Thursday, 25 December 2014

Early Winter This and That 2014

A Selection of Early Winter Activities 2014

'Winter' activities have included sorting out our pump-out toilet.
We decided to go back to a cassette system, using the Thetford China Bowl one.

Out with the old soil tank - it was retro-fitted anyway so came out OK

Off to the skip with the old toilet!

New shower room floor and Thetford China Toilet

I arranged for Garry of Spruced Up Stoves to sort out the Boatman's Cabin Stove.
He did a great job of cleaning out the flue and re-sealing the chimney

Nice and cosy for the winter!

This year - for the first time - we attended the Allen Register Autumn Social, held here at the Pump House at Titford Locks on the Birmingham Canal Navigation

This photo shows us with John Allen and his wife, Alice.
John and his brother Bob built the hull and fitted the original engine (a Lister ST3) at their Valencia Yard in Oldbury way back in 1977

We celebrated our 43rd wedding anniversary at Stratford upon Avon

In early December, our daughter came over from Lisbon, Portugal to stop with us for a long weekend - here with her mother

And with a proud Dad!

As Xmas approaches, the lights go up on the boat

One more boat job though! Changing the oil!
Our Lister JP2 has a 'dry sump' - so the oil is in the green oil tank (seen here being filled)
It takes 25 litres of best Morris SAE30 oil !

Job done for another year!

I've been out walking on the hills a quite lot since back in the marina.
Here walking in grand weather with the Audlem Village Ramblers - on top of the Wrekin (407m 1335ft) in Shropshire
Taking lunch in the winter sun in the churchyard at Little Wenlock
Here with East Cheshire Ramblers on Mam Tor (517m 1696ft) in Derbyshire in the rain!

Looking south west over the marina

Christmas is a great time for our Rode Hall Silver Band to play - here at the Carol Service in the United Reformed Church in Congleton.
At the moment I'm playing 3rd or 4th man with the Front Row Cornets as we get ready for next year's NW Area Contest in Blackpool

A trip to the Mid Hants Heritage Railway at Alton, Hampshire.
Here the Santa Special is headed by 9F No. 92212

Grandma and our Granddaugther

Three generations of the Woollies - Granddad's happy, he's on a steam train!

Festive Ropley Station

Our Granddaughter was told she had to believe - so we could all go on the Santa Special!
Festive Happy Christmas to all Blog Readers for 2014!


Monday, 17 November 2014

Mam Tor - Edale Loop with East Cheshire Ramblers Nov 2014

Mam Tor - Edale Loop with East Cheshire Ramblers Nov 2014

Now we are back in Overwater Marina, we have gone into our 'winter season' of activities.
One of which for me is to regularly get out walking with the Ramblers.
This walk started from Mam Nick Car Park in Derbyshire and did the southern edge of the Edale skyline before crossing the road and heading to Edale on the lower path. We went on to Barber Booth and then crossing the valley floor, headed back up the slopes to Mam Nick.

11.8 miles and 2700 ft of climb

Setting off from the NT Car Park - Mam Tor looks brooding in the low cloud

We encountered driving sleet on top of Mam Tor - here posing by the Trig Point at 1,696ft
Looking at our route eastwards towards Back Tor and Lose Hill

Here climbing Lose Hill and looking west, back to Mam Tor

Coffee break on Lose Hill looking east - the weather has improved!

Anther view east picking out Win Hill - too far today!

Having crossed the road - heading up the old Roman Road

Crossing the stream at Jagger's Clough

Arriving at Edale Village

We came across a helicopter and workmen in a field just outside Edale. The big white bags contain heather brashings being lifted up onto Kinder at Crowden Tower - this reduces erosion and with the planting of grass it is hoped to stabilise the peat moor
Crossing the Manchester - Sheffield railway line

The old dairy at Barber Booth

Whilst climbing the southern valley slopes - looking north at Crowden in the afternoon sun!

A last look north at the edge of Kinder - great views and a great walk!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Cheviot Original Mountain Marathon Oct 2014 - Day 2 and Finish

Cheviot Original Mountain Marathon Oct 2014 - Day 2 and Finish

Our Sunday course was for 5 hours to get back to the finish.
Happily we were only a little stiff/sore and started at 8.00am in the wind and rain!

You are only given the map with the check points that can be gained for points after starting. We made a bit of an error by charging off without properly lining the map up to magnetic north and got the wrong side of a barbed-wire fence before realising and getting back to find our first control.

We made another navigation choice error but made good time until a further error by me reading the detail on the indistinct map - should have gone to Specsavers! - and missed a couple of check points.
Still, we finished with a bit of a run - with our best result yet over the three years we have done the mountain marathon since I retired.

Looking back to the overnight campsite - it's 7.30am!

Dan walks up the field - windy and raining!

At least we got to the Day 2 Start!

Looking north

Wrapped up against the weather - glasses needed to read the indistinct/poor map

Following a fence line to help navigation -  the answer to a FB query, our jackets are full of our food for the day's efforts and extra hats/gloves. Dan has tucked his map into the straps of the rucksack

Looking down a valley where tree felling has taken place

We climb up through a felled area

Only to slither down this steep slope - it is much steeper that it looks!

Looking across at the sheep farm from last night

Dan checks the map - "it must be down from here?"

I'm having a breather!
Final run in - pleased to have finished!

Back at the Event Centre - a well deserved rest!
Results for Day 2: 200 points  with 13.2 miles and 2680ft climb 
Overall Results:  520 points - 55% of the Winners (up from 39% last year!)
                             116th out of only 164th finishers
                             52nd Vet Team