Martin in Gatineau Park

Martin in Gatineau Park

Friday, 9 January 2009

Snowdonia

0901GarneddGoch

We are away for a few days on a cookery course.  So blogging is not at the forefront of our agenda.

At about this time last year we were trotting along the Nantlle Ridge.  Here is Sue, with John Shipton lagging behind, on the approach to Garnedd Goch, with just a touch of cloud over Snowdon's summit behind us.

It'll be a bit warmer in the kitchen!

Thursday, 8 January 2009

A Trip to Salford Quays

0501reflectionWhen I arrived in Manchester as a student I visited the docks at Salford.  One of my cousins was a merchant seaman and his boat was docked there.  It was an interesting excursion into a world that I've never revisited.  I remember comparing his cramped living quarters with my tiny room in St Anselm's hall of residence - my home for two years.

I have revisited the scene of our rendezvous many times, and have witnessed the area being cleared of the hustle and bustle of the merchant shipping and redeveloped as offices and leisure facilities, as well as high rise housing.

Monday's visit to Salford Quays, as they are now known, to replenish essential supplies from a factory shop, was blessed with superb weather.  The reflections from the glass laden office block across the bridge from the Lowry Centre were brilliant - better than any filter or distortion that Photoshop might come up with.

0502building
A 180° turn switches one's outlook to this fine suspension bridge.

0503bridge   0504bridge2 From the Lowry Centre side of the bridge the new(ish) Imperial War Museum North stands rather starkly before you - on this day the huge tower of the museum was acting as a massive reflector of the low sun.  This link provides more information on the architecture etc.

0505museum1The Lowry Centre - housing theatres and (I think) the largest single exhibition of Lowry's iconic paintings - was largely in the shade of a giant block of flats at the time of our visit.

0506lowry

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Drop Scones

0404dropsconesWe've enjoyed these scones twice this year, first on New Year's Day after our return from the hoar frost of the Sandstone Trail.  Our stalwart house minders (they've been busy over the past year), Andrea and Thomas, joined us and very much enjoyed this little treat, so I promised to put the recipe on the web site.  But before doing that an image was required, and we had eaten them all.  So I  made some more the other day.

The recipe was given to me by my mother when I headed off to be a student at UMIST, in the days when steam trains still huffed and puffed along the viaduct that splits the Sackville Street campus. 

The scones take a good 5 minutes to make, so they can be produced whilst the kettle boils - highly recommended as a mid afternoon snack at this time of year.

Drop Scones

4 oz (110 gm) plain flour
2 level teaspoons baking powder
1 oz (30 gm) caster sugar
pinch of salt
1 egg
¼ pint (140 ml) milk
1 tablespoonful of cooking oil (keeps scones moist)

Sieve together all the dry ingredients.
Beat in the egg, then the milk.
Stir in the cooking oil.

Grease and heat a griddle (or frying pan).

Test by dropping a small spoonful of mixture onto the griddle.
If it bubbles the griddle is ready.

This simple recipe makes about 20 scones. They soon go!
If you double the quantities, don't double the amount of baking powder.

Even the Pie Man should cope with this one!

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Sunday 4 January 2009 - Dunham Massey

0401dunham Today's short burst of exercise involved a 5 km stroll around the park and canal by Dunham Massey, our local National Trust house.

There was a hint of blue through the greyness of the high pressure cloud, but there were also a few snow flurries, so on balance we felt pleased to have brought forward our planned day out to yesterday.

0402leaves My picture of oak leaf litter may have benefited from this photoshop filter:

Perhaps not!

 

 

The fallow deer are used to the presence of humans, though this gent has a scary glint in his eye...0403fallow Then it was home to more afternoon tea and drop scones.
[See next posting...]

Saturday 3 January 2009 - A Raw Day on Ingleborough

0302tractor
Today the weather forecasters drew us out of the house a day early for our 'Sunday Walk'.  Luckily, our plans had not been advertised, so adjustments could be made. 

Setting off from Ingleton at 10 am we were disappointed to find grey skies instead of the predicted blue ones.  However, with only a handful of folk around, we enjoyed a peaceful ascent of Ingleborough via Crina Bottom.  A descending photographer concurred with our feeling that it would be a 'grey day' all day.  He was returning from the summit empty handed - fooled into an early rise by the forecasters.

The path was well frozen and quite icy, though the precautionary crampons were not needed.  With an increasingly bitter breeze as we approached the summit, we were impressed to see two well equipped young cyclists skillfully (and courteously) negotiating the difficult stepped descent.

On the top, various folk ambled around in conditions that could be described as 'benign but raw'.
0303summit Pen-y-ghent lurks behind Sue's right shoulder.

A little care was needed on the steep descent to Chapel-le-Dale, with the sun tantalisingly beating down only 5-10 km to the north.

Dropping to the main road via Souther Scales, we then headed around the chapel and past a group of cave divers beside Hurtle Pot, before coming across this statue.
 0304statue
This plaque provides its history.  Wow - no vandals here for 25 years!
0308plaque
After another luxurious picnic lunch, with fine if grey views, we headed on up the lane below the grey-green bulk of Whernside.  A left turn by Ellerbeck along the flat and frozen path across Scales Moor took us to a fine vista back to the Ribblehead Viaduct, and across to the frost covered northern slopes of Ingleborough.

0304ribblehead 0305ingleborough
Sheep shivered, and hopefully avoided slipping down the 'pots' that litter this area.
0306hole
There was no sign of any snow despite the illusion - it's just frost.

Photography was difficult on this grey day; we snapped away but were unable to capture the ribbon of red that graced the horizon above Morecambe Bay.  Later this red light turned to purple after the sun had set - memorable, but too distant to record the image.

There had been many folk on Ingleborough, but our fine route back to Ingleton was deserted until we reached Twistleton and joined a procession of people on the latter stages of Ingleton's famous Waterfall Walk, the charge for which (£4.50 for an adult) seems exorbitant, but as we joined in the middle of the route we avoided any payment.

It was dark and slippery in the chasm that the well constructed path negotiates beside the River Doe before drifting past a quarry and along side roads into the village, but Sue did manage this pleasing image of Beesley Falls.
0307beesley  
Bernie's Café in Ingleton provided good value tea and cake to fuel us for the journey home.

This was a slightly more energetic route than some of our recent strolls, but a very pleasant one and extremely simple to navigate - the 19 km with 800 metres ascent took us just under 5 hours, excluding (brief because it was chilly) stops.  Here's the outline.
 0301route

BTW - I'm afraid we failed to clear the litter shown in the top picture.  So much for that resolution, but we may persist with bottles and cans, etc.