Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Thursday 5 January 2023

Monday 2 January 2023 - A Short Walk Around Wilmslow

A sunny day but a tight timescale led Sue and me to select the short drive to Wilmslow, where we parked near Black Lake but didn't visit it. Instead, we ambled down to The Carrs, where the above picture was taken, from the Wilmslow parkrun route.

The walk down to Twinnies Bridge passed a rather fancy carved memorial sculpture.

Then we did an anticlockwise loop around Styal Mill, before returning to the car by way of some pleasant, if at times muddy, paths.

The owner's home, next to the Mill, has now been renovated.

The River Bollin powers the mill, running right next to the building and aided by the usual paraphernalia, with several mill ponds and a weir amongst the woodland of the Bollin valley.

Sue identified a few fungi - this one is apparently called 'Hairy Curtain Crust'.

It's inedible. More here.

This was a route we made up as we went along - a pleasant 8.5 km, with 100 metres ascent, taking us well under 2 hours, and followed by a pot of tea with Andrew in nearby Lower Withington.

A bright interlude in a rather dull and rainy week.

Wednesday 4 January 2023

Friday 30 December 2022 - A Visit from Jessica

This is definitely the last 2022 posting!

We had the pleasure of a visit from Jessica, who spent the time cooking. Junior Masterchef looms! Or does it?

Red apple crumble, assisted by blackberries from the freezer, was her first assignment.

Then cupcakes were concocted.

The oven did its work...

Strangely, this result of Jessica's cooking seems to have disappeared from our house, with the crumble container nowhere to be found. Oh well.

Our erstwhile neighbours, Andrea and Thomas, now residents of Heidelberg, like doing jigsaws. They thought we would like one that they had already done, so this 750 piece Ravensburger 'Exit puzzle' arrived in the post the other day. It's a bit confusing, as the small picture on the box only vaguely resembles the actual puzzle. Apparently it's the jigsaw equivalent of an Escape Room, and once the jigsaw is finished you have to solve six puzzles within the picture.

We've had a two week break from looking after Isabella, but we did pop in to see her at home while mum and dad were busy. She was surrounded by toys and dolls but the only picture I took was of Millie, in heaven with some wrapping paper.

Tuesday 3 January 2023

2023 - and a couple of New Year parkruns

A rendezvous with Family Barber and Friends brought us to Worsley Woods for a New Year's Eve parkrun - our first time at this venue although it's close to home and we've been on the loopline on which the route is based many times.

Whilst the loopline (disused railway) section there and back was reasonably dry, the 'lolipop' loop at the end was anything but! Whilst the rain had eased, the path was very muddy and involved an ankle deep flood where the river had overflowed. A brave marshall stood almost knee deep in the middle of the flood, telling runners to avoid the edges, where it was even deeper. I didn't risk getting my camera wet, so the images were taken in 'splash free' zones.

We assembled in the car park afterwards - Rufus looking very miserable.

Before the Barber brigade dispersed for brunch, Sue and I enjoyed drinks from our flask and Sue ditributed the last of her most recent batch of shortbread.

Notable for her enegy, Laura (in the bobble hat) had run here from home and then finished fifth in what was her 100th parkrun in an impressive time despite the conditions. Her run amounted (apparently) to a half marathon.

Sue and I soon regrouped at home, and Sue produced a lemon tart that accompanied us to Adlington for an evening with Robert and Lyn, Chris and Gerry, and Louise. We ate well, played 'table games' then Balderdash, before welcoming in the New Year and going to bed...

We woke on New Year's Day to torrential rain, but nevertheless joined nearly 200 others for the 9am parkrun at Haigh Woodland, just a few minutes' drive from Adlington, where we abandoned Robert and Lyn to a gigantic pile of washing up.

It threw it down with rain until miraculously easing around 9am. However, the route was laced with deep mud on the leafy paths, and with the last 2km being relentlessly uphill most people could manage only a relatively gentle pace.

It was too wet to take many pictures (my phone got wet and needed a while to dry out) - just a couple at the start (above) and one at the finish (below).

This park has lots of facilities, including a little railway, and may be a good place to bring Isabella when the weather improves.

It's back to Wythenshawe next Saturday, for Sue's 250th parkrun. She will bring 'cake'.

Sunday 1 January 2023

Thursday 29 December 2022 - Cicerone Lancashire Walk 19: Silverdale and Warton Crag

Click on any image for a slideshow

Our final outing of 2022 was to Silverdale, where we found a few new paths thanks to following Mark Sutcliffe's walk number 19, after which we visited first Rona, then Conrad, in Arnside.

After a coffee in the Leighton Moss bird reserve centre, Sue and I wandered over to the Causeway, where areas of reeds seem to have been cut back, perhaps in an attempt to expose the bearded tits to visitors. We saw a busy tree creeper, and later nuthatches foraging on tree trunks.

After leaving the Causeway, and its watery views across Leighton Moss, we continued up to the entrance of Leighton Hall, closed for the winter.

You can see the grassy path as it rises up the hill away from the Hall to a bench, from where there are good views back to the hall and beyond.

We normally go straight on here, but Mark guided us to the right, to a quiet lane along which we walked for a good kilometre. A right turn then took us steeply up to a leaf strewn, moss bordered path below Warton Crag. I don't think I'd been here before.

We strayed a little from Mark's route, but all paths led to the summit.

On a better day there would have been pictures of the view from the 163 metre summit of the crag, but today they would be just a mismash of greys. So the camera didn't come out again until we had descended pleasantly to Crag Foot and strolled a few metres along the main road to join the Lancashire Coastal Way as it headed under a waterlogged railway bridge and crossed the salt marsh.

The path, slithery at times, leads to Jenny Brown's Point, and a variety of views across the estuary towards the nuclear power station at Heysham.

The iconic chimney at Jenny Brown's Point is believed to have belonged to a short-lived copper smelting plant.

A couple of benches at Jack Scout are suitably placed for a lunch stop, if a bit exposed to the wind on a day like today.

Wolf House Gallery: the source of many of the pictures strewn around our home. We didn't call in today. Since a previous family of owners sold the gallery a good few years ago now, the produce for sale has become less to our taste.

Just up the road, there's a path to Woodwell. We took the low level route.

Woodwell used to be the source of Silverdale's water supply.

From the spring, and the clearing next to it, we took the cliff route (yes, a cliff was climbed) to Silverdale Green via the Chase. 

Here, Sue had a few of her rapidly becoming renowned 'Fungi Moments'.

Dead Man's Fingers (Xylaria polymorpha)

Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor)

Jelly Ear (Auricularia auricula-judae)

King Alfred's Cakes (Daldinia concentrica)

Purple Jelly Disc (Ascocoryne sarcoides)

Birch Polypore (Fomitopsis betulina)

Witch's Butter (Tremella mesenterica)

Once through the Green, we headed along the path to Burton Well.

A very 'green' affair...

Then across the rather boggy Lambert's meadow, finishing the walk by crossing Silverdale's golf course, home to some impressively skeletal trees, and heading past the railway station to the bird reserve centre.

A most pleasant route of around 13km, with 300 metres ascent, taking around 3 hours, after which we visited both Rona and Conrad, both of whom are also happy to get rid of 2022..

Click on the image for a clearer view - the faint blue line is Mark's .gpx route, 
the dark blue one is our route

So, with this posting being made on 1 January 2023, apart from a NYE parkrun, that's it for 2022. Some would say "good riddance", but we did have a wonderful weekly dose of Isabella, some lovely trips to Porthmadoc, and quite a few more highlights, so it wasn't all bad.