Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Wednesday 29 December 2021

Monday 27 December 2021 - A Lathkill Dale Circuit in Fog

Sunny it was in Manchester.

However, we'd promised to meet Andrew, Sue and David, who were staying at Bole Hill Farm, near Bakewell. It was a foggy journey beyond Disley.

Andrew (waiting for his new knee) was ensconced in his bijou accommodation, but Sue and David joined us for a familiar circuit, heading up Lathkill Dale to Monyash and returning via the Limestone Way path and some muddy fields.

Despite the fog, I took a few pictures that are reproduced here. Click on any one of them to access a slideshow; today's text is minimal.

This must be the remains of an old tramway viaduct leading from a nearby mine

We stopped for elevenses by the bridge that leads up Cales Dale, and chatted to a lady who needed reassurance as to her route.

A little further on, the river disappears beyond where it emerges from the hillside, leaving a relatively dry valley for the final push to Monyash.

Had the cafe been open, we'd probably have sat next to the Village Cross for our sandwich lunch, but as it was closed for the holiday period, we were able to use its picnic bench without fear of being moved on.

This sign ought to be displayed (horror of horrors for the Management) outside the courtyard tea room at Wythenshawe Hall!

The Limestone Way provided a nice path until we cut across muddy fields.

Increasing levels of mud were encountered on the way down to and past Meadow Place Grange, but the visibility improved to the best it had been all day. Shame about the rain!

Finally we dropped through slippery woodland to the paved stepping stones that got us across the Lathkill River to our cars that were parked in Over Haddon.

Our 15.5 km route is shown below. It includes about 350 metres ascent, and it took us a leisurely 4½ hours. We adjourned to Bole Hill for tea/coffee and Lots of Cake.

A fine day out, despite the fog. Thanks to Andrew, Sue and David for the invite.

Sunday 26 December 2021

Christmas in Timperley

Well, after last year's debacle due to Covid, the family has dodged the Omicron variant (for now) and returned to a traditional Christmas. Nine of us enjoyed a baked potato lunch on Christmas Eve - pictured above. A lovely occasion.

Christmas Day started with a visit to Wythenshawe parkrun, for Sue to join 231 others and complete her 200th parkrun. Christmas garb came with many participants, but my 'tree' remained in the cupboard this year, whilst my fingers froze as I operated the 'back-up timer' tablet in my capacity this time as a volunteer. It's really important for such events to go ahead, and volunteers are always needed. For some people, this friendly event will have been their only social contact on Christmas Day. They should have gone home feeling good.

Sue, Jeanette, Charley, Edyta and Paul before the start

Assembling at the start

Run Director Alan, and an 'Official Photographer' before the start

I took no further pictures (the next two images are from Bruce), my duties with the tablet and the banter with other volunteers saw to that. Here I am, trying to master the back-up tablet.

Meanwhile, Sue finished in 26:07, a good time, and set about distributing Sue Strickland's chocolates, mistaking them for her own. 

The other Sue was on her 250th parkrun. Due to Covid, cake isn't being handed out by people doing 'landmark runs', but wrapped sweets seem to be acceptable. Sue's will come out next time.

Full results are here. Bruce's wonderful pictures are here. It was great to see so many friends in the park.

With the courtyard tea room closed for Christmas, we enjoyed a flask of coffee at the run, then returned home for more coffee and a slice of Selwa's wonderful rainbow birthday cake.

Then Kate, Jacob, Jessica and Nell turned up for a traditional Christmas dinner. A good time was had by all, but this selfie taken by Kate at the end of the starter course is the only photographic record. Several hours later, they all left with goodie bags!

Today, Boxing Day, Sue and I enjoyed a lie in, some smoked salmon and scrambled eggs for breakfast, then a 10km stroll in the Bollin Valley area. I wrote a bit about the route here. It was designed for a fundraising effort by Bollin Junior School, from where the walk starts and finishes.

Here are a few pictures from the two hour walk, which was in dull weather, but the fresh air was welcome.

The path has become very muddy since my last visit

Tree Creeper by 'Into the Wild'

We arrived at the 'Into the Wild' cafe just as a large group was placing a 'shipping order' and some drizzle started, so we eschewed the drink, walked the 2km back to the start, and were soon enjoying coffee and the rest of the rainbow cake at home.

Striding out in the drizzle, which was thankfully very brief

The author sighs - a sigh of deep satisfaction...