Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Saturday 2 June 2018

The Bridgewater Canal in Timperley – Monday 28 May 2018


The canal is a five minute walk from our house. It was a delight to stroll along the towpath last Monday night after a visit to Dot in Eccleshall. There was a sole mallard disturbing the glassy surface, and Mandy (our lone Mandarin duck) was rooting around before being disturbed by a mother mallard and her nine well-grown children.

So nice to be ‘out in the countryside’ whilst being very close to a major city centre.

Friday 1 June 2018

Sunday 6 September 2015 – Descent to Rifugio Cristina


Deadline met for the Valmalenco Photobox book, with just a few hours to spare. Over 350 images in a 100 page book, plus text from my contemporaneous blog. It’ll form a great record of that trip. There are numerous similar exercises on my ToDo list!

So this is the last of these Valmalenco entries (apart from an index), today’s recalling the descent from 2615 metre Passo di Campagneda to 2233 metre Rifugio Cristina.


Here’s Rifugio Cristina, with 3323 metre Pizzo Scalino towering above.


If you like hut to hut routes, and haven’t walked this one, we wholeheartedly commend the Alta Via di Valmalenco.

Saturday 5 September 2015 – Descent from Rifugio Marinelli Bombardieri


Another Valmalenco memory. Sue poses on an outcrop during our scenic descent from Rifugio Marinelli Bombardieri to Rifugio Carate Brianza.

Wednesday 30 May 2018

Tuesday 1 September 2015 – Alpe Mastabbia


Whilst I was travelling up to Montrose last week, Sue bought a 100 page credit from Photobox for a photo album at a very good price (less than £25). The trouble is that it needed to be used within 14 days. So I now have two more days in which to create a book, which will recount our trip to the Valmalenco area of Italy in 2015.

I could have posted a picture of today’s walk to Dunham Massey with JJ, but I think I prefer this reminder of our Valmalenco trip, taken at Alpe Mastabbia on the second stage of the walk.

Tuesday 29 May 2018

Marine House, Montrose


Last week Sue and I stayed in Alison’s apartment within the impressive building called Marine House, overlooking the golf course in Montrose. It’s an impressive building, dating from 1907, when it was built as an hotel.

However the site has been occupied by buildings for much longer than that. In 1781 the town of Montrose was unique among Scottish towns and cities in being the first to have an asylum for the insane. The Montrose Lunatic Asylum, Infirmary and Dispensary was completed after the institution of a subscription by local woman Mrs Susan Carnegie of Charleton, following concerns about "mad people being kept in a prison in the middle of the street".

It was described as "a house and garden in the links of Montrose". It occupied the site now bounded by Barrack Road, Ferry Road and Garrison Road, approximately where Marine House and the Fire Station now stand. A plaque to mark the site was mounted on the wall of the first Marine Hotel, which was apparently originally the Physician Superintendent's house, but unfortunately this building was demolished a few years ago and the whereabouts of the plaque is unknown.

The second, and current, Marine Hotel is a large gabled 2-storey, attic and basement, tall 3-bay house with extensive 4-storey and attic wings to the rear forming approximate an L-plan.

Alison’s and other apartments now occupy the large wings to the rear.

It’s a Listed Building, the current Category 3 listing arising from the interest of the east facing house, surprisingly vertical, and disguising the expanse behind, as pictured below (with thanks to Pinterest for this picture).


Thanks again to Alison for her generous loan of the apartment.

The above information is all I could find on Marine House. It is scant and slightly contradictory. Were there really two Marine Hotels? Any further information would be gratefully received.

Sunday 27 May 2018

Saturday 26 May 2018 – Montrose parkrun number 46


After the excitement of this year’s TGO Challenge had abated and we had enjoyed our last full cooked breakfast at the Park Hotel, said our goodbyes, packed the car, and popped Alison’s door key back through her letterbox, we realised that it was Saturday morning.

Time for a parkrun!

The venue in Montrose is on the links very close to where we were staying, so an excuse not to delay our departure from sunny Montrose could not be found.

All parkruns provide a friendly welcome to ‘tourists’ such as ourselves and Anne Kelly, who had found an excuse to avoid her ‘home’ run in Stretford this morning, but the welcome in Montrose was exceptional. It was a lovely event in which to take part, if a bit breezy for really fast times on the fast, flat (apart from a few rabbit holes) course.

I managed to finish in what may be my quickest time of the year, as I’ll be unable to run properly for a couple of months given the imminent hernia op, whilst Sue took her time and chatted to Hilary Murdoch as she walked round the 5 km course. It was a delight to run down grassy tracks lined with the coconut aroma of the bright yellow gorse bushes.

I’ve included a few pictures below. Note the green vests of some of the runners. These have large numbers on the back which indicate that they are pacers for particular times, the next but one picture being of Keith Black, who was today’s 25 minute pacer, and he succeeded in dragging in Hugh MacKenzie in just under the target time. Well done! I tried to follow the 22 minute pacer for a while, but couldn’t keep up. The full results are here.


Here’s the route, which is on the links close to Charleton Fruit Farm, to which fleshpot runners are encouraged to gravitate after the run.


We duly adjourned to the café at the fruit farm, as did a few others who are out of shot, one LTD having crept in to the next picture. Hello ‘Lucky The Dog’!


Yes, it was something of a surprise to find the cross dressing Pie Man (whose entertaining blog enjoys a vast readership) enjoying elevenses with his entourage. He proudly exhibited his 14th TGO Challenge t-shirt and vowed in front of his family to continue in his bid to become a 20-timer. This man is crazy!


Then we went home…