View from Oban Bothy

View from Oban Bothy

Monday, 3 August 2020

Farleton Fell and Hutton Roof

For reasons best known to themselves, Mike was on a mission to pass A Package to Jayme. Both Mike and Jayme had there own minders with them (just in case things got out of hand): Mike brought LTD, whilst Jayme brought Louis, a big lad, but a thoroughly pleasant one. I was also on a mission – to pass A Different Package to Mike.
I didn’t have a minder.

We met up at a suitably deserted spot where The Packages were handed over, and then we went for a walk.

You know that great big grey hill on the right as you head up the M6 by Kendal? Well that’s Farleton Fell, and that was our first objective. I’d mistakenly thought I’d been up there some years ago whilst on Challenge event, but as we started to climb I realised I was mistaken – the limestone features were quite spectacular, I’m sure I’d have remembered them.

I’m glad it was a mostly dry day, walking on limestone can be perilous in the wet.
The views from Farleton Fell were extensive: Blackpool Tower, Heysham Power Station, Morecambe Bay, the Lake District, the Howgills – and lots of limestone pavement.

Our next objective was Hutton Roof. There’s another Hutton Roof in the North Lakes, it wasn’t that one. Thankfully. That would have been too many miles for my little legs that day.
More great views, more limestone pavement. And butties and a brew.

We more or less retraced our steps back to our cars and then it was time to go home – apart from Mike who had his eye on a little top he wanted to bag.

It was a fine day out, our little walk was most enjoyable and it was good to be walking with friends again, this damned Covid-19 is a pain. 

Thanks to Mike and Jayme for having me along, and it was good to meet up with Louis for the first time. 

Where we went, 8½ – 9 miles:

Saturday, 1 August 2020

Big Ride for Palestine

Friend Peter invited me to go for a 36 mile a bike ride, the distance represents the length of the military fence between Gaza and Israel. The ride was a fundraiser for those suffering the from the political turmoil of that region, plus it was a tool to highlight the plight of those suffering at the hands of politicians and military who have total disregard for human rights. And international law.

I rolled up at Peter’s house on Saturday morning and we pedalled off to meet 4 other cyclists who were to make up our group of 6…..Covid-19 and all that.

We trundled off, into Manchester, and really having quite a nice gentle ride that included Levenhulme, Moss Side, Old Trafford, Chorlton, Salford and maybe some other places too. I didn’t take a great deal of notice of the route – a was just following Our Leader.

During the course of the day we crossed paths with other groups of six, all taking part in the event. 

It was a good day out in the saddle, and for a cause I feel strongly about. Thanks to Peter for inviting me along – I reckon I’ll be back next year.

Only a few photos I’m afraid – and a couple of those were liberated from other participants and the event’s website. 

More information on the event can be found here.

Monday, 13 July 2020

More socially distanced music

Baz, ever resourceful, invited fellow musicians from the Glossop Labour Club Friday night sessions to sit in his rather lovely back garden to play music and generally catch up.

It was a lovely way to spend a few hours on a Saturday afternoon – thanks Baz!

New Mills 'Running'. Ho ho.

The Plan (it’s always good to have A Plan, just ask Baldrick) was to have a bit of an explorative trot from New Mills Golf Club with a view to coming up with a route for Tally-Ho!

I’d plotted a couple of routes on Viewranger, the first route looked okay: 9 miles, around 1250’ of ascent and all on what appeared to be good tracks and paths. 

It just goes to prove how important a recce is.

The sun shone very hotly, bity flying things were out in force. On reflection it was a daft decision to undertake a run in the middle of such a day. Early morning would have been better.

Much of the route was navigable but some of the surfaces were very difficult to run on. Some of the dense undergrowth made it almost impossible for me to see where my feet were landing. I managed to stay upright. Mostly.

A couple of re-routes, some stops & starts to check the map, take photos, admire the views, swat biting insects, etc all conspired to slow me down. Oh, and being more than a bit out of condition.

Whatever, it was a good couple of hours of run / walking – and great to be out in the hills again.

My intended 9 mile route:

Where I actually went, around 7.5 miles:

Oh well.

Anyroadup, some photos from the 'run':

Kinder Scout

Oh yeah?
A great running surface...but a bit boring

Windybottom door for Rob P

The River Goyt

The route went through Linnet Clough Scout Campsite:

 Manchester on the horizon

A good number of footpaths weren't signed, mostly those crossing private property. I wonder if any of these paths will become subject to requests for them to be extinguished. In order to register my use of those paths I've reported the signpost issue on the very excellent Fix my Street.

When I arrived home my first stop was my medicine cupboard to grab the antihistamine cream, my insect bites were ragingly itchy! 

Sunday, 12 July 2020

Doodlecat The New

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Phil, of Doodlecat fame, has relaunched his world famous and rightly popular Doodlecat blog.

If you’re remotely interested in, well, anything really (although outdoorsy stuff like the TGO Challenge features highly), Doodlecat is well worth a follow.

Just follow this link ….go on, you know you want to.

Friday, 26 June 2020

Socially distanced music session. 24th June 2020

…with cake!

Ed kindly offered the use of his back garden to sit and play music whilst maintaining a safe and sensible distance from one another. 

It was a rather hot day, knocking 30degC – that’s a lorra lorra degrees C.
We drank refreshing tea, we scoffed delicious Victoria Sponge (baked by Ed’s lovely wife), and played music that left us invigourated, refreshed…and maybe just a bit hot and sweaty.

Up until now(ish) our music sessions have been more or less restricted to online Zooming – along with all it’s limits.

Music via Zoom is all very well, it helps you keep your hand in, but there’s nowt like playing together – separated yet in a group.

So that’s precisely what we did, and that is exactly what we’re going to keep doing until it’s safe to do otherwise. 

We’re waiting for pubs to re-open. Singing and playing music in a pub is likely to be a no-no for a while, most likely until an effective vaccine becomes available. In the meantime the possibilities of playing outside pubs, ie beer gardens, is looking to be the best option. 

Here’s a little of what we played at Ed’s – recorded by Mrs Ed (baker of the finest of Victoria Sponges): 


Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Domestic Stuff 23rd June 2020

I’m preparing to move house, my ‘new’ home is actually my old one. I spent my first 16 years living in it – it’s going to feel more than a bit odd moving back.

I’ve had to spend a huge amount of time and muscle tidying the garden, it had been VERY neglected in recent years – to describe it as an unkempt jungle wouldn’t be far off the mark. Whilst I lack the green fingers of my late father, it would be nice to be able to return it to at least some of it’s former glory. 

So (I hate sentences that begin with ‘so’) as well as clearing the house of junk, rubbish and general muckiness, the last few months have been spent working on the garden, digging out established weeds, trying to renovate the lawn, clearing the greenhouse of triffids, creating an earth system for my aerial system, and quite a lot more.

I should have taken ‘before and after photos’, but the enormity of the task ahead was such that it was the last thing on my mind.

Anyroadup. Most of the weeds and unwanted, old and unruly plants were chopped up in my garden shredder and are being composted. I picked up an old but serviceable compost tumbler bin thingy from Ebay – that’s proved invaluable, breaking down the garden horribleness into usable compost in a couple of months.
 That green thing is the compost tumbler

I should point out that my knowledge of gardening is minimal….probably less than that. T’interweb and a very knowledgeable friend have pointed me in the right direction and have helped me avoid any major disasters. So far.

Dad was justifiably very proud of his roses, unfortunately the most recent occupant of the house neglected just about every aspect of the property – including Dad’s roses. I think I’ve now rescued about 40% of the roses, the rest were sadly beyond redemption. 

The latest state of play is that I’m now growing a load of vegetables and some fruit.
Whilst I’m not going to be self-sufficient by any means I’m hoping to be enjoying organically produced fruit and veg well into the autumn.

Rhubarb (Timperley Early). From Primrose Cottage Nursery. It’s in a large tub and is growing like the clappers. Also another rhubarb (unknown variety, but rescued from a previous home in Timperley. Growing like billy-o in tubs.

Rhubarb in tubs and and potatoes in fabric bags

I'm growing strawberries from Primrose Cottage: growing well but no sign of fruit….yet.
Also Blackberries from Primrose Cottage: growing well and just starting to show signs of fruiting.

Raspberries (yellow) – from Primrose Cottage. Delicious! My dreams of making raspberry jam are unlikely to be realised….I keep eating the fruit. 

Tomatoes, from seed. Loads. Half came from a favourite tomato I buy from Aldi: ‘Regal’. The other half from seed. I can’t remember the variety.

Sweet peppers: from seeds from Aldi peppers.

Butternut squash, cucumber, and courgettes. All from seed. 

There’s a load of other stuff on the go too: lettuce, carrots beetroot, red onions, spring onions, sage, rosemary, mint, loads of potatoes... Oh, and there’s an unkempt apple tree.

One problem I’m facing, garden-wise, is the very intrusive and quite persistent Mare’s Tail. This ghastly waxy weed has made it’s way from the empty property next door.

 Next door's Mare's Tail problem...rapidly becoming my problem too
 I keep digging the stuff up as soon as it appears but it’s an ongoing battle to keep it at bay. I’m determined not to use weedkiller, I gather the waxy skin of the plant makes it very tolerant of chemicals that would see other plants off at a range of 100 metres. 

The good news is that I messaged my very knowledgeable friend earlier, after she’d stopped laughing at my predicament she promised to pay me a visit and suggest a battle plan. 

This very enjoyable project continues :-)

I spent some dosh at Styal’s very excellent Primrose Cottage Nursery. Caroline, who runs the show, really knows her stuff. If you’re local to South Manchester / North Cheshire, that’s the place to go. None of your coffee shop / craft shop nonsense, just plants. And knowledge.

Farleton Fell and Hutton Roof

For reasons best known to themselves, Mike was on a mission to pass A Package to Jayme. Both Mike and Jayme had there own minders with them ...