The Life of Leviathan – Depression, Bullying, Fatigue and Other Obstacles Watch

Leviathan1741
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Hey guys! I hope you're all doing well! The next chapter of Arran is here! This is the second longest one. I've tried to keep it relatively short, I hope I don't bore you too much!

31st March – Day 1 – Catacol to Lochranza

The next morning, we woke up at 6.45am. My back and neck were aching from sitting on the coach the day before, and little did I know, that pain was going to become much, much worse as the week went on. I got out of bed and looked out of the window, curious to see what our view was like. It was morbid to say the least. Instead of a picturesque view of the loch and surrounding moorland like I had expected, we instead had a view of the neighbouring graveyard. Lovely!

We got dressed and used the time left before breakfast to unpack our suitcases and gather everything we’d need for the day. We went down for breakfast at 8.30am. There was a decent selection of food on offer to choose from: coco pops, rice snaps, cornflakes, Weetabix, toast and fruit. The problem was, I didn’t really like any of the breakfast options, so I took a chance and went for the Weetabix, which I immediately regretted and spent the rest of the morning feeling sick.

During breakfast, one of the other members of staff read out the names of the students who would be in each group, along with which classroom they would be based in for evening classes. I was put in the same group as Rachel, which was a huge relief. I didn’t know the majority of the other kids, and most of the ones I DID know weren’t really my type of people at all. After the last group was read out, Kate told us to go and get our rucksacks and meet in our respective classrooms at 9.30am.

After breakfast, we went back to our rooms and pulled on our walking boots. I didn’t actually have my own walking boots, so I had taken mum’s and hoped they would fit. Thankfully,we have similar sized feet, so size wasn’t really an issue. One thing I did notice, however, was that the left shoe was rubbing against my ankle, but I tried my best to ignore it. I didn’t have any other shoes to wear, so there was nothing I could do about it anyway.

Once we had assembled in our classroom, Kate laid down the rules about not using mobile phones or generally misbehaving, and gave us a lesson on how to fill in our field notebooks. Our other field instructor, John, also gave everyone little plastic bags containing a piece of chalk, a steel nail, a hand lens, a compass clinometer and a double-sided card showing grain sizes and shapes. When the lesson was over, we traipsed outside and were given one final introductory talk. Kate said that we would be walking for 40 minutes to reach our first destination, Catacol, causing my head to explode with horror (not literally, thankfully!).

About ten minutes into the journey, my feet were already starting to complain. I could feel a blister forming on my left foot, and I knew I’d made a mistake bringing mum’s walking boots instead of getting some of my own. It was bitterly cold with a brisk wind, which definitely wasn’t helping my asthma. Twenty minutes later, I honestly thought I was going to pass out. My lungs and chest were burning horribly and I was finding it difficult to walk straight. I was sweating buckets despite the cold, and my blister was getting more painful with every step.

After what seemed like an eternity, we finally made it to Catacol, our first port of call for the day. By that point, it had started to rain and the wind had picked up considerably. Kate pointed out a dyke (an igneous intrusion, not a lesbian!) which was visible on the side of a hill in the distance, and asked us to draw a sketch of it. I wished I’d brought my glasses with me, because it meant everything was blurry, although I wasn’t exactly sure where I was supposed to be looking anyway, so it didn’t matter much. When we were finished, Kate told us we were going on another walk. While we were walking to Catacol, it hadn’t really occurred to me that we were going to have to walk BACK as well.

Thankfully, we got to have a few breaks on the walk back. After walking back the way we came for about fifteen minutes, Kate took us onto a little pebbly beach and explained how to measure the dips and strikes of beds. She then set us the task of measuring ten dips and strikes, which was made even more difficult by the fact that a) it was now extremely windy, and b) the ground was incredibly uneven and there were rock pools everywhere. As I attempted to step over one of them, I accidentally dropped my field notebook into the water. Luckily though, it was waterproof and amazingly, it did actually stay dry.

We stopped again about ten minutes later, and this time we had to duck under a railing and climb down onto another beach. Kate pointed out a large boulder, and explained that it had quartz veins running through it. We drew a sketch of it, and climbed back onto the path. We wandered a little further before stopping for a lunch break. I took the opportunity to use the public toilet, which wasn’t a terribly pleasant experience. I was too scared to try and close the door all the way because it was so stiff, in case it didn’t open again. I also noticed that there were dead flies and spider’s webs all over the place, there were even some dead flies stuck to the toilet paper! By the time I got out, lunch was pretty much over, so I didn’t get the chance to eat anything substantial.

When Lochranza Field Centre came back into view, I initially felt a great sense of relief. But when Kate and John marched right past it and showed no signs of slowing down, my heart sank. By then we’d been out for about 3 hours already, and I was in serious need of a rest and some food. Throughout the day, more blisters had formed on both of my little toes, and the pain was excruciating. We walked for a further half an hour, and went down onto another beach for more dip and strike practice. For some reason, I kept getting a strike of 20, but by then I was too tired to care (it later turned out that I was reading from the black arrow, not the red arrow. I mean, how was I supposed to know?).

But the day wasn’t over. After measuring umpteen dips and strikes, Kate then lead us to a rocky outcrop and told us to use the items we’d been given in our plastic bags to write macro and micro descriptions of the rock, including colour, grain size and shape, composition etc, and also asked us to have a go at identifying what sort of rock it was. Somehow I’d managed to lose my pen, so when Kate and John went through the answers; I prayed they wouldn’t ask me as I hadn’t actually written anything down.

Finally, we began our journey back to the field centre. I was cold, tired and starving, and I was so glad to get inside that I had to stop myself from running to get there faster. This time, dinner consisted of pea soup (which I skipped) for a starter and spaghetti as a main.

At seven o’clock, we went to our classroom for our first evening class. Kate went over what we’d done during the day and gave us a lesson on rock types and geological structures.The lesson ended early at 8.00pm, because everyone was really tired by then,and unable to concentrate properly. Rachel and I went up to our room, and got into bed at about 10.30pm.

I seriously hoped that tomorrow wouldn’t be so full on. But of course, I was wrong.

The photos:
The view from our room
The view across to Kintyre from Catacol
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Paracosm
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#162
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Have I ever told you… just how much I love this blog?
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Leviathan1741
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(Original post by iEthan)
Have I ever told you… just how much I love this blog?
Aww really?! Thank you Ethan!
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Plagioclase
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How have I not seen this before?!?! Can you add me to your quote list please?
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Paracosm
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(Original post by Leviathan1741)
Aww really?! Thank you Ethan!
Yes! You put so much care, thought and effort into it! No need to thank, honest
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Leviathan1741
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(Original post by Plagioclase)
How have I not seen this before?!?! Can you add me to your quote list please?
Of course I can! I'm glad you like it!
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FrenchUnicorn
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(Original post by Leviathan1741)
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Hiiii :woo:
Aw it still brings a lot of memories :love:
I am sorry to hear that you felt uncomfortable that day \: and I have asthma as well I can relate :console:
I love that bottom pic omg *O* :love:
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Leviathan1741
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(Original post by FrenchUnicorn)
Hiiii :woo:
Aw it still brings a lot of memories :love:
I am sorry to hear that you felt uncomfortable that day \: and I have asthma as well I can relate :console:
I love that bottom pic omg *O* :love:
Hi FrenchUnicorn!
Asthma is awful isn't it?! I'm sorry to hear you suffer from it as well! :hugs:
I'm happy you like it! I still have some better ones (in my opinion at least!) left to post though!
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FrenchUnicorn
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(Original post by Leviathan1741)
Hi FrenchUnicorn!
Asthma is awful isn't it?! I'm sorry to hear you suffer from it as well! :hugs:
I'm happy you like it! I still have some better ones (in my opinion at least!) left to post though!
Yes it is I am runner ( :love: ) and sometimes I can't go really far without fainting lol but what can we do but try to be fabulous anyway :lol:

Oh really ?? Can't wait to see them :mmm:
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Leviathan1741
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(Original post by FrenchUnicorn)
Yes it is I am runner ( :love: ) and sometimes I can't go really far without fainting lol but what can we do but try to be fabulous anyway :lol:

Oh really ?? Can't wait to see them :mmm:
Exactly haha!
Yep! I will be posting them on Thursday hopefully!
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Blackstarr
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Wow.
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Leviathan1741
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(Original post by Blackstarr)
Wow.
Not sure if that's sarcasm? :confused:
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FrenchUnicorn
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(Original post by Leviathan1741)
Exactly haha!
Yep! I will be posting them on Thursday hopefully!
Look forward to it :yep:
:jive: :jive: :jive:
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Blackstarr
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(Original post by Leviathan1741)
Not sure if that's sarcasm? :confused:
Nope,

Know one would have guessed someone like you will go through all this.
That is what I was trying to point out.

Anyway, I have been there so you are definitely not alone.
I hope things work out and always seek help if you need to
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Leviathan1741
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(Original post by Blackstarr)
Nope,

Know one would have guessed someone like you will go through all this.
That is what I was trying to point out.

Anyway, I have been there so you are definitely not alone.
I hope things work out and always seek help if you need to
Oh I see! I'm sorry to hear you've had a similar experience, I hope things are better for you now! :hugs:
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thefarmerswife
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I have just stumbled across this thread. I live over the water from Arran and know it very well, so looking forward to seeing how this trip develops...
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Leviathan1741
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(Original post by thefarmerswife)
I have just stumbled across this thread. I live over the water from Arran and know it very well, so looking forward to seeing how this trip develops...
I hope you enjoy it!
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Plagioclase
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(Original post by Leviathan1741)
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Looking forward to more photos to trip my nostalgia! I love your writing style by the way.
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Leviathan1741
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(Original post by Plagioclase)
Looking forward to more photos to trip my nostalgia! I love your writing style by the way.
There are plenty more to come! Thank you!!
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Matrix123
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Leviathan1741 Wow! Great writing skills - you documented that really well (I know it's getting a bit boring as I say it every time but it's true! ) The journey there did sound awful with the asthma and blister. The view looks amazing though so you really were rewarded for your hard work :yep: A real cliff hanger here...can't wait to find out what happened the next day :awesome:
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