Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Saturday 15 May 2021

Saturday 15 May 2021 - parkrunners at Wythenshawe

Whilst (not)parkruns continue - I'm up to number 327 - the official parkruns, that were allowed to start in March but were postponed until 5 June, look as if they will be further delayed by landowners failing to provide the necessary approvals.

With so many other liberties about to be restored to us on Monday, it seems crazy that a few runners aren't allowed to get together relatively informally for a Saturday morning run, jog or walk.

A small group of us continue to meet up at the venue of our 'home' run, Wythenshawe. It's a complete mystery to me as to why approval hasn't been given here, whereas it has been given to nearby (and more congested) Stretford. Especially as I would guess that the landowner in each case is Manchester City Council.

But who am I to know about these things? At least our local parkrunner fraternity is standing firm and trying to support each other in these difficult times.

Thanks go to Jenny and Owen for providing today's excellent cake.

Friday 14 May 2021

Friday 14 May 2021 - Around Little Budworth (2)

This was another 'recce' walk for Jen Darling - the Little Budworth Walk number 17 in her 'Walks in West Cheshire and Wirral' book. Very few amendment to her route description etc since the 2007 edition are needed.

Sue and I met Graeme, Paul, Jeanette, and Rufus the dog, at Budworth Pool, after we'd parked further on and waited with this view into the Cheshire countryside from Mill Lane.

Budworth Pool, on a cloudy morning, was brightened by a couple of swans, sadly omitted from the next picture.

Very pleasant woodland drew us through a common to the glorious avenue of trees through which Coach Lane passes.

A short stretch along Park Road took us to Oulton Mill Pool. At this point I realised I'd been here before, and on getting home I note that I walked an almost identical route, from Jen's 'More Pub Walks in Cheshire and Wirral', on 9 August 2019, accompanied by the two Pauls. One of those has now moved to Totnes, the other was present this morning.

A little further on, we walked through a field of sweetcorn that, judging by a photo from the 2019 visit, will have grown substantially by August.

The Victorian pillar box outside Pillar Box Farm is no longer embraced by rampant ivy.

Before reaching Kings Lane, we admired a freshly ploughed field, then we paused for elevenses in a quiet corner where Rufus could not be distracted by the presence of cows. (See header picture.)

Tasty morsels provided by Jeanette went down well.

Then a relic from the Oulton Park estate, the substantial wall around the motor racing circuit, thankfully quiet during their lunch break, took us to a left turn and a tramp through a series of fields, with the church tower steadily drawing closer.

A field of cows presented an opportunity for our resident cow whisperer to shepherd Rufus through the melee.

Soon we were back in the village, admiring the church, and noting activity around the Red Lion in anticipation of further imminent relaxation of Lockdown.

The verges have been trimmed here, leaving at least some flowers for the insects and birds to enjoy.

Back at Budworth Pool, you're ahead of me if you can spot the swans!

Here's the route - 9.5 km with no significant hills. It took us a little over two and a half hours.

Next walks, no 'Rule of Six' so all are welcome:
Friday 28 May, 10.00am start - Primrosehill Wood - A 9 km circuit from Stoney Lane, Delamere, SJ 553 683.
Take the A556 south to just beyond Delamere, turning left down Stoney Lane, just before the A54 is met. There should be a lay-by on your left.

Friday 18 June, 10.00am start - A 14 km circuit from Rose Hill, Marple. Park by the Middlewood Way trail at Rose Hill station, SJ 949 887. Bring a sandwich.

Thursday 13 May 2021

TGO Challenge - Wild Camps (No 64: 16 May 2015)

After a night in an Aviemore B&B, Sue and I walked over the Lairig Ghru in fair weather despite pessimism at Control regarding the forecast wind, meeting a first timer, John Sheffield (airline pilot, wearing a skirt!) - I note he's doing it again this year. Good luck to him with the midges that he'll no doubt encounter on the postponed to late June event. [In normal - non-Covid - years we would now be in the middle of the Challenge.]

We stopped well before the fleshpots of Braemar, choosing an excellent site in Glen Luibeg at NO 020 937. Pretty cool at 500 metres, but our Rab 400 sleeping bags kept us snug and warm.

Wednesday 12 May 2021

Great Granddaughter meets Great Grandma (3 May 2021)

While we were away in Wales, Mike and Sarah took Isabella, now seven months old, to meet her great grandma.

As one of Isabella's grandmas commented - "Isabella is the perfect great granddaughter - sitting on Dot's knee with her 'permanently surprised' expression - but quite amenable! Well done Isabella."

Almost worthy of a caption contest, these pictures appear here for Dot's benefit as this blog is the extent of her adventures into the world of social media.

Tuesday 11 May 2021

Meanwhile, back in Timperley

We enjoyed a lovely sunset from our window the other night, and the Canada Geese are entertaining us while assiduously guarding their offspring on the canal. So life isn't bad, even though the swifts haven't yet arrived, and Lockdown seems to be easing into a vague sense of normality, so I hope this may be the last 'Lockdown' posting.

Having said that, the pandemic is by no means over, especially in some distant parts of the world, and it will continue to restrict our activities and movements, but I hope we can just get on with life. A hundred years ago the 'Spanish' 'flu was killing far more people, and those who had a job probably got just one day a week off work, and one week a year for holidays.

Aren't we fortunate in comparison...

Monday 10 May 2021

Snowdonia: 60 Low-Level and Easy Walks - Alex Kendall

Readers may have noticed the occasional reference to 'Alex' during last week's postings from Porthmadog. That's because we were trying out some of Alex Kendall's 60 routes, detailed in his Cicerone guides published in 2019 and 2020.

The eight routes we walked proved to be varied and excellent, and as Porthmadog is at the southern end of the 'North' book, and the northern end of the 'South' book, it's a perfect place from which to explore these routes.

The spring colours in the woodland were wonderful, as they would be in autumn. Whilst Alex doesn't go into great detail regarding the flora and fauna, he does add snippets of information about the places the walks pass through, so it's more than just a case of following the route descriptions, which we found easy to follow with occasional reference to the 1:25000 scale maps that are inserted in the text.

Cicerone also provide .gpx file downloads for purchasers of the books. I found these downloaded easily into Anquet's android phone app, but whilst I opened the relevant file on my phone before each walk, we'd have managed perfectly well without them.

So if you are a walker, not addicted exclusively to summits (although a few summits are reached on these walks), and plan to visit Snowdonia, I can heartily recommend these pocket guides by way of inspiration for getting you to scenic spots you may not have visited previously.

The nearby Llŷn Peninsula, a brilliant venue for walks in the area - especially when Snowdonia is engulfed by poor weather - is not covered in these books. I recommend David Berry's Kittiwake guide for another 30 walks in that area.

So that's 90 routes to choose from, plus those we devise ourselves, and all the mountain walks. We'll be back!

Sunday 9 May 2021

Sunday 9 May 2021 - (not)parkrun number 321 - and 122 for Sue

Where better to enjoy a (not)parkrun. I think this is my most scenic (not)parkrun to date, excluding some of the excellent walks we have had. 

But this was a genuine run, during which we passed the 5 km mark in 32:42, a respectable time considering it was ten days since my last run, and nearly as long for Sue, and there were a few gates to open and close.

We started from home and ran around the eastern side of Llyn Bach, from where the 262 metre summit of Moel-y-Gest stands out above the town.

Our route headed along good tracks and paths to briefly join the verge of the A498 road on the outskirts of Tremadog. From there, we enjoyed the lovely woodland path that leads to Porthmadog by-pass.

The other side of the road, at the exit from the woods, lies Porthmadog Eisteddfod Stone Circle. This dates from 1987, when Porthmadog hosted the National Eisteddfod of Wales.

More paths lead back to Llyn Bach, and the view from the road bridge that takes the eye deep into Snowdonia. You might just identify Cnicht next to the trees on the right.

From the other side of the bridge, it's the harbour, with the summit of Moel-y-Gest poking out behind the town in the lower picture.

In only a few more strides, we were back at the house, for tea and croissants before packing up, cleaning, and returning to the delights of Timperley.

Here's our (not)parkrun route, which is actually 6 km, and took us just under 40 minutes. As usual, click on the image for a better version.