Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Thursday, 1 September 2011

August Bank Holiday Weekend

Andrea and Thomas's plate of sushi

Bank Holiday weekends:  we usually are either abroad or we stay at home and avoid the crowds.  This weekend, at home preparing for the next trip, we enjoyed a few rather enjoyable interludes, and we did avoid the crowds.

Friday night saw our house minders, Andrea and Thomas, here for a meal.  They even brought the starter, pictured above, with them.  It was delicious, and we suspect it took them longer to prepare the sushi than it took us to cook the rest of the meal.

Thank you, A + T.

A sushi starter

Saturday brought a visit from Kate and Jake, now 18 weeks old.  Holiday weekends draw lots of railway enthusiasts to the track around Walton Park, which is a short stroll up the canal from home. 

I suspect young Jake will enjoy a few visits to this spot in days to come.

Walton Park's miniature railway

The gardens at Walton Park are in good form, there’s plenty of space for games, and there are some new climbing frames for young and older children.  A fine amenity.

Walton Park, Sale

Kate and Jake (18 weeks)

Saturday afternoon saw me heading off to Monsal Head, where Terry had arranged a ‘meet’ for bloggers and others, also attended by some outdoors suppliers such as RAB and Terra Nova, and by Gareth from Webtogs, who supply several of us with outdoor gear for testing and review.

After a beer with Mick and Gayle (they needed one after discovering Monk’s Dale earlier in the afternoon), we joined a throng at the nearby campsite.  It drizzled.  Mick was testing a rather gaudy yellow ‘weather resistant top’.

Bloggers and others at Monsal Head

Gareth demonstrated several ‘Nemo’ tents from Webtogs’ lightweight tent range.  This one weighs under two kilos and has inflatable poles.

Interesting!

Gareth blows up a tent!

Mick and Gayle tried out the 1.4kg Nemo Obi 2P tent and thought it may be a little tight for them.  These are interesting tents from the USA.  I’m curious to find out what the professional reviewers think of them, and I’m looking forward to borrowing the Obi 1P Elite from Webtogs to test and review, hopefully in the Autumn.

Mick and Gayle test a tent (and a windshirt)

Mick continued to test the top to which he has become seriously attached.  Gareth wondered whether it doubled as pyjamas…

Meanwhile, a rainbow appeared through the drizzle.

Rainbow at Monsal Head

The viaduct at Monsal Head has appeared before on these pages.  It was a rather dull sunset on this occasion, principally because the sun had gone down before Jamie and I reached the viewpoint.

Monsal Viaduct at dusk

It was good to meet Jamie, another blogger, for a little longer than our previous encounter in Sainsbury’s, and to discover that I know several of his work colleagues.

It was also good to meet fellow Webtogs tester James and his dog Reuben, and various others who were enjoying the meet.

Sunday afternoon saw Sue and me back in the company of A + T, this time at Altrincham Beer Festival.

Boozers at Altrincham Beer Festival

There was a fine array of beers, and some Spanish and Indian food.

A young train driver entertained us with some ‘tales from the driving seat’.  He was (refreshingly) breathtakingly enthusiastic about his job.

A good choice of beers

“Do you want my old bike” texted Dave on Sunday afternoon.  He’s gone through a rough time recently with his elderly dad, and deserves a treat – in Dave’s case, a new bike.  So Dave’s five year old Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp was up for grabs.

I’ve been pondering about getting a new bike for a while, and only the enthusiasm at my local bike shop for my old steel bike stopped me from getting a new one late last year.

I couldn’t resist the temptation, so Monday morning saw me meeting Dave and exchanging a piece of paper for ‘Stumpy’, my new full suspension bike.  I’ll be keeping the old Shogun Trailbreaker for the flatter local rides, but Stumpy, with its full suspension, should be great for the ‘rougher’ stuff.

Martin's bikes

I’ll be getting a few extra bits, like mudguards, so the appearance may change a bit, but I’m looking forward to using this new ‘steed’.

All in all, a very pleasant Bank Holiday.

3 comments:

Louise said...

I've been looking at the Nemo tents so I will be interested in reading about them.

Trekking Britain said...

Was good to have a chat and meal together last weekend! I had a feeling you might not have resisted that bike... and knew you definitely would have attended the Beer Festival! Hee Hee! I'm still not convinced by the uk weather-proof-ness of those tents, especially the one with the inner hanging out. You only need to look at the spec of the thirty tents that were in the field which people trust to see what the UK wants tent wise. Only one person on the entire field had a single skin tent and he had to swap it on Saturday night as Friday night it had puddles in it.

Phreerunner said...

Jamie, thanks for that comment. I have two single skin tents and like them both. The Phreerunner would have been used had I been staying the night, and would not have suffered from 'puddles'!
It'll be interesting to test the Nemo, if Gareth lets me borrow one (I think he will do).