Monday, 26 August 2013

MEETING AND A TRAIL RIDE

I have not been so active on the Sustrans front recently for personal reasons. However, I thought I must get my act together and get out a bit. I had an email from one of the other Rangers asking if I would meet up with him for a discussion.

The Catalyst Museum at Widnes is a hands on Science centre which is great for children as an introduction to science. They have a cafe there and I thought it would be a good idea to meet up there for a cuppa and chat, then maybe a ride along the trail.

What a chapter of events, I can be such an idiot sometimes! Anyway, I was to be at the Museum at around 12 noon. Caught the train to allow me to cycle down from the station at Widnes and have plenty of time. Stood up to get out of the train and couldn't find the 'open door' button. Eventually I found it, on the other side, it was where I had been sitting but above my head! Unfortunately all the doors closed again and I had to get off at the next stop! One would think that the buttons should be where the people standing up to get OFF the train can see them. Anyway, had no idea of how to get to Widnes from Hough Green. No map, as I wouldn't have needed one to where I was going so I asked! Five miles later, I realised I had been sent on a wild goose chase, as instead of going into the town, I was going into the countryside. Seeing Alpaca in a field definitely does NOT mean going into Widnes. I asked some workmen on a garage roof and they said I was miles away so I retraced my pedals and tried again. Fortunately the person who told me didn't feel the need to send me the wrong way, as I gradually saw in the distance signs of the town and I was OK there.


I just had to stop and take a photo of these lovely animals, even though I knew I was probably going to be late!



I met the guy I was supposed to meet, only about 10 minutes late. I was rather out of breath and told him the tale, feeling quite a fool. We had a good chat and a laugh, and then went to cycle back along the trail towards Warrington. Here are a few photos of the trail.
The canal here was really high. Where the film of oil/whatever is, that is normally land. It was seeing the film that made me notice how much water there was, unless the tide, coming in from the Mersey.


This is the new path which has been built. I hope they continue it a bit further, it certainly needed it this day.

That's all for today, then. I wonder what I will be able to write about next?




Saturday, 17 August 2013

ON THE VULCAN TRAIL

On 5th August TH wasn't well enough to go to the Classic Show at Hebden Bridge, he was still mainly in bed and still wobbly. I had really been looking forward to going, mainly, I admit to all and sundry but not TH, to have a look around the town, walk down the canal and walk around the very pretty shops and cafes, plus a few charity shops. Last time we went they were just recovering from the really bad floods a couple of weeks previously and a lot of the shops were empty, because of the flood damage.

I happened to go on the internet and realised that the show that Chris Evans was sponsoring at Oulton Park was also hosting the Vulcan bomber or XH558. Now that plane does something to me, I have seen it once, many years ago and as it only has another year left before it MIGHT be taken off the air, I would love to see it as many times as I can. Except that I can't because it is flying where I am not. Apart from that day. I made a spur of the moment decision to drive over to Oulton Park, not to pay to go in, as it would be too expensive, but it was also a sell out. Chris does this show for Children in Need and it is always fully booked.

I would drive over to the road before the Oulton Park turnoff. I was sick with excitement on the drive up. I had underestimated its arrival time from Doncaster and as I was looking for somewhere to pull up, I heard a tremendous noise above my head - hey I'm being bombed!!! Then thought I'd missed it. It only took about 23 minutes from Doncaster, I'd checked take off on Twitter. Too bad, I was so disappointed. Then I heard the roar again, it must be coming back around. I shot out and tried to get a photo. Sadly I forgot to put out the zoom, I was so excited and although my camera is a good one, it is a compact without a long zoom. I wished I'd concentrated on watching Vulcan rather than photographing her.

Whay hey man, (is that how you write it Brenda?) I managed a couple of photos, but they cannot possibly convey my excitement, and the magnificence of seeing that huge plane swooping, turning, showing its impressive shape. She came around once more, then went up into the air, and I heard the famous Vulcan Howl, that she makes. What an experience. I wish I'd picked a spot with lower hedges, as I'd have seen a bit more. Also the road was the main road to Winsford, which was extremely busy and noisy for such a narrow A road. Full of excitement I drove home, with a big grin on my face.

Here are three photos only.




I'm not going to write about anything else, as it would be a complete anti-climax for me, even though it was a couple of weeks ago. Until next time.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

THE REST OF FLOOKBURGH

The first day of Flookburgh went very well, the weather was hot but windy and we did a lot of walking around. There was a lot of interest shown in TH's 1972 Range Rover, which was probably the  last time it would be shown for a long while, probably not passing another MOT. So it will be shored up until time permits its restoration. In fact when it is shown on a stand of posh, shiny Triumph Stags, it gets more interest than they, and it is, believe me, very scruffy, the tailgate sends a shower of rust when you open and close it. However, he LOVES it! As it is fitted with a very large, Perkins Diesel engine, it achieves a miraculous 36 mpg! The engine is the sort that you would see in a tractor, and completely fills the space under the bonnet. It is not a fast vehicle, which I like as I don't like driving at speed or being driven at speed either. I think I've only driven it once though, not easy to prise it off him.

Anyway, enough of cars, cars aren't my interest really but I have just had to become interested as it is all TH thinks about.

I've not had much time to cycle since coming back, as TH was suddenly taken with Vertigo the day after we came back. I had to go up to his garage to bring him home. I had bought him a BioFlow magnet from the show and I just hope that it wasn't the effect of that? What do you think? To be honest I told him to take it off as he needed to recover quickly as he had a car to put a rebuilt engine in, then re-assemble and make it right for the MOT.

TH was in bed for 4 days and then went back to work for a few hours, I brought him back, then took him up again the next day and left him there. He seems OK but says he still feels a bit dizzy!

A footnote to the above, TH came home tonight saying that the car had passed the MOT and the guy is coming to collect it (and pay for it) tomorrow.


Our vehicles

Look at these three little darlings

The owner of this pretty caravan built it on the chassis of a trailer or small caravan,in wood, to resemble a true Romany caravan. It was really cozy inside.


This was the 'pesky' cat that we were warned about that might come through the bathroom window in our room. Sadly it didn't, and we were missing our dose of feline company over the weekend.


These were curly Retrievers, aren't they gorgeous, and they were so gentle too.

I do love getting down and dirty and taking photos of large vehicles, making them look even larger

I couldn't resist taking a shot of these gorgeous Type IIs
Another dog in a trolley
Until the next time, have fun.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

A TRIP TO CUMBRIA - FULL STEAM AHEAD

Well, this weekend was our annual visit to Flookburgh Steam Gathering. It's really our only holiday unless I manage to sneak over to Germany or visit a friend so I look forward to it. TH feels guilty of leaving his work as he's always needing to finish a job to get paid, thus paying his garage bills. I wonder if he feels guilty that it is the only time we have away! I was going to say that if he felt guilty about going, I was going to go on my own!

We went in two cars (a great extravagance I know) as it was going to be the last main event for his ancient Range Rover as it needs some serious work doing for the MOT. I was taking the Beetle, with it's newly fitted chrome bumpers, which had been lying in the garage for TWO YEARS, and then he lost the fittings which cost me half a bumper. So they were fitted without, so why did I have to buy the fittings anyway???? I decided not to grumble about the extra fuel as I knew I would have an afternoon to myself if I went in mine.

The Beetle had a nice drive up to Cumbria, we met up on the way, as TH had to go over to Manchester beforehand to pay someone for some bits, so he went up the M61 and I went up the M6.

We stayed at the Farmers Arms at Lowick Green, a place which is so very old and dates back to the 1400s and is supposed to be one of the oldest places in the Lakes. The rooms are very quirky and not at all fashionable and just as we like it. We are made very welcome and they remembered us from last year. The people running the place are lovely people. I want to move in there!!!

Because I had the car I drove to Coniston and thought  I'd have a mooch round. Sadly there's nothing much in the town but I decided to walk up to Coppermine Valley, I'd walked down there a few years ago from The Old Man of Coniston, walking via Levers Water and back through Coppermines. There are still workings around that you can see. I had forgotten how far up it was and I walked up to the Youth Hostel. There are a lot of sheep around and I've taken lots of sheep pictures. I felt rather foolish walking up as I was only wearing my trainers, meant for just mooching about. I also had a bag. Solution - put my arms through the two bag handles and wear the bag on my bag. Why hadn't I thought of that earlier?

Then back down and in the car to Lowick Green, and I managed to find it, even though I had gone a different way. There are so many little lanes, that look the same.

I came back and had a terrible sore throat, I had been coughing all the way driving up. I was glad I'd managed to do the walk though. I ate the usual small amount but hardly had anything to drink (unusual on a weekend away!)

The first day of the show was beautiful weather. There were fewer people trading than last year, when the weather had been terrible and the ground flooded. I had a good look around the craft tent and there were some missing faces. I bought some Jacobs wool to knit/crochet a cover for my camera when I wear the neck strap. I will then felt it.

In the evening, the heavens opened and there was such a lot of rain. After all, we were in the Lakes! The showground was flooded in a few places when we arrived the next day. We managed to find somewhere to park, I had left Beetle there overnight and it wasn't floating, fortunately. It did dry up but it was funny watching people avoiding the puddles and others with wellies taking great delight in plodging through. Children always love water and there were some splashed parents around.

We stayed another night, together with another couple and had a nice quiet dinner with them, it was particularly quiet as I had lost my voice the night before so TH had a break from me! The drive home was fine until we neared home and we had to divert to the M61 because of a rolling road block on the M6. It was a nightmare where the motorways join and I had a bit of a scare joining a queue of traffic when someone I thought was letting me in and he apparently wasn't. I thought he had slowed. I don't know why people just don't slow and let people join a queue, they're not going anywhere and there's nowhere for the joiners to go unless they do!

Why is it that there seems to be more stuff coming back than going? I didn't buy anything other than a drawing pad and pencil to add to my D-I-L's birthday present.

Had a quiet day yesterday, I couldn't visit Mum as she didn't want me to pass on any germs. Today I rang her and am still croaky. I'll give it a couple more days. I had only just put the phone down when TH rang me. He felt awful. He was dizzy and thought he was getting Vertigo again. I drove up and took his tablets with me so he could take one. He just needs to lie down for a couple of days. He was wondering if it had been caused my a magnetic band I had bought him. I just think he has had a lot of stress over the last few weeks and this happens periodically. Whatever it is, he is in a foul mood and is a terrible patient. He has been sitting with head in hands like many men do. I took him a cuppa and he's got this annoying habit of looking surprised when I appear, having walked in full view from the kitchen!!!

Righty, I'll show you a few photos. Maybe not all, and will let you have some more next time. I'm going to put them all at the end of this, as I'm a bit rushed just now and it takes ages to fit them in with the text.

Aren't sheep lovely?


The white building is the Youth Hostel. There is an honesty table, where anyone, not just people staying, can get themselves tea or coffee etc and put the money in. How lovely that this can happen nowadays!



These were some of the old coppermine workings. I'm not sure if anything goes on there now, even in an amateur way.

There seemed to be quite a few boulders, probably basalt. This looks like a piece of anatomy, see the copper colour?

I passed these sheep, then stopped, every time I started, they started walking again, every time I stopped, so did they.



A few more pics, next time.