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


Saturday, 27 October 2018

Rusland Church and Bethecar Moor

Friday 26th October 2018
If it hadn't been for my walking friend Bowland Climber I may not have been typing this.

Halfway round our walk we entered a large area of unfenced pasture. Two hundred yards ahead were some cows, but they were guarded by an enormous bull. BC stopped in his tracks. I was all for walking on - the beast looked docile to me. BC explained that he comes from farming stock and has had experience of folk being killed by these animals. "You carry on" he said, "I'll go round." Of course I agreed and we took a massive detour including a bit of height loss thus eliminating the sight line between us and Mr. Bull. As it turned out this worked as a short cut on our route.

BC had phoned me and suggested I concoct a walk in my area. BC has walked everywhere and it was a challenge for me to find some uncharted territory for him. I settled on a start at Rusland Church which has the added interest of Arthur Ransome's grave. We had a look in at the church as well - a party of three or four walkers arrived and I mentioned the grave to them which they were unaware of and grateful for my direction. I am glad that there is no great promotion of the grave - it just seems right that it should be there understated and peaceful.

From Rusland we walked to Force Mills, another of my secret attractions where a lively Lake District stream bifurcates and cascades and tumbles down a steep hillside, and today it was  pretty energetic with the recent rains.

Further on we came across the most complex gate fastening I have seen to date. Four foot metal  push/pull bars extended on each side of the gate fixed to separate posts at their extremities, and operating intricate mechanism fastened to the gate. I wonder who created this - it must have needed engineering drawings and a lot of specialised, galvanised metal fabrication, and at what cost? What is wrong with a simple hook and eye?

Our route took us across Bethecar Moor which was new to me. Looking at the map this could have been a quagmire nightmare, and I was apprehensive about leading us into such a mess. Bethecar turned out to be all delight on a good path with a huge expanse of wild country in all directions with many attractive rocky outcrops, and as BC observed several possibilities for small scale rock climbing.

This was a brilliant autumn day in good company and the best of Lakeland scenery.

Click first photo to view all as slideshow

BC photographs Ransome's grave

Force Mill Beck below the hillside where it descends in two streams to join as one just above here

Zoom to Humphrey Head

Crossing Bethecar Moor

The location is between Windermere Lake and Coniston Lake

Killington Lake

Thursday walk with Pete (on Wednesday) - 24 h October 2018

After five weeks or so of shed fixing I am liberated for walking.

I plotted a route on footpaths and prepared a snack and flask of coffee - on my shorter walks with Pete we don't do that. I had phoned Pete to cancel our walk tomorrow because it would be granddaughter Katie's seventh birthday and I would be involved with birthday treats.

After fuelling the car at Crooklands, about six miles from home, I was off again when Pete rang  and suggested we walk today instead of tomorrow. I went back to Arnside and picked up Pete and plotted a shorter and revised route on tarmac to suit Pete.

In February 2013 we circumnavigated Killington Lake:

click to view that post

It has remained a mystery to me ever-since that "Circuit of Killington Lake" has been one of the most frequently viewed pages on my blog - 736 hits since publishing. There is nothing in that post that I can identify to cause it to respond to some keyword. The Stats on Blogger Dashboard have always been incomprehensible to me.

Our walk today was on some of the same route as that much viewed post. The road was bounded much of the time by larch trees which, although apparently coniferous are deciduous, but today had not yet shed leaves - they have their own unique and enchanting colouring which was a pleasure to see illuminated by the autumn sun, especially since I understood some time ago that larch were threatened with extinction by yet another of the botanical  bugs that are going the rounds.

Worth a click to enlarge

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