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Blog Entry – April 10th 2016

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Along with this website and the Legendary Dartmoor Facebook page it has been suggested that I begin to publish a blog. Now there is a question, what’s the difference between a webpage and a blog? The Oxford dictionary defines a blog as being; “A regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or controversial style.” OK, well my Legendary Dartmoor website is run by an individual, i.e. Me, it’s regularly updated but, and a big but, I would say it’s written in a formal(ish) and non-controversial(ish) style so that means it’s a 50/50 chance of being either. However I do love the word ‘controversial’ and in general it’s something I try to avoid on the website unless something really gets my goat. So maybe a ‘blog’ can be a platform for the more contentious Dartmoor related issues and views to be discussed on a more personal level?

For instance, whilst researching the recent webpage on Dartmoor Memorials I thought it would be an idea to get the Dartmoor National Park Authority’s official protocol on siting memorials. So as one does I sent them a polite email asking that very question on the 18th of April. I was warned at the time that it may take up to 10 working days to receive a reply which I suppose in these days of cut-backs and funding reductions is fair enough. Now, if there is such a thing as ‘mathslexic’ then that’s me so with the help of a calculator and a calendar I eventually came to the conclusion that after 23 days I still have not had a reply. Again with the aid of the calculator I deducted 10 from 23 and realised that my reply is nearly 2 weeks overdue! Could this be down to the fact that on several occasions I have contentiously pissed them off and at the very sight of my name the delete button is immediately pushed? Perhaps I will try sending a recorded letter to see if that gets any response – contentious or what?

On a personal note, I have just realised that maybe this is not the best time to begin blogging as it clearly states in the definition of a blog that they must be regularly updated and all of next week will be spent at a sales conference. So what, don’t all hotels have internet access you may well ask? In many cases they do but not when the hotel in which we are staying is located at the Kruger National Park in South Africa. Aren’t we luckily, well if you think out of 5 days, 3 days will be travelling, 1 day involved with the actual sales meeting and 1 day doing exciting things is lucky then go ahead you. Don’t think I’m being ungrateful but 1 day spent at Longleat Safari Park would provide excellent encounters with African wildlife and there would be no need to take malaria tablets – just a point.

Oh, I’m off on one now – malaria tablets. Having never had to take one before, not even when visiting the notorious Dartmoor Fishlake Mire, I just assumed one popped into Boots and they would be somewhere around the suntan lotion area. Believe me, they’re not, one has to see the pharmacist who will then take up at least 30 minutes of your precious time. Where are you going? How long are you staying for? Are you taking any medication? Are you suffering from any of the following 78 conditions? What is your weight? Have you had the necessary vaccinations? etc. Each answer had to be typed with a single digit into the computer until finally it said yes. Then one is give an option of three brands of tablets ranging from £19 to £48 and here’s a case of you get what you pay for. From what I can remember in my trance-like state the cheap ones you take for a week before departing, throughout the stay and for 4 weeks after returning. So what, they are only tablets one might say. But when you see the A4 sheet of side effects, all of which appear worse that contracting malaria one does tend to go for the more expensive options with much shorter treatment periods.

Ah well, there you go, blog post number 1. Providing I am not mauled by a lion, bitten by a puff adder, taken hostage by some African terrorist group, trampled by an elephant, eaten by a crocodile or contracted malaria (because I forgot to take the tablets) I will post again on my return. By the way, my family always liken me to Victor Meldrew, say that my glass is always half empty and unless I have my glasses (beer normally) on I can never see the bright side of life – just in case you haven’t already guessed.

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About Tim Sandles

Tim Sandles is the founder of Legendary Dartmoor

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