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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


Thursday, 9 April 2020

High tide at Arnside

Thursday 9th April 2020

A high tide (10.4 metres) was scheduled today at around 2:00pm.

This is not  unusual. We often have a flooded road between Arnside and Milnthorpe at Storth when there is a full moon high tide.

A few years ago our local authority tried to remove our fire engine and share with Milnthorpe - fortunately the potentially flooded road was a factor in saving the day. Today a fire engine would have had little problem, but I have seen times when it may have been a different story.

I did drive about a mile from home and parked on a quiet lane near Storth to walk about another mile to the flood area. I think that is permissible under the current advice and as the car has been stood for over two weeks it needed an airing, but I will not use the car again other than to drive it round the block every couple of weeks. So far since lockdown my only excursions from home have been my daily 1.5 mile walks.

There was noticeably much more traffic on the roads even from yesterday and many cyclists - one gets the feeling that people are erroneously sensing some relaxation of restrictions. That seems to be fuelled by media saying that it is doubtful if that will happen within the next two weeks, whereas it is my perception that there is no likelihood whatsoever of that happening so soon and it shouldn't even be speculated about at the moment.

From Dallam Bridge looking towards the Lake District Kentmere hills. I had meant to get photos of  our Kent estuary with the backdrop of other hills, but it was too hazy to do that justice. I had walked up here from the parked car then walked back down to Storth to see the floods

The road is under water. The ramp to the left goes up to a house

It only occurred to me afterwards that I had PHOTOGRAPHED CHILDREN! 

Oh how I wanted him to fall off in the middle, well, not really?

Different styles - this one was gung-ho, others took the gentle approach - everybody I saw got through okay and only one turned back at the beginning

That is the road up to Storth, the main road alongside the water is off to the right. The kids were having a ball

That is a waterside footpath
I have never taken well to manipulating my iPhone for taking photos but my son W. took this dawn break a couple of mornings ago with his iPhone. Ok, it's not professional but the iPhone has handled this difficult lighting scene remarkably well. It puts to shame my dismal attempts to photograph the pink moon last night with my Panasonic. W. said that he waited for the sun to appear and almost instantaneously the dawn chorus began.


  1. Thanks for those pictures of the flooded road, I've driven along that stretch hundreds of times and never encountered high tide. In future when visiting Arnside I should maybe check the tidal time tables first and if in doubt I think I will take the higher lanes.

    Yes, I don't understand all this talk of relaxing the lockdown. It certainly gives the wrong impression as we haven't reached the peak as yet. Another case of the politicians pussyfooting to the populace as they have done from the start.
    As an aside, there has been much fanfare for those new thousand bedded 'hospitals' opening and very little mention of the mortuaries being built throughout the country.

    It seems that our Government does not want people to realise the true nature of this pandemic. All those graphs and daily statements deflecting from the tragedy of so many deaths. As a nation we were slow to put restrictions into place, we should have all been wearing masks in public from the beginning [I know there weren't any] and now irresponsible talk of easing the restrictions which aren't as strong as other countries in the first place.

    On a lighter note, I think you should employ W as your official photographer on your future trips.

  2. Hi Conrad, good to see you still out and about!
    I used an iPhone for all the pictures in my last two blog posts along the canals. I didn't fancy lugging a big camera through the dodgier districts of central Manchester! Although saying that, the last time I walked through Piccadilly Gardens where most of the drug crazy homeless gather they seemed more afraid of me! Perhaps down to my shaved head, less-shaved chin and the grim demeanour I was wearing that day! 😄
    The quality of my iPhone 6's pictures is really quite remarkable considering how tiny the lens is though. I bought my Panasonic FZ70 only for its 60x zoom, which is really useful on the coastal walks, rather than for the improvement in picture quality.
    Bowland Climber's point about the temporary mortuaries is a good one. There is a reluctance to talk about death in the UK isn't there, and perhaps if there was more focus in the media on these mortuaries it would make people think more about the effect of them flouting the rules.

  3. I've a vague recollection of having encountered that road in flood, but what I can't recall was whether it was low enough to drive through or whether we turned back and came another way.

    I do miss having a memory. This is the sort of detail that only a few years ago I would have been able to bring to mind without a second thought.

  4. I am shocked at these pictures of flooding - I think you should write to the Government and demand that something be done about it - one cannot let the present crisis get in the way of preventing high tides.
    Fancy allowing childern out to play - they should be indoors playing with their screens instead of indulging in aimless running about. Another matter for the Police to stop. And such dirty water - their parents can have no idea where it has been.

  5. On the main matter, regarding BC's comment - i myself think there has been very full coverage of the death rate, often unsupported by the full facts. In fact, it was the fatality projections by IC that prompted the tighter restrictions, not the confirmed cases - hospital fatality figures are published each day , often with headlines ('records broken' etc.) unsuited to the reality of the actual figures, and without closer examination of the causes of 'statistical' variations: the BBC website headlines every day's figures but only occasionally the necessary explanations.
    What there has been relatively little of is the other analysis which compares the known involvement of CV-19 with its (admittedly inexact) assessed contribution to the death and the usual death rates over this period: the so-called 'excess death rate' - I am not suggesting that the circumstances of each are not much worse for the patient and those closely involved, with the prohibition of visiting, attendance and other deprivations, but I think the accusations in this comment are unsound.
    Equally, 'the politicians' are doing the opposite of what is suggested - making it clear that there cane no relaxation until the data shows it is safe - maybe my understanding of the word 'no' is slightly different but it seems very clear to me what is being said ! Masks - yes, I considered this recommendation was wrong from my own studies many years ago of explosive aerosol clouds: we issued masks to staff and visitors (and I did to everybody else I knew) long before the WHO recommendation was challenged by new US studies : what is indisputable however is that the types of mask seen worn in the East are next to useless for protection against the airborne virus-bearing particles but 'reasonable' at lessening the velocity and thus the spread of the individual's own aerosol cloud - and, perhaps more than anything, dramatising the presence of the epidemic and prompting the populace into taking it seriously and following other control measures assiduously. Psyops.
    I suspect that the WHO recommendation might have been influenced by knowing that there were not 7,000,000,000+ masks available at that time - nor ever could be.

  6. Up here in Scotland the situation is clear: there will be no relaxation of the lockdown any time soon. Equally, nobody can have any doubt about the scale of the pandemic and number of tragic deaths. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not listening to Nicola Sturgeon’s daily update.

    On transmission, what is the likelihood of ‘airborne virus-bearing’ particles entering through the eyes? I don’t know the answer but maybe a medic reading this can comment.

  7. BC - I'm glad you have received the same impressions as I have about the speculation for relaxation - I have replied below to gimmer.


    Paul - I agree about the results with the iPhone but I just find it ergonomically difficult to use. I have a Panasonic TZ 80 - very small and fits into a neat belt pouch with a velcro closure - very easy to access and not too complicated with its settings.


    Gayle - I have a handy app: My Tide Times. Worth downloading if you haven't already done so,


    Gimmer -I started writing this as a general review of my thoughts addressed to all, so apologies for not addressing it directly. My thoughts relate almost specifically to this minor area of the whole tragic business so they do not include wider discussion of the many other aspects involved.

    Whatever the messages sent out, mainly from the daily Department of Health bulletins being shown on the BBC, both BC and I, and one or two other people I have spoken to have gained a certain impression.

    I can’t quote the exact wording but rather than being unequivocally emphatic that the lockdown must continue for at least several weeks the wording has been along the lines that “it is now doubtful that any relaxation can be considered for the next two weeks” as if to say that up until then it may have been a remote possibility. That then puts in people's minds the thought that we are nearer relaxation than is truly possible which in turn increases the chances of ignorant people taking advantage. That kind of wording ran on several occasions. It must be remembered that there can be a difference between the meaning the messenger intends to convey compared with the perception gained by the receiver, and at the end of the day it is that perception that is acted upon.

    Looking at it from the official point of view they are treading a fine line between the danger of over alarming the public resulting in more panic buying and heightened anxiety, or playing too soft, thus encouraging unwise people to think they can now be more relaxed.

    Most of the points made by Gimmer are not directly relevant to the issue above but I respect his comments and even from my unscientific stance I have also noticed debatable points in the way the statistics are presented.

    TV News is limited in the amount of material it can include, especially when it uses up valuable time interviewing nig-nogs in the street, and having pointless convesations with their correspondents standing in the rain outside N0 10 when there is obviously no more to say than has aready been reported - the radio does better, but to get more detail read a trusted newspaper.
    Since writing this I have seen the 10:00 ITV News and the message is now much more emphatic.


    afoot - Interesting to hear from north of the border. Whatever one thinks about Nicola she is certainly articulate and clear with her expression.

    I too wonder if when I am walking behind somebody, even at twenty or thirty yards whether I can catch anything from their "slpstream." The same applies to heavy breathing cyclists who pass closer than they should.

  8. Sir Hugh - We move onto the grass verge, turn our back and face inwards when cyclists pass. They race by and are at far greater risk of an accident than we would be on a walk in the Ochils.

  9. Gibson, from what I have read on testing people in USA, those heavily infected with coved 19 throughout their respiratory system have not shown any virus in the tears. If these results are representative world wide I have no idea but it seems less likely to spread through the eyes.

  10. Thanks Alan - I did think it unlikely to enter through the eyes out in the fresh air as it were, but we are told to wash our hands and not touch our faces which is good advice - because I know viruses and bacteria can enter through the eyes by touch. Thanks again for that information. We’ve just got to be guided by the science.

  11. I thought I had commented about eyes and tears but it must have been washed away: i understand one can catch things via the eyes but not the other way round without actual contact - which is a bit hard to envisage (sorry about that). Tears are antiseptic are they not ? - we need an expert to moderate this thread !
    As i dont watch TV, i wonder if yo9u have gained the impression you report because ministers are treading water at present whilst the PM is off - as well as the reasons you cite - it is a very tricky line to follow. I also get the impression that journo's questions are more focussed on the easy complaints and not on the extremely hard job of waking a bureaucratic monster into urgent activity - the front line is working, but the commissariat is still arguing about the division of labour.
    My guess is that when the war is over, the NHS machine will need breaking up more than ever - consider the proposition: centralisation of services, supply and decision making has failed: the private sector is coming to its aid wit labs, tests, supplies and ideas: a comparison with Germany is useful - more decentralised, more use of private and local initiatives etc., has resulted in more testing - hence discovering more cases: use of this has meant fewer deaths both in toto and in proportion.
    So my old favourite, Clausewitz's second dictum, needs to be posted in every board and committee and sub-sub-sub committee's meeting rooms and letterheads in bold red capitals.
    We must debate the future as well as mobilise everything and body to overcoe this dangerous situation, as it will happen again.

  12. Leaving Clausewitz's often muddled and unhelpful thinking aside, the world of medicine and our political responses to the pandemic are both on a steep learning curve. We don't have all the answers yet and history will tell us our mistakes.

    We know that the present lockdown will continue for some time and that the eventual end game strategy will test our scientists and politicians to the extreme. Kill a few or kill a lot?

    On a purely personal note, which is really the only reason for my commenting, I perceive that my risk of catching the virus is probably higher now than a few weeks ago and that my chances of being adequately treated by our excellent but under-resourced medical profession are diminishing as the system struggles to cope.
    I'm staying in for the duration as was the advice for the vulnerable - 12weeks as a minimum.
    High tide indeed.

  13. I’d rather all available resources are employed in dealing with this crisis rather than be diverted to debate the future and how to deal with another crisis yet to come. No doubt there will be geniuses with 20/20 hindsight who can show where all the mistakes were made once this awful business is over. Personally, I have no regard for them.

  14. All - thanks for all your comments. I think it is of value to air thoughts and ideas in this situation even when there is some conflict. I have said what I want for the moment but please, everybody, feel free to continue exchanges here if you wish.

  15. Fair dos. He was probably thinking why can't that old fool do something more active than merely clicking his camera. Little did he know he was addressing someone who had bestrode the globe.

    I see Gimmer thinks the NHS has failed; doesn't expand on one likely reason. Thinks the NHS needs breaking up; a certain orange-faced gent would agree. That the private sector is turning out to be wonderfully competent and altruistic; perhaps because it has stared into the abyss.

  16. I have no privileged information on how the NHS has performed - only same as everyone - that the key personnel are doing their best with the resources that they have: but what we need to know is how well 'the system' has reacted to and managed the crisis and what (not whether) lessons there are to learn, and not to leap to judgment based on headlines.
    I cited the example of Germany, where their equivalent is organised and financed somewhat differently and has, so far, from the information presently available, seemed to handle both the medical and materiel challenges more smoothly: this must have lessons for us - not to divert us now, but to reflect on and consider when the time is right.
    Not to do so would be to fail the very people who have suffered and those who died and those who have worked so hard to save them
    Not to do so would be to repeat the failed reorganisation efforts of the past.
    And fail the nation in not responding to their sacrifices, not by making changes where none are needed, but by not making the changes that are found to be necessary.
    Because it would be foolish to pretend that the only need is more money - that has been tried again and again - nevertheless we seem to face the same old problems time after time.
    We're a long way from walking, but this blog has always been an open-minded place and open to wider discussions than beating the bounds !