Tuesday, 31 August 2010

RIP my bush

Dunnit :o)

War against cat and dog hairs, and I'm losing

Aha, I see we have a new commenter amongst us, welcome Wendy from near Brisbane. Our little gang meets here once a day for a bit of banter, please join in. I think it's best not to take life too seriously, I like a bit of a larf.

No, I'm not doing a bit of decorating, this is how my three piece suit normally looks. I've just had a blitz, a mad moment with the Dyson, pull it all out, clean behind it and recover with fresh sheets. Underneath is a perfectly nice and comfy almost new settee and chairs which I bought for £50 nearly three years ago from my friend Annette who emigrated. It has been covered up ever since to keep the cat and dog hairs off it.

I don't actually need all these places to sit down, I can only sit in one chair at a time, and that is either my computer chair, my dining room table chair, or my sewing machine on the other table chair. Nobody ever comes to visit me, aaaah shame.

As you can see, a very nice chair, now going to cover it up.

Glad you like the painted leaves, I've just thought of another idea, I'm off to paint some twigs. I dug a couple of bushes up the other day, I wonder what they would look like with a lick of paint. They need chucking really but there might be a way to give them a new lease of life ;o)

Monday, 30 August 2010

Arts and gardens

I've been getting a lot of dried up brown leaves falling off the bottom of this plant. I had to move it a couple of years ago because it was near to the dining room window, and it was growing that quick it was starting to block the light out. It now sits in the middle of the garden and is over seven feet tall. The new leaves sprout from the top and the old ones fall off the bottom.

It's such a shame to throw them away.

Why not paint them I thought, and see what they look like. I have a lot of these little pots of paint, they cost me 4p each from Woolys, when they were closing down. So I picked out five colours and did four leaves in each colour.

And ended up with this. My first thought was to return them to the garden, but they really need to be in a heavy pot because they are top heavy and they might blow over in the wind.

Then I stuck them into a bush in the front garden. They would look rather eye catching here and passers by could see my work of art.

Or maybe I could put them on top of my shoe rack in the front porch.

I haven't made my mind what to do with them yet, but I'm leaning towards the idea of the front garden, then I could make some more crafty sculptures with natural materials, and have my own exhibition. :o)

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Walking the Pennine Way to Gargrave

If you are reading this post before the previous posts you will be getting the walking story back to front, but if you want to read them in order, scroll to A walk from Grassington, start there, and work backwards.

My last day, where shall I go now? I have been eyeing up Penyghent, from a distance, I feel it beckoning me. But as it is further away from home, and I don't want to be getting back at midnight, I'll plan another walk. I've done north and east of Malham, so now I'll go south. It looks another fine day again, fingers crossed.

I head off down the Pennine Way towards Gargrave. This is going to be a flatish walk, but I don't mind because it's the last chance I'll have to up the mileage a bit, keeping in mind that I want to finish by 5pm.

A little bit of an ascent at the beginning, giving some nice views of the Dales.

The River Aire down in the bottom, looking back towards Kirkby Malham.

Just where the path crosses the road at Airton I spotted a Tesco van delivering the shopping, they get everywhere, don't they. I was speaking to a family at the hostel and they told me that they had ordered a weeks food for four to be delivered direct to the hostel, so it was there waiting for them when they arrived. I thought that was a bloomin good idea, saves all that traipsing and packing.

I have passed through lots of stiles on my walks. Some of them are up and over ladders, some are wooden steps through a fence, and some are a cut out in the wall with a little gate across.

You have to be carefull with the gated ones, they have such strong springs on them, you can easily get your leg trapped if you let go too soon. Keep your fingers out of the way as well.

I was amazed to see this new bridge over a little beck that you could easily stride across. The steps had been concreted in place at both sides, and the bridge attached to them with iron brackets and massive bolts. Perhaps the water level rises considerably in the winter.

About a mile from Gargrave I did a u turn and walked to Otterburn along the road, as there wasn't an alternative footpath. I looked for a bench to sit and eat my lunch but there wasn't one. How inconsiderate not to have a bench for weary travellers. I sat on the grass on a wide verge, and got some funny looks from people in massive four wheel drive vehicles. From there I picked up a track which took me further on past a pine tree plantation, and around the other side.
I found a sign for Kirkby Malham, that will do nicely. It comes out at the back of the church, the door was open so I had a look inside. I've never seen a church where the pews are boxed in before. Although they are quite big boxes there is only enough room for four thin people or three bigger people. I don't know what they do if they get a massive wedding or a big funeral.

The church clock says five past four, it's looking like I am on time.

At three minutes past five I arrive back at Malham, spot on. The village is buzzing, people have started arriving for the Bank Holiday weekend, the hostel will be full tonight. It is the day of the annual agricultural show on Saturday so the place will be packed out, a good time to leave methinks. Just a couple of minutes while I pop in the shop to pick up a small thank you gift for my cat sitters.
Now I'll tell you how far I have walked. Today was 15.18 miles, making a grand total of 62.02 miles. I'm well chuffed with that, and not an ache in sight, I'm ready to go again ;o)

Walking to Settle

I'm first down to breakfast again, all fired up and ready to go. A couple of small blisters on my big toes, but nothing that a needle and a splodge of Germoline won't cure. No achey legs yet, in fact the more I walk the fitter I feel. Bring it on!

My plan today is to walk to Settle, but I think I can fit in a short walk to the bottom of Malham Cove first. The weather looks good, I'll take the brolly but I hope I won't need it. There is a track up the side of the hostel which goes straight to the cove, this is the view as I am approaching it 20 minutes later.

Towering above me it is 240 feet high and 900 feet wide. It must have been an impressive sight when the waterfall came tumbling down, sadly this dried up 150 years ago.

Now the water only bubbles up from underground at the base.

Looking down on it as I walk up the lane, I can see where I was yesterday on the top.
I like to see a bit of all sorts when I am on my walks, so after crossing Kirkby Fell and passing Rye Loaf Hill, I cross the fields around the bottom edge of Settle, and arrive at the River Ribble, to pick up another long distance footpath, the Ribble Way.
This was an unusual and interesting sight, a fallen tree that looked as if it's insides had been gouged out, it was completely hollow. It was clinging to life with new branches shooting skywards from it's now horizontal trunk, which was resting it's head in the water. There is a message here, never ever give up, even if the future looks bleak. I'm pleased that no one has come with a big saw and removed this beautiful and inspirational piece of art work, Mother Nature at it's very best.

I do like this place name, it automatically puts a smile on my face. How nice to be able to say that you live in Giggleswick :o)

And just down the street a cheekily named eating house.

I found a bench to take a short break, on the corner of a busy road junction, and watched the tipper lorries as they trundled to and from the quarry at Langcliffe. There's a Volvo, yep, I used to drive one of those, that was me in another life. Now I have got this life, and it is great.
I bought a bag of toffees from a Spar shop, and started my walk back. There was a few people walking on this section as you can do a nice little circular walk for about three miles, and get fantastic views. This is looking down on where I have just come from.
There looked to be a section of fairly steep ridges to walk along the bottom of, so I chose this route. Attermire Scar is full of caves, which you can see the entrances to, though I didn't go in any of them. I'm not a fan of enclosed spaces. If you enlarge the photo you can see two figures exploring.

The track back to Malham was long and flat, and quiet, but full of sheep. I saw several strapping young men on their bikes, each one gave me a hello and a cheery smile.
Almost back and I found a reception committee waiting to greet me, ha ha. No matter how hard I try I cannot creep round them without disturbing them. One of them catches sight of me and it ripples amongst the whole group and they scatter in any direction. I am nice to them, talk gently to them, tell them not to worry, but to no avail, they still scatter.

Another good day's walking, this is going to be a biggee, I can feel it in my bones. Yep, I'm right, just checked it, 17.67 miles. Whoopeee!

Walking around Malham

I've just worked out the total mileage for the four days, and I'm chuffed, not telling you yet, but it's more than I was aiming for :0) Looking out of the window on Tuesday morning was not a pretty sight, overcast, windy, then chucking it down with rain. The sort of morning that you would go back to bed if you were in your own home on a Sunday. As I was eating my breakfast I kept hoping for a hint of brightness, where is the sun today, please send me some sun.

I packed my sandwiches and gave myself a good talking to, 'well you're here now, better get on with it, no point in waiting.' My plan was to do the touristy bits. Luckily that was the best plan in those weather conditions because it meant only the determined and the foolhardy were out. I set off a short distance down the Pennine Way then turned left up a path to Gordale Scar.

I know this is going to sound daft, but I took a small fold up brolly with me, and do you know it was invaluable. I don't care how silly I looked, you don't see ramblers with brollies, but it was great not to have the rain in my face, I could take a few photo's without getting spots on my lens, and it kept the rucksack almost dry as well. Thankfully it only once blew inside out, ha ha. As I passed a camp site I felt sorry for the few that were taking shelter in their rain sodden tents on the boggy field, so pleased I am in a hostel.

I'm not sure what this blip on the landscape is called, I could have climbed it but couldn't be bothered.

Janets Foss is a waterfall on the edge of a small wood. Legend has it that Janet, (or Jennet) is Queen of the fairies and lives in the small cave behind the falls (Foss). This is the wood approaching it. A real tropical rain forest, ha ha.

No sign of Janet though :o(

The water gathers in a pool and runs away down here.

And still the rain came down. Next stop was Gordale Scar, an awe-inspiring chasm of huge cliffs towering 160 feet. The deep gorge has been eroded by torrents of water, visitors have been coming to see it for over 200 years. There is a way to climb through the gorge left of the waterfall, but with the heavy rain it was just too difficult for me to tackle. Maybe after a dry period would be better.

So back I came and continued my journey towards Malham Cove. The path took me to the top of the cove. I started to make my way across this pavement to get to the other side and down to the bottom, but it was going to take too long I wanted to press on so I decided I would make time on another day to approach the bottom from a different direction.

Onward and upward along the Pennine Way. Look, bits of blue, it has stopped raining, thank you God.

This path takes you to Malham Tarn, the highest lime rich lake of 150 acres in the country. It is of international importance for nature conservation. Malham Tarn House is now a field study centre.

The weather is looking good now, I came to this small stone bridge, and sat beside the waterfall dreaming of how wonderful life is.

In the Dales the signposts are all in good order, and all the streams are crossable. Five large slabs of stone have been placed here as you climb over the stile.

And next to it a wooden bridge.

I'm about half way through the days walk now, time to think about finding the route back. The sun is glorious, looking for a place for another break I sat down behind a stone wall. The tune from 'Last of the Summer Wine' kept going through my head, although it wasn't shot in this area it is very similar. I can picture the three old chaps sat behind a wall, with Marina and Howard wobbling along on their bikes with Pearl in hot pursuit, ha ha.
I arrived back at the hostel at 7pm, very happy with my walk. Today's mileage is a very respectable 16.04.

Friday, 27 August 2010

A walk from Grassington

It was a bit damp when I arrived at Grassington about lunch time on Monday. I have wanted to visit this attractive little Upper Wharfedale town for ages now, after seeing pictures of their famous Dickensian Festival, which is on three consecutive Saturdays in December. I will put the dates on my calendar and make an effort to get there this year.

I decided to park in a side street just over the river in Threshfield, my walk was going to take a few hours and the car park charges would have been quite expensive. Grassington lies on the 80 mile long distance footpath called the Dales Way, which goes from Ilkley to Bowness on Windermere, and I wanted to walk the stretch up to Buckden and back. I had a Bimble around the shops before I set off.

There were lots of quiet little narrow cobbled streets, with almost every house adorned with hanging baskets brimming over with masses of colourful flowers. This house had large pots of flowers all the way up the stone stairway.

The main street does allow cars to drive up it, and it has limited parking, but it would be so much more enjoyable if they were banned altogether to allow visitors to imagine what it would have been like all those years ago. This eating house seemed quite popular.

Everyone has gone to a lot of trouble to make it as attractive as they can, after all this is what brings in the tourists.

At the end of this cobbled street is a posh hotel.

This shop sells all kinds of garden ornaments, mostly animals and birds carved from wood, and some are made from metal.

I can't spend hours wandering around shops, a quick look then I have to get out into the countryside, so off I went up the Dales Way. The rain had stopped and the sun was beginning to shine. It wasn't long before I had to stop and change my trousers and waterproofs for a pair of shorts.
Limestone pavements like these are everywhere.

The deep vertical cracks and wide crevices between the stones shelter rare ferns and many different kinds of plants and grasses.

They are like giant stepping stones and very difficult to walk on, it's easy to lose your balance. You could easily twist your ankle if you misjudged your step and slipped down the cracks.

I reached the village of Buckden and checked out the Youth Hostel. Although I wasn't booked in here I wanted to see what it was like, as it has no car park and the building doubles up as a Post office as well. I might stay here in the future as I could use it as a base for walks further north. It's a pretty village, I found a bench and had a bite to eat.
Coming back I walked along the road for a while to get a bit of speed up. Time was getting on and I needed to get to the hostel at Malham. After a bit of a power walk, I left the road and joined a footpath which ran alongside the River Wharfe which took me back to my car. I met a youth who was walking his very lively young black labradoor. It came bounding towards me, eager to make friends. I spent a few minutes talking to the lad and fussing the dog who was called Bramble. When I got back into my car I thought, what is that horrible smell. Sniffing everything around me, oh heck, what has that dog been rolling around in!!!
I checked into the Hostel at 8pm, and made a quick meal in the members kitchen. There doesn't seem to be many people here tonight, except a couple of families with young children. Two small boys were playing their parents up something rotten, they wouldn't sit still and eat their dinner, they didn't have any control over them at all. I wanted to swipe the little monsters, but you can't do that any more.
Just checked the mileage, 13.13, not bad considering I didn't start till 1.30pm. Just think how far I can walk tomorrow if I start a lot earlier :o)

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Only two blisters

Well that's me back again, doesn't time fly, holidays don't last long enough. I've downloaded the pics, only 69, I'll dump the rubbish ones and put a few up here tomorrow. I was dead lucky with the hostel, a room to myself again, what a bargain eh! at £39 for three nights B & B. The breakfasts were ace, I filled my belly with all manner of delicious nosh, they had a good selection for non meat eaters. I didn't have to spend any more money as I took some food in a cool box for my sandwiches, and a snack in the evening. I did treat myself however, to a half pint of Theakstons Old Peculiar on Tuesday night, my favourite ale, and I had an ice cream just before I set of back today.

I've walked a lot of miles in beautiful countryside, it was so uplifting, and only two small blisters, ha ha. I'll check the distances tomorrow. I made a lot of new friends, had some stimulating conversations, and I can honestly say I personally know most of the sheep and cows in the Yorkshire Dales ;0) Off to bed now, see you tomorrow.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Cooling off in the pond

I promised Henry a swim today and here he is enjoying himself. Put him in the car and drive him to the pond, easy peasy. This is actually a man made pond on the site of the old steelworks, on the edge of an industrial estate. It's only three miles away so it's very convenient.

Now try and take the stick from him to throw it again ;o)

I dropped him back at his house at 4.30pm, and missing him already. On the way home, I thought this view was wonderful.

I'm throwing a few things in a bag now, off to Yorkshire tomorrow for another cheapo holiday, so I'll catch up with you when I get back. I wont be long, talk amongst yourselves for a while :0)

Singing the praises of village life

Thank you for your concerns about my back, with a few of Sarina's stretching excercises, and a good nights sleep, it doesn't feel too bad this morning. Henry still needs his morning walk though, but it's very handy to live at the end of a short street which leads to the back of the church and onto the hills and woods. He can bimble along off the lead.

It's a glorious morning, I thought I would share a few photo's of our lovely village, I think you can see why I like to litter pick round here, why should the few thoughtless people spoil it for the majority.

Henry loves the woods.

Down the lane past the caravan park. we have an award winning very picturesque caravan park here, it's quite busy today, a few campers in the adjoining field as well.

Round the corner to the bottom pub. The Ferry House is the 'bottom pub', the Sheffield Arms being the 'top pub'. The lovely willow tree in the pub garden next to the river.

Walking back up Stather hill, the views over the fishing pond and the River Trent beyond are fabulous.

My apologies for posting three photo's of this view, but it is truly beautiful.

Back into the village, time to sit on a bench on the green for a few minutes and watch the world go by.

This is our Christmas tree. In the past we have been errecting a large tree for our decorations, and it was decided we should grow our own, a lot more eco friendly. After a few years of waiting for it to grow, it might be ready this Christmas to dress it for the first time, I hope so.

A view of the High Street, Angela and Phil's B & B on the right, with the Sheffield Arms on the bend at the bottom.

The village shop, newsagent, off licence and provisions. It gets quite busy, this morning people are picking up their Sunday papers.

Just round the corner from the pub is the little road into the car park, with the old vicarage just ahead.

It is also the back gate to the church, people are arriving for the morning service.

Behind the church are the Church Mews, a courtyard of tastefully renovated terraced cottages.

This is the front entrance to the church, looking through the gate which is to the left hand side of the pub.

Graham the gardener does a fantastic job of keeping the lawns tidy.

The pathway at the back of the church has been tidied as well, I saw an elderly gentleman doing this the other day. We have some caring people in this village who look after things voluntarily.

The rear of the church, Graham was out strimming the long grass around the gravestones the other day.

This small grave alongside the wall is by itself with one other nearby. It is the grave of a baby a few days old. I walk past this point most days, and one day it appeared. The sight of this fresh grave, with no headstone, brought tears to my eyes, as I read the cards left with the flowers and cuddly toys. It was such an emotional sight to come across when I wasn't expecting it.
Over the last three years that the grave has been here, someone visits it often. They light a tee light in a little metal lantern and hang it on the wall, and they change the toys, replacing the faded ones with bright new ones. God rest little Declan, you will never be forgotten.

I know I keep harping on about it, but Burton upon Stather is just lovely.