Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Friday 21 December 2018 – An Evening on Shutlingsloe

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It’s a tradition. The record (perhaps, it seemed like it) turnout was achieved despite a rather poor weather forecast. For once, Sue and I arrived at the Trentabank Car Park 7.30 pm rendezvous point with a few minutes to spare, only to find the place seething with people.

Luckily it wasn’t raining and pleasantries were exchanged in the dark whilst we waited for my nephew Toby, and one of Wythenshawe’s parkrun directors, Charley. Of the 18 people in attendance at least 12 were serial runners at Wythenshawe, where most would be on display in Christmas regalia on the morrow. But that’s another story.

Once we got going – well, after about 100 metres, those of us who had left our waterproofs in our cars were regretting it. As we rose gently through the forest the light drizzle slowly intensified. By the time we reached the summit nearly an hour later, there was no view and the rain was … well, just how you’d imagine it to be at the top of a high hill in the middle of winter.

My attempt to take a group photo failed abysmally (see above), but I did manage a cute picture of Toby and Sue.

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Andrew, Kate and Alice also offered nice smiles, even if Andrew does appear to be resting his eyes. (No red-eye adjustment needed there, then.)

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After mulled wine, tea, mince pies, brownies and a sing song on the summit, the weather got the better of us and we dashed back down in about 30 minutes.

Most of us adjourned to the Leather Smithy, where Andrew appeared to be keeping the pub open single handedly. A pleasant time was had by all, as we dried off in front of the roaring fire.

Thanks for coming, everyone – that was a brilliant turn out on a slightly inclement evening.

For the record:
Graham, Gwynneth and Claire
Andy and Kate
Alastair, Hazel, Andrew, Kate and Alice
Me, Sue and Paul
Richard, Diana and Joe
Charley
Toby
Andrew in the pub (one wise man!)

Friday, 21 December 2018

Martin’s Xmas Walk Quiz - 2018

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Sorry Dot, I know I’ve missed the last couple of days. You wouldn’t have wanted a picture of me trying to deal with a broken router and a printer in which a cassette of black ink exploded, or a picture of me consigning said items to the ‘small appliances’ bin at Altrincham recycling plant.

And now you need a very powerful magnifying glass for this quiz. It was completed by six teams during our Christmas lunch last Sunday, with scores ranging from 17 to two teams on 23 points. The questions, which run left to right in lines downwards, were as follows:

1. Which mountain?
2. Which village?
3. What is this?
4. Who is this?
5. What is this?
6. Name the bird?
7. Where is this?
8. Where is this?
9. Where is this?
10. Where is this?
11. Where is this?
12. Where is this?
13. Where is this?
14. Who is this?
15. The view from which hill?
16. Where is this?
17. Where is this?
18. Where is this?
19. Where is this?
20. Where is this?
21. Which dale is this?
22. What is this?
23. What is this?
24. What is this?
25. Where is this?
26. Which National Trail?
27. Martin’s old car. What model?
28. Where is this?
29. Where is this?
30. Name both hills?

If you send your answers to me at quiz@topwalks.com, I’ll mark your effort and send you the answers – I’ll probably post the answers here in the New Year anyway.

Have fun!

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Some Pictures from Yesterday's Bike Ride

I've now worked out how to insert multiple pictures using the 'Send Reduced' app.

The first two pictures were taken in the same place - at the end of Sale Water Park soon after sunrise.

The third picture is of Jackson's Bridge, at a multiple path junction, where many years ago this was one of few crossing points over the River Mersey.

The bottom picture was taken beside the Ashton Canal after our lengthy elevenses break at the velodrome, whilst I was waiting for Jeanette to negotiate some cobbles. I have numerous pictures from here - look out Jeanette, you may be next!

Monday, 17 December 2018

Monday 17 December 2018 - Sale Water Park and The Fallowfield Loop

I'm back to mobile blogging as our Virgin Media 'Super Hub' has been declared 'deceased'. A bit frustrating as we were about to send our Christmas greetings by email.

I've tried to use the 'Send Reduced' app as suggested by AlanR, and I've managed to apply the app to some photos, but they then appear in separate messages, so it's back to the drawing board, with one picture per posting in the meantime.

This morning I was joined by Paul and Jeanette for a near repeat of last Monday's 40+ km bike ride. It was sunny but cold - minus 1°C according to Jeanette's thermometer (and her hands and feet).

We took an anti clockwise route around Sale Water Park, and it's a picture from there that I've chosen for today.

We reached the velodrome café after 26 km and an hour and three quarters. The coffee and carrot cake went down well.

From there it's an easy (if you can cope with cobbles) 16 km ride home. Today we were back in good time for lunch, given our 8 am start.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Sunday 16 December 2018 – Tideswell and Great Longstone

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Also known as ‘A Christmas Bimble’, today’s walk is a long standing tradition that I’ve been responsible for since the 1970’s. Detailed research could identify the exact date, but I haven’t time for that now. Back in those days I was lucky to get four people along, and we used it as a planning session for the year ahead.

Today I was expecting 33 people from far and wide, and two dogs, one (Kate) from Bath, the other (Rowan) from Long Preston. They all turned up. A credit to the health of the nation?!

My son Mike was in particularly good form, having gone in the flash of a gymslip from the last person to be picked in any team, to the recipient of a magnificent trophy at his local gym. (The trophy is in his left hand!)

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It even has an engraved plate. It felt to me about the weight of a brick, but to strongman Mike it might seem a bit lighter.

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We set off from the car park to the south of Tideswell soon after 10.30; a crocodile of 32 people and two dogs, Andrew having elected to take a shorter route. Footpaths led us past the village of Litton, near where the top picture was taken. We took the same route as on 11 December 2016, the report on which is here.

There were very few pictures taken today. They are something of an unwanted distraction when you have 33 people and two dogs to keep in order.

We wandered down Tansley Dale and stopped in the sunshine in Cressbrook Dale, where Sue distributed an entire batch of caramel shortbread during our elevenses break.

The crocodile then ambled gently upwards, with good views to Cressbrook Dale and beyond.

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Fieldfares and redwings accompanied us on the path to Wardlow. Earlier we had been surprised to see a flock of parrots outside Mike’s house in Northern Moor!

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The Crispin was reached in good time for our one o’clock Christmas lunch. We knew they had another group in so the kitchen would be stretched. We were in no hurry, as people needed lots of time to complete my (traditional) picture quiz. I made it easier than previously and the six teams got remarkably close scores, with the joint winners on 23/30. I’ll upload it as a separate posting in due course – it generated fewer complaints than usual.

The service and food were excellent. We will be booking again for next year. I took a few rather pathetic snaps.

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Next year I’ll co-opt someone to run riot with my camera.

One team got bored with the quiz and started on TGO Challenge vetting… whilst Carmen got up to date with her homework.

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After quite a while, we set off again.

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It got dark fairly soon, but this was expected (it’s that time of year). Andrew left us to recover his car from Upperdale, and the rest of us proceeded through three tunnels then up Tideswell Dale, to reach the car park at 5 pm.

Here’s our route – 15 km with 400 metres ascent. I walked the same route last Wednesday, so I was pleased not to get displaced with such a large group!

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Thank you everyone, that was a most enjoyable day out. Long may they continue.