For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

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Thursday, 29 September 2016

Lake District's retribution

Lord's Seat NY 204 265 (Marilyn) - Wednesday 29th September

For years I have favoured the Scottish hills over those of the Lake District, and have been known to state in cavalier fashion that the latter are more like a children's playground. I don't know if the Lake District exists as a sentient body, but if it does, yesterday it wrought its retribution on me for those ill considered remarks.

In a recent post recording Gayle's increasing list of conquered Marilyns she included Lord's Seat, which I realised  I had overlooked, having climbed a different Lord's Seat and ticking it off by mistake. "Well" I thought, it's only a children's playground peak which will be a quick up-and-downer, and looking at the forecast yesterday, on a dire morning of unremitting rain, I saw there was a weather window between 1:00pm and 3:00pm, so off I went.

There was a good path leading off the minor road and I was in happy mood because rain had abated as predicted, and I distinctly remember thinking to myself, "this is great, a typical sylvan Lake District path, and a pleasurable ascent ahead, and how clever I am for planning this so well."

I failed to notice the indistinct diversion from the path left across the stream. The path I was on continued with all appearance of being the main route. A couple of hundred yards further it started to rise steeply up loose shale and scree and I thought "this is a bit steep," but I pressed on, then found myself clutching at heather and worrying about footholds. That was when I should have turned back. But I continued to a point when I considered ascent safer than descent. It became steeper. I was sweating profusely. I was moving slowly for safety. I put my poles away in my sack because I needed hands-on all the time. I was now definitely beyond the point of no return. Looking down made me increasingly aware that this was not a place to tumble. It went on and on. Then I saw a rock band ahead blocking the way, fortunately with a rake going diagonally left, but even that had a small rock outcrop halfway up, but I had no option. I had two attempts at that rock pitch, and got into a desperate situation and came very close to coming off. After instructing myself to suppress the fear I managed by kneeling on my replacement knee which is something I do not do, but now that really was the difference between achievement and what would have been a potentially fatal fall, and it had to be done. That was  serious.

After more dangerously steep scree and shale scrambling, the path cut back right horizontally, yes there was a well worn path through heather, cut out of the very steep hillside, so I reckon, despite its severity, this is a trodden route. A fall off that path would have had you rolling several hundred feet, and the path was intermittently furnished with tricky rocky steps. It lead to scree and a gully  with proper rocks for footholds and handholds giving what under less stressful conditions would have been a pleasant scramble. But my two hour weather window had expired and I was enveloped in fine, highly penetrating rain with increasing wind.

Eventually after easy ground with continuing rain and limited visibility I came out on the summit of Barf. Against all likelihood in those vile conditions another figure appeared from the mist swathed in what I think was a pink plastic mac which was being ripped and swirled in the now violent wind. We took photos of each other. He was trying to retrace his steps back to Whinlatter Pass I think, and seemed to have no map or navigation equipment, but there was little I could do to advise him.

I was now, believe it or not, on my planned route to Lord's Seat which  summited Barf on its way, albeit by an easier path. I continued over boggy ground, fortunately on an unmistakable path to Lord's Seat Summit only  quarter of an hour away. I managed to get a  murky photo but feared for the camera getting soaked.

There was a path from the summit leading to a Forestry Commision road and then a branch off to descend on the path I should have ascended by from the other side of the stream near the start. Even that path was incredibly steep, wet and slippery, and rocky with a  difficult section down-climbing a mini waterfall. Great care was needed all the way  and I proceeded oh so slowly. I actually fell twice, but backwards, and the slope was so steep that the arc of my body was  reduced from what would have been more serious on level ground.

Back at the car I found that a lens from my expensive varifocal specs had disappeared - a small price to pay for return to safety.

I do carry spare specs.

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Intermingled with this story is another mini disaster. For years I have struggled with those wretched mini military tin openers which risk a visit to A and E, and tend to bend like plasticine. I searched the Internet for a lightweight backpacker's alternative but as far as I can tell there is nothing so specialised, so I admitted defeat and decided to try and find the best household compromise in terms of weight. I saw Lakeland had a selection and because I had time to spare yesterday to coincide with the late weather window I called at Lakeland Windermere. Helped by an assistant I bought a likely looking device, but back home I realiased it was not a tin opener (less said). Today's weather prompted a non-walking day with Pete so we drove back to Lakeland and I exchanged for a £15, supposedly proper job. I have just got back home and tried it out and it is uselss. I did manage to open a tin of peas, but had juice running down the tin, and turning the mechanism only worked intermittently with a jerky, stop start action. For fifteen quid I expect better than that, so that will be going back as well.

Any suggestions?

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Don't bother to click to enlarge !

The Bishop.
 A white painted rock prominent from the A66. I think there is a story - Google if you want

Zoom to same

The Sylvan path just before the left turn to cross the stream which I missed. At this point I was in a pleasant little world of well-being

"This seems to be getting a bit steep?"
I assure you it was much steeper than it looks, but we always say that don't we?

Barf summmit

Lord's Seat summit

My approximate route up Barth

Click to enlarge if you are thirsting for more detail

The incompetent tin-opener



Saturday, 24 September 2016

Northumberland Coast Path - day 7

Friday 23rd. September '16

Island View Inn A1 to Berwick-upon-Tweed


A quick walk through Cheswick took me back onto the NCP and from there it was mostly a surfaced cycle track and proper Tarmac road all the way to Berwick and the train home.


Here is the slideshow with captions - click on the first thumbnail, then click on "full screen" at the bottom. You can also use the plus and minus buttons next to the "full screen" button to enlarge or decrease to suit your screen.




CLICK FOR SLIDESHOW










Thursday, 22 September 2016

Northumberland Coast Path - day 6

Thursday 22nd September '16 - Belford to Island View Inn, A1

Everything has gone so well so far, but today provided "Snag of the Walk."

More cross-country on fields and muddy paths. I think it rained heavily during the night, but it has been fine all day. The farm terrain gave way to a long but pleasant stretch of consolidated track largely through pine forest, followed by more seriously muddy paths.

The only village I passed through was Fenwick which was unremarkable. The A1 was crossed and then Tarmac, tracks and paths, brought me to the start of the Holy Island crossing on the road. The next section of rough path followed the margins of the marsh and is probably covered at high tides, but I was ok up to the sluice marked on the map.

Anybody who tells you about their crossing to Holy Island always dramatises to have you believe they left it to the last possible minute coming back and racing the tide.

From the sluice I could have walked into Berwick finishing late afternoon, but that would have meant overnighting there, so I had found the Island View Inn on the A1 slightly off route so I could have a comfortable walk today and finish tomorrow (Friday) in Berwick about midday with a sensible train journey home.

Anybody interested can see the sluice on the OS map at NU 073 435 from where I walked to my inn at NU 053 420 on the A1. BUT, when I got there it was called the Lindisfarne Inn! I entered and threw myself on their goodwill. I was told the Island View was 6 kilometres further north up the A1. There was no way I was going to walk. I rang them and they agreed to send somebody to pick me up. That was a bit annoying, the worst part feeling like a an idiot. I find most accommodation websites fail to give their precise location because they are catering for motorists not walkers. I had seen this PH marked on the OS map when I booked weeks ago, failing to notice the correct one further up the road.

I can easily get back onto the NCP from here missing out about 4 kilometres of the path. However, if my big plan for next year comes to pass I will walk down that section from Berwick going south.

The Island View has given me a newly created double room and provided good pub grub albeit a repeat of last night's gammon.There are signs that they are trying to update what must have been a run down business - good luck to them.

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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Northumberland Coast Path - day 5

Wednesday 21st September '16 - Seahouses to Belford

A bit of a problem this morning. Breakfast 8:00am, ready to go at 8:30, checkout doesn't open until 9:00 - ah well!

After years of backpacking all my arrangements for clothing, rucksack and its bits and pieces, provision for camera at the ready, transporting incidentals and cash in waist pouch etc. have been pretty well ironed out, but there are always minor changes and fine tuning, but at the moment I reckon I have got it all better sorted than ever.

Today the path lead inland, all in short differing sections providing ever changing interest. Tracks, fields, woods, golf courses, distant sea views were all included.

On a track at the dizzy height of 20m above sea level I rounded a right angle corner and had the most stunning view of Bamburgh Castle sat on top of its hill glowing in the morning sunlight about three kilometres away. I really did gasp.

Distance today was only about ten miles ( I do mix and match my miles and kms.) I tend to use kms. when I'm measuring distance on the map because it is helpfully divided into kilometre squares.

At Bamburgh I found a pretentious tea/coffee house and lingered. On a sort of high class village green under the castle walls I thought I saw a cricket match underway, but when I looked closer they were playing croquet, all dressed up in pristine whites; not a rugby shirt or pair of jeans in sight - I had to chuckle and managed to share my amusement with a passing couple who had previous associations with West Yorkshire, and more recently the Devon coast and we had quite a chat - nice people.

The path meandered for a while through soft sand dunes then into a cul de sac Tarmac road leading to Bamburgh Golf a Club, but alongside, a large field was planted with a sea of cornflower blue flowers which I could not identify, but hopefully my slideshow will display and bring forth the answer, but I say again they were so unexpected and attractive.

The views from the golf course across Budle Bay provided the largest expanse of golden sand illuminated with sunlight that I have ever seen anywhere. This Northumberland coast is a serious challenger for best in England and Wales.

Things degenerated a bit after that, crossing farmer's fields, and a short section on a busy road, then I was off onto minor toads and found a static caravan site - tea and pain-au-raisin - not bad.

For days I had seen strips of red and white hazard tape, and now I met a young man on a mountain bike retrieving these offensive items. It seems there had been a 100 mile run following St. Cuthberts Way which coincides quite lot with the NCP.

I met a couple from Australia who were wandering mapless and this really was in the middle of nowhere. I directed them on the way I had come and wondered what happened to them - one of life's little mysteries, but at least they were seeing our country properly rather than just cruising up the motorways. The weather deteriorated and just before I arrived at Belford I had to don my waterproof and rucksack cover.

I am now at The Old Vicarage b and b where they had the original bath from this old house with brass taps and a patent plug device. I was able to lie full length - without doubt the best bath I have ever been in.

I have just eaten in the Blue Bell. A black pudding, bacon strips, and warm potato salad, then gammon egg and chips - all ok and a bit better than average.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Northumberland Coast Path - day 4

Tuesday 20th September '16 - Caster to Seahouses

The Cottage Inn last night was a strange single story, architecturally challenged building. Judging from the surroundings I reckon there had been a grand country house there before.

I had passed a large stone gateway like the entrance to a country park on my way there with part of one side demolished, and barriers round - the reason for the closed road. Returning this morning there was a stonemason and his van. He explained that an elderly lady had blacked out in her car, fortunately without serious injury. He was there to do specialist repairs on account of it being a listed building.

I was soon onto cropped turf and enjoying early morning sun with views of Dunstanburgh Castle, built in the 1300s and now a spectacular ruin with plenty left to see.

There was more fast beach walking and several golf courses all in continued glorious sunshine. There is no doubt I am walking much faster than I was on the SWCP a few weeks ago. I walked solidly for over three hours none stop just enjoying the day and eventfully found the Salt Water Café at Beadnell - two pots of tea and a large slice of coffee cake. Here I took stock and found I was only about three kilometres from my destination at Seahouses, so I dawdled and took advantage of their wifi. The next section was disappointingly alongside the busy B1340, but just before Seahouses a path lead across another golf course to enter into the town pleasantly by the harbour.

The Old Ship Inn has been family owned for years. It is attractively furnished and everything themed for the sea, but all in excellent taste - a real gem of a traditional English Inn. Upstairs there is a gallery laid out as a marine museum with high class models of ships in glass cases and many seagoing artefacts - fascinating. My room is set out like captain's cabin on board a luxury yacht. I must emphasise that all this is well done and in no way tack y. I have high hopes of my meal .

This walk has so far been thoroughly enjoyable.

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Back from the meal now. The menu was traditional with no unique options, but the steak and ale "pie" (roof of puff pastry on top) was really very good of its genre, and a plum and almond sponge pudding with custard was like Mother's home baking. I was sat next to a couple from Sheffield celebrating their 57th wedding anniversary. Excellent conversation about how they met, his national service and his job as a copy writer on the Sheffield local paper in the good old days when they had different local editions snd several editions a day - the mind boggles, but that's how it was with the old Bradford Telegraph snd Argus.

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Monday, 19 September 2016

Northumbrian Coast Path - day 3

Monday, 19th September. Warkworth to Caster

I had a good meal at the Hermitage Inn at Warkworth last night: excellent steak and mushroom pie with chunky chips cooked with dedication. A bread and butter pudding was disappointingly layered flat but it was fine in the eating. When I make it my slices are diagonally vertical, points up, which brown off. By the way, my mother who was a cook par excellence on rare occasions would burn something, but that was shrugged off with, "it's only browned on."

I was sat next to a resident couple and we talked together. He was there for the salmon fishing, but the local rivers are at low ebb.

The landlord enquired about breakfast requirements, and when I suggested poached eggs he feigned trepidation, but this morning they were done to perfection.

There was more beach walking to start with - vast expanses of golden sand and good going with just the odd person about, mainly dog walkers. The weather now a bit cooler but amenable for walking just in a shirt. Everybody I met today seemed to be swathed in winter waterproof jackets. Surely they must be over-warm? And that coming from someone who has a fear of getting cold. They must think that if they go walking it is obligatory to wear all the kit all the time.

From the beach a rather tedious trek round dunes, tracks and main road was required to cross the Aln estuary and arrive in timely fashion at Alnmouth and a local bakery café for top notch black coffee and Belgian chocolate chip shortbread.

Onwards across a couple of golf courses, all good walking underfoot, some more beach then good paths through dunes to Boulmer. The only thing of note there were photos taken of two older tractors which will no doubt be analysed later by AR when I do the slideshow. From there it was quite a long walk to Craster on good paths and nowhere to sit for a rest, but great views of the sea and now some small cliffs.

I was booked in at the Cottage Inn, Dunstan which village is a mile off route from Craster. I plodded down the road and turned off on a closed to cars road and unexpectedly came to signs and a driveway to my destination, quite a long way before the village. It was couple of hundred yards to the Inn up a windy track as if to a grand house. There was nobody about snd only one car on the park. Inside was the same where I had to ring a bell for reception. I feared the worst thinking that I was at some place on the verge of closure. The room was fine even with the opportunity of a hot bath and it was only 3:30. There is no doubt I am covering ground much more quickly on this flat well footpathed terrain with little need for navigation stops. All a big contrast from the SW Coast Path a few weeks ago.

When I went down for my meal at 7:25 the place was almost full and my worst fears were annulled. Craster is famous for smoked kippers. A smoked kipper pâté starter had to be sampled. Unfortunately I had some of the stuff on my fingers and kept getting whiffs of it during the rest of my meal. It was served with the ubiquitous salad, chunks of cucumber, red onion and crunchy lettuce. My main course was one of those now popular beef burgers which was ok, but again served with exactly the same salad - what a lack of imagination, and it happens all the time.

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Sunday, 18 September 2016

Northumberland Coast Path - day 2

Ellingham to Warkworth

Sunday 18th September 2016

A mile and a half of Tarmac took me to Cresswell, the proper start of the NCP. Numerous Sunday morning dog walkers with pleasant greetings, and the most glorious cloudless blue sky with just a nip in the air made up for what might have been a boring link to the start.

I had a real spring in my step. When I emerged onto the vast expanse of golden beach I was even more elated. Beach walking goes between two extremes: dragging feet through soft sand making for the second most difficult kind of walking, and firm sand with a very slight give that provides the most perfect of walking surfaces; today was the latter all the way. The definitive most difficult terrain is old pine forest and felled forest.

After about four kilometres of that delight the route hopped up some dunes onto a roughly surfaced track leading to the Druridge Bay Country Park with a pleasant visitor centre and café set on the side of a lake. The weather was warmer now, the sky still total blue along with the lake and the sea. Excellent coffee and a cheese and onion pasty made for enjoyable elevenses. There were many folks about, nearly all with a dog and often with several.

Another section of cul-de-sac Tarmac alongside the sands and blue sea had attracted picnicking motorists. I stopped and had quite a long chat with a couple in a traditional, but only ten years old VW campavan - I felt quite envious, but he was a garage mechanic with the ability to tend to it properly.

Just through Low Hauxley, a pretty little village, I was back on superb beach walking again then reasonable dune paths into Amble. A strange wooden pier-like walkway led to the harbour and town centre. There was a funfair blaring away, and a very busy Sunday market - people eating and queuing for ice creams everywhere. I found the Harbour Tearoom, where thirst was quenched with tea.

After a bit of footpath the NCP follows the busy main road into Warkworth. There is a good walkway and the tedium of the busy road is relieved by the interesting river Coquet on the right with Warkworth Castle standing stoutly above.

I am at the Hermitage Inn centre of town. It took me ages to get across the road; the latter half of this walk has been surprisingly busy with people snd traffic but it has been thorough enjoyment all the way ( except for the funfair).

I think I will post this and do a follow up later after I have eaten. Being a Sunday they stop serving at 7:30 and it is now 6:00 so off I go.

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Saturday, 17 September 2016

Northumberland Coast Path, day 1

Saturday 17th September 2016

The intention is for a holiday walk after my strenuous days on the South West Coast Path a few weeks ago.

There will be six days, supposedly easy walking and I have pre-booked all six nights ( five pubs and one B and B), and intend unrestricted indulgence. Bowland Climber told me he had stayed at the Old Vicarage B and B and gave it the thumbs up.

The walk starts at Cresswell, not an easy place to get to. The nearest railway station is about six miles away. I am staying at the Plough Inn at Ellington, still a mile's walk to the start proper tomorrow.

Today's itinerary:

Arnside, Lancaster - train 11 minutes late. Standing room only.
Lancaster, Carlisle - 5 minutes late
Carlisle, Newcastle- fortunately on time because I only had 9 minutes for the change.
Newcastle, Widdrington - on time
Widdrington,Ellington - Phoenix Taxis - excellent service. I phoned from train. Text message confirming taxi on the way. Then another saying it had arrived, and look out for silver Mercedes.

All is going rather well.

The dining room is heaving with large groups, one of twelve and another of twenty (celebrating a 90th) noisy, but a good atmosphere and friendly service.

Black pudding, goat's cheese, caramelised onion starter - a welcome innovation - slight crispiness to outside of black pudding added to the texture.

Chicken and leek pie - good of its kind, lots of chicken and good sauce.

Sticky toffee pudding cheesecake.

Well that was indulgence. I can't wait to get walking tomorrow.


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Friday, 16 September 2016

Bits and pieces

This is not a political rant, just the ramblings of a politically naive OAP. It seems obvious that the NHS has become untenable based on the amount of money the government can see fit to provide, whatever they say about cost savings, increased efficiency and other dubious claims and plans. The government can only allocate OUR money that it has collected from taxes as it sees fit. WE, and I include, at a guess, ninetty-nine percent of the population, would like to see our country (whatever that may turn out to be as Brexit unfolds) with a state-of-the-art health service. With an ageing population this dream is rapidly receding. So, if the majority of the population want something so badly that is anyway a priority, surely they would be prepared to chip in a bit more money in the form of a modest increase in Income Tax? I haven’t the slightest idea how much, say 1p or 2p. on the existing rates would raise, and if it was applied I would hope that it was legally binding that the additional proceeds would only go to support the NHS. Surely public opinion would not be sufficiently adverse to frighten the life out of the government of the day?

I know there will be replies along the lines of: It's  not as simple as that...

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Daughter arrived at 7:00 am as usual on Wednesday with granddaughter Katie for me to drop her off at nursery at 8:45am. Daughter and I were talking and Katie had gone into the living room; she has been taught not to interrupt unless it is something important, which sometimes works, and sometimes doesn’t. Anyway, she came in and urged us,  “come and look, it’s important”.

The blood red sun was rising above successive horizons and trying to burn through a purplish haze. I took the photo below, but the sun is overexposed, it was much redder - it’s still a reasonable photo, but only if you enlarge it.

PLEASE CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE





Unbelievable- she will be 5 next month
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I have found that I no longer need to prove I’m human by ticking the Captcha gadget in “comments”, I just go straight to publish, but I’m not sure if this will work for other commenters rather than just for me as the host?

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I’m off to walk the Northumberland Coast Path for six days tomorrow (Saturday) and hope to post along the way, although it now seems impossible to include photos - Googling seems to tell me that it can only be done using Picassa and there is no way on Earth that I’m going down that route again after loosing all my photographs as also expereinced by many others. Mine were very luckily retrieved by a miracle by my local computer guru, Pete Walker in Arnside.

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I have now found that in Blogger Dashboard, writing a post, I cannot see my cursor and I can't scroll. If I go into full-screen things work normally. What with the photo thing, and now this, Google is both falling apart and trying to rule the world all at the same time.


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I have now met and socialesd with six fellow bloggers over the years, some of them on sevral occasions and made good friends. This was further enhanced when Ruth Livingstone (Coastal Walker) and her husband arrived in my part of the world and I was invited out for a very pleasant meal and evening's chat on Wednesday. Thanks very much R and J. Long live blogging.


Monday, 12 September 2016

Which way forward?

Fellow bloggers, The Two Blondes, just posted about a change of plan which touched on similar ideas chatted about with Mick and Gayle when they visited me on Sunday.

Backpacking can include following a recognised long distance path, or following a route of your own devising.

With the former I feel obliged to stick to the defined route as much as possible, even to the extent of returning to my finishing point from the previous day to start again in the morning rather than missing perhaps a mile by following an obviously sensible shorter route. Gayle feels less constrained and says she uses LDPs more as a general guide. Those are two personal approaches  which I have no quibble with.

My own preference is for plotting a route of my own which in my mind involves the one simple concept of walking from A to B. Unrestricted by a proprietary route I then have the freedom to alter my route to suit available accommodation or attractions and resume next day in the general direction. An example of plan alteration came for me when I planned to walk "Lowestoft to St. Bees Head" in 2010, a version of furthest east to furthest west in England. I fell coming down Nan Bield Pass in the Lakes and cut a vein in my shin. I managed to hobble out to Patterdale, but the original route was abandoned, but I was still able to name my route, "The Broads to the Lakes." I gain much satisfaction from planning and organising such trips myself.

Having said that I am off again on Saturday to walk The Northumberland Coast Path - six days walking and accommodation booked for each night. I have a much more ambitious self-plotted route planned for next year if all my bits and pieces are still holding together. 

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More English language gripes:


Different from and similar to (correct), but different to now seems to be universal with newsreaders, academics, and almost anybody else. I listen very carefully and only very rarely hear anybody say different from.


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The meaningless attachment of the words "...as you do" at the end of a sentence, for example:

I had a gin and tonic, as you do.


Thursday, 1 September 2016

Thursday Walk with Pete - Mansergh


For Pete, now at age 81, we are scaling these walks to around four miles, and generally on Tarmac, or well established tracks, and as always we end up at Café Ambio at the new Preston Auction Mart just off Jct.  36 on the M6; their flapjack is top class.

I have previously mentioned running out of circular walks within those parameters, and within reasonable driving distance. But Pete points out that views on a linear walk are always different on the way back, and anyway these occasions are just as much social as we chunter and meander along. We climbed together back in the fifties and sixties, and more recently Pete did over thirty Munros with me - we have agreeable and sometimes amusing memories. 

Today I managed to introduce a loop at our northern end and this gave us good views of Middleton Fell and Calf Top across the Lune valley. That brought memories of my traverse of that hill leaving my bike concealed at Fellside to the north (SD 637 889), driving back to Barbon eventually using the bike to get back to Barbon after the traverse - a satisfying day.

Our leisurely pace allows for taking photos and  studying our surroundings in some detail.

Today we stopped off at the slightly unusual Mansergh church, not very old, but with a roof on the tower like a conventional house, and a timber porch which I guessed was not old, but purporting to be Tudor, and I was gratified to read Wiki's  confirmation of my thoughts.

Wikipedia:
The church was built in 1879–80 to replace a church built in 1726 or 1727 on the same site. It was designed by the Lancaster architects Paley and Austin. The new church provided seating for 148 people at a cost of about £2,000 (equivalent to £180,000 in 2015)... the porch was added in 1903.

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After camera discussion a few posts back I  found that my Panasonic TZ60 had HDR set as default and I have disabled it, preferring to make any adjustments to reducing/incresing highlights and/or shadows in Photoshop to my own satisfaction, and I reckon I am now getting better results.


PLEASE CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE FOR SLIDESHOW


This and next seen in a garden at the start


A neat example of vernacular stonework

Middleton Fell and Calf Top

Mansergh Church 1879/80


The timber porch added later in 1903


Another contender for Photographer of the Year Competition - a very low flying military transport plane, but I wasn't quick enough on the draw

Ancient oak trunk with unusual bark texture

Rose hips


Start at Kearstwick- clockwise

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My latest language usage gripe: the use of the phrase, "no pressure then."

Why? I'm not sure, but it smacks of somebody being clever clever. I reckon it would have been acceptable and carried weight the first time it was ever used, but it probably holds the record for becoming the fastest evolved cliché ever.