the wonderful Trashcan Sinatras, http://youtu.be/KNUwSvy_ivw, but it most certainly is a miracle that I managed to walk 8 miles and am still alive to tell the tale.

And yes, I do have a witness – step forward Michelle (@tartancat). Well, maybe not step forward, as she hadn’t taken Ian (@cribfather)’s words of wisdom “it’s all about the socks” to heart and ended up with a manky blister. #attentionseeking

On Saturday morning we donned our walking gear and set off from Kilmacolm to Bridge of Weir along the cycle path at a decent pace – we talk fast, so we walk fast, and we didn’t stop off at any pubs along the way. Honest ! We grabbed a coffee on the hoof at the halfway point, then about turned and headed back. Took just about 2 hours, which wasn’t bad going. And the only casualty (other than the aforementioned blister) was our hair. Both of us being ‘blessed” with curly hair, the drizzly rain en route hadn’t left us looking our most gorgeous. And no, there are no photos !

So, we’re getting there. I’m sure the chicken korma, rice and pakora I had on Friday night was preparation enough. The last time I walked 8 miles was in primary school, so not that long ago really – it’ll all come back to me soon.

Next weekend’s training includes watching Scotland v Ireland at Murrayfield, therefore a few dry sherries are on the cards. But watching sport is just the same as partaking isn’t it ? It is on #wilmastraining🙂

Also, a big thanks to those who have already donated to our Team In It to Gin it page – and if you haven’t you can do so here,
every little helps !


Is this the way to Costa coffee?

Ah, well. It’s ten weeks to the Kilt Walk. Ten fecking weeks!!! And I can’t walk the length of myself. And I’m a shortarse.

So, after a day off work on Friday, mainly spent shopping at the Cadbury shop in Livingston – I decided that Saturday would be the day my trainers ventured outside for the first time. And they did. I’m not so good at walking for no good reason, so decided to head for the new drive through Costa at Darnley, a 5.6 mile roundtrip.

And I did it! Bored the pants off everyone on twitter as I tweeted my way along, but it took my mind off the walking – result 🙂 And rather than sit and drink my coffee, I just bought it and carried on. I have to admit to only talking my bank card with me to pay, if I had cash I might have been tempted to to get a bus back. Because I am a lazy git.

Clearly I am not a new wumman, I have had 2 big bowls of macaroni cheese and lots of sweetie shrimps and bananas for dinner. But only to replace the calories I might have lost earlier. And although I did buy some new socks for walking (“it’s all about the socks”, @Cribfather, 2013) I also bought bacon, rolls and a new dress for work. So still the old Duff.

Was worth it just to see the look on Dad’s face when he realised I’d left the house under my own steam for probably the first time ever! And if I don’t have Elle McPherson’s legs by April …