A frosty walk along the Canal.

I’ve been on a walk this morning with Heartbeat along the canal towards Halifax. Beginning at the The Colliers Arms on Elland Road, we made our way to the canal towpath where we enjoyed a fairly long walk past the Watermill Inn at the bottom of Salterhebble Hill. After journeying under the road we then turned around and retraced our footsteps back to the Colliers Arms where we had a very enjoyable lunch before all returning home.  I didn’t take many photos, it was quite nippy so I wanted to keep my gloves on, and in addition we were walking at rather a brisk pace to keep warm.  Enjoy the photos of our walk.

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Today’s walk with Crew.

Setting off at Clay House

We’ve been on a very long walk with crew today. One in which K and I ended up throwing the towel in and didn’t quite make it to the end. Setting off at Elland, we began our walk at Clay House then through the North Dean Woods towards Copley. It was very wet and muddy and the dead leaves that littered our path through the woodland reminded me of trying to walk through soggy cornflakes.

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All by myself, alone.

her access bus Yesterday K toddled off into the wide blue yonder to Respite Care,(well rode there in an Access bus to be truthful) leaving her poor old Mum all by herself, and so after doing some washing this morning and hanging it all out to dry, I decided not to waste such a beautiful day and set off for a walk down to town, taking photographs as I journeyed along of anything that took my fancy. I used to love being by myself at one time, and actually used to really relish being able to please myself what I did, but now its not so enjoyable anymore, and don’t ask me why because I don’t honestly know the answer.

This is where our swimming pool will be! I sauntered down to the main road and from there made my way to where our new Swimming Baths is now in the first throes of being built. Yes folks its all going ahead, despite everyone who lives a stones throw away from its intended placement making all sorts of procrastinations about traffic, parking, noise etc, and why not?

Everyone and their dog protested about the Tesco building, but did it have any effect? Did the persons in charge of planning change their minds, concede defeat, turn round and say ‘No’ to the might that is Tesco? So why should it be any different when we, the citizens of this small town, are actually going to get something that we were promised (and indeed before we were swallowed up into the greater Authority that is Calderdale) were actually just about to get, namely our brand new Swimming Pool?

K and I will be the first in there I promise you. (health permitting of course and provided that I am still on this mortal coil) We shall be the first to sample the water, dip our toes in, or, if we are brave and foolhardy enough, we may even take a flying jump and therefore empty the pool before any one else gets a chance to sample its delights! Most of the Crazy Golf has gone. There are only two of the obstacle holes left now, and the poor old totem carving is laid prone on the floor awaiting its final fate.

Only two holes to play in the crazy golf Oh dear! the totem tree looks worse for wear!

I continued on into the park, where the usual owners with their dogs were all chasing one another and running around yapping like crazy, (the dogs I mean, not the owners.)  I moseyed on up to the Park flower beds, intent on taking one of my usual panoramic photos in order to get the whole of the flower display in, but I was foiled by a couple sitting on one of the benches canoodling who would have been ‘in shot’ had I gone ahead. He was in a pair of shorts, ideal for this weather you would agree, but his thighs, which would have been very visible in any photograph I had taken, were like big thick tree trunks and not a pretty sight, and besides which they may have taken umbrage at my including them in a photograph. Not everyone wants to have their photo taken by some stranger, for all I knew they might have been having a secret tryst of some sort.

The Canal MarinaSo I had to forget that idea and continue on to town where I took some shots of the Canal marina where all the narrow boats are berthed, and from there, I continued along the canal taking photos as I went along. Of course as usual the ducks that frequent the canal had their picture taken again, they must be quite used to it by now, although some who were sunning themselves at the side were obviously camera shy and hid their heads inside their plumage.

I'm shy! Don't take my photo! I finished up taking my last shots of the lovely flower display in the town square before continuing on to have a quick natter with my ‘adopted’ son Ade, who owns the shop where I buy all my video games from.(He isn’t really my adopted son, but its a standing joke between him and me because he once remarked that he saw more of me than he did of his own Mum.)

Then I decided that as it was such a lovely day, I would walk home as well, treating myself to an ice cream along the way. It was such a lovely day, the sun was shining, there was only a slight breeze, so it seemed a travesty to take the bus. Besides which I could suit myself what I decided to do! K wouldn’t have walked home, she would have refused point blank no matter how enjoyable the weather. Walking down to town is sufficient for her, so I took advantage of the fact that it was entirely up to me what I did and walked all the way back home.

Hope you all enjoy the pictures of our little town. The rest are here in my SkyDrive.


Slippin’ an a Slidin’ around Judy Woods.

Map of Judy Woods On Saturday, K and I joined the other members of Crew on a walk around Judy Woods.  Now funnily enough, despite the fact that I only really live a stones throw away, I have never visited Judy Woods before.  I knew of it of course, and I had always wanted to visit, it is reputed to be especially beautiful in May when all the bluebells are out.  As this walk also coincided with K’s thirtieth birthday she was very excited, and she had spent most of the morning before we were due to set off for the walk busily opening her presents and cards.

It was raining but this didn’t dampen our spirits at all, after all hadn’t we just bought our lovely new raincoats guaranteed to be waterproof, and so once we all arrived at the roadside where all the walks through Judy Woods begin, K and I set off without a care in the world, confident with backpack and walking stick in hand. Some of the members had done the walk earlier in the week, and had found it to be particularly heavy going, stating that it was very muddy to walk, but being in such high spirits we confidentially joined the ‘’hard walk’ group, choosing to ignore any  warnings that K would probably find the going difficult.

We set off full of optimism Hmm. Well, all I can say is that in between slithering, sliding, slipping, pushing K up, pulling her up, assisting her round the most muddy areas, taking three steps forward and four steps back, negotiating slippy stone walkways over muddy streams, tripping over roots, striding gamely through nettles and brambles, I began to feel as if we were all taking part on one of those Army training courses that recruits are made to endure.  K was also ably assisted by some of the other members, but I was left to struggle onward as best I could  most of the time, with the result that I had a horrible premonition that any moment I was going to slip and fall face first into the mud.

The notice where K wanted to take a breather Visions of me arriving later at the Wyke Lion covered from head to foot in mud and dripping it all over the carpet swam in front of me as clear as day! K and I haven’t got around to buying any proper walking shoes, but this walk has now convinced me that we really do need to acquire some Pronto! When we reached an cleared area where there was a signpost stone, K asked if we could have a rest so that she could have a drink and a breather, but before she had chance to get her drink out of her backpack, the leader T was off again!  Her face was a picture.

We met up with the other party who were taking the ‘easy route’ through the woods, but despite the fact that they invited K to join them for the rest of the walk, she carried on with the ‘hard walk’ group. Actually the rest of the walk was an absolute doddle compared to the first half that we had already done. Trouble was that it was so muddy underfoot that I didn’t really get chance to enjoy the woods at all, I was far too busy helping K and watching my own footing to look up and admire the view!

We emerged out onto the road and all made our way back down to where the cars were parked. All of our shoes were caked with mud (and the bottom of our trousers as well!) so we cleaned them up as best we could with some tissues before climbing into the cars to go to the Wyke Lion for our usual end of walk meal. I had a grilled chicken Caesar salad and K had Garlic Chicken with mashed potato, all nicely swilled down with some large glasses of sweet white wine.  Of course because it was her birthday, K was treat to the usual calorie laden chocolate sweet to follow which she thoroughly enjoyed. (as usual.)

I have vowed to do this walk through Judy Woods again but when the weather is more suitable and the route isn’t covered in mud. Then I may be able to look up and admire the beauty of it all instead of trying to stay on my feet!


A walk around the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Today we have been on a walk with a difference.  A  walk around the Yorkshire Sculpture Park  Now funnily enough I had recently seen some photographs online which had been taken at the Sculpture park and thought ‘I’d love to go there!’ but I hadn’t realised just how close it is to where we live, and so I was very pleased that this week it had been chosen as our venue for our Saturday walk   As always we went there with some of the other members of C.R.E.W , and K and I were picked up this morning by R and G at 09.45am because it takes roughly three quarters of an hour to drive there.

Where's that blasted Mini-bus? When we arrived at the Park, we were the first ones there so we waited for the other members who were also going on the walk  to arrive. There were only seven of us taking part on this walk, as some of the other members were on holiday and others thought it was too far to get to.

Once we were all assembled, we waited for the Mini Bus to arrive, as we planned to begin our walk at the far side of the Park which you could see in the distance. No Mini bus arrived, but instead a Land Rover pulled up, and one of the Park staff alighted and told us all that the Mini bus had broken down and  so we would all have to climb into the Land Rover instead . This was no mean feat, especially for K who had to be given a hefty ‘push up’ from behind in order to climb up into the back.

The Outclosure, no entrance! Eventually we arrived at the other end of the Park, and after entering the Longside Gallery to view the sculptures and paintings on show inside we then began our walk.  The weather was being very kind to us as showers of rain had been forecast, but in order to  foil this prediction I had cunningly brought along my brolly! (Guaranteed to keep the smallest spots of rain at bay) Our walk took us through a small wood called the Round Wood which houses the Outclosure, a strange stone built structure which has no entrance to it, therefore inhibiting you from being able to see what’s inside it. Of course this prompted a couple of the men to begin jumping up and down trying vainly to see what was inside.

No! Not another spiral staircase! We continued on and next we arrived at the Basket,  a rather strange sort of small tower complete with spiral staircase inside (K’s favourite climb!) The whole tower  is constructed entirely of metal and mesh. We all climbed up the spiral staircase (luckily for K, only 15 steps high) and peeked through the mesh at the fantastic views before making our way down again to continue the walk There were actually two walls inside made of mesh, one inside the other with a small area between them both, and of course this prompted K and I to make our way in-between them both with the result that K (complete with her usual backpack) nearly became stuck at one point!

Along this part of the route are numerous old fallen trees which are surrounded by stone walls. These are referred to on the map that we all had a copy of as the Hanging Trees but why I haven’t  a clue because you certainly couldn’t hang anything from them in their current prone and fungus covered state!  We were now slowly descending via a path through the woods, made fairly muddy by  yesterdays downpour, and this also included some steps to negotiate.  Eventually this descent brought us to the Dam Head bridge which crosses the end of the Lower Lake and the Dam. 

View across Lower Lake from Dam Head Bridge.

The intention here was to now make our way back to the main Centre for our lunch via the Lower Park route but this was inaccessible, and so we had to make the ascent through the Henry Moor in the Country Park, and this steady climb was quite tiring necessitating frequent stops and rests on the way up. We had passed lots of ducks during this part of the walk, both in the water and out of it, and I remarked that I had never seen as many ducks gathered together in my entire life.  Eventually we reached the Main Centre exhausted (and hungry!) where we all sat down to our meal. K and I had the chef’s special, Meat and Potato Pie with potatoes and green vegetables (me) whilst K just had the Pie with roast potatoes (no green vegetables because this contained peas which she insists she can’t eat.)

Hmm, a stone fruit? The other members of the group then decided to go back home, but we decided to stay with R and G and have a look around the Formal Gardens and the other Galleries there. Lot’s of the sculptures can also be found in the grounds of the gardens. When we had finished our walk around the Garden Galleries, we then made our way back to the restaurant and enjoyed a refreshing drink and an ice cream sat outside on the small terrace area of the restaurant admiring the stunning views over the countryside.

Eventually it was time to make our way back to the car for the drive home. This walk was a very different one to the usual Saturday walks which tend to be made in our local area. Because it took place in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, which afforded a beautiful walk through not only some stunning countryside but also littered with very interesting exhibits and sculptures, I rate today as one of my most enjoyable walks that we have made, and I plan to return there again, next time perhaps with J in tow. Now where is that Metro route planner? More pictures of the day in my SkyDrive and at the bottom of my Space.