Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Saved from the slaughterhouse.

When I am out walking I love to talk to the farm animals that I come across, love to see them in their fields and enclosures, and try not to think of them being herded into trucks and taken to the slaughterhouse. I know that's the nature of farming, they are reared for meat, but it makes me very sad that they have short lives.

I saw this article. A Devon Farmer was supposed to take 20 of his lambs to the slaughterhouse, he has been doing it for years, but this time was different, he was so upset that he couldn't do it. Instead he drove them 200 miles to an animal sanctuary where they will live out the rest of their lives. It has cost him £9,000 in lost revenue, he has become vegetarian, and is changing his farm over to growing plant based food. Read the story here on the Vegan Food and Living web site.

I googlied the name of the charity, Goodheart Animal Sanctuary, and found their web site. They also have a Facebook page. They offer care for life to rescued farm animals. And they also have a Twitter page. 

A short video on their new barn and woodland to house the pigs.

I have added them to the list of charities I support, and sent a donation. It can be done online, but I donate with a cheque in the post. If you don't eat animals, or even if you do, you might like to send something to help. Thank you.  ilona

Monday, 28 January 2019

Soap gets in your eyes.

Now here's a thing, Meanqueen doesn't use the toiletries in the hotel, and doesn't take them home either. Why? I've paid for them. 
If I use them, I wouldn't use the whole bar of soap, or the whole bottle of shampoo or shower gel, so what would happen to what's left? Would the cleaners be able to keep, them as a bonus? Would they get thrown away? Would the plastic bottles be recycled or would they get binned? Or maybe it is expected that the guest gets to keep them and take them home whether used or not? Are the staff expecting to find them all missing when they go in to clean the room?  Do they mind if their toiletries disappear altogether into someone suitcase?  Is that normal practice?

Seems such a waste to only part use them, so I prefer to take my own from home. I am not so skint that I have to resort to clearing the bathroom of any unused toiletries. I might have done once when I was very skint, but then I couldn't afford to stay in the room anyway. Now that I can afford the treat now and again of a nice hotel, I see no reason to help myself to some shower gel and soap. I do not need it.   ilona

Sunday, 27 January 2019

A walk around Carsington Water

On the third day I checked out of the hotel after breakfast. I wasn't very impressed with the two vegetarian dinners I had, but the breakfasts were great, lots of choice. After studying the map I decided that I didn't want to walk from the hotel and cover ground I had already walked, so I drove a few miles to Carsington Water. It's a big reservoir with a paths for walkers and cyclists all the way around it. I hadn't worked out the distance before hand, but after when I checked it, I found that it was eight miles long. Perfect to finish off with before heading for home.
I parked in Carsington Village, not wanting to pay the parking charge at the two official car parks. The village is part of the circuit anyway so it was a good place to start. I wonder how many more of these signs we are going to see popping up in different places. It seems drones are not wanted in a lot of places now. 
Several large wildlife sculptures were positioned in a grassy area. I suppose the concrete base is to deter thieves, though I think it would be a nice idea if they painted them green.

You can't walk right next to the water as it's fenced off to protect the conservation areas and wildlife. Dogs are not allowed to go in the water.

This very large shed has grass growing on the roof. It's a superduper bird hide and class room,  teachers can take their kids in there and learn all about the different visiting birds.  Link to the RSPB web site if you fancy doing some bird watching.

Ducks hoovering up the crumbs underneath the feeders.

A slip way with a few boats moored up.

This is the sailing club site. A link to the Carsington site if you wish to partake of some sporting activities.

Things to look at as you walk along.

The modern day version of a stone circle, set on a mound, there is a path up to the top.

The view from the top.

In some places the walking and cycling tracks split, then they come together again. I was on the walking track when I came across what looked like an old derelict building, which was probably in use some years ago as part of the workings of the reservoir.

There are no windows, just a door, and inside it is kitted out with rough cut timber furniture. Talk about re cycling and re using, this is the ultimate in self sufficiency. So clever to make use of this space. I feel I want to decorate it with little nicknacks. I bet the kids love it when they come across this hidden cottage.

On the home straight now, one last selfie. The weather has been a bit overcast with a little wind, but it stayed dry. I have walked on long straight stretches parallel to a road, with great views over the fields. Through the twists and turns of the woods, all very well signposted. Mostly flat with some slight inclines.  There is a big visitors centre with all facilities, cafe, shops, toilets, and restaurant.More info on the Severn Trent web site.
Eight miles walked today, with a total of 21 miles over the three days. It's been lovely scenery, good for the body and soul. It's thanks to my friend Janet who looks after my cats and house for me, she is one of the best. The kids were pleased to see me when I got back. Where shall I go next, back to studying maps.   ilona

Saturday, 26 January 2019

A walk to Wirksworth.

I am running out of new routes to walk in this area, my map is covered with coloured lines, the creases where I have folded and re folded are getting tatty. Today I walked from Cromford to Wirksworth, a place that I haven't explored before. 
The A5036 out of Cromford is very steep. After a mile I went off left down a track across a field, and picked up another track at Black Rocks, then joined a minor road to Bolehill. 

The road narrowed down to a track as it came into Wirksworth, passing over a stone bridge at the back of the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway.

I enjoyed a bimble around the town, and came across this tiny cinema. I asked a local about it and was told it is indeed a working cinema where you sit on a sofa and have a drink while watching the film. Sounds very cosy.

The Town Hall and Council Offices, and Library. Age UK have a charity shop there.

The big church is just behind the shops on the main road going through Wirksworth.

I just happened to be passing this dinky little shop when I came across the owner chopping wood outside on the pavement, for her wood burner. Dog was strolling about and of course I have to speak to dog people. We got chatting and it turned out that Jo started this Ale House with very little money. Found the premises and furnished it with a mish mash of bits and pieces she found in skips and scrounged off friends, in a similar way that I built the summer house in my garden.
I asked if I could take a photo inside and I was immediately invited in, even though I said it was a bit too early for me to be drinking beer. Tempted as I was I had to keep a clear head for the walk back to Cromford.

A friend of Jo's strolled in so that was the cue to put the kettle on, and we got a free mug of hot tea. A very enjoyable hour or so later, more people came in, and I had to go, time was getting on and I didn't want to be caught out in the dark.

Getting the fire stoked up. There is a room upstairs which is used for entertainment and quizzes. No food is served but anyone can take their own. It's a very friendly place, if I lived near enough you might have to drag me out. Jo has a Facebook page here, The Feather Star. 

A few doors along is this second hand re cycle and re use centre, with some very interesting furniture in the window.

I next went to the main entrance of the Railway.

Not much happening in the winter, getting things ready for the summer season.

Spotted, a Blackpool Tram.

More information about Wirksworth on this web site.
Time to set off back. Had to walk through these cows, they were curious but not threatening. My boots and the bottoms of my trousers are getting a bit mucky now.

My map reading went a bit tits up. I was going to do a circular but ended up back tracking along a road so I could walk faster, didn't want to be wandering around fields in the dark. There are many footpaths which crisscross each other around this area and it can be a bit confusing at the best of times.

It was dark when I came back down the steep hill into into Cromford. A relief to see the street lights. The hotel is on a hill so the lights shine out quite a distance.

Dinner in the dining room tonight, a table for myself. There are two large groups in, one a coach party, and the others came in cars. It was Swing Dance night Forties Style and I was invited to join them. I had stuff to do on the computer but I did go in the ballroom for half an hour to be sociable. They were all dressed up in the forties style, with forties music. I think they must have a club where they learn the dances because they were all step perfect.

Nine miles walked today. One more day to go, I'll post about that tomorrow.  ilona

Friday, 25 January 2019

Walking around Cromford

Hey, I've been away, two nights at the Willersley Castle Hotel at Cromford near Matlock, some jolly fine walking in the area. I left home a bit later on Wednesday because there had been snow and a heavy frost during the night, so I waited till the sun came out and the gritters had treated the roads. 
I arrived at the hotel at 12.30pm, and after a bite to eat I set off for a bimble, taking the road towards Sparkholmes. It was a steep climb, but the views were lovely. That is Matlock Bath down there. 
So far up the road and I took a right turn over a stile and into a wood. The path was steep, so the views got better and better.

A bit further up and another photo. The two pylons you can see on the right are supporting the wires for the cable cars up to the Heights of Abraham.

At the top, Riber Castle comes into view across the fields, I zoomed in on it.

It was a beautiful sunny day.

I headed towards the castle, and took the road to the right hand side of it.

Oh wow, more fantastic views. Matlock looks pretty big down there.

It's been a while since I was last here, and the building work still isn't finished. All fenced off, can't get near it.

More of Matlock comes into view.

Time was getting on so I thought I ought to make my way back down to the main road and head back to the hotel. I had a look round Masson Mills on the A6 as I was passing. It's a big shopping complex, some nice things in there. I just wanted to get warm, it was getting pretty chilly now, time for the woolly hat. Only four miles covered because of the steepness.

I have a lovely room, and a lovely young man served my dinner in the lounge, as the dining room was full with a coach party. This is where I'm sitting as I type this, it will be published when I get back. ilona
PS. More photo's tomorrow.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

New colourful wall hanging.

Finished it at last. I started wrapping the big rings when I was on holiday in September, it's taken a while, ha ha. A slow process, choosing and mixing the colours, which fabric to use, how many circles to stitch onto the tree, how to finish the base of the tree, what fabric to back it with. It measures 16.5 inches across, and 23 inches top to bottom.

Placed side by side with an earlier one I made using the same tree template. I have extended the trunk for the new one. I think it looks better.

Placed side by side with this hanging which also has wrapped rings on it. These are thicker and bulkier so they don't sit flat on the background like the new one.

Three similar style hangings all together.

Testing I am in the frame before recording the video. I have a different top on, changed my mind.

This is not a 'how to make it', video, it would take far too long to film. I previously made one on how to wrap the rings. It's up to you what you do with the rings, if you are going to try it.

Phew, that's finished, now what to do next. Watch this space.  ilona