Saturday, November 29, 2014

Fox House, Longshaw Estate, Grindleford, Froggatt, Calver, and Baslow

An interesting and unusual start to the day this morning: I think I got caught up in some sort of public/performance art installation.

I entered the gents' at Sheffield Railway Station and everything seemed to be as I'd expect it to be; however, a few minutes later, when I came out of the cubicle, sheets of paper had been placed in two of the sinks.

(The hand-written message reads, 'In the name of love before you break my heart.' - the main chorus from a famous Diana Ross and the Supremes song.)

I lingered at the railway station, reading a newspaper and eating some of my sandwiches, so when I arrived at the bus station it was only a few minutes until the bus was scheduled to depart. It was already nearly full and just about the only empty seat was one of the fold-down sidewards-facing seats at the front...they're not very wide. There was a vacant seat next to me...although several inches of it were actually being used by me.

I was expecting this to be a problem; and I wasn't wrong. A few stops into the journey as the bus was travelling along Eccleshall Road someone boarded and was determined to sit next to me; I squeezed up as much as I could, making myself as small as possible, crossing my legs and balancing my rucksack on the top of my shoulders. There still really wasn't enough room; I briefly considered standing up, but all of a sudden the other passenger reached over and slammed down the seat. It took him several attempts to get it fully down, each time removing a layer of my skin and sending pain searing all the way down my leg....not a good start to the walk.

Feeling quite sore and lame I got off the bus at Fox House and walked down through the woods to Longshaw Estate. The mist swirling around the trees was quite pretty.

Today I deliberately visited parts of the estate I don't remember seeing before; I certainly didn't realise that boggarts live there - I didn't see any though.

There was plenty of interesting fungi to photograph too.

I explored some more of the estate and then reached the road above Grindleford. I continued down the hill and took the path which leads off just before the bridge over the River Derwent. Like the majority of the rest of the walk I was walking on level ground at the bottom of the valley all the way to Baslow. The only section which involved me gaining, and then losing altitude was near Calver when I climbed up and over a hill that I think might be called Hare Knoll. On a clear day there are lovely views of Froggatt Edge here, but not today; I could barely see it in the distance. What I could see though, and it certainly caught my attention, was a ruined barn; from the angle I was approaching it, part of the timbers looked like a guillotine that might have been used during the French Revolution. The photograph is black and white to heighten some of the detail.

When I reached Baslow I noticed that my trousers were especially muddy. I feared I might not be allowed on the bus and so stopped at one of the seats in front of the church to put my over-trousers on; this was difficult without taking off my boots. It won't be difficult the next time though because I've already cut some slits into the bottom of the legs to make it a lot easier. 

The bus journey back to Sheffield from Baslow was totally uneventful.

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