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!


Friday, 12 October 2018

Endmoor and a bit of paparazzi

Thursday walk with Pete - 11th October 2018 - Endmoor

Pete has the Met Office weather app on his iPhone and I had the BBC one on mine. Today Pete's predicted rain at 13:00 hrs. and mine predicted sunshine at the same time. Yesterday Pete had spent the day gardening - planting bulbs. Gardening has no attractions for me, and planting bulbs which will give no results for several months is against my nature which demands a bit of action immediately following my efforts. A notable example of gardening patience arises at Inverewe Garden in Scotland situated on an exposed coast. The founder wanted shelter first. He went to an island on Loch Maree and obtained pine tree saplings and planted them to form a windbreak, then waited twenty years for them to provide enough shelter before he seriously embarked on constructing his garden. That would not be for me, but the results are magnificent.

Pete's gardening had left him more than usually tired and we opted only to walk about two snd a half miles. We had not placed bets on which weather forecaster would prove correct. Pete's Met Office app came up with the goods as we felt the first spots of rain on the stroke of 13:00 hrs just before we got back to the car.

I have now deleted BBC and installed Met Office.

Our routine takes us to Café Ambio for tea snd cake. Ambio is attached to the purpose built livestock auction mart near Jct. 36 on the M6 and is frequented by farmers on auction days and we are fascinated and entertained by observing these characters with their flat caps, old tweed suits snd waistcoats and long shepherds' crooks. We suspect that meeting at Ambio is as much a social occasion for the farmers as is the selling and buying of their livestock. Today, with s bit more time on our hands, I took some clandestine photos without using the flash. I am not sure about the ethics of this kind of photography and I did feel s bit guilty about it, but you can see the results bellow.

Today's photos are a bit dark although I have played with some of them in Photoshop, and especially the Ambio ones will benefit from "click to enlarge."

Monday, 8 October 2018

If at first...

There may be some correlation between my problem with the lock and the book I have just finished. This morning in the peace and quiet of my study after a refreshing night's sleep I studied the lock and bludgeoned my brain. If you look at the photo you will see the spring has two legs sticking out. The counter-intuitive solution (to me) was to cross these over and hook each onto the opposing sidebar so that they became cross-legged and therefore under much more tension. Manipulating that and holding everything together whilst replacing the back plate was akin to brain surgery, more of that shortly. Having solved the locating of the spring I found the dam thing still didn't work and I had to disassemble and reassemble several times until I found out how the circular piece of metal attached loosely to the back plate fitted so that it would pick up the inside mechanism when the key is turned but I got there in the end. I am still awaiting a reply from Securit and the lock is fitted and the other woodwork tidied up.

My version of mechanical surgery didn't have the potential for total paralysis or death risked by Henry Marsh, an eminent neurologist specialising in brain surgery, which he describes with candour in his book Do No Harm.

Brother RR who comments here suggested this book to me over a year ago and I think he thought I was too squeamish to take it on. For years I have attended a small reading group and Henry's book was suggested by one of the other members as our latest read, so I was committed. I read the first hundred pages at one sitting and rattled on through the rest pretty quickly even though it did become a bit repetitive. There are twenty five anecdotal chapters describing individual case histories intermingled with  the agonies of communicating difficult information to patients and relatives and the the burden of decision making on all concerned.

In Henry's early career he seems gung-ho, and he has much to say about his frustrations with the NHS, but experience over the years sees him becoming more tempered. I did question his motivation for writing the book, was it partly egotistical? He is obviously caring and compassionate about his patients, and he has spent a lot of time travelling to the Ukraine on a voluntary basis to assist with neurosurgery in primitive and unpleasant conditions and this is obviously altruistically motivated.

Unless you have had direct and upsetting experience of brain surgery with close relatives or friends I would recommend this book as a rewarding read. One member of our group had unfortunately had a related family experience and had been unable to read the whole book but had just dipped in but still made a strong contribution to our discussion.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

No luck with a lock

The new shed needed a lock on the door.

I bought a clone Yale item (Securit Standard Nightlatch - S1740.)

It came in the usual tight plastic wrapping on a card. There were no instructions. I did look at a video on You Tube that gave me some idea. I fitted the main body to the door, then the keeper on the other side, but then I realised that the bolt part is curved on one side and straight on the other - mine was the wrong way round. I then lost the plot and tried to modify and ended up with a dreadful mess of split wood and shavings from the door jamb and it was getting late and cold. I became totally frustrated and depressed and decided to leave it all for a clearer head next day.

I came in and ate my meal, but couldn't help puzzling about this problem and I knew I was overlooking something obvious. "Are these items left or right handed,." I was trying to imagine the lock fitting on a door that opened from the other side, but my brain is not very good at such spatial awareness imaginations, a sad failing for an aspirant DIYer. There was no indication on the packaging. At about 8:00 pm I suddenly thought "is that bolt reversible?"

Off I went to the shed in the dark armed with my torch. I unscrewed the main body of the lock from the door, turned it over and saw a tiny screw securing a backplate. I unscrewed and lifted the plate. A small spring jumped out like one of those miniature frogs I have seen so often on the Scottish hills. The spring landed on the decking and it took overt five minutes to find it in the dark. I brought everything back into the house, and after turning the bolt I tried to refit the spring but there was no way I could see how it went. I searched the manufacturer's website to no avail. They had no phone number, just the option to send an email. I typed my SOS to them and now await their reply.

Long live DIY.

I am too ashamed to show a photo of the mess on the door jamb.

The vital point it seems, which I found out later, is whether the door opens inwards or outwards , but the retailer, the manufacturer and You Tube had failed to point that out, or that the bolt is reversible

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Old Hutton and Peasey Beck

Thursday walk with Pete - 27th September 2018 - Old Hutton

My post entitled Holme has now clocked up 75 comments:

Click here

RR's latest and my reply should really signal the time to move on. RR has suggested that comments on older posts will rarely be seen, but I have pointed out that if you look under Comments in Blogger Dashboard any comments on older posts will appear there, so blog authors needn't miss comments put on older posts, and it is also worth looking at Spam in the same location because I have found that Blogger occasionally places valid comments there in error.

I have a sort of obsessional aversion to driving on part of the route I have selected before we start, on the grounds that it could spoil the enjoyment of discovering points of interest and views to be gleaned on the walk. But finding somewhere to park on narrow country lanes sometimes makes that inevitable, and so it was today. We had to drive about a third of a kilometre on the B6254 which was part of the short section of that road on our walk. My obsession also extends to objection to a there and back rather than a circular, but Pete has pointed out that you get a different view on the way back, and he has no empathy with my problem, and that has tempered this second obsession for me to some extent, which is fortunate because I have just about run out of circular routes that match our required parameters.

Shortly after our start we passed through tiny Beckside and glancing upstream from the bridge over the infant Peasey Beck we spied a half decent waterfall tantalisingly half hidden in the trees - it was more reminiscent of territory close to the Lakes and a pleasant little surprise, and I was glad that I hadn't noticed beforehand the it is marked on the OS map.

However narrow and purposeless are the little roads that we walk on there is always some traffic these days. We had to get off the road onto uncomfortable grass verges every now and then for passing vehicles. On one very narrow lane we had a tractor-unit pulling a huge, empty low-loader, and as it carried on we saw it confronting a farmer's tractor coming the other way laden with hedge cutting machinery. The tractor skilfully diverted off into a field and so pas de problème, but oh, why didn't I remember to take a photo. As we continued we were walking on a carpet of chopped up multi species of hedge clippings. Apart from a  number of private cars, heading who knows where in view of the very few habitations in the vicinity, we now as always  were plagued by home delivery vans. I can't complain about those because I am as guilty as others of buying on t'Internet.

I have over dramatised to some extent the volume of traffic, but it is becoming more and more noticeable on these little roads. The one exception that we don't object to is the little red Royal Mail van - it usually  passes us somewhere, disappears up a rough farm track, and then passes us again on its way back, always with a friendly wave, and even more emotive today with the passing of Postman Pat's creator John Cunliffe the other day.


Peasey Beck at Beckside and the waterfall

This array of solar panels was far bigger than I could encompass in the photo.
We wondered if it was a private enterprise or one set up by power generating bodies. There were no signs, just high barbed wire fencing and security cameras

I wouldn't want this macabre scene greeting me each morning on my gatepost (if I had such a gatepost)

Taken from my living room window later in the dsy as the sun was setting behind and casting this glow on Farleton Fell and Hutton Roof

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Trespassing on my own blog

A protracted exchange between brother RR and Phreerunner continues on my multi-commented post Holme.

I started to add a comment of my own, but after knocking it together I thought it may be wasted in a location not being visited as much by my readers.

I often write my comments on another word-processor rather than directly into the comments box on Blogger. I was never quite sure why until today. It dawned on me that those replies I write first elsewhere are ones where I am not sure I am going to publish until I see how they turn out.

May I barge in on your exchanges and make a plea for the Mk1 Vauxhall Victor, circa 1958 as Worst Car Ever?

The bodywork seems to have been made from re-cycled Heinz Beans tins and developed into a lace curtain within about eighteen months.

There was a steering column gear-change that worked through umpteen different linkages, and even tough there were only three gears (I think) it was not easy to find them, whilst the macho short-shift gear stick favoured by the flat cap, cravat, sports jacket brigade had been eliminated; the reason for that was to provide a front bench seat so the passenger could slide into the driver, that was if a corner was ever taken fast enough, which was unlikely, thus causing an accident and write-off, hopefully before the embarrassing development of the lace curtain.

As you attempted to get into the car the rearward extension of the front wing or windscreen bodywork protruded in a pointy fashion threatening disembowelment.

One glance from a five year old would likely have elicited the obvious observation “the wheels are too small..”  That of course lead to chronic understeer.

Those are the faults ingrained in my memory, which may or may not be entirely accurate, gleaned from my employment as a finance company representative, much of my time being spent repossessing these and similar models from disillusioned owners who had found out that a three year hire-purchase repayment period had been woefully unrealistic.

With thanks to Google Images.
I even found a mustard coloured one (see exchanges on  Home mentioned above)

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Hurricane Ali postpones DIY

It is only seventeen days since I last posted but I am getting anxious messages from fans wondering if I have fallen down a pothole or walked off the edge of Earth.

I have been busy with DIY. Firstly a new window in the rear of my garage which I made and fitted after being poleaxed seeing the likely cost of having it done professionally. I used up much of the left over decking timber I have been storing for several years (in case it might come in.) Construction involved seventeen pieces. I have a freestanding circular bench saw which enabled me to cut wood down to size with ease, but not without danger - I do still have ten digits on my hands. The cost of the window came in at £31.00 - £11 for some paint and £20 for two pieces of glass cut to size, 3 ft x 14in. each.

Next, I  bought a new shed to stand on decking Number Three which will serve as accommodation for my son W; I am in the process of insulating this which has been time consuming, researching methods, and obtaining materials, but it is now well under way.

On Tuesday I received a welcome phone call from Bowland Climber who comments here inviting me to accompany him and another friend J on a walk in the Bowland hills yesterday (Wednesday) and so DIY was put on hold.

BC made a brief reference to Hurricane Ali which has just taken out half of the USA and was reported to be now heading our way, albeit at  reduced  ferocity.

Our first objective was Parlick summit. I used to run up this hill and seem to remember a time of just under ten minutes. Today it took us half an hour, but only plodding of course, but the strong wind was behind us. The final section to the summit is seriously steep but we managed without stopping. On the lower section we did stop to watch a kestrel and possibly a peregrine, so it seems that the whole of wildlife has not yet been exterminated here in favour grouse and mono-diversity. ( I think that's an oxymoron.)

We walkers enjoy a good ridge after the labours of getting up there and so it was between Parlick and Fair Snape Fell. Hurricane Ali was blowing us along like clippers under full sail, and the views were wide ranging and somehow enhanced by the wild weather.

At Fiendsdsle Head we turned south-west to do what I erroneously call a descending contour on  a fine path looking steeply down into the bowl of Bleasedale. The wind was now coming at us sideways, then quite abruptly it brought lashing horizontal rain stinging into the face like mini machine gun fire. BC and J donned over-trousers and I tried in vain to fix the hood of my waterproof in place, but the wind just kept ripping it off. I was wearing Paramo Cascada trousers, supposedly waterproof, but the wet was forced straight through by the wind in an instant like broth being pressed through a sieve. We had about half an hour of this descending as quickly as possible in those conditions until we reached the valley bottom where the rain stopped, but the wind continued.

A rickety stile at a barbed wire fence gave both my companions problems, my father would have said it was "on the blink." I got halfway but couldn't get my now almost horizontal leg over. J was holding my body on one side and BC was trying to lift my leg over, then my sock became spiked on the wire, and all three of us were locked into a sort of sculpture not being able to move for fear of all falling over together with potentially dire result. By luck a loop of the wire lifted itself off its post and we were free to put the foot down and un-spike the sock. Twas all a bit embarrassing, but BC in his usual way was almost incapacitated by laughter - what good friends.

We carried on and stopped on the seat outside Bleasedale Church to est and drink. The church is dedicated to St Eadmer and I thought that may be of interest, but he doesn't appear to be patron of anything, and the best I could get from Wiki was:

As for Eadmer, apart from this brief moment in history in 995 AD, there appears to be no other trace and this unique dedication is his only memorial. The rest of his life is a mystery.

One would have thought they would have chosen somebody more interesting to dedicate their church to?

Eventually we climbed a good way back up the slopes of Parlick before traversing round its middle to get us back to our starting point 

The best day out I've had for some time.


BC's account is here:


Parlick ahead

Watching the kestrel (before the steep bit)

Pendle Hill

Fair Snape summit

There were errors on the original which I have deleted and replaced with this revision

Monday, 3 September 2018

Blogger problems

Following the disappearance of some of the older photos on this blog I had a look at the Blogger forum and posted my problem. Surprisingly I had a reply asking for links to posts with vanished photos. I sent a couple of links and then received the reply below.

It seems that it is not the fault of Blogger, rather me using an app called Blogpress, so at least I now know what has happened and will be able to avoid this problem in future.

Blogger seems to be making more effort to communicate and resolve problems; n.b. their fixing for email comments notifications. In the past I gave that route up as a bad job, but will certainly go that way again if I have any more problems.


Thanks for your comprehensive reply. At least I now know how this has happened. I have used the app called Blogpress in the past when posting from my iPad during my long distance backpacking walks. Nowadays WiFi is much more widely available and I find I can post most of the time from Blogger Dashboard as I do at home from my Mac desktop. I have plenty of things to occupy my time and I don’t think I will bother to try and reinstate the vanished photos - water under the bridge, but I will certainly not be using Blogpress again. Once more many thanks for your efforts which have at least given me a certain peace of mind.

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Burneside (and Blogger comments)

Thursday walk with Pete - 30th September 2018 - From Burneside

My previous post: "Holme" has now reached a record 38 comments with mention of:

Tractor history
Farmers' relationships with tractors
Writing style
English grammar usage decline in public bodies
Anti BBC protest.
R M Williams
Undervalued perception of engineers
Abuse of costs of university education
Record number of posts on blog
Taking minutes at meetings
Diversification from subject on blog comments
Typing prone (or underwater)

Perhaps it's time to move on , but not really, long may such exchanges continue.

I notice that yesterday I received 572 pageviews on my blog - whether that has any correlation with the recent multi-comment post I have no idea. Many of those pageviews I suspect come from roaming search engines and the like rather than individuals reading particular posts.

Our walk set off from Burneside but we passed Tolson Hall on the way, but as this was not on our route I have no photos but there is a much better one than I could have taken on the link below. The original house was built by tobacco merchant Thomas Tolson in 1638 and there is a  quote from him which rings harmoniously for me:

"God by this meanes, has sent what I on this house have spent"


A later inhabitant of the hall, James Bateman erected a monument celebrating the capture of Napoleon which has a bit of interesting history. The monument can be seen on the right just before you turn off the A591 for Burneside.


Burneside station.
 This is on the Oxenholme(Kendal)/Windermere route which gives access to the Lake District and where the service was suspended during the recent rail failure debacle.

Too small to show on map, but there were fish rising

I took this just to make sure something was working on the csmera - it could hsve just been my foot, but it turned out not too bad. This is just before we crossed the busy A591.

See next photo

Ratherhesth Tarn

The Howgills looking over the top of the huge James Cropper paper msking fsctory in Burneside


I received the following email from Blogger which looks as though they are making efforts to sort notification of comments problems.

I responded as requested. I now receive TWO notifications of each comment. I still look at the comments list as shown in blogger Dashboard.

Hi,! It’s been a while. We would like to confirm that you still want to receive email notifications when new comments on blog conradwalkshave been published. 
Please click the Maintain Subscription link below to continue receiving new comment email notifications from this blog. If you don’t want these email notifications, you can just ignore this message, or click the Decline link below. 

If you want to stop receiving comment email notifications for this blog, you can click the opt-out link here or in any of the notification emails. 

Maintain Subscription

Friday, 24 August 2018


Thursday walk with Pete - 23rd August 2018 - Holme

I enjoy my regular walks with Pete but often wonder what material I am going to find for a blog post. Today we had a number of fairly eccentric gardens presented to us at intervals, but there was no obvious connection, but they sparked off memories of such occurrences on my long walks

Sometimes, passing through  pretty villages, I note a succession of abodes with similar expensive fencing or fancy gates, or maybe a few houses together with solar panels on the roof. My erstwhile occupation involved selling and negotiating, and I have always been a sucker for a good salesperson. So I find myself imagining the professional who has had a good run in that locale, and I am not thinking of the bling adorned, BMW Sport driving, gift-of-the-gsb, sell-your-own mother type, more the suave, understated vendeur/vendeuse who has made such an impression flattering clients that they are only too pleased to recommend this charmer to their neighbours.

In between the quirky gardens an impressive hunk of stone with chiselled lettering, inlaid with gold proclaimed "Storth Ltd ." Behind there were extensive factory buildings, but no clue as to their operation. Later internet searching revealed their mission to be production of systems for controlling and handling slurry for farmers. I hope their control of slurry is better than their command of the English language - from their website:

"As the need for slurry storage increases due to government legislation, the value of slurry being put on the land at the optimum time and other outside factors, Storth offers an Above Ground storage in the form of Slurry Storage Tanks."

We enjoyed this little walk which we had taken against forecast showers which never materialised and therefore we may be seen as heroes. If we'd been drenched we would have been seen as foolish.


The top of that field  is the line of the Lancaster Canal which Pete and I walked in sections a few years ago providing much interest and many blog comments

For Alan R
 I only take photos of ones that look unusual. Alan may say this is not so?