Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Saturday 14 November 2020

Saturday 14 November 2020 - Saturday in Timperley

We were lucky again today - a feature of the entire week - in that the overnight rain had ceased by the time we set off on our 5 km (not)parkrun at 8 am.

Not that it was sunny, as you can see from the above picture taken beside one of our local flood defence areas.

Lisa finished decorating the study yesterday, but our best laid plan to have the new carpet fitted on Monday has been scuppered by carpet fitter Phil's receipt of the dreaded 'Self Isolate' text message.

After equaling our PB (12/15) in Vassos's weekly parkrun quiz, Sue and I enjoyed a bike ride to the park and a chat with a dozen or so parkrunners. Very well distanced apart from my container of fudge that got emptied rather quickly. 

Then Mike and Sarah and Isabella came round for a 5 km stroll along the very busy towpath to Sale and back.

Thanks go to Mike for sorting out the light fitting in the study.

I spent a relaxing afternoon reading Margaret Drabble's 'The Dark Flood Rises', interrupted by the sad news of the death of George Philiskirk, an old schoolmate, and groans from the kitchen where Sue was attempting a recipe that I had looked at and declined...

During this afternoon a message came in from Wuxing Nick (now living in Nuremberg), with a picture - taken today especially for Alan R - of a fine red tractor.

 Thanks Nick.

Friday 13 November 2020

Friday 13 November 2020 - A Walk from Tandle Hill Country Park

Today’s walk was a repeat of the route we took on 22 July, except that today we started from Tandle Hill rather than from Slattocks.

Graeme and Paul turned up as planned, and Slattocks residents Alan and Sheila were there to guide us from some distance ahead, whilst Graeme slouched at the rear, thus complying with current Lockdown rules.

Luckily, we were again blessed with good visibility and some sunshine.

From the top of the hill, the tall buildings of Manchester looked very close by.

There are various memorials up here, as referred to in that earlier posting.

The local A627(M) motorway was pretty deserted; everyone must have gone for a walk!

We soon reached the Rochdale Canal towpath, a busy place despite the impression of the next picture looking towards Rochdale Town centre.

There are some sculptures here with a just about decipherable plaque. From right to left: Lynne Coxell (headmistress of a local junior school) and a student; another student wearing đŸ•¶ in an effort to remain incognito; Gracie Fields; and Harriet Ellis (champion windsurfer). All local celebrities.

Soon afterwards we stopped outside the Ship in Slattocks for coffees from our flasks and apple cookies from Paul. A very pleasant interlude despite the pub being 'Covid Shut'.

We learnt on our last visit that Cinder Hill Farm is one of Alan's favourite places, where he can commune with the residents without them answering back. 

From there, it's a pleasant stroll back up through woodland in the Country Park, whose car park is completely inadequate on sunny days in Lockdown.

Luckily there's plenty of roadside parking.

So that was another delightful outing, with good weather and fine company. Thanks go to Alan and Sheila for leading the way. 

Thursday 12 November 2020

Thursday 12 November 2020 - Rawhead (via Jodrell Bank)

A trip to Lower Withington found me Lucy (dog) walking with Andrew on a pleasant footpath from his house, notable for the view towards Jodrell Bank.

Then I went to Bickerton to check one of Jen Darling's shorter routes in her 'West Cheshire' guide book. I parked in the lay-by on the A534 opposite the end of Coppermine Lane.

Adjacent to the lane is a chimney that belonged to the pumping house of a copper mine that operated here in the 18th century. Sadly, there wasn't enough copper to make the mine viable.

The path leaves the field with the chimney to cross a stream and climb uphill. Today, the only bit of mud on the entire walk was here, and it was easily avoided, so this walk is suitable for wet conditions.

The path borders a tractor graveyard that is also home to relics like this Austin A35.

Beyond the relics (no tractor pictures I'm afraid as I was in the way of a nervous couple with face masks who were vaguely distressed by my presence), I joined the Sandstone Trail - a well signposted path - for some distance.

There were good views across to Bulkeley Hill, along which I would walk later.

The mixed woodland along the Sandstone Trail route glimmered in the sunlight, and there were fine views in the clear air across the Cheshire plain to the Welsh hills.

Signs announcing 'Cliff Edge' indicated that I'd arrived at Muskets Hole, where the narrow path works its way around the head of the gully and up a series of rough hewn steps.

The trig point at Rawhead, at 227 metres the highest point on the Sandstone Trail, was soon reached, occupied by a chatty couple who were enjoying their lunch.

After a while I turned left, leaving the Sandstone Trail in favour of the extension of Coppermine Lane after it becomes unsuitable for vehicles. 

Cottages along this lane are serviced from the north. A post office van may just have crept into the next picture, taken along the lane shortly before the Sandstone Trail is regained via a path heading steeply up to the right.

This being a circular walk, I was now heading along the Sandstone Trail in the other direction, in the lovely woodland of Bulkeley Hill. 

Throughout the walk I met loads of people. It was more like a summer Sunday than an autumn weekday. No matter, we were all well distanced from each other.

Some of these people had congregated, exhausted, at the top of the steep tramway in the next picture, which fails utterly to portray the steepness. Two girls were comforting their friend who had thrown up due to an unfamiliar amount of exercise.

The tramway was built to transport heavy materials during the construction of a water pipeline that taps the reservoirs on the summit of the hill, from which the villages of south west Cheshire are supplied with water.

It seems strange to me that the reservoirs should be so near the top of the hill, but apparently they collect rainwater that percolates through porous sandstone and collects on reaching a layer of non-porous clay.

My path went past a reservoir and descended through pine trees to regain Coppermine Lane and an easy stroll back to the car.

This is an excellent short walk on outstanding paths. About 7 km with 200 metres ascent. Allow a couple of hours.

Jen's 2007 description is still easy to follow. Any amendments will be largely cosmetic.

I didn't turn the mapping software on today, so I'll leave you for the time being with Garmin's satellite view of the walk. A proper map may follow.


Wednesday 11 November 2020

Wednesday 11 November 2020 - Autumn Leaves in the Canal

Judging by today's strong breeze, and these 'floaters' in the canal, the treescape is changing rapidly towards a more wintry view.

As an addendum to yesterday's entry, I'm inserting the next picture. There's a bridleway that runs from the aqueduct over the River Mersey, parallel with the canal towpath for a few hundred metres, to the point where the Trans Pennine Trail is met near Watch House Cruising Club. Until yesterday, I'd not used the bridleway for a while as it suffers from bramble and nettle ingress in the summer. The picture shows a swathe of freshly cleared vegetation in the narrow strip between the bridleway and the towpath. I can only assume that it's an effort to clear rampant Himalayan Balsam from the area.

It can't be for horses as there's no suitable exit point for them.

Tuesday 10 November 2020

Tuesday 10 November 2020 - A Walk to Didsbury and back

I spent much of the day running an errand to Mike and Sarah in Didsbury, whilst Lisa was busy with lining paper.

Luckily the sun was shining along the canal towpath and beside the River Mersey, where after years of neglect since it became vacant in 2007, the building thst used to be home to the Tatton Arms appears to be the subject of demolition. However, the internet indicates that it may be turned into flats. Hopefully it won't continue to be an eyesore for much longer. 

Returning home through Wythenshawe Park, the afternoon sun made for some pleasant views.

This Canada Goose was snapped earlier in the day, but because I edited the picture later it has been uploaded last. At least I've managed to work out the basics of using the Blogger interface on my Android phone, though I can't fathom how to load the images on my iPad using the Dropbox files that I can see there. That would make blog editing easier than doing everything on the phone's small screen. I'll keep trying!

Monday 9 November 2020

Monday 9 November 2020 - Pictures from today's (not)parkrun

Good to see the litter bins in our local park aren't overflowing!

Provisions ready to be distributed, before a visit to Dot in Staffordshire.

Sunday 8 November 2020

Our study migrates

The study is empty. Lisa the decorator arrives tomorrow, and James will deal with the radiator. A few of the contents are in the kitchen (pictured) and most of them are spread liberally around the house. No room has escaped. 

Luckily, we are not expecting any visitors, other than those who might enjoy a coffee on the pavement outside.

This entry is experimental, using the Blogger interface rather than simply sending an email.

Don't expect much of interest over the next few weeks.