Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Friday 28 July 2017

A New Camera - Panasonic Lumix TZ90


Unfortunately my Canon G16 was injured when I tripped in Austria, giving me the familiar words of death that I’ve experienced on my previous ‘G’ range of cameras:


It was nearly four years old. I could never get it to talk to our computers, nor would the wifi work, but the camera performed ok. (I don’t regard myself as a photographer.)

I clearly needed a replacement for a forthcoming trip, and an estimated repair cost for insurance purposes. Mike Parsons recommended a company called Wilkinson Cameras, who have a shop in Warrington. So I popped down there on Tuesday, got good service, and bought this new camera, which is pretty much a direct replacement for the Canon, but with a longer lens.

An engineer’s report would be needed for the repair cost of the old camera, but the shop reckoned that could be about £150. For a four year old camera – probably not worth it, but the insurers wanted that information, and my policy gives them the opportunity to apply wear and tear and depreciation costs to any claim. Anyway, I sent all the stuff off to Ageas, who deal with Snowcard Insurance’s claims. We have a £50 excess. The Canon cost £300 four years ago. So I was happy to agree to Ageas’s offer to settle the claim for £250, and the money was sent to my bank on Wednesday. It’s the fourth time I’ve claimed under our annual Snowcard policy, and all the claims have been dealt with in this speedy and effective manner.

You’ll see that I bought a hard case for the new camera. It was a surprise that my old Camera Care soft case didn’t provide sufficient protection for the G16.

Thanks go to Mike for his assistance. There are lots of products out there to choose from, and others will have different requirements from me. I just hope the TZ90 proves as easy to use as the FT4 waterproof camera that I have from Lumix – the images from that aren’t particularly high quality, but it enables me to take pictures on wet days and has accompanied me on a good many TGO Challenge walks.


Thursday 27 July 2017

Made in Mannheim in 1938


Here’s the latest offering from Wuxing Nick, our roving reporter from the EU. Some of the exhaust system may not be original, but this Bulldog had a label that dated it at nearly 80 years old.

It looks to have been looked after a bit better than the much newer relics pictured in the previous posting. Cheer up, AlanR!

Wednesday 26 July 2017

Sunday 23 July 2017 – A Walk from the Candle Workshops at Burwardsley


Keith had kindly arranged a walk a little closer to home than this group’s usual territory, so Sue, Susan and I enjoyed a leisurely drive to the Candle Workshops at Burwardsley, from where we were soon marched off towards Beeston Castle.

David and I got a bit left behind. Here’s our view of the group of thirteen people ahead of us, with Beeston Castle somewhat obscured by trees in the background.


If the others are somewhere in that picture, I can’t see them and neither could David. Eventually we met them coming the other way near the castle entrance by this smart house. I think they all thought that we’d gone ahead!


We nearly got some ice creams, but the shop was full, so we pressed on to elevenses on some wet grass.

We walk these paths more often in winter, when they are less overgrown and are more muddy. Here’s Andrew, stalking through the long grass, wishing he’d taken a lower dose of shrinking powder.


Peckforton Castle, a Victorian country house built in the style of a medieval castle (unlike Beeston Castle, which dates from the 1220s) invites people to ‘Come in and see this hidden gem’. Keith’s pace hardly faltered as he rushed us past. Another time, perhaps.


The Sandstone Trail that we were following may have petered out here (below), much to the confusion of those with maps, but once Graham had studied Keith’s scratchings the route was retrieved and progress was furthered. To be honest, I don’t really know what was going on. If you blow this picture up and study the expressions you might conclude that I wasn’t alone….


More fields were encountered as we steadily conquered the gradient up to the Peckforton escarpment. Andrew was now back to normal, having taken an antidote to combat his shrinkage. Sue’s CCS.


We expected to find AlanR rummaging around here in his private playground.


He needs to take more care of his exhibits!


This restored classic whizzed past, being driven by a gas tank with flat arms. Weird!


A nearby relic needed a bit of work, but….


… this one has been fully restored – very shiny…


The lunchtime view, once the toes of a toppled tree had been photoshopped out, was one of expansive views over Cheshire and into Staffordshire.


Lunch was duly consumed on a soily plateau, then the team marched off once again.


“They’re an ugly lot”, observed Richard, “so the silhouette works well.”


Near the ‘Poacher’, a fine hostelry that Keith declined to visit, a large stone obelisk rises like a giant phallic carbuncle.


An elite group, the ‘Famous Five’ plus Susan, split off near here in a bid to get home before darkness fell and Jenny suffered nervous convulsions. We paused briefly to admire the vista towards Liverpool and towards the Clwyd Hills where we’d been three weeks earlier. Unfortunately the image captured by my Lumix FT4 isn’t perfect.


There’s a trig point marking the 227 metre summit of Rawhead. It’s decorated with an item of great historical significance. The audience (including two strange women out of shot) was rapt as Richard expounded on the remarkable events that took place here. Jenny cried, as did the two onlookers.


From that great height we hastened down loosely carpeted paths, back to the candle workshops, where Martin and Andrew were rewarded with ice creams as compensation for having to put up with Richard’s tall stories, and a quick exit was made before Jenny could be trampled by a cow in the dark.

It was a pleasant enough route along the weak and twisted backbone of the Peckforton Hills, much of it on the Sandstone Trail footpath – about 16 km with around 500 metres ascent, taking 5.25 hours. The other nine went a bit further. But they haven’t been seen since, though four of them may soon resurface in Newtonmore, where they could be held over for ‘bagging’ offences.


Thanks Keith, for organising this walk.

Tuesday 25 July 2017

Saturday 22 July 2017 – Wythenshawe parkrun number 298, and some Boules


After getting back from Austria on Friday evening, we registered Susan (pictured below under the watchful eye of Oliver Cromwell) for her first parkrun on Saturday morning. There are none in her part of the USA (Connecticut) so she registered at Wythenshawe. And a fine performance she put in as well, taking just 25 minutes 19 seconds for the 5 km, and coming fifth out of ten in her 55-59 age category.

Meanwhile, Sue managed another PB, 26 minutes 26 seconds, and came ahead of Ron and first out of ten in her 50-54 age category. Strange – women must get faster as they get older…


It was good to see JJ along for his second parkrun, and another PB in the good conditions.

Cary also managed a PB, but was disqualified for only completing 10% of the route! “My knees hurt!” he wimped…

[Sadly I was over two minutes adrift of my PB.]

Full results are here.

The day flew past, but at 6 o’clock we found ourselves playing boules with the Adlington Quizzers (aka The San Marinos) at the Black Horse in Croston. Thanks go to John and Bev for organising an excellent evening with the boules, followed by a nice pie and chips. Sadly the picture below is the only one I took, picturing Susan, Sue, Robert and Louise, whilst John, Lyn, Stuart, Bev and I looked on. Good fun, and narrowly avoiding some rain.