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


Friday, 29 November 2013

Beware the Yellow Peril

At 9:45 am on Thursday, my erratic brain suddenly triggers “Christmas cards”.

Thursday is my walking day with Pete, I pick him up at 10:00. We both attach importance to punctuality and what my mother called, “a proper going on”.

I buy Mountain Bothies Association cards, and realise I had missed the order form in their last magazine. I raid the pile of unread magazines, can only find the one before, asking for photos for the cards.  I email the guy for an order form, then look again and find the form, and send a cancelling email. I hastily complete the form and write a cheque. It is now 10:05 and it takes five minutes to get to Pete’s. My reliability rating is under threat - panic.

Another delay at the post box and I arrive at Pete’s where he watches for me from the window. I aplogise, and he says “ok, it’s not as though I was standing outside”, hinting that if that had been so I would have been in trouble.

Our walk from Haverthwaite had a strange occurrence. Look at the map in the south-west corner. I have plotted the route on a yellow road running south-east to Greenodd. Look further north on that yellow road and you will see that it is not a road but a blue river - the yellow Lake District National Park boundary line has re-coloured the river yellow. Arriving at that point I was expecting to find our yellow road, very unusually, crossing over the top of another yellow road. If things don’t fit you should always stay put until you have worked it out. I have rarely been so perplexed with a map, and was well relieved when I sorted it.

We have been avoiding footpaths recently in view of wet weather. Thankfully this one was not part of our route


Greenodd and the Leven estuary 

Zoom to Greenodd

Footpath ostensibly crossing river

The Leven bridge at Haverthwaite - it is still tidal a few hundred yards downstream

Monday, 25 November 2013

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Lulu, relics and some walking.

I have been busy recently;

1.Finalising my seventh Lulu (self publishing) book, this one covering my walks last summer.

2. Chasing elusive geocaches. One in particular is a double whammy, the first cache, which I only found after three visits, gives coordinates to another which promises to be even more adventurous than the rock climbing ones. More of that later IF, and when I return.

3. Visiting my brother in Darlington who has Alzheimer's and has now had to enter a retirement home.

The book is written in a Microsoft Word template specified by Lulu. It then has to be converted to a PDF file to upload. Because of cumbersome file sizes with many photos I had five separate PDFs and had to find how to merge them - free software found on Internet. Halfway through, the PC (Parallels software) partitioned part of my MAC started running out of space. I had to convert more of my MAC hard disk to PC - a frightening step into the unknown. That sounds nerdish, but when one accomplishes an advanced, to oneself, computing task one just has to shout about the triumph to someone. I suppose I could have waited until the next person came walking down my road - that would have made a good Thurber cartoon, memories of, "I come from haunts of Coot and Tern". Unfortunately that little triumph isn't as  good a story as loosing  all five years blog photos then getting them back which happened to me some time ago.


Gimmer joined my regular Thursday walk with Pete.

Finding new, circular, six mile walks reasonably close to home is becoming increasingly difficult without overlapping or coinciding with previous routes.

Drama not far from the start. Road closed (not for us) because of huge fallen tree branch

Gimmer and Pete in intensive chat-up mode with the bonny lass from the contractors.
 The tree would need to be felled, but the trunk was rotten so impossible to predict direction of fall if cut at base, therefore would need to be done bit by bit. We speculated on the cost. The contractors had already travelled from Appleby to Staveley.

Crossing the Kent at Hagg Foot

Side House and waterfall

One for my Relics collection. There is much rich and interesting colouration here, especially if click to enlarge. Could be subject of a painting. I like the half submerged wheels.

The weir on The Kent above Stavley

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Boat building

I promised to show my new commenter MikeM from the USA pictures of my boat building exploits some years ago, and this seems as good a place as any.

Boat building for me was a diversion at a difficult time. I intended to elaborate, but decided this was not the right place, so here are the pictures. Suffice to say I gained more from the building than the sailing and both boats have long since been sold. I was under no illusions about the financial side of boat building, and from my experience you are only likely to get back a tenth of what you spent when you  sell.

The first boat was a 15ft 5in. rowing skiff with a mast and sails designed by Lilian Woods.

The second was a Bolger Micro 12 ft. mini cabin sailer with a large mast up front like a catboat, and a small mizzen at the stern. Bolger was an American designer with a reputation for eccentricity that worked. If you Google him you will see why.

The two sets of photos are chronologically wrong way round.

These are the only photos I have of the Bolger's construction; I took many on the old film camera with no film loaded. I have another set of pictures of turning the Bolger back from upside-down, but that is another story.

The boat was built upside-down to start with

The mould for the 440lb lead keel. Copper rods were inserted top to bottom at intervals so that individual pourings of lead would be held together

I had some assistance with melting and pouring the lead from a friend Kevin and his mate who were plumbers

Note the stratas of lead. The copper pipes can be seen sticking out, they run right through the lead and keep the individual pourings in one piece

My neighbour Dan who got me going with all this, and another neighbour Richard, an engineer by trade. To hear him talk you got the impression he built the whole of Heysham Power Station singlehanded -a practical and helpful guy though, who masterminded turning the boat back right side up. The lead keel is lifted into its framing with an engine hoist
 This is the framing for the 440lb lead keel. That long  keel baton was a superb piece of Douglas Fir, and had to be bent alarmingly to follow the profile of the boat bottom
The keel was then encased, glued and screwed with marine ply. The boat was finished with two layers of glass cloth before painting

I never got a picture of mine sailing. This is cribbed from Google Images

My neighbour who had built many boats and passed the bug on to me

On Derwentwater with a Wayfarer

Friday, 15 November 2013

Geocaching - not for the faint hearted

My Geocache counter has increased to 93 recently. Some say this is an infantile pursuit. Since it serves to give me a good walk twice a week I reckon it’s worthwhile, but... became more serious a few days ago. A local guy has located three Geocaches on our shoreline crags, “...with the more adventurous cacher in mind.” I found the first one, but only after perilously ascending twenty feet erroneously, with even more peril on the descent. The correct location was still interesting.

The second was in an overhanging crack well above my head. I needed to rest in between attempts before grabbing it, fully extended, hanging on with one arm and grappling with the other hand.

The last was supposedly approachable from the cliff top, but I couldn’t find the way and ran out of time. Next time I retreated in a hailstorm, and thunder and lightning, long before I was anywhere near.

On the third attempt I found the cache. It was fifteen feet up an overhanging wall. I managed to get bridging footholds on the walls and one good handhold and could just reach to remove a stone. I could feel inside but couldn’t feel the container. I was two inches short of examining thoroughly. After several attempts I gave in.

I have corresponded with the originator, and perhaps the cache has disappeared. He is going to check - I guess he is probably forty years younger than me!

I sold all my climbing gear on Ebay thinking I would not need it again, so I don’t have the option of using a couple of large friends and slings, and I don’t think I can persuade anybody else to join me for “combined tactics.”


My Thursday walk with Pete took us on a circuit of Newton Fell from Lindale.

Cartmel Priory. Cartmel village distinguished twice - the original sticky toffee pudding and the multi Michelin star L'Enclume

World War 2 machine gun post. It does grip the mind when you see these and think what might have been

I thought I'd found a new crag but...

...seen from a different angle you could walk up it.
 The colours, texture and ambiance of this pic sum up much of what I find attractive about The Lake District 

Interesting development of this water environment afoot here. Anybody know anything about it? Location SD 420 821, Sunny Green Farm - see map above, midway down eastern leg of walk

Monument to John Wilkinson in Lindale - an eccentric ironmaster. His history is worth a read. Here is a bit from Wikipedia:
By 1796, when he was 68, he was producing about one-eighth of Britain's cast iron.
[9] He became "a titan" - very wealthy, and somewhat eccentric. His "iron madness" reached a peak in the 1790s, when he had almost everything around him made of iron, even several coffins and a massive obelisk to mark his grave, which still stands in the village of Lindale-in-Cartmel in Lancashire (now part of Cumbria). He was appointed Sheriff of Denbighshire for 1799.[10]

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Extreme posting

Googling names on the map back home after an outing doubles the interest.

Last Sunday Gimmer and I walked up Littledale, on the northern edges of the Bowland hills.

Google revealed a twitcher who had visited recently recording this list:

Red Grouse 3
Pheasant 8
Red-legged Partridge 3
Grey Heron 1
Buzzard 1
Kestrel 1
Merlin 1
Common Gull 1
Lesser Black-backed Gull 2
Wood pigeon 10
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1
Jay 2
Magpie 5
Jackdaw 33
Rook 23
Carrion Crow 9
Goldcrest 11
Blue Tit 14
Great Tit 12
Coal Tit 17
Skylark 8
Long-tailed Tit 14
Nuthatch 1
Treecreeper 1
Wren 9
Ring Ouzel 1
Blackbird 4
Fieldfare 20
Song Thrush 2
Redwing 97+
Mistle Thrush 9
Robin 13
Dunnock 4
Pied Wagtail 3
Meadow Pipit 4
Chaffinch 42
Greenfinch 1
Goldfinch 10
     Siskin 18
     Lesser Redpoll 7
     Common Crossbill 1

Now, who’s kidding who? I think he must have spent a year up there.

Littledale Hall (1849 - Grade 11 listed), an interesting example of gothic Victorian architecture, evoked images of comfortable genteel farming. It turns out to be:

“...a 31 bed residential addiction treatment centre for people over the age of 18 whose lives have been adversely affected by their addiction.”

Strangely the website is silent on the status of this enterprise CLICK HERE as a charity or profit making organisation, nor does it name any of the personnel, or give any hint of fees charged.

At the end of our walk Gimmer was introduced to Geocaching at Baines Cragg close to where we had parked the car. There are varied reactions to Geocaching by newcomers and I wasn’t sure about Gimmer, but I was well pleased when he located the Tupperware box and not me, especially as it was not an easy find - I had given up on it when I heard the triumphant shout - perhaps Gimmer may be motivated to continue, employing more science considering his background.

Littledale Hall (and below)

Strange repair to gate merited  a mysterious award (see next pic)

For more info go to CLICK HERE 

This gate has a de-luxe construction with stainless steel bolts, but let down by...


Moi - very close to the Geocache at Baines Crag

The view from Baines Crag - our route up Littledale extends behind the clump of trees

This post was achieved under difficult conditions whilst childminding granddaughter Katie (chickenpox - BUT NOT POORLY WITH IT - in fact very active!)