Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Saturday 20 June 2020

Lockdown strays from Timperley

Relaxation of traveling restrictions have enabled some, carefully socially distanced, trips.
On Sunday we visited my daughter and our grandchildren in Bacup, pictured above with Jess and some neighbours. We were impressed at how well Jess was doing on her bike on the mini 'singletrack' course near their house. Jacob was zooming round the track when the picture was taken.
But on Monday, Jess fell off her bike awkwardly.
On Tuesday we visited Sue's parents in Solihull, in celebration of Richard's 83rd birthday. Very jolly, and we helped with a bit of gardening.

On the way home, we visited Great Grandma Dot in Eccleshall. We sat outside with her for a happy hour or so.
On Wednesday we saw our friends (A, H ,A, and K) in Altrincham for an al fresco coffee experience. Very enjoyable. We were their last visitors, on 14 March, before Lockdown, and we may be their first visitors since then, after more than three months. All seem to be coping well.
Meanwhile, a wheelchair had been found for Jess, whose leg was well and truly broken. We hope Jacob will continue to enjoy acting as pusher and helper.
Note that the accident didn't cause Jess's teeth to fall out. That happened naturally. We hope she makes a speedy recovery, but if ever there was a child with excuses not to go to school...!
Thanks go to Facebook and others for the pictures of Jess.

Friday 19 June 2020

Friday 19 June 2020 - A Visit to Tatton Hall Gardens

Jenny arrived at our house on her bike at about 9 am, and joined Sue and me for a gentle 45 minute bike ride to Tatton Park.
As shown by the following picture, it wasn't very busy. Despite Jenny bringing last year's membership card, and Sue not managing to produce the pre-booked ticket for the gardens, we were politely waved through for an hour's stroll around the gardens in rain of varying intensity.
The kitchen garden had a fine display of thyme, and the unidentified flowers at the head of this posting.
The courgettes are flourishing, and all the produce is showing signs of tender loving care from the staff.
At the exit of the kitchen garden, this large umbellifer.
The gardens are home to an arboretum that features many trees that were planted in the early 1960s.
For the second day running, we saw a coot's nest. This one was some distance away, but one of the coots came very close, chasing a mallard off its territory.

There are some huge specimens of Gunnera Manicatra.
The gardens include several ponds, today frequented by a heron, with pied wagtails also in evidence.
Foxgloves. It's that time of year.
There's a good view from the gardens, across to the mere, even on this rainy day.
Here are Jenny and Sue, by a copy of the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates.
The Japanese Garden houses an enticing tea house - not open today.
Eventually the rain got the better of us and we returned past a good view of the ornamental gardens.
We paused briefly by Jenny's favourite tree - a Cedar of Lebanon.
The gazebo shown below didn't really protect us from the rain, so we headed for the exit. The café was providing take away coffees, to be consumed in the area shown in the second picture (above). Luckily it stopped raining and we enjoyed a leisurely chat with a couple of itinerant cyclists before heading home for lunch.

Thursday 18 June 2020

Thursday 18 June 2020 - A Walk around Timperley and Brooks Drive

Sue and I had planned a walk from home today. We woke to rain, that seemed to be forecast all day, so we went out anyway. As I write this (3 pm), it's still raining, so our 8 am departure was a good move. No social distancing was necessary, as we hardly encountered a soul.
We started along the canalside path that is accessed from the platform of Timperley Metrolink station. A couple of rowers passed us as we strolled along the bramble lined path.
After a while a bridge is reached, from where the next two pictures were taken. This is where teenagers sometimes hang out in the shelter of the steps up to the parapet. A new sign encourages folk to pick up their dog s**t and take that and any other litter home. There was no evidence this morning of anyone disobeying that guidance.
We took a very convoluted route across a meadow to Northern Moor, then made our way laboriously to Brooks Drive, a thoroughfare dating from the 1860s that has now sadly been blocked by residents at the Hale Barns end of the road. Their claims that it is a private road that they have the right to close are being contested by those who have evidence to support it having been used by the public since it was built.
Here's Sue, on the pleasant Brooks Drive footpath near Wythenshawe hospital.
I've described a shorter way of getting to this point in an earlier report, here. That walk, in December 2017, follows more or less the same route as today's venture from here onwards. There's a big difference in conditions - no mud today, just wet grass.
The fields leading to Davenport Green weren't muddy, but the rain and wet grass did eventually take their toll on our trail shoes.
The route goes past a garden centre - Dobbies, formerly Wyevale - where Sue was convinced that the café would be open. A quick trail around the deserted one-way system in the shop revealed no such luck, so we continued on through Altrincham Golf Course to the George V Pool on the edge of Altrincham. There's lots of bird life here. Can you spot the coot's nest in the next picture?
Here it is from a closer viewpoint. Beneath the bird, unseen in the picture, are a bevvy of red-billed youngsters nestling under their parent.
I'll have to return there for some bird pictures with a better camera. From there (near the 'A' of Altrincham on the route map below) it's an easy 20 minute stroll home, where coffee and hot cross buns were our reward for a wet but satisfying 18 km walk in a little over three hours.

Wednesday 17 June 2020

Monday 15 June 2020 - A Walk Around Wilmslow (2)

Sue joined me for the second of what is becoming a series of short walks from Graeme and Eileen's house in Wilmslow.
They have the lush countryside of Cheshire on their doorstep, and it was again a pleasure to stroll along the quiet tracks and footpaths.
To view this panorama properly, click on the image to get the slideshow.
The hedgerows were alive with flora, and with Sue chatting to Graeme I could take a few snaps without causing a delay.
Near the edge of Lindow Moss is an old building that Graeme says is the oldest habitation in Wilmslow. (Near where it says 'Moat' on the map below.)

The brambles are in full flower at present. Hopefully in a couple of months there will be a fine crop of blackberries.
There remain large areas of peat bog, mostly already excavated, leaving puddles like this one.
After about 8 km, and rather less than two hours, we were back at base in time for Sue and me to return home for the delivery and fitting of some new living room curtains. Very nice they are too, but it's a shame that Lockdown has put the mockers on decorating the room.
Here's our 8 km route - thanks go to Graeme for acting as guide.

Tuesday 16 June 2020

TGO Challenge - Wild Camps (No 13: 16 May 2008)

After our wild camp near Garva Bridge, Sue and I endured rather too much tarmac to reach the Spey Bridge campsite in Newtonmore. After that we had a very sociable day, finishing up in Glen Feshie at NN882890.
These three pictures were taken the following morning, showing us packing up and admiring the view back down the Feshie.
We shared this excellent spot with Derek and Pat Hopkins, who were on their first Challenge, and obviously enjoying a lie-in. Sue and I were away by 8:10, as we had a couple of Munros to climb.

Monday 15 June 2020

1 January 2006 - Bowfell

After an unusually busy day, all I can manage tonight is a random dip into 'unprocessed' images from the past.

File IMG_1502 popped up. I'll have to create a proper posting of this walk, when Sue and I were accompanied by (wuxing) Nick and Daniela, as well as Andrew, on a stroll to the sunny climes of Bowfell.

A brilliant start to that New Year - a 'proper' entry may follow soon!

Sunday 14 June 2020

TGO Challenge - Wild Camps (No 12: 14 May 2008)

After our wild camp high in Affric, Sue and I continued to Cougie Lodge, where we met Susan and Roy, from Connecticut, with whom we have remained close friends ever since, enjoying quite a few adventures together.
Then we went to the excellent campsite at Fort Augustus, before heading over the Corrieyairack Pass and passing Melgarve Bothy, where we paused for a while before another 45 minutes along the track brought us to this idyllic spot at NN495956.
We had been planning on camping a little further on at Garva Bridge, but this place, very close to a good water supply coming off the hill to feed the River Spey, just couldn't be passed by at 5:30 in the afternoon.