Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Saturday 5 November 2022

Friday = Isabella Day (28)

The Brio railway was Izzie's first port of call today.

Then it was a tram ride to Altrincham to a new venue for us - the 'Little Scholars' playroom opposite the bus station.

Lots of things to occupy an hour there, including a coffee shop.

Then we walked across the road, posed in front of the clock, and got the tram back home to Timperley.

After lunch and an hour and a half napping with Sue, the wind-up nursery rhyme record player came out.

Isabella loves the trampoline in our bedroom.

I wonder whether this video, taken during lunchtime, will work. The sound, if you can get it, is important.

Friday 4 November 2022

Wednesday 2 November 2022 - The Preston Guild Wheel - A Bike Ride

I did this bike ride on 10 September 2020, with Lyn and Robert. (Report here.) Today's visit to the  Preston Guild Wheel (PGW) followed a decision to leave an OMC (Old Man of Coniston) walk to a later date. This proved to be a wise decision, as we avoided strong winds and afternoon rain that would have affected the OMC trip.

We assembled at Don and Liz's house in Preston, an easy 4km ride on woodland tracks to the start of our PGW route. The 21 mile PGW ride goes around the periphery of Preston and can be started from any convenient point along the route. I noticed a sign to Longridge (3 miles) at one point, so BC (Bowland Climber), who lives in Longridge, could either start from home or from near this sign.

Anyway, we got going well before 10am and soon reached the pedestrian bridge not far from the railway bridge over the River Ribble. The PGW route passes this bridge on the northern side of the river, so we joined it there, on the overcast day.

We took the same clockwise route that I'd enjoyed with Lyn and Robert. No navigational aids were needed as the route is very well signposted and Don has done it around 20 times. 

We soon passed the bandstand in Miller Park, overlooked by a fine old municipal building.

Some of the sections of the ride that are beside the river pass through lovely tree-lined avenues.

Relics from Preston's industrial past liberally litter the route. I didn't stop for many photos as I was conscious of holding up the flying peleton of Don and Sue, on a day when rain was predicted to arrive around the same time as we would finish the ride.

The River Ribble is tidal around here, and the Albert Edward Dock has a large lock to protect it from the Ribble's tidal movements.

A millennium project retored the link between the Ribble and the Lancaster Canal, but we didn't see anyone using the canal.

A strong feature of the entire ride is woodland passages like the one below, presumably taking advantage of disused railway lines and the like.

The canal needs more ducks to clear the weed!

It's noticeable along much of the route, particularly on the northern sections, that new housing estates are springing up almost anywhere. And the 'Ancient Oak' in Cottam doesn't look at all ancient!

Some trees have shed all their leaves, others haven't started, but today's breezes will have accelerated the process.

We passed a memorial, near the Pinfold mentioned in my earlier report, to Private James Towers, awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery in 1918. Click on the images for more readable versions.

A little further on, before a vaguely technical descent over slippery cobbles to Brockholes Nature Reserve, there's a memorial to Peter Rimmer, the 'architect of the Guild Wheel. This was the ideal place to stop and enjoy our coffee and other refreshments.

Then we continued on our merry way along the well marked route.

Past Brockholes*, and back beside the river, we enjoyed the smooth surfaces of tree lined avenues as we cruised back to the footbridge and a final 4km back to Don and Liz's house where we enjoyed lunch and excellent freshly made cake. Thanks Liz, that was delicious.

Here's our route - 8km shorter than the one I took with Lyn and Robert - 42km with 300 metres ascent, taking us a shade over 3 hours, including our leisurely break.

It's a lovely route, I'll be happy to do that again.

*The descent to Brockholes has signs asking cyclists to dismount, perhaps for Health and Safety and concerns that fallers might sue the council if they weren't warned about the steep descent. It's perfectly easy to ride down, but if anyone is not comfortable with that it doesn't really require any significant level of intelligence to simply dismount and walk.

Wednesday 2 November 2022

Autumn in Timperley

It's a fairly quiet time here in Timperley, with any excursions remaining local until today.

Last week I got contrasting pictures on a walk through De Quincey Park. The picture above was taken in the shadow of a storm laden cloud (it missed), soon after which the sun lit up the park before I reached its exit.

It's a pleasant walk along the Bridgewater Canal to Sale for the fishmonger and other provisions outlets, and I can't help getting the camera out on these short walks...

I'll try for something more interesting next, before I bore readers with another episode from 1977.

Monday 31 October 2022

29/30 October 2022 - Wythenshawe parkrun #497, and a Community Run

On a rainy morning I was marshaling for the 193 participants in the 497th running of this event. I was positioned at 'Far Bridge', pictured above, where the runners and walkers arrive on the right hand side of the hedge, slide over the slippery metallic surface of a bridge, and turn 180 degrees for the final kilometre beside the left hand side of the hedge and on to the finish.

In the next picture, the leader in white is shortly to lap the skeleton that is about to reach the slithery right turn over the bridge.

Here's the leader, Rob Jackson...

... closely followed by Samuel Caddick, a first timer here.

Jeanette would not normally be lapped - she was ahead of me last week - but a stress fracture is laying her low and even doing the 5km with walking poles may not have been a good idea.

Others were enjoying plodding through the mud. I could have sold quite a few trail shoes today, as ordinary trainers weren't providing the necessary grip.

Thankfully the rain had stopped, but by the time I'd walked a kilometre back to the finish along with the tail walker's entourage, the cakes - if there were any - and most people had gone home, or to the cafe. Thanks to Sue for getting me a coffee, and luckily I had specs on me that helped when the tokens were presented to us for sorting.

Full results are here.

Sunday morning found me at a different place in Wythenshawe Park, marshaling for the Community Run, for which an excellent showing of 99 participants turned out for the 2km and the 5km routes. I was delegated to stand in the middle of a woodland section where 'management' is concerned to protect any young children doing the 2km route on their own. The marshaling point is beside the 'scary underpants'. The youngsters don't seem to find these scary at all - they cause some amusement!

The leader of the 5km runners had gained a good lead here, after less than a kilometre.

Others blew past at a fast pace.

The skeletons gave the underpants a wide berth.

Most of those in the next picture are giving me a back view, but these are some of the 2km route youngsters blasting their way to the finish.

The fancy dress department had been busy!

Finally, as on Saturday, I joined the 'Tail Walker' entourage, all dressed in blue, for the short walk back to the stadium.

So, those running events were the highlights of my weekend.