Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Saturday 4 February 2023

Friday 3 February 2023 - Shutlingsloe

We've been up Shutlingsloe many times. It wasn't only the summit that was in cloud today - you can see from the pictures below, taken near Ridgegate Reservoir, that the predicted fine weather hadn't transpired.

"Never mind", we agreed, whilst watching a cormorant trying to dry out on a post in the middle of the lake.

Looking back to the Leather's Smithy

Forest paths led inexorably uphill, with the trees clothed in mist.

Paul, Jeanette and Rufus were our only companions today, others having fallen by the way due to illness. Paul was proudly showing off his new blue boots.

There wasn't much to see on top. Rufus found the smells more interesting than the view.

So we went back down to find a sheltered spot for elevenses, just before a boggy section past Buxtors Hill.

"Look this way, Rufus."
"Look at the camera, everyone!"

The picture of the day would have been the one of Jeanette's stride into knee deep mud. But I missed it.
Eventually we crossed the road and passed the upper car park, before descending to woodland where some of the conifers have been cleared.

A steep pull up Toot Hill brought us out at the familiar chapel in the hamlet of Macclesfield Forest. This is a refreshment stop when we do the excellent 'Big Macc Ramble' bike ride.

A steep ascent along the bike route took us into lovely mixed woodland for the rest of the morning's walk.

United Utilities seem to be getting tetchy about mountain bike usage. The track you can see below - and above (our path) would seem perfectly suitable for mountain bikes, but who am I to judge? Anyway, there are plenty of tracks in this forest that mountain bikes can use - if perhaps not the most exciting ones.

Sue then spotted some lichen. What would she do if there was nothing to challenge her identification skills!

Rough speckled shield lichen

After a final few metres on the only tarmac of the morning, we adjourned happily to the Leather's Smithy, and four bowls of really tasty caramelised cauliflower with truffles soup.

Others were also enjoying the food. An executive decision was agreed upon and made. A table for up to 20 people was booked for 1:30pm on Sunday 17 December 2023 - a change after several years of going to the Crispin in Great Longstone, and a bit easier to reach for those living in the Manchester area. Book your space now! (Further details nearer the time, obviously, but I'm happy with this - we'll start walking at 10:00 and follow the route taken today. Just for a change, there will be no planned afternoon walk.)

Here's the route - 10.5km with 400 metres of ascent, taking us 3 hours including breaks.

August 1989 - Chorltonville, High Hurst, and a day out in London

August 1989
Home was 27 South Drive, Chorltonville. Kate and Mike's cousin Ellie was with us today.

I think the cat was called Squidgy.

Michael was very busy at his desk.

He never did learn to ride a bike...

We had a day out in London - Nell, Mark, Kate, Mike and me. We visited Buckingham Palace, Westminster, the Science Museum, St James's Park, and McDonalds by the Piazza.

Kate must have taken the next picture.

Sparse diary entries record us around that time visiting Mary and Tony at their farmhouse, High Hurst, in Dunnerdale.

It's a lovely spot. Mary (RIP) is long gone from there, but she and Tony carried out a loving restoration of the place, after she retired as a GP and moved away from Manchester. Her son, 'Big Mark', still visits Nell in Chorlton every now and then. [The Mark featured here is 'Little Mark', Nell's son.]

Michael was clearly at the age (5) when a stick was a good toy to play with. WWF wrestling would come later.

Whoever took the next picture can't have been very tall! (Kate?)

We went for a walk around the estate, which had been much improved by Mary and Tony, including the planting of hundreds of trees.

They must have been looking for something...

Mia, on the left below, used to be Mary's cleaner. When Mary left Manchester we inherited Mia, whose son lived near us and trusted Mia to exercise his bouncy labrador when he was on holiday. The dog was clearly too much for Mia, and I could often be seen being dragged across Chorlton meadows by the bouncy beast. But it was me who was doing the dragging on the return leg!

My diary records "Adventure over a stile with Mia, a Barn Owl in the barn, and Mark fell over a rock..."

Was Kate enjoying herself?

Michael has a reputation for going to sleep in strange places.

We visited an elderly relative of Mary's who lived in Broughton in Furness.

This is probably the last picture I have of Mary Lobjoit and Mia.

So, that was a 'snapshot from 1989' - 33 years ago.