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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Friday, 26 May 2017

A little tour from home

For the last couple of days I have been plagued by an electronic buzzing noise in my bathroom. I have a false ceiling with low voltage down-lighters and thought it must be the transformer, but that seemed ok. Yesterday morning I traced the noise to the outside wall behind my w.c. Investigating from the outside I discovered a three centimetre hole in the house wall next to the kitchen door. Bees are busy, as is their wont, flying in and out, so I've got a bee's nest in the cavity wall - problem solved

The bee hole. I've no idea what its purpose has been before but the bees ae welcome

I am still walking from home a few miles most days, but with the plaster it is all a bit of a compromise and the next hospital appointment is not until 15th June, when hopefully the plaster will be removed. I suspect after that there will be a long haul of physiotherapy.

Yesterday, after solving the buzzing problem I walked over Arnside Knott and down to Bob-in café. Inspired by Beating the Bounds recent magnificent post, Teesdale, an Embarassment of Riches, CLICK  I vowed to take my time and try and photograph some bird life, but that was a dismal failure. My antipathy to standing still for any length of time, my difficulty of holding the camera still when on zoom with only one hand, and the inconsiderate behaviour of most birds to stay in the same place for more than a few seconds conspired against me.

Ash tree at top of my drive - I look at this when I am writing my posts.
Every so often the telephone wires get disrupted and BT or whatever they are called these days have to come out and lop off branches

These are at the foot of the tree. I garden under protest, and for the moment everything is going back to the wld. It will become an onerous job when I can get back to it

Just a it further up the road

Just before I leave the road to enter woods and make the ascent of Arnside Knott there is the cemetery with these fine old conifers - not sure of the species

The cemetery chapel, now used for parish council meetings and the occasional exhibition

Just beyond the chapel this entrance to some of Dallam estate's forest. I chatted to the guy who told me the last time they had culled the forest was 17 years ago, and he was here. Today was the first time in the 17 years I have lived in Arnside that I have seen that gate open

My entry for Bird Photographer of the Year competition




The cliché photo from Arnside Knott: railway viaduct across the Leven estuary

Across the estuary to Grange-over-Sands

Lots of these ancient remains about up on the Knott

My favourite bench and view from the Knott. Across the bay to Morecambe. Normally you can see Ingleborough but it was too hazy today

Starting the descent to New Barns and the Bob-in café

Zoom. About two hundred yards away. It was still for so long I suspected it may be artificial

Bob-in café

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Sir Hugh down

Yesterday I walked another eight and a half miles from home. One of my mottoes is "make things happen." As I was crossing the  Silverdale golf course footpath I deliberately sparked conversation wth a couple of golfers. I told them I was heading for the café at RSPB Leighton Moss. They immediately suggested that I would be better served in more civilised and peaceful surroundings at their clubhouse. Well, there you go, after seventeen years living here, and as an avid café fan I never knew that Silverdale Golf Club is open to the public. So, due to my contrived intercourse with the golfers I found myself enjoying a bacon butty and pot of tea in quiet luxury, knowing full well I would be receiving some cutting remark from older brother RR about revelling in the luxuries of molly-coddled middle classness whilst purporting to be a macho multi-mile walking hardman.

Gayle and Afoot, and others outside my blog have quite rightly pointed out my fortune in being able to still walk decent distances with my arm in a sling. Yes, it is some consolation, however, these walks are confined to routes straight from home, and after so many years here they are all very familiar, albeit in a most attractive a.o.n.b.*

Another minor niggle is being unable to use my walking poles. All you young rock-hopping, downhill running randonneurs will come to realise in your seventies that balance gradually erodes, and whilst almost imperceptible in everyday urban town-life it becomes an issue on rocky paths and rough terrain, and poles are the saviour, apart from their contribution to powering one uphill, defending oneself against rabid dogs, pointing out probably now unconquerable summits, and thrashing the hell out of brambles.

What I am of course missing is the off-piste experience of the unknown track ahead, the anticipation of seeing over the next brow, or round the next corner, the satisfaction of self-sufficiency, and the scale and excitement and planning of being on a long journey.

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*area of outstanding natural beauty

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Arnside local walk

I am experimenting with the Mac's dictation facility. Composition does not happen in the same way compared with normal typing;  mentally it is similar to trying to write with the wrong hand. Perhaps with practice one may be able to use this facility with more ease, but I don't think I am going to be able to get on with it. That seems odd because in my erstwhile employment I dictated most of my letters to a shorthand secretary.

Yesterday I continued with my local walking, setting myself a target to arrive at the Green Olive café in Milnthorpe around lunchtime so I could have tea and a bacon butty.

I have bought myself a small sling pouch to put my bits and pieces in, and that seems to be working well. Having my arm in the sling creates a pull on my neck, and after walking a few miles I'm developing pain in my back.

From the cafe I walked nearly to Beetham, and then found a footpath that surprisingly, I have never walked on before which took me, Bela riverside, past the old Heron Cornmill, and into Dallam Deerpark. The path through the park climbs high up giving splendid views across the estuary, followed by a descent to exit the park. Old elevated limestone tracks followed, and then into mature mixed woodland. I briefly took a wrong path which fortuitously brought me high up looking down into the huge quarry, with massive wagons rumbling about in the bottom, but at that distance looking more like busy beetles. A double back took me past DOG HOLE CAVE well hidden in the woods. I set out to find this a couple of years ago and was having some difficulty when I came across a lady and she owned a large field which contains an isolated oak tree in the centre, reputed to be the oldest and largest in the area. She kindly showed me the way to Dog Hole Cave, and then on our return invited me to go into the field to have a closer look at the tree. On the gate to the entrance she had fixed a small sign quoting the line from Yeats well known poem "Tread softly because you tread on my dreams", and today after passing Dog Hole Cave I went again to have a look at the splendid oak.

Another lane and then Tarmac took me into Storth village where I visited the tiny post office now run by volunteers, and I bought an ice cream and sat outside in the sunshine on the village bench. Storth is a particularly pretty little village. Once again I found another footpath that I have not walked on before, bringing me out on the main road from Armside to Milnthorpe. I was able to get back on the old railway embankment with great views across the estuary, and retrace my outward journey back to home.

I was surprised  to find I had walked nine and a half miles.

Clockwise, start/finish bottom left corner


Monday, 8 May 2017

Berwick to Weardale - slideshow



Here is the slideshow for the first seven days of my intended walk from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Castle Cary in Somerset. I know there are a lot of typos in the captions but it is very fiddly correcting these in Photoshop and they will have to stay as they are.

If you click on the link and then click on the first thumbnail photo,  and then click on "full screen" at the bottom of the page you will be able to see the photos to the best advantage. You can also enlarge or reduce the size of the photo using the plus and minus buttons at the bottom of the screen.

I have started using dictation on the Mac, and it may be a good alternative to using one finger on the wrong hand once I get used to it, but like all these things one has to go through a learning curve.

CLICK FOR SLIDESHOW

Friday, 5 May 2017

The long road ahead

Yesterday, Thursday 4th May: appointment at Lancaster hospital - service not bad. Two hours for:

consultant examination, and remove old plaster
x-ray
consultant  meeting again to discuss results
new plaster

The new plaster has to stay put for six weeks (next appointment 15th June), so that's the best part of the summer trashed.

During the x-ray, after the old plaster had been removed, I was asked to put my arm into positions it just didn't want to go in - the pain was hard to bear. Up until then I had some fancy notion I would be off walking again in a week or two (how naive can you get?) But from that revelation in the x-ray room I guess that it is going to be a very long physiotherapy job to get the arm back to anything like viable movement, that is after the six week plaster period.

I was able to see the x-ray for the first time; it looks as though somebody has thrown the Meccano starter kit down and hoped for the best.

Things have moved on with orthopaedic plastering. When I was at Darlington hospital there was a guy who had fallen off a ladder causing leg and ankle fractures so fragmented as to be inoperable, and that he would not be able to walk again for a year (lucky me?) Well one leg was plastered from toe to thigh and he had opted for alternate black and white stripes (Newcastle fan). I was offered choice of colours and opted for blue - pure whimsy, no political, religious, sporting or other connotation. I don't do football.

For the immediate future I am intending to walk each day round the village to try and retain some kind of fitness. I have not been given any formal physio instruction, but informally the guy in the plaster room advised me to keep exercising my shoulder, and he showed me a couple of appropriate exercises.

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p.s. I am working on the slide show for Berwick to Weardale