Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Friday, 4 March 2011

A Grand Day Out

The first few days of March have seen a welcome change in the weather, and my first trip of the year to the central Lake District.

Here I am near the summit of Great Gable on Wednesday lunch time.

A view from Great Gable - 2/3/11

A write up of that day and others in this enjoyable week will follow during the course of next week, as we are due to depart shortly for a few internet free days, plus we have a visitor who deserves better than to be abandoned in favour of a computer desk…

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Sunday 27 February 2011 – A Walk from Home

Forsythia by the Bridgewater Canal

Last Sunday I abandoned a plan to stroll around The Wirral, due to inclement weather.

An easy bit of exercise around Timperley in the rain was in order.

Whilst the Forsythia (above) was flourishing, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the towpath in such a poor state of repair.

Mud in Timperley

Sunday morning means training at the local rowing club.  Their oars can be quite dangerous to wildlife.

A scene on the Bridgewater Canal - 27/2/11

But these Mallards seem quite happy with life.  The female is impressively fertile judging by the increasing number of albino ducks on this stretch of the canal.

Mallards on the Bridgewater Canal

Leaving the canal by the Bay Malton, I joined the Trans-Pennine Trail, which soon passes our local ‘recycling plant’ (aka rubbish dump, or ‘tip’).

Recycling in Altrincham

The trail progresses on to Carrington Moss, home of training grounds for local football teams.  It’s quite damp at present.  It is after all a ‘moss’!

Carrington Moss

After passing a Sustrans team of volunteers, assiduously manicuring trees beside the trail, to avoid cyclists being speared by wayward twigs, I left that trail in favour of a path beside the River Mersey.

The River Mersey by Stretford

Judging by the debris on the fence (above), the path I was on, not an official Right of Way, must spend some time under water.

By the Mersey in Stretford

After passing this flourishing willow as the path narrows around the rear of an industrial estate, a dead end is encountered when the A56 main road is reached.

Willow - 27/2/11

Across the road, paths around playing fields lead back to the canal where it passes under a motorway bridge.  The towpath here, between Dane Road and Sale, is in great condition, having recently been renewed as part of the Sustrans initiative.

Sustrans were here! The towpath by Dane Road, Sale

But the section from Brooklands to Timperley was extremely muddy, and I was filthy by the time I reached home.

Here’s my route – about 17km, in a fairly energetic 2 and a bit hours.

Today's route - 27/2/11 - just over 2 hours for 17km on the flat, with mud...

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

A Timperley Sunrise

Sunrise over Timperley - 11/12/07
It’s an early start tomorrow.  It would be nice to get a sunrise like this one on 11 December 2007.

Monday, 28 February 2011

100,000 Page Loads! And a New Look to the Blog

 2803stats  
I’ve used Statcounter to record page loads since I started this blog in October 2007. I know that some bloggers (OK, maybe not UK Outdoors Bloggers!) get over 100,000 page loads every day, whereas it has taken nearly three and a half years for this one to reach that milestone. Google’s own stats, which only started recording data fairly recently, give higher figures (3,404 page loads compared with Statcounter’s 3,334 for last month). Those people using a service such as Google Reader to view the blog will escape detection unless, like the three people last Wednesday (see below) they then go into the blog, to make a rare comment for example.  So given that currently the blog has 84 subscribers and 46 ‘followers’ (some or all of whom may be subscribers?) the actual number of people looking at the blog is rather greater than that recorded by either Statcounter or Google.

Visitors seem to average about two page views. Most of them simply arrive at the current blog posting and presumably scroll down if they aren’t bored by the first screen. Others arrive via searches, mainly ‘Google’.

Another Statcounter page dump

Last Wednesday, with 119 page loads, was a typical day.  They can be analysed as follows:

Direct page loads from friends and known contacts 23
Via Google reader 3
Via other bloggers' blogrolls 33
Via our sister site, topwalks.com 5
Via Google image searches 33
Via Google etc searches for recipes 9
Via Google etc searches for the TGO Challenge 5
Via Google etc - other searches 8
  119

That obviously excludes the visits to Google reader and other subscription services.

It’s interesting (to me anyway), that our other website, topwalks.com (not a commercial site – just one that friends can view to see what we are up to) gets nearly as many page loads, more on some days, despite only being updated every month or so. 

So it is with some satisfaction that I observe that both sites are clearly used by people as a resource.  It’s a shame that so few make contact by way of comments or emails.

A New Look

A new look to the blog

Last week I tried to change the blog list to reveal current posts of interest, as I noticed that quite a few visitors to the Postcard come from that direction, so ... just to be fair...
but I played with the template and pressed the wrong button! I tried to get the old one back but I couldn't find it!   There is no record.  It’s history! 

This time I’ve taken a screen dump (above) and I think I'll stick with this template for a while, but I may change the header, footer and background images on a regular basis.  At least this new template enables slightly wider images to be loaded.

Any comments / suggestions for improvements will be welcome.

Postscript:

1.  Does anyone agree with this comment from Andrew - “the use of some very blue landscapes as background down the right hand side makes a lot of the text difficult to read and some impossible”.  Personally, I don’t have a problem, and I spent some time trying to find an image that didn’t cause me a problem!  But if it is a problem, I’ll change the background image, which I’m planning to do quite regularly anyway.

2.  Theo has asked about the geographical spread of visitors, and the following screen dump shows the spread for the last 500 page loads as at the morning of 3/3/11.  The Hungarian page loads come from just one visitor with a fascination for our 2008 TGO Challenge postings, so that’s just a blip.

Statistics by Country