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Monday, 12 June 2017

Over the border

The new game is to find footpaths that I can get to direct from home that I have not previously  walked. I found one short link path a kilometre from home, but after that I would need to cross to the eastern side of the A6 to find new ground.

The link path meandered pleasantly through semi-woodland on a decent limestone path with  pleasing alternations of brightness and shade bringing me back to familiar ground at Hazelslack Tower.

An old lane cuts across country to join the road over Slack Head and down to Beetham. Halfway along the lane a shower came from the east. I had to don my waterproof. Not easy. Whoops! that sounded like a Trumpism. The sleeve has to be threaded over my plaster cast, which itself forms an awkward right-angle, and the sleeve is only just wide enough. The other sleeve then has to be grabbed with my one useful hand and threaded, and then the whole wrinkled mess has to be pulled down and straightened; well I was in no hurry.

On the road ascent to Slack Head a car stopped and asked me the way to Arnside promenade. As a lifetime's outdoory I take use of maps for granted and perhaps unreasonably wonder when I realise that others don't. Slack Head has posh houses with large, ornate, remote controlled security gates equipped with intercom systems, and the houses hidden away up winding drives - drug barons?

Dropping down through the old part of Slack Head there was a house named The Tridlings that I've never noticed before. Research tells me it is a dialect name for rabbit droppings.

The post office at Beetham has an old English style teashop with white linen tablecloths and Edwardian decor. A toasted teacake and pot of tea. Bliss.

A few hundred yards down the A6, fortunately with a footpath, I was off onto a lane going east and my targeted new ground. At the start there was a huddle of four or five farming type guys and their parked vehicles. They seemed to be just packing up from whatever they had been about, but there were no clues - up to no good I suppose (I am in cynical mood today). The lane ended and a cut path through a wheat field took me to roads and my furthest point. The new territory proved to be boring compared with the earlier walking and my return route further on. Perhaps that is why I had not walked it before. Extending my boundaries gave me a total of 11.2 miles, the farthest so far since my tumble.

Start of new path (for me) One km. from home - looking back onto the road

Pleasant light and shade on the new path

Hazelslack tower

Rabbit droppings (dialect)

Just down from The Tridlings this  roadside shrine. Not often seen in the UK, but prolific in France. I thought this was more Roman Catholic, but it emanates from the Anglican church in Beetham (see plaque, next photo)

Also Leoba. Rather boring saint born in England around 700 AD
Click to enlarge
Anticlockwise. Start/finish south of Arnside station. Click to enlarge

I particularly like this meadow grass. don't know what it's called, but it has a delicate light pink colour that does mot come across too well here, and it sways and whisps in the wind as it catches the sunlight

Appointment at hospital next Thursday, 15th June, hopefully for removal of plaster. Some pessimists have suggested they might put another one on.
I anticipate a long period of physio to get it working again.


Gayle said...

Just this morning I was thinking that you'd been very quiet of late and was wondering if all was well (or as well as it can be with a crocked dominant arm), and here you are. I now also realise you'd not been as quiet as I'd thought. I'd forgotten your previous post.

I'm going to err on the side of optimism on your behalf for your appointment on Thursday, even if I do agree that there will still be a journey ahead to get the arm back to normal. Fingers crossed that by the end of the week donning a waterproof won't be quite such an exercise!

(Sent from Denmark, where we're currently sitting with a view of the Baltic Sea.)

afootinthehills said...

Yes, I'm going to side with Gayle on the optimism front. Unlike me really.

Your problem donning waterproofs struck a chord with me. When in Ninewells Hospital in April I was lying on the bed wearing a jersey on top of a T-shirt when two nurses came along and put a drip in each arm, one a blood transfusion. I was therefore connected to two drip stands either side of the bed. Only when the nurses had departed did it click with me that I was now trapped in my jersey and T-shirt for the night. I'm sure the nurses would have disconnected me temporarily but I hadn't the heart to ask them rushed off their feet as they were.

AlanR said...

I thought a cape instead of a jacket, then I thought a black one and then maybe a mask, my mind was running away with me and I thought I'd better stop this nonsense. Glad to read your out and about.

Anonymous said...

What you need is a poncho!!
Which language do they speak to the east of the A6?

Sir Hugh said...

Gayle - I have the highest regard for your techy skills but couldn't restrain a smile when I saw you had posted this comment twice (second version now deleted by me). I hope you will do some posts on M and G from Norway when you get there.


Afoot - whatever the failings of the NHS those nurses and staff deserve much more than they get. I saw them demonstrating utmost patience, care and tact under extremely difficult circumstances. Your predicament reminded me of the scene in Catch 22 with a guy bandaged up like a mummy in the hospital ward, all very profound and symbolic - one of the great books of all time.


Alan R - you were beaten to it. Bowland Climber visited me yesterday and suggested something similar. I then recalled naively buying a cape to do the Pennine Way in 1987 (my first serious back-pack). I dug it out and we had some fun trying it on and ended up in laughter at the stupidity of it. I think one would be in danger of taking off in a high wind. BC is having an in-joke about our little episode in his comment below.


BC - I am trying to think of some practical use for the cape - can't bear to chuck it. Not sure about the language 'cause I spoke to nobody - probably it is Baa, or Neigh, or Moo,

Roderick Robinson said...

When Bradford Grammar School's students were moved en masse from a location in the centre of Bradford to the present munificent building in Frizinghall, they inherited a whole new set of rules. Typically they were punitive. It was the chairman of the governors' view, said the headmaster at assembly, that the first boy to be found carving his initial on the new woodwork should be summarily expelled. I'm surprised he didn't add "after first being broken on the rack." It was that kind of school.

Another rule concerned the high-level corridors on either side of the main hall. Going north one had to take the LH corridor, going south the RH corridor. My form included a cheeky lad, X, (alas, name forgotten) who liked to sail close to the wind but who also contrived to avoid punishment, his misdemeanours often being too wittily subtle to be identified as misdemeanours. A friend reported to me - admiringly - he'd seen X travelling backwards along a corridor where the mandatory direction was forwards, thus flouting the rule.

Since I lived in terror of being beaten I too admired X and would willingly contribute to a plaque commemorating X's audacity, assuming BGS would see the funny side. Fat chance! BGS had no funny side.

However you have the wherewithal to celebrate X appropriately by doing one of your familiar walks backwards. Slowly, of course. Lifted by the thought that BGS wouldn't approve, a tiny gesture against the school's flogging policy.

Should you respond to this comment please don't be obvious. The point about X was that he wasn't obvious.

John J said...

Good to see that you're out and about Conrad, albeit still plastered.
I also enjoy exploring walks from my front door - even from a relatively modern housing estate there are gems just waiting to be discovered.
Re: the cape / poncho idea, don't give up on it. Try to cajole a friend into sewing a couple of cord loops onto your cape / poncho that can then be hooked onto your belt. This reduces wind-flap considerably.
Good luck with your hospital appointment - I share the optimism of others, I fully expect that you'll be blogging with both hands before long - although still using two fingers to type!

Ruth Livingstone said...

Good to see a blog post. Like others, I was wondering if you were ok. Hopefully the plaster will come off soon.

Sir Hugh said...

RR - It's been done before, at least in concept by Spike Milligan
I'm walking backwards for Christmas,
Across the Irish Sea,
I'm walking backwards for Christmas,
It's the only thing for me.

The lyrics go a bit downhill after that.


JJ - as Frank Skinner often says on Room 101, "you are very persuasive" but I think the cape is just not for me - leave it to Batman.

The one finger typing is tedious and aggravated by my Mac refusing o capitalise "I" and words at the start of sentences. I have made the correct settings in Preferences and Googled the problem all to no avail. One Google result had me downloading some software that turned out to be in comprehensible.


Ruth - thanks or your concern. I have done other local walks in between blog posts that were not really worthy of a post, or to put it another way, I didn't flog my imagination enough to contrive interesting intertwining content.

Anonymous said...

When I first moved to this area I bought the old 1:25,000 Pathfinder map, with a green cover and set about walking along every right-of-way on it. Knowing me, I probably didn't finish every last one, but it did make for a lot of very varied walks, and a fabulous introduction to the area. These days, I don't generally carry a map locally, because I don't often walk far enough to get on to territory where I need one. As I write this, I realise that the idea comes from my teenage years when I was a keen cyclist and I read that it was a good idea to cycle all the roads within a 10 mile radius of home, then 20 miles, etc etc.

Sir Hugh said...

Beating the bounds - I did have the OS 1:25 and 1:50 on my iPhone and actually used them, especially on the new territory east of the A6. I don't carry paper maps anymore even on my long walks - the above mentioned are duplicated then on my iPad-mini as a back-up.