Saturday, August 27, 2016

Ladybower Reservoir In The Rain

I was walking with Maureen and Chris from Leeds today; normally Jonathan would have been joining us, but his mum's in hospital at the moment and he's been visiting her.

This was my first walk since my diabetes diagnosis and needing to take tablets to lower my blood sugar level and I was glad not to be walking on my own...just in case I might have felt a bit unwell.

Fortunately I felt fine today. I wasn't happy about the weather though; it was forecast to stay bright until teatime - but by midday the rain had started and seemed to be set for the day.

It was actually quite bright when I got off the bus at Fox House. It wasn't long until Maureen and Chris arrived in the car and we drove past Bamford and up the Derwent Valley until we reached one of the free car parking areas with a vacant space.

We walked around the reservoir in a clockwise direction, keeping as close to the shoreline as possible.

Something very rare for the blog; a photograph of me, looking miserable in the rain, taken by Maureen.

As we were walking back along the road, only a few hundred yards from the car, the 273 bus passed us on its way to Yorkshire Bridge. I knew it would only be about twenty minutes until it would be returning up the valley on its way back to Sheffield and so bade goodbye to my friends and waited for my ride in a nice warm bus.

When I got on the bus I was a little bit surprised to see many walkers on it so early in the afternoon. Like me, they must have given up on the weather and decided to go home, at least a couple of them complaining about the weather forecast.

Thursday, August 25, 2016


A few hours in Nottingham today. I went in the car with Siobhan; we visited the Lace Market district, a part of the city I haven't previously visited. I usually go to the area where the castle is.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

I've Been Diagnosed With Diabetes

I went to see the doctor this morning and was informed that I've got type II diabetes. Fortunately, at the moment anyhow, it can be kept in check with tablets, taking exercise, and watching what I eat.

I feel good, far too good for anyone with diabetes, so I might end up in even better health if my diabetes is kept under control. Appointments with the specialist diabetes nurse, at the eye clinic at the hospital, and with the dietitian need to be arranged...oh, and the chemist is going to call me next week because I'm newly diagnosed. 

I was told by the doctor to continue with my regular walking activities...well, except for the cake and the cream teas. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Foolow, Grindlow, Great Hucklow, Windmill, and Castleton

It's only been a couple of days since my last walk in the Peak District, but the weather has been good today...and I'm feeling good too. I'm really enjoying my extra stamina and increased level of fitness since I started taking the vitamin D supplement...and I've lost 9lbs and at least an inch round my waistline. I'm on fire!

As usual, when I got off the bus at Foolow there were several cars parked close to the duck pond, spoiling the view of the church and the nearby buildings. I did my best though to get some decent angles.

For the first time I managed to look inside the tiny church, a converted blacksmith's shop.

I walked across the fields to Grindlow where I sat on this bench and ate my sandwiches. It was a bit early, but it saves carrying them I guess.

It was only a short walk along the road to Great Hucklow, where I took photographs of The Manse and giant spiders scuttling across the gable end of an old farmhouse.

Just beyond the village I discovered a lovely grassy footpath which runs parallel to the road; previously I've walked along the road, which is quite narrow in places. Sometimes the path opened up to reveal larger spaces of grassland with fantastic views to the north. An information panel explained that all these areas are the remains of old mine workings.

I quickley passed through the hamlet of Windmill and then went down the lane which leads to High Rake Mine. There are quite substantial ruins here; unfortunately the underground passages are fenced off though.

Tideslow Rake is quite an interesting landscape, and is the largest in the Peak District; it's a bit of a climb to get to the top, near to the transmitter mast.

The final few miles to Castleton were along stretches of road, across high limestone grassland and tracks constructed using limestone chippings...which can be painful to walk on after a while.

I caught the three o'clock bus back to Sheffield. About thirty minutes later, as it was climbing up the hill from Hathersage, three separate alarms sounded...they were very loud. The driver got out of the bus at the top of the hill at Fox House and checked everything he could on the vehicle - the alarms were still sounding even with the engine switched off.

He tried to contact the depot by radio, but he couldn't reach them. A rather rude passenger waiting to be let on asked what the problem was; it turned out to be an overheating engine and brakes.

The driver decided to let the waiting passengers on and proceed with caution down the hill to Sheffield. The journey was slow and the engine was misfiring and backfiring as we juddered forward; this uncomfortable motion probably compensating for the fact that the brakes might not be working.

A few miles later at Whirlow, we came into radio range and the driver was able to contact the depot; the highlight of the conversation was, 'there's a flame lit up and flashing on the dashboard...I'm not sure what it means.'

Sunday, August 21, 2016

From Moscar To Within Two Miles Of Sheffield City Centre

I bought a couple of pairs of 'action trousers' [that's what it actually says on the labels] from a charity shop at Otley last week, for £2 a pair. I wore one pair today; they are very useful because of the number of pockets fastened by zips or velcro where I can stow the things I need ready at hand; pen and paper, loose change, compass, mobile phone...and chocolate.

Well...the trousers saw a bit of action today, a ten mile walk across the moors and down towards the city centre, getting wet and muddy as I was soaked during a heavy rain shower and then later sank up to my knees in a peat bog. I was happy with them though, they were quite comfortable, very practical and should  keep me warm during the winter.

I ended up missing my stop at the start of the walk. A woman got up out of her seat and pressed the buzzer; I assumed she was getting off at the same stop as me, Moscar Lodge, but she didn't; she wanted the next stop but had got up early, not knowing exactly where she was. So the bus went straight by my stop and I had to walk back along the road to the footpath. I wasn't really concentrating though, I was busy putting on my cagoule and distracted by her shapely legs and very short skirt; I blame the vitamin D tablets and my increasing testosterone levels for this.

It was drizzling as I approached the northern end of Stanage Edge only a few minutes after getting off the bus; visibility at times wasn't too bad though and I could see pretty well all the way to the horizon.

Along the top of Stanage Edge there's a series of numbers and channels cut into some of the rocks; these were made in the nineteenth century and are drinking troughs for grouse. Maybe as an hommage to one of my favourite films, Drowning By Numbers , I don't really know, but I decided to photograph every drinking trough I noticed, and did manage to shoot most of them along the section of the Edge that I walked along.

These two images were the be honest, most of the photographs looked very similar, and not very interesting to look at.

By this time a heavy rain shower was overhead and so I took shelter in an old abandoned shepherd's shelter not too far away. Further on there's a renovated roofed shelter for the climbers on the Edge to use, I think the funding and the labour was provided by the British Mountaineering Council...I might well be wrong though. 

About fifteen minutes I saw a large group of hikers approaching across the moor and noticed that they didn't seem to be struggling too much. I assumed they were using a path and so set off in that direction. All the moors around here are Access Land and so we're free to wander as we please.

As I hoped the path led to Stanedge Pole. I'm using the official Ordnance Survey spelling, but as you'll see on the next two photographs, the recently added plaque at the base of the Pole spells it as 'Stanage Pole.'

I walked down the track towards Redmires Reservoirs but took a path that I've not used before across the moors to Fulwood Lane, where it was only a short walk to the head of the Porter Valley and an easy walk down to the end of the walk at Endcliffe Park. I stopped at Forge Dam Cafe for tea and a fruited scone and had a quick look inside The Shepherd Wheel, a restored working watermill, which hasn't been open on previous occasions when I've been here. There isn't much to look at.

There wasn't much opportunity today for me to soak up some sunshine and have my body produce some vitamin D, it was raining or cloudy most of the time. It probably wouldn't have made that much difference if had been sunny though because the nurse at the surgery reckons that my hair is too thick, so thick that no sunlight can reach my scalp, the area where most people produce their supply of vitamin D. She says that I'd need to strip down to just my shorts and have as much of my body exposed as possible. She might have been joking, I don't know. I will not be walking the streets of Doncaster in a semi-naked state though.