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!

My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Monday, 28 November 2022

A bit longer walk from home

Sunday 27th November 2022 

I have been more than concerned about the breathlessness mentioned in my last post. Since that post the antibiotics eight day course finished and they have had a marked effect. I have walked steeply over Arnside Knott and a couple of other circuits each day of around two miles. I still feel increased breathing on the slightest gradient. On the steeper climbs I can keep going at a steady plod without stopping, but it is hard work. It was only a couple of weeks or so ago that I was completely breathless walking downhill to the local shop and stopping for rests every so often. At the moment I don't see me setting off on the seven to eight milers I have been doing over the last twelve months and I do not know whether permanent lung damage will have been caused or if I may get more improvement with regular exercise. I intend to have another conversation with the doc. about all this before the second x-ray he has scheduled for me between Christmas and New Year.

Yesterday my walk had a second objective. Derek,  a fiend of Pete,  who I also know on a less personal basis, recently lost his wife and obtained permission from National Trust to place a memorial bench on Arnside Knott, and I decided to have a look. As a skilled and qualified carpenter Derek made the bench himself (National Trust veto any written dedications on these benches.) The location was close to another bench that I have had earmarked as one of the three best viewpoints in my area. One doesn't see my bench until almost on top of it and many is the time I have approached hoping that nobody is sitting there on my bench. I found Derek's bench just round the corner giving just as good a view as its companion.

Typical Knott scenery catching a modest ray of sunshine

Derek's bench. The photo majors on the bench and gives almost no indication of the splendid view which would not have been possible to give justice to anyway in these murky conditions.


Lysander update.

The photo below shows the model completed but I am now embarked on creating a diorama with the plane having landed on a remote field in France to drop off an agent and pick up a rescued RAF pilot. The lights on the Lysander's wheel spats work and there will be a wooden hut with lighting inside and a floodlight on a pole on the outside so all this can be hopefully photographed in semi-darkness, so better photos will follow - you may see more detail if you click to enlarge.

Katie's art update

I say, a strikingly powerful image. I have not been informed of the raison d'être


Wednesday, 16 November 2022

A short walk from home

 16th November 2022 - Arnside

It seems a long time since I last posted. It has all been a bit fraught.

The pain which started in my upper back then migrated to my lower back, then to my upper left leg has now more or less subsided and I can walk normally for that part of it. When that was nearly better I went for a cataract operation which has turned out ok, except until I see the optician on 25th November. I can't make up my mind to use my old varifocals or nothing and keep switching and changing while reading, watching tv, or computing but I can tell all will be sorted and a general improvement will have been achieved when I get updated specs.

Of late I have noticed an increased breathlessness and have seen the doc. with a thorough examination and an x-ray (I can't praise our local surgery and its GPs enough.) It seems there is some indication of small infection and I am on antibiotics and booked for a further x-ray in six weeks. All that could have a been a lot worse so fingers crossed.

I have not walked any meaningful distance since 27th September at which time the problem had not been apparent. Today I walked from home tentatively down to the local shop and then back over High Knott Road and Redhills Wood, a distance of 1.3miles and that was enough. What all that means for future walking I do not know.

The model of the Lysander aircraft is now nearly complete and I will do an update shortly. I have an idea for creating a modest diorama. 

Just down from my house. That tree has been a source of pleasure for many years

A glimpse of Whitbarrow across the bay

Looking north up the bay to the Kentmere and High Street hills.

Children's playground and our cricket field. When Katie was at Arnside junior school I would pick her up and come back here with her friends to spend an hour. The school is amongst the buildings in the background

Our local shop. It had a first class comprehensive refurbishment a month or two ago and it is now much more frequented. The owner also has another store and post office down on the front - all great assets to our village

High Knott Road. It is lined with large Victorian mansions on the right with views across the bay. It terminates and continues as a woodland path through Redhills Woods.

The Arnside viaduct and Whitbarrow beyond

Into Redhills Wood

Out at the other end of Redhills Wood to Silverdale Road and Arnside Cemetery. The building is used for parish council meetings.

Work in progress on the Lysander. I am fitting LED lights to the landing gear

Wednesday, 26 October 2022

Lysander build

Wednesday 26th October 2022

Bad weather and my muscle spasm affliction have kept me from the outdoors but I will be back as soon as as the stars are re-aligned. The muscle spasm I'm glad to say has more or less disappeared, and in any case the physio encouraged me to keep walking.

In the meantime I have made a start on my Westland Lysander model. I bought this a long time ago and then thought that I had not enough experience to tackle what is a difficult kit.The interior cockpit is very detailed and the  canopy in particular will be the greatest challenge, it looks like a major greenhouse from Kew Gardens.

The Lysander was used in WW2, often to drop off agents and pick up rescued air crew in France using its short take off and landing attributes. Operations were usually carried out at nighttime using remote fields and improvised landing strips. One of the options with the kit is to paint the aircraft black as it was used for those missions. and that is what I intend. 

Progress so far is shown  below.

Not a model. Here you can see some of the complexity of the canopy and also in the shot below

This shows the black livery used for clandestine missions to occupied France in WW2

All the parts that are to be Cockpit Green. I wasn't happy with this colour and later re-sprayed them in the authentic RAF colour as below

Here part of the cockpit module has been primed and painted and partly assembled. Note the pilot's seat with the detailed harness (click to enlarge) - very fiddly. The length of the cockpit sides is 7.5cm.

The now completed pilot's module showing the instrument panel and...

...the pilot's seat. The two centre silver boxes are fuel tanks. The top one is an auxiliary only used on  longer flights into France.

Here I have started on the rotary engine. difficult to eliminate the shadow

To be continued.


Saturday, 22 October 2022

Thanks for the NHS and bad news for cats

Saturday 22nd October 2022 

Just over a week ago I was afflicted with acute lower back pain which came on quickly. I suffered a couple of days before phoning my GP's surgery. Your call at our practice is normally answered  in less than five minutes. One gives brief details to an experienced and sympathetic receptionist who logs you for a call back by the GP within that morning. I fielded the call and had a positive conversation and was offered an appointment with the surgery's physio one week on. From what I read that is pretty good. I saw the physio this last Wednesday after increased suffering. He gave me a through examination taking my complaint seriously. He booked me for an x-ray and gave me a sheet of individual exercises compiled there and then  from his main list on the computer, and he also booked me in for blood sampling the next day-but-one (Friday.) On Thursday I went to Kendal hospital for the x-ray. I only had to wait ten minutes and the radiographer was pleasant and welcoming. The pain had become much worse but I stuck it out until my appointment today, Friday with the nurse for blood taking at 11:00 am.

I told the nurse that I desperately needed further examination and help from the qualified GP, not that I was dissatisfied with the physio, but I had to make something happen. Nurse said that there was only one GP on duty and she would get him to ring me later. At that point I'm afraid I burst into tears, so off she went to speak to the doc. After waiting another five minutes in the waiting room the doc appeared and saw me. Again he was sympathetic and thorough. He examined the source of my pain and concluded that it was "muscle spasm" whereas the physio had been more on the track of something orthopaedic, The doc prescribed me: Diazepam, Tramadol and Amitriptyline, sending the prescription electronically to the chemist in our village. I drove straight there and only waited ten minutes for the tablets. Back home I took the doses as indicated and sat in my large comfortable armchair stretched out and so dosed up I drifted off to sleep and awoke four hours later after very deep sleep. The pain had almost gone. Well, that is for the moment and I will have to see how it goes.

My reason for detailing the above is to illustrate that I doubt if there is any other country in the world where you would get such good treatment for free, ok I know we pay National Insurance but that is now so firmly embedded it tends to be hardly noticed. We do also have to pay for prescriptions up to the age of 60, so for me they were also free.


In the evening I was still comfortable enough to listen to some music which included Nicola Benedetti playing Elgar's violin concerto. The music with the London Phil was of course moving but in particular I was struck by the bewitching tone of Nicola's violin which took me to an even deeper level of that emotional pit of the stomach feeling - that is how some music does for me anyway, others talk of goose pimples or back of the neck hair raising.

Curiosity prevailed and I found this on the Classic FM website.

3. How much is Nicola Benedetti’s violin worth?

The violin Nicola plays is called the Gariel, made in 1717 by Stradivarius. It's worth an estimated £2m and previously belonged to an ancestor of Princess Diana. Nicola has said if a fire broke out in her home, she would grab her violin before her cat. "In an ideal world, all three of us would escape unscathed," she says. "But if I had to choose between the cat and the violin the £2million Stradivarius would have to come first."  

Tuesday, 11 October 2022

Watching the news

Tuesday 11th October 2022

Every morning I read the BBC News and the Guardian News on my computer, whilst munching my toast and marmalade and taking onboard several cups of tea. I also watch the Six o' Clock News on BBC and often the Ten o' Clock News on ITV as well as other news and current affairs programmes from time to time. 

News is mainly bad and of late it has become increasingly worse with obvious global disintegration, and with old age ever looming and other problems I have found myself becoming increasingly depressed (quite seriously.) But I continue to feel that I should  keep myself properly informed. The occasional snippet of light relief in the news therefore is more than ever welcome.

I am a sucker for a good animal story and this morning The Guardian for a moment side stepped missiles in Ukraine, the UK going bankrupt, and famine and drought worldwide providing me with a little chuckle over my breakfast.

Read the article as well as watching the video.

You will need to copy the link and paste it into your browser. I couldn't make it work the normal way.

Friday, 7 October 2022


 Friday 7th October 2022

The latest model is finished.

I have said before that I prefer to have some affinity with each new model chosen. 

For this Hawker Tempest the initial choice arose from it being featured by Genesis Models' step by step build on You Tube which I wanted to follow in order to learn some new techniques. It also adds to my 1/48 scale personal air force of WW2 aircraft.

The Tempest was a high performance mid and low level fighter and attack aircraft developed and uprated from the Hawker Typhoon. 

The kit specified several options but my interest was most sparked by this NV 994  flown by one of the most celebrated WW2 pilots, Squadron Leader Pierre Clostermann during his time with Number Three Squadron in Fraserburgh, Germany in 1945.

Clostermann was French and flew with several different outfits during the war, his story is quite interesting before, during and after WW2, and worth a little read on Wikipedia HERE

I wonder if the red spinner was specified by Pierre?

The Three Squadron  logo is depicted on the rudder and readable on the decal:

  Tertius primus erit

= The Third shall be first

Thursday, 29 September 2022

Trigs 99 - Visit 5

Tuesday 27th September 2022

Raygill House Moor.      SE 091 690.       458m.

6 miles. Ascent 1100 ft. +

Now we are into some quality walking in proper hill country.

Instead of the now tedious route over the A66 to Scotch Corner I am approaching by the A65 Skipton road - always nostalgia fro me; memories of hitch hiking to the Lakes in the late fifties and later driving there most weekends from Bradford.. This is a bit longer approach than that previous route but it doesn't seem so.

From Pateley Bridge the roads become narrower as I head up the lush wide valley of Nidderdale. I park in Ramsgill opposite the Yorke Arms, once a highly rated eating  pub but now only catering for large parties and weddings and the like, and no longer a conventional pub or hotel.

I set off up a private road leading to the farm at Raygill but I have only gone about fifty yards before I am hailed by a woman down near the main road. I had passed her a few minutes earlier where she was just going into the church from her well appointed Range Rover, perhaps "doing" the flowers. She reminded me of Margot in The Good Life.  She turned out to be the farmer's wife at Raygill and told me the road was private . She was mainly concerned that I knew what I was doing and would not be getting lost and she had no objection to me proceeding after I had verified my credentials.

The road was steep with a few hairpin bends but the views back up Nidderdale were superb.

At Raygill I had difficulty getting onto the footpath (not public) marked on the map but eventually I was onto moorland along a gently rising Land Rover track. As indicated on the map this track ended abruptly, tnow marked as a continuing footpath which after a kilometre again terminated on the map. From there I would have to beeline and climb moorland steeply across virgin heather to the trig. That path at the end of the Land Rover track was marked by a substantial cairn which would certainly be a welcome marker for anybody approaching from the other direction. Especially so because the footpath was almost invisible and I lost it for a couple of hundred yards and ended up flailing about in deep heather. 

The one and a half kilometres  continuation from the path end up to the trig was arduous and time consuming. At last the trig was visible standing in lonely isolation in the middle of a huge expanse of moorland, the only object sticking up above the level of the heather.

I headed north to pick up another Land Rover track after visiting the curious collection of large bouldery stones: Ray Gill House Wig Stones. They may be of interest to bouldering aficionados - see  this website:  "Unknown Stones, Wild Bouldering in Yorkshire"

A stop for coffee and a munch and then a walk back on the good track to Ramsgill completed a good walk in magnificent surroundings.

I had researched one other trig a short hop from the road only a couple of miles away. Trigpointing UK informed me of ascents up a private track to lead through a disused quarry and then a couple more fields. I had assumed this would be the most practical route. Parking at the road junction where the track lead off was fortuitous on this narrow country lane.  Up the track I went leading through a field opening to a rusty old iron gate leading into the disused quarry, This gate was propped up by three huge stones. The gate had various metal stakes protruding threatening impalement and it was also leaning awkwardly. I tried to climb over but failed. I wandered up the wall side and found no other weak point. Back at the gate I heaved one of the stones away and managed to open the gate enough to squeeze through - there's always a way?  I trekked across the quarry only to find the only exit was over a low wall with a low non-barbed fence, easy enough to stride over but with an eight foot drop into the field below. The thought of injuring myself and having to call out the boys for help and trying to explain that I was two fields and a quarry into private land, and they would probably need to identify the farmer and gain permission, was a sobering thought and I retreated, replacing the moved stone at the gate. That possibility definitely needs bearing in mind when on private land. Extra care and caution is advisable.

I now looked carefully at the map. I saw that the trig is actually on access land and a short drive up the road identified a gate leading onto that land with an easy walk up to the trig! It was now too late and I will have to leave that for next time but with the research done it will only be a short diversion.

The Yorke Arms, Ramsgill

Looking down to Ramsgill church


My trig is up there somewhere

Land Rover track, easy going until...

...its termination at this cairn

And some time later after a lot of heather thrashing. Ah! But that is what I came for?

Ray Gill house Wig Stones (perhaps they look like the wigs of old?)

Clockwise from Ramsgill

The second trig. Route from Trig Pointing UK in blue. My researched route for next time in red

That trig in geographical context