Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Saturday 19 September 2020

Saturday 19 September 2020 - A Short Walk in Tatton Park

This is a brief entry that I can edit as part of my 'New Blogger' learning curve. So far I have learnt that the icons used to do the editing are less responsive than the old ones. For example, I can't highlight all the pictures and change their settings. Each one has to be treated separately, even for something simple like 'left align'. And the pictures sometimes load in reverse order! And getting this paragraph to left align has been a nightmare.

Also, I've noticed, and Nick has pointed out, that the formatting of text around pictures works fine on the desktop (Windows 10/Chrome) and on the iPad, but it's really messy and unsatisfactory on an Android phone. Curiously the template into which I'm now typing shows a mixture of formats.

We crossed a Tank Bridge that I hadn't noticed before, next to which was an information board.

It was a lovely afternoon, with lots of people about in the 'well-spaced' grounds. We walked nearly 7 km before returning home to watch the Tour de France's penultimate day's time trial turning the results upside down.

PS This seems to be showing ok on my Android phone, and elsewhere. This may have been achieved by leaving the re-sizing of the images in HTML until the last step. They load at 320px width. Changing them straight to 550px (to fit on my blog template) causes a drastic drop in resolution, so I have to change them to 'extra large' - 640px, then manually reduce them to 550px - all a bit tedious but I'm used to it. It'll be interesting to see if this works with more text between the pictures than in this posting, and with text copied from a word document as in the series of Alta Via 2 postings.

Phew! (It shouldn't be this difficult!)

Friday 18 September 2020

Friday 18 September 2020 - A Short Walk Around Davenham

This walk was to check out the accuracy of the description of walk number 15 in Jen Darling's book, 'Walks in West Cheshire and Wirral'.

I had the pleasure of Graeme and Paul S for company. There's room for about four cars in the lay-by from which the walk starts. Go past the impressive church in Davenham, drive over the A533 and park in the lay-by just before the impressive sandstone bridge over the River Dane.

A dew laden path immediately after the bridge led us to a lonely stile near a magnificent oak tree.

The 30 metre high church spire in Davenham stood out above the meadows. 

We went wrong there, by heading up an enticing diagonal path rather than keeping on in the same direction, up the hill to a stile.

Anyway, after marching through a field of nettles near Park Farm, we soon reached the comfort of the Trent and Mersey Canal's towpath. 

Jen's guide refers to Orchard Marina, but this now appears to be closed, with some sort of construction work taking place at the moment.

A smart bridge soon takes the walker over the access point to another marina, Park Farm Marina.

An iron milestone and stop-planks under a corrugated iron roof precede bridge number 181.

There was also a nice bench on which to enjoy our elevenses.

There's a request to limit the use of the towpath to local users during these times of Covid. You just can't get away from the pandemic.

'StayHomeSaveLives' remains the mantra here.

There was hardly anyone around, so we ignored the silly request.

That's bridge number 181, behind Paul and Graeme, and after passing Oakwood Marina (cafe, accessed over the bridge) we enjoyed the serenity of the towpath to bridge number 180, where the railway crosses the canal, which turns a sharp corner.

Oakwood Marina seems to occupy part of Billinge Green Flashes, formed due to subsidence caused by salt extraction, where Jen's book reports the rusting carcass of a narrowboat. We didn't notice any such carcasses today, but this is the former site of submerged wrecks of abandoned narrowboats, an inland waterway equivalent of Scapa Flow. 

Many of the boats were brought here and sunk en masse in the 1950s. As controversial in canal terms as the scuttling of the German Fleet after WW1. British Waterways got rid of a surplus of narrowboats in several places, of which this was one. More recently, some of the wrecks have been raised and restored. As Paul's canal guide states: 'One generation's cast-offs can become the next generation's prized possessions'.

Beyond this railway bridge, the canal marches aimiably on to pass some giant beech trees (one having collapsed into the canal) before reaching the impressive black and white facades of the original lodges to Whatcroft Hall. Judging by the size of the lodges, the hall might be a massive place.

A notice at bridge number 179 informed us that the towpath from bridge 182, where we joined it, to this point (179) would be closed to pedestrians from 28 September 2020 for three months or until repair work on the railway bridge (180) has been completed. So we just about checked this route out in time!

We left the canal and followed a quiet lane to Riverside Organic Farm, which Jen's guide book optimistically proclaims sold ice creams in 2006.

The establishment appears to have flourished since then. 

We enjoyed very efficiently socially distanced coffees and a long chat with fine views towards Davenham on a summery day.

We managed to spin out this 6.5 km, virtually flat, walk, to nearly four hours, of which my Garmin gadget recorded rather less than two hours of actual movement.

Graeme said he wanted a casual walk today, and he got one!

Here's the route.

NB Click on any of the images for better versions and a slideshow.

Well, this second attempt at using the new Blogger software has taken a little over an hour and a half, (excluding photo editing) so is a big improvement over yesterday. I really don't like it though, fitting the text to the pictures is really difficult.. 

Thursday 17 September 2020

Lockdown in Timperley - Life Goes On

Before I start. I'm having serious difficulty with the new Blogger interface, which amongst other problems has left me just an inch at the top of the screen to input text etc. So it's really hard to see what's going on. My ability to revert to the 'legacy' Blogger seems to have been lost. If anyone is able to explain how the new Blogger works... Help! [Later: a bit of progress has been made after switching to Google Chrome.]
Shown above, is a current picture of the Bridgewater Canal from Timperley Bridge, with that taken at the start of Lockdown six months ago below. 

The next picture shows us at Wythenshawe Park on 3 September, after Sue has had a rather messy incident with a bird, with Cary trying manfully to clean her up!

Meanwhile, the tree mentioned in a previous posting has not had to be fully felled - this is how it has been left.

A week later, and we are still socially distancing at the park on our Saturday morning parkrun gatherings.

Meanwhile, Annie was late, and our tomato plants (thanks JJ) are thriving.

I've finished up doing this text in 'Word' and copying and pasting. Unless I can work out how to use the new blogger software, I'll be struggling with future postings and may have to resort to mobile postings with limited images. [Later: I've changed from Internet Explorer to Chrome, and am having a more acceptable experience. Blogger no longer works in IE.]


The pictures below show Mike and Sarah with Sarah's pram, and our living room before being decorated. Once decoration had started, some damp patches appeared by and on the chimney breast. We are drying them out, decorating, turning off the radiator and using the gas fire for a while, and seeing what happens. It may be rising damp/chimney condensation. We'll see! Andy the roofer, and Tony the builder, have both helped, though we haven't got to the bottom of the problem.


This week our kitchen is also our living room, and the dining room is a reading room - for one person.


This short posting has taken me over three four hours, which is unacceptable.

These last pictures are of the park by Navigation Road - everyone must be back at work.

Wednesday 16 September 2020

TGO Challenge - Wild Camps (No 33: 13 May 2011)

My fifth TGO Challenge, in 2011, took place with my old school mate, Mike. We started at Oban and on the first day we walked via Taynuilt to this pleasant spot above Loch Etive. Creag an Fhithich, NN068344, at a little over 200 metres.
This was a good spot for the first night, if a bit lumpy. It started raining at about 9 pm.
Here's Mike, the following morning, all packed up and ready to take down his brand new Vaude Power Lizard tent. Mine is the familiar Phoenix Phreerunner from the 1980s.