Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Tuesday 4 April 2023

Monday = Isabella Day (45)

It was a lovely sunny day, so we prepared for a picnic.

"Let's have some spiced chickpea sandwiches!"

"And while we are about it, let's lick out the butter dish."

Then we took the tram from Timperley to Deansgate/Castlefield and the Science and Industry Museum.

There's lots to do there.

"I want to be a pilot when I'm a bit bigger."

It was still sunny when we left.

We had a long wait on the platform, as grandma's rucksack got stuck to a seat.

Then we returned to Brooklands, from where we can walk home to Timperley.

On the way, we stopped in Walton Park to eat our picnic.

After that exhausting morning it was time for an hour and half nap.

The gingerbread man production line then soon got into operation, and Isabella ate a whole rabbit.

That was another lovely day with Isabella, sadly the end of a mini era, because she will now be going to a pre-school nursery on Mondays as we may be away quite a bit over the forthcoming weeks. 
I will continue this series of postings whenever possible.

Thanks to Sue, for some of the pictures.

Saturday 1 April 2023 - A brief visit to the TGO Challengers' Spring Reunion in Hayfield

Sue and I turned up at the Sportsman Inn at around 4:30pm, expecting to find some Challengers in the bar. It seemed that our own booking had gone adrift somewhere, so our early arrival was fortuitous in that we were able to add onto the 24 already booked in for a meal without difficulty. Louise and the other staff here were excellent, dealing with several largish parties with aplomb.

No other Challengers were there.

So we walked up the road 2km to have a look at Kinder Reservoir, which appears healthily full just now. We perused some information provided at the time of its centenary. Either the 'clean-up' team is good, or the graffiti artists haven't got this far yet...

Click on the image for a readable version

After admiring the views, we set off back down to the pub, taking a pleasant woodland path for some of the way. It was lined with an inconspicuous carpet of Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage plants.

The Sportsman was regained, and to our amazement it wasn't until after 6:30 that the other Challengers started to drift in for our 7:30 meal.

I was too lazy to get up and take photos of all 26 attendees. Here's our table though - Ali, Alistair, David, and two Sues. My new phone does appear to take better low-light pictures than the old one.

The late arrivals were due to most of the attendees going on Graham's walk, which whilst not particularly long proved to be an exhausting experience for some of the aging breed of Challenger...

We do hope that those of us who are entered will be able to cope with the real thing in May.

Monday 3 April 2023

Saturday 1 April 2023 - Wythenshawe parkrun #516

It was a fine sunny morning for the 516th running of this event, of which I have run or walked in 228 outings. Today, those with leg injuries were encouraged to take part in this newly designated 'parkhop' variant.

Today was Jane Gavin's christening as Run Director. She's seen above addressing the field to an overture of barking dogs.

I didn't risk aggravating my injuries, so I left my running shoes at home and walked round the course, taking this rear end photo soon after the start, where the course loops round to pass the statue of Oliver Cromwell. 

It took me nearly twice as long as Sue, Andy and Paul, who are pictured below during a long post-run coffee catch up on the pleasant morning.

Full results are here.

Sunday 2 April 2023

Friday 31 March 2023 - Cicerone Lancashire Walk No 27 - Barrowford and Foulridge

Click on any image to access a slideshow - this is Pendle Water from the bridge at Higherford Mill

Rather less than an hour's drive from home saw us at Pendle Heritage Centre in Barrowford, where on road parking eliminated the need to puzzle out how to work the car park's meter.

Pendle Heritage Centre

I'd been here before, on a rather more auspicious occasion - the winding up of a charity that had served its purpose. An assortment of well meaning councillors and Chris Makepeace met me at the centre to deal with the paperwork, after which I seem to recall a rather nice celebratory lunch. Those were the days!

Today's drizzle soon had us donning waterproofs after setting off in the dry, next to Pendle Water . There used to be lots of mill activity around here, but today it was just a lone dipper flitting in and out of the river.

A typical bridge dating back to the industrial revolution

The path led us towards Blacko Tower, on private land so sadly not available to visit. It was apparently built by a local grocer in 1890, 'to improve the view'.

There was mud.

And views over Lancashire's industrial heartland.

A typical farmhouse of the area

Slightly muddy paths led from below the tower, past the site of Malkin Tower, where some local women held their Easter Covern on Good Friday 1612, when all God-fearing folk should have been at church. This was deemed to be evidence of witchcraft and they were all carted off to Lancaster Castle to await trial. I think this sort of thing still happens in places like Russia, where any opponent of Putin is deemed to be the modern day equivalent of a 'Pendle Witch'.

There was more mud in an ancient sunken lane.

Elevenses were enjoyed outside the relatively modest building of Sand Hall. Then, on reaching Foulridge Reservoir - as bursting with water as the lower Barrowford Reservoir is in a state of drought - we decided to take the optional 3km around the lake. The path was mostly firm, with several birds to observe. Great crested grebes accompanied the mallards; goldeneye were present, and a platoon of recently arrived swallows were hoovering all the insect life they could find above the water. Chiff-chaffs, robins, nuthatches and great tits were particularly vocal in trying to drown out the call of a wren in the wooded lakeside. The distinctive flowers of butterbur lined the path.

Returning past the yacht club house, we took the bridleway to join the Leeds & Liverpool Canal where it emerges from the 1490 metre Foulridge tunnel. Lunch was taken on a bench beside the canal, with views back to Blacko Tower, which does indeed have a commanding view for those privileged to enjoy it.

Turning right over the canal at the lock keeper's cottage at the top of a series of locks saw us plodding across a greasy field to reach a path back to Higherford Mill and the pleasant riverside path along which we had set off over three hours earlier.

By now the weather had cheered up and waterproofs had been stashed. We adjourned past some Tercet poetry to the Heritage Centre for tea, coffee, and excellent carrot cake.

Here's our route - about 12km with 150 metres ascent, taking us a little over three hours.

BC has also walked this route. His interesting report, including some detail missed by me, is here.


Friday 7 April:
Around Shocklach. 11km from The Bull in Shocklach (SJ 439 492). Meet at 10am outside the pub. (Take the B5130 south from Chester. Cross the A534 at Farndon and continue south to Shocklach.)

Please let me know if you are coming.