Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Saturday 10 November 2018 - Wythenshawe parkrun number 364

266 of us assembled for another 5 km run in good conditions.

Matteo (pictured top) appeared to be first to finish, in an incredible time. He may have cheated?

Others came in at a more leisurely pace.

There were a number of high performance absentees, so thanks to a cross country race being held later, I had the honour of heading the 'age related' results list!

During our usual post run café visit I gave Syd a hand with sorting the bar codes for next week.

Another enjoyable Saturday morning. Full results here:
http://www.parkrun.org.uk/wythenshawe/results/weeklyresults/?runSeqNumber=364

Fitbit Dead

This Fitbit gadget was a free replacement for the original Fitbit when the strap on that one broke.

This one still works. In my pocket, so no heart rate monitoring. Not that I pay much attention to that feature.

It's now out of warranty, which is restricted to a two year period under EU rules. It's just one year in the USA, where I wouldn't have got any replacement under warranty, so for that I say thank you to the EU legislators.

Will I get another one? Probably. 

Friday, 9 November 2018

Friday 9 November 2018 – Around Rostherne

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I first walked this route on 30 July 1997, since when the paths remain the same, if not entirely the surroundings. It is described in Jen Darling’s 1990 version of ‘Pub Walks in Cheshire’, but she has chosen not to include it in the forthcoming third edition of that guide.

With rain forecast on an already dull day, I was surprised to find six others champing at the bit when I arrived quite early in Rostherne, where there’s easy roadside parking in the village. Keith and Carol had come all the way from Crosby, and Rick, Viv, Steve and Paul had turned up from their much closer homes.

The path to Tatton Dale, pictured above, was easy to follow across the recently planted field. In fact, the whole route was surprisingly dry underfoot. What rain we’ve had has been absorbed well by the earth that was parched by the hot summer.

We were soon doubling back to Mere Farm and a right turn to Cicely Mill and the small mere next to it.

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Turning onto Cicely Mill Lane, the trees were displaying vibrant yellow foliage despite the dullness of the day.

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After passing the Swan, and strolling across the once busy road, we crossed the new A556 link road by a bridge that actually makes this walk rather easier than before the new road was built. Soon afterwards this house at Denfield Cottages was effectively boarded up. It looked in good condition so hopefully something positive will happen to it.

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The route then follows Agden Brook across pleasant meadows, with a suitably quiet spot for elevenses.

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Soon after that, Booth Bank was reached. Steve willingly posed for me, and suggested the caption:

“Which one is Steve?”

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After a noisy but not unpleasant spell beside the M56 motorway, we headed south past Hope Cottage, whose garden houses the waymarked path. The gate shown below provides the exit from the garden. When we reached the locked gate from the other side we didn’t see the waymark, so we thought we were wrong and we traipsed all the way back to the entrance to find a way around. We should have climbed over the gate.

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Soon afterwards the path reached a quiet lane that led back over the new road and all the way back to Rostherne, with lovely views towards the church, and to our left over Rostherne Mere.

St Mary’s church has a lychgate dating from about 1640, making it perhaps the oldest such gate in England.

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The original graveyard is full, and there have been several extensions.

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After walking through the churchyard we turned left towards the Mere, to which there is no public access. A permit is needed to get any closer than the next picture, taken from a permissive path that loops behind the church and arrives back at the village after a short clockwise circuit.

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So that was it. A very pleasant route, and sociable as well. 11.5 km with 100 metres ascent, taking 2.5 hours. Most people went home, but I went to Dunham Massey for coffee and cake with Keith and Carol.

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Next time: Friday 23 November - Around Budworth Mere. Meet at the Anderton Boat Lift Visitor Centre (SJ 647 752) at 10 am for a fairly flat 12 km. Take the A533 from Northwich to get there.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Autumn Colours at the Bridgewater Canal

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We are so lucky to live only a couple of minutes away from the Bridgewater Canal, where this year’s autumn colours are lovely.

These two pictures were snapped yesterday morning when I popped out for a short bike ride after a bit of rain.

The top picture is from where the ginnel at the end of our road emerges onto the towpath. A few weeks ago the hedge was rampant with blackberries.

The snap below was taken beyond the rowing club, next to the cemetery, in sight of Marsland Bridge in Brooklands.

The view changes from day to day, but even in poor weather my almost daily visits are one of life’s pleasures. There’s often a heron beside the towpath, and several grey wagtails enjoy their homes near the bridges. I haven’t seen Mandy the Mandarin for a while, nor a cormorant; and whilst there aren’t many moorhens, there are plenty of mallards, Canada geese, mute swans and black-headed gulls for the push chair brigade to feed and admire. Meanwhile the hedgerows can be laden with tits and sparrows and other ‘garden birds’, with a flock of goldfinches adding a bit of colour from time to time. I was pleased to see a thrush at the site of the top picture: we don’t see so many of them, although blackbirds are abundant.

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Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Tuesday 6 November 2018 – A ‘UMIST’ Reunion

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We weren’t all at UMIST. Some were at Domski and elsewhere. This was a mini reunion in a Happy Place – namely our house.

Sue and I had a lovely evening with friends of mine dating back nearly 50 years. We will have to meet again soon, as despite one of the purposes of the evening being to pass round a load of my old photos, we forgot to take a reunion picture. So I’ve cobbled together a few pictures of the eleven of us who were present last night. If you click on the image you risk seeing a larger version.

People say “You haven’t changed!” I don’t believe them, apart from the smiles – they haven’t changed..

Thanks to everyone for coming, and I hope we can meet up again soon.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Monday 5 November 2018 – TPT/Cheshire Ring Bike Ride

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Paul and Jeanette joined me for this Monday morning bike ride on an overcast day but still with lovely autumn colours, albeit muted in the dim light.

We met, as is normal for this route, at Timperley Bridge – pictured above.

Just a few pictures today, as I’ve described this ride before, most recently on 1 October.

Paul posed for me at Chorlton Water Park, where a colourful foliage image was available from the same spot.

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We enjoyed a break at a picnic table before wrestling our way through Stockport, interrupted only by Jeanette’s attempt to buy a sofa.

Further on, after disturbing a buzzard on the path to Reddish Vale, we utilised the bench near Haughton Green that has replaced my favourite picnic table. We were joined for a while by George, and Rosie The Pointer. A pleasant interlude spent chatting about the Cheshire Ring canal system.

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Soon afterwards we joined the Peak Forest Canal at the point pictured below, after a steep hill, whence our planned route home follows the Cheshire Ring.

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Before the junction with the Ashton Canal, we met a team of men from Kier who were investigating a leak in the canal.

As we continued down the Ashton Canal towpath we encountered a diversion between bridges 27 and 24 that had been in place on our last visit. We managed slightly better to follow the diversion this time, only taking two wrong turnings.

The Ashton Canal now revealed a few problems. Several sections have been drained, and debris from the muddy bottom of the canal has been placed beside the towpath. This is clearly an active project and hopefully the canal will be reopened in a refreshed state before too long. It looks awful at present.

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Amongst the debris – the ubiquitous shopping trolley…

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This rubbish from the canal will hopefully soon be cleared. We did notice that the general rubbish that blighted the environs of the Ashton Canal on our last visit has largely been removed.

Our third break, after 45 km, was at the velodrome café, where we met an acquaintance of Paul and Jeanette who is in training for a paracycling event (World Championships?) in London.

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The bees that were on display on our last visit have now been auctioned off, with just one of them being left on display outside the velodrome. Hopefully it is vandal proof.

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The homeward route saw us having to leave the canal towpath before Piccadilly, where a large metal gate barred our entrance, re-joining it at Canal Street for the rest of the ride.

Today my Garmin recorded 62.5 km (39 miles) with 210 metres ascent. We took nearly five and a half hours, just over four of which were actually on the bikes. Paul and Jeanette went a bit further, as they had to get to and from Timperley from their home.

The next Monday morning ride will be in two weeks time. Let me know if you’d like further information.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Alpine Interlude (5) – A View from above Weingartensee, 8 September 2018

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The Zinalrothorn (4221 metres) features in this view from above a rather disappointingly murky lake at which we had hoped for some good reflections. It had been slow going over ‘fields’ of giant boulders to get here from Taschhutte, on another wonderfully clear day.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Sunday 4 November 2018 – Wincle in Fog

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I’ve volunteered to check the draft text for some of the routes in Jen Darling’s third edition of ‘Pub Walks in Cheshire’ a book that I know a number of my readers possess. The book was first published in 1990, so there have been some changes. I won’t be describing the routes in detail here – you can buy the book in due course for that – but I will provide some pictorial journeys, including maps of the routes.

This morning it was bright and almost sunny in Timperley, so I was hopeful of some striking autumn colours in the Dane Valley. Sadly, that was not to be, as an autumn fog hung over the Peak District.

Parking just beyond the Ship Inn, I strolled down to the bridge and brewery.

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Beyond a trout pool and farm; lush meadows with happy cows.

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The mill race signifies time to leave the meadows by the River Dane.

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Looking back from the far edge of the second meadow – the cows were in the first meadow.

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A pleasant path leads steadily uphill.

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The route touches on the Gritstone Trail before passing this ruined byre.

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A line of trees leads towards Nettlebeds Farm.

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Glamping pods at Nettlebeds are supposed to have stunning views…

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… but today the views are somewhat obscured by fog.

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After Nettlebeds I kept too far to the left and had to return to this point to take the path to the right of a rickety fence.

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After crossing a minor road, field paths led to a muddy interlude.

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Soon I emerged at the sadly closed Wild Boar Inn, in fog.

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More field paths led past this distressed tree.

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Beyond All Meadows Cottage, sheep were resting as I gazed across the mist laden Dane Valley.

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Heading towards Danebridge, thanks to the Peaks & Northern Footpath Society’s sign number 428, dating from 2012, there was no doubt about the way ahead.

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Views across the valley to the distinctive Hanging Stone revealed that today that landmark was engulfed in fog.

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Towards the end of the walk, Hog Clough is negotiated by way of this footbridge.

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On exiting the woodland, good paths lead back to a minor road, and the fleshpot known as The Ship Inn.

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Shown below, two versions of the route – 10 km (6 miles) with about 250 metres of ascent.

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An excellent way to spend a November Sunday morning, and I have a few notes to pass on to Jen.