A Lakeside Ramble.

Snow surround

Yesterday morning we set of for a walk which initially was intended to be around the entire area of Shibden Park. A cursory glance outside the window that morning dictated that we might both be wiser wearing our Ugg boots rather than our walking boots because the ground was covered in ice and looked extremely slippery to walk on. I find that walking boots are brilliant for muddy or wet slippery conditions, but not so useful for keeping one upright whenever its icy. Trouble was as it turned out, the boots that we decided to wear were not much of an improvement.

We had a terrible time during the trek through the local cemetery, ending up having to resort to walking along the grass adjacent to the path in order to make any headway. It didn’t help that we had a bus to catch. Arriving at the bus stop outside Shibden Park only to be greeted by a steep downhill walk covered in wet soggy leaves and sheets of ice didn’t fill us with enthusiasm either, and it was only my lifetimes experience of being a pedestrian that helped to get us safely down the hill without a fall. By using a tactic of carefully weaving our way through natures winter hazards did we make it safely to the car park, only to be greeted by a really icy covered path leading to the Cafe. Gripping the fence  which thankfully ran the whole way along it with both hands and stepping gingerly one careful step at a time was the only way to arrive safely at the Cafe door without taking a tumble, and we sat down to catch our breaths and enjoy a welcome hot drink. We were very early but catching the later bus would have meant that we would have arrived too late for the arranged meet up with the other walkers.

Setting Off

Although our reasons for braving the icy and thoroughly treacherous  conditions was questionable, we were far from being alone in being in the park in this weather. There were not only some dog walkers already walking along the skating rink like paths in the park, but also many families who had thrown caution to the winds and arrived with their offspring. Mind you, children do tend to enjoy this kind of weather and walking in icy conditions probably doesn’t hold the same fear for them because they haven’t as far to fall as adults. Even so, I did question in my head the sanity of the parents. After everyone foolhardy enough had gathered in the car park, and one member had done a quick reconnoitre to inspect the paths for the safest route, it was decided that the lower path was considered safe to walk on, and so after a brief wait whilst all those wearing  walking boots added Crampons to their soles, we finally set off.

I was mainly left to my own devices because daughter used her usual tactic whenever the ground is unsafe underfoot, and  hooked herself up with the nearest male she could find. At one point during the walk she had one on either side of her. As we circled the lake via the safe path I busied myself taking shots with my camera. The sky was clear and blue and the sun was shining down but not having al that much affect on melting the ice. The party broke into two at one point during the walk, when a few foolhardy souls took their life in their hands and decided to tackle a path which had the additional hazard of water melt running down it, we with more sense took a lower route which all though it was safer, ended up consisting of mud, twigs and wet leaves as it meandered through the trees.

Gulls on boats

Despite the icy conditions, the miniature railway was running once the engine driver had inspected the route. He passed us during the inspection because our so called safe route took us across the railway lines. If it hadn’t been for the muddy conditions this part of the walk would have been very enjoyable but I found myself spending most of my time climbing up grassy banks trying desperately to avoid the very muddy path. At one point we passed a blocked off area surrounding what appeared to be an old mineshaft which then became the focal point for a lengthy discussion from one member about Anne Lister who used to own the whole of Shibden Park. As interesting as it was to hear the history of Shibden Park and why the fenced off area was probably a mine shaft, I was beginning to loose all interest as it can be so tiring to walk whilst picking one’s way around mud and ice. Eventually we arrived back at the Cafe for lunch where most of the others had to remove their Crampons from their boots before entering.

Muddy path through the trees

I ordered a salad, strange I know considering the cold icy conditions we’d just ploughed through, and K ordered a Pasta Bolognese which was far more sensible. We accepted the kind offer of a lift home from one of the other party, and after giving our mud covered boots a good clean I could eventually sit down and ponder on the days walk.

 

TG

Packing it all in….

This year (fingers crossed) we intend to have a packed year full of excursions, holidays and visits to places I have never been in my entire life. One of the reasons I never hanker about going abroad is the simple fact that  there are lot’s of places in the United Kingdom that I have never set foot in but have longed to do so. As my long term future on this planet is not certain, I intend to fill some of my remaining time visiting all those areas of our beautiful country that my meagre income will allow. This means of course, adopting a single mindedness about saving diligently and not wasting a penny on items of little consequence. 

One area that I have always wanted to visit is Cornwall. It’s lure for me personally is partly its lore (King Arthur) its breath-taking scenery and I plan to take numerous photos of everything I see whilst there. We will be staying in a mobile home which will be used as a base for our daily visits to such delights as Tintagel, Lands End, St Ives, Carbis Bay and St Michaels Mount. I would love to visit every wonderful place there is in Cornwall, but there will be obviously time restraints on just how much we can cram into a weeks visit and how much our money will stretch to of course!

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The artist in me will want to sit down with an easel and paint brush no doubt, but my trusty camera will have to suffice instead. I love the photos of those quaint  fishing villages dotted about, and I’m intrigued by the numerous caves seen along the coves and beaches. Just how much we will be able to investigate is open to question and how much our aching feet can stand of course. One activity I don’t see us taking part in is surfing, though we might try some horse riding if there are stables near by. By the time the holiday ends and we return home, I shall probably need a week in bed in order to recuperate!

int_std_1The other area of the British Isles that I have never set foot in is Wales. We plan to rectify that shortly in March when we join a day excursion on a Compass Tours train to Wales, aptly named the Welsh Mountaineer. This excursion will be taking us through some of the most picturesque welsh countryside where we will be travelling through the heart of Wales and following  the route of the River Teme to Offa’s Dyke, Llandrindod Wells the Tywi Valley and onto Cardiff, where we will hopefully have enough time  to grab a bite to eat before our journey back home via a different route.

Tywi 052

Of course, this journey through the heart of Wales and its enjoyment of the stunning countryside will entirely hinge on whether or not the train staff have bothered to clean the carriage windows sufficiently so that we passengers can see it in all of its glory. If not, you might read of TG having to resort to sticking her head out of the carriage door window in order to get some really clear camera shots. Unfortunately this train will not be headed by a steam locomotive but will instead being pulled by a diesel engine. Mind you, these diesel engines are often the focus of train enthusiasts in the same vein as their steam cousins, and we will no doubt  see many photographers and train buffs on the station platforms and along  the route as we travel.

That’s the travel plans so far for this year, all hinging on finances (state of) and my ability to curb my ‘money no object’ daughter who is already scouring Amazon every chance that she gets on the computer, so I’m going to have to be vigilant, as always.

TG

Walking on the frosty side.

We went on a walk yesterday along our local canal.  As in other parts of the country, our canal has become a haven for walkers, joggers and also cyclists. Yesterday was one of those days when your not quite sure how to dress, it was bitterly cold and there had been a sharp frost during the night, causing the pavements to glitter with a thousand tiny stars as the sun shone down on them. We were all dressed in warm coats scarves and the like, and in my case gloves as well. Determined to get some really good shots of both the canal and also try to capture the frosty conditions, I also toted my camera with me. As soon as we set off, daughter ‘hooked’ herself up with the tallest member of our walk that she could find who is well over six foot, which looked rather comical as they both strolled along seeing as she is only five feet tall.

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A most unwelcome visitor

 

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 Following the last few days of constant rain and gale force winds, which have caused me personally to be confined indoors as I simply refuse to go out in the rain, we were able to venture out this morning and enjoy some glorious sunshine and blue skies at last.  ‘Hurray’ I thought as we walked down to town, enjoying the rare glimpsed winter sun in the sky, ‘let’s hope that’s the last of the rain!’ only to have my hopes instantly dashed as we landed home and found the dreaded card laying on our doormat.  Yes, you’ve guessed it! He’s been! The best rainmaker in the whole wide world has called whilst we were out! So sorry everyone, it will be rain as usual from today, my blasted window cleaners been!

TG Steaming mad