Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Saturday, 6 January 2018

An Alpine Winter Tractor

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Whilst Sue and I try to get to grips with our horrible coughs, here’s a tractor offering from Wuxing Nick, with a ‘context’ photo below.

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We do hope we haven’t passed on our afflictions to anyone else….

Friday, 5 January 2018

Great Grandma reads The BFG

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It has been a quiet start to the year, apart from the sounds of our coughs and sneezes.

I received this lovely image the other day from my daughter, on a visit to Great Grandma with Jacob and Jessica. It’s good to see that six year old Jacob is already digging into the box set of Roald Dahl books he got for Christmas, and that Great Grandma seems to be enjoying a short reading, with the aid of her magnifying glass.

Well done Kate and the children, we are proud of you.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Monday 1 January 2018 – Arnside Knott

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Whilst others were limbering up in preparation for two parkruns on New Year’s Day, Sue and I were enjoying a banquet and a late night at Lyn’s house in north Manchester.

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We were pretty full by the end of the evening, after losing count of the number of courses served up by an assortment of participants.

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Delicious. A lovely evening. Thanks go to Lyn and Robert for hosting.

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The unfinished ceviche made a fine substitute for marmalade on New Year’s morning, and was finally utilised by Sue and me as a starter later on. Nothing goes to waste in our kitchen.

Sue and I are struggling with heavy colds, so we weren’t inclined to rush off. But when we did, we headed gently up to Conrad’s house in Arnside. The idea was to wish him a happy new year, then enjoy a stroll in the Silverdale/Arnside area.

Conrad is recovering well from a replacement knee operation, albeit unable to join us on a walk. After a long chat, it was afternoon by the time we set off up Arnside Knott.

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Occasional squalls didn’t dampen our enthusiasm, and a fair number of folk were encountered. The following view from Arnside Knott across the Kent Estuary shows the Lake District to be engulfed in cloud, so we were happy with our decision to head for a low southern hill.

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Here’s a picture from the trig point.

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We headed along contouring paths down to Arnside Tower, which is visible to the left of Sue’s head. You can just see a new path that now sensibly skirts the yard of the nearby farm.

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The signage in this area is pretty good, but this particular sign appears to have suffered the same fate as our old garden fence!

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We continued over Middlebarrow, through Holgates mobile home/campsite to Elmslack, for lunch on a bench at Elmslack Well, upon which a litter bin has been judiciously placed!

A pleasant path then led around to Waterslack, where the railway was crossed and we soon joined a permissive path not marked on the map, past this distinctive tree, to the Hawes Water bridleway.

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Last year’s visit on 2 January yielded a photo taken near here that now glows at us from January’s calendar. Today’s conditions were less sunny, and as we progressed along the footpaths towards Hazelslack they got progressively more muddy. This is ‘before the mud’.

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Hazelslack is a farm next to a ruin, much in the same vein as Arnside Tower.

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We joined the estuary path to the north of Carr Bank. This had been inundated by the tide when we arrived earlier, but now the water had receded, with views to Arnside beyond the grassy area that has sections of mud where the grass appears to have been mechanically removed. I wonder why?

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Having supplied coffee and cake earlier, Conrad (aka ‘Sir Hugh’) was now well disposed to offering tea and (excellent) biscuits before we tootled off home. By coincidence, he was busy exchanging emails with fellow bloggers, Gayle and Mick. He has a very homely spot, with a view to Ingleborough on less cloudy days (subject to an errant chimney pot for which he is still scouring eBay for a bazooka!).

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Here’s our route, a very pleasant circuit of 13 km, with 300 metres ascent, taking about three and a half hours at a gentle pace. There are lots of alternatives in this area that is happily stuffed full of picturesque rights of way.

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Happy New Year, everyone.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Christmas 2017 – A Pictorial Review

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I start with some sad news. Yesterday members of Eagley Jazz Club received the following message from Reg Kingston, concerning a stalwart of the club, Jeff Gilpin:

“Jeff passed away yesterday after suffering a heart attack. We who were at the Jazz Dinner will I think always remember his brave Funeral March.”

Somehow I seem to have missed making a diary entry of the splendid evening on 18 December with a Christmas dinner and the excellent Savannah Jazz Band. Towards the end of the evening, Jeff, who didn’t look well, performed the Funeral March. It was brilliant. I’m sure he will be sadly missed by many people.

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Moving on to the following Saturday, 23 December, Wythenshawe parkrun attracted a motley bunch for its 319th event. Family Jesus turned up in force.

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In addition to the stalwarts pictured above, here are a pair, Paul and Greg, who have over 630 parkruns under their combined belt!

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The two equally generous but opposing in stature kings, Syd and Ken, allowed a tree to slip between them, with Jan and Andy drifting into the picture.

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It was a slow run, with the tree’s material gathering mud and extra weight all the way round. At least Mike didn’t sprint past me at the finish this year. The bacon and sausage butties at the end were most welcome. There was a great turnout of 310 people.

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Christmas Eve found us in Timperley hosting a family gathering. My cameras have been stashed pretty much throughout the Christmas period, so the photos are mainly from other people. I think Sue took this one of the grandchildren. Jessica later had her missing arm sewn back on, but Jacob couldn’t find his dentures.

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Christmas lunch was enjoyed in Timperley with Sue’s mum and dad, Richard and Diana. Before that, Sue and I popped down to Platt Fields Park, where 379 parkrunners were starting Christmas Day with a bit of exercise.

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Greg was there, as were other Wythenshawe regulars, there not being a Christmas Day run at Wythenshawe.

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Joe and Diana joined Sue and started off together.

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But Richard (of Richard and Diana number 2) shot off ahead and whizzed around the fast course in well under 20 minutes (I wish!).

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Joe speeded up towards the end and left Sue trailing, with Diana nowhere to be seen.

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Boxing Day brought a trip to Dunham Massey. I strolled down the towpath whilst the others cheated in the car.

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There’s not an awful lot in flower in the winter garden just now, but the Witch Hazel is quite pretty.

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The oldies spent an hour or two resting on the reindeer bench, then we went for coffee.

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Later on, another family get together provided an image I’ll always remember. I don’t think I’ve seen either of my children washing up before, let alone both at the same time!

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I can’t remember much about the following day, perhaps we rested! But on Thursday we had the pleasure of hosting Jacob and Jessica. The soft play was calculated to tire them out. It didn’t.

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Cooking followed.

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Cup cakes with chocolate icing, and shortbread were produced. Note the technique that avoids their clothing getting clogged up with flour.

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Not even the washing and drying up tired them out.

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Friday morning had been designated for a walk around Lindow Moss. The rain/sleet stopped just as we were about to set off, and whilst it wasn’t as muddy as last week’s effort, those with wellies chose wisely.

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I’ve reported from here many times before. To see pictures, and information about ‘Lindow Man’, type ‘Lindow Moss’ in the search box (top left) and read on…

Today’s walk was just 8 km, on the route shown below. It took us two hours, with a welcome coffee in the Boddington Arms afterwards.

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Parkruns come round quickly at this time of year. Yesterday Wythenshawe’s 320th run was overseen by run director Andy. It was Very Muddy, so perhaps just as well that only168 turned up. A good, sociable occasion as always.

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Sue and I dashed off to enjoy lunch with Dot at the Royal Oak in Eccleshall, returning for yet another family get together, at which the host decided to disclose a wealth of archive material including photos and schoolwork from past generations…

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Having survived the festive period to date, Sue and I will shortly be off to north Manchester to see the New Year in with good friends and lots of good food and wine.

So here’s a final sunset over Timperley from our kitchen window for 2017.

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Our very best wishes to everyone for 2018. Have fun!