Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Sotheby's Beyond Limits Sculpture Exhibition 2016 In The Garden At Chatsworth House

I'm still struggling a bit as I'm increasing the dosage of my anti-diabetes tablets and so a few hours wandering round the garden at Chatsworth House on a sunny afternoon taking photographs of outdoor pieces of sculpture is just what I needed today.

I got of the bus at Baslow and took a few photographs there before setting off to walk through Chatsworth Park.

I arrived at the House at 10:50, ten minutes before the gardens opened. As soon as I was let in I noticed that an organised walk to see the sculptures was planned for 11:30 so I found somewhere comfortable to sit and eat my sandwiches as I waited.

The guided walk lasted for an hour and was very informative and entertaining; some of the other people with me knew a lot more than the guide did; they were real sculpture aficionados. The highlight of the talk for me was the bit about the intricacies of the French legal code concerning the international trading of fine art and the damage caused to one of the pieces by ducks dive-bombing it and using it as a toilet.

Here are some photographs of all of the installations we visited; there are several more pieces which are part of the exhibition...and of course there are also many statues which are permanent features in the garden.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Eyam, Foolow, Grindlow, Great Hucklow, and Wardlow Mires

Walking today with Chris and Maureen from Leeds: the location and route of  today's walk required a bit of forward planning, an easy, flat, circular walk with frequent toilet facilities - I've recently increased my dosage of anti-diabetes tablets, as I need to,  and I can therefore sometimes suffer from diarrhoea; fortunately not today though. There are some very clean and modern public toilets at the car park at Eyam [and an additional set inside the courtyard of Eyam Hall which are easily reachable from the main road through the village],  and of course the pubs in the villages we would pass through would all have facilities.

I did my good deed for the day by re-uniting a hiker with his hiking pole at Sheffield Bus Station; he had got on the bus and left it on the seats in the waiting area, and I was rewarded with better than expected weather and a perfect day on public transport.

I arrived at Fox House, my regular point for Chris to pick me up in the car; a location named after a pub, which is named after a man who's named after an animal. It was busy at Fox House; there were quite a few mountainbikers, boulderers, fellrunners and maybe even an odd hiker or two.

We drove over to Eyam, parked in the free car park at the back of the regular car park and set off on our walk in glorious weather; this was how it stayed for most of the day apart from three short showers.

We walked down a track and then across the fields to Foolow. There are some lovely views of typical White Peak countryside here; mile upon mile of limestone drystone walls, a carpet of green fields and gently rolling hills in the distance.

The pub at Foolow seems to sell more than you'd even brews its own postage stamps.

It began to rain as we left Foolow and headed across the fields to Grindlow and then along the road to reach Great Hucklow where we stopped for a brief, a very brief, visit to the phonebox art gallery.

We then walked along the road and then the footpath which runs parallel to the road towards Windmill, before taking the lane which leads back towards Foolow. There are some lovely views towards the north from this area but it was still a bit murky...although it had stopped raining.

The track towards Littonfields is very straight for long sections and quite boring; things got more interesting when we reached the section of the path which cuts diagonally across the fields. We had to walk along the grass verge alongside the main trunk road for a few yards before turning down into Mires Lane and heading towards the next footpath. We walked through the gate, walked only for a few yards and then stopped to admire the wonderful view of Cressbrookdale and Peter's Stone.

We returned to the main road just before we reached Wardlow Mires, the ugliest village or hamlet that I've visited in the Peak District. Our next footpath went right through the farmyard, the route was clearly marked though.

There were a lot of stiles to be climbed over along this section and Maureen struggled a bit towards the end; fortunately the final mile and a half back to Eyam was along a public bridleway and so there weren't any stiles.

When we got back to Eyam Maureen remained in the car as Chris and myself had a quick look round the village, visiting the courtyard at Eyam Hall, the Tourist Information Centre in the old market hall, and the church, where there are some very informative display boards telling the story of the plague and the bravery of Rev. Mompesson and the villagers of Eyam.

I asked to be dropped off at the tram terminus at Malin Bridge and we arrived there just as a tram was approaching; I got back to the railway station five minutes before the fast train back to Doncaster was due...and it arrived on time.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Humber Bridge, Beverley, and Gilberdyke Garden Centre

A day out in the East Riding with Siobhan, one of my support workers. Unfortunately it might turn out to be my last; it all depends on a re-assessment of my Social Services personalised budget and how much I'm required to pay. 

As usual when we're travelling out this way we parked on the foreshore at Hessle to eat our sandwiches and enjoy the view of the Humber Bridge and the river.

In Beverley there are paintings attached to walls and the outsides of buildings; this image seemed to be deemed appropriate for the car park.

The public toilets are free to use, which always persuades me to visit a particular town.

As well as visiting the shopping area, we went inside the art gallery and museum which is located in a part of the town that we hadn't seen before; there are several impressive redbrick buildings there.

On the way back to Doncaster we called in at the cafe at Gilberdyke Garden Centre for tea and cakes; it was nothing special, but perfectly fine. I'm sure an occasional sweet treat isn't going to ruin my health since my diagnosis of  diabetes.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Hooton Roberts, Old Denaby, Mexborough, and Butterbusk

Since I can't find anywhere online at the moment where I can check for engineering works on the railway between Doncaster and Sheffield, rather than risk turning up at the railway station and discovering that there were no trains running again I thought I'd take the bus today and do a local walk.

I got off the X78 bus at Hooton Roberts and crossed the road to take some photographs of the church in the early morning sunlight.

I then took the country lane that was the start of my route to Old Denaby; downhill, then a track up on to the fields, then back down again to the village. Old Denaby is quite a pleasant place, but there's nothing old there. I suppose it was originally just called 'Denaby' before Denaby Main colliery opened.

Ferry Boat Lane was the obvious way for me to go to reach the foot bridges which cross over the railway line, the river, and then the canal. There's a lock at this location on the canal; I can't remember what it's called, but this one isn't Mexborough Lock.

I needed to walk through a housing estate and then along Doncaster Road for awhile until I re-joined the canal, walking along the towpath until I reached the next lock. All the locks along this section of the canal are automatic, and here's a photograph of the operating instructions.

There was no footpath or towpath beyond this lock; the canal re-joined the river just beyond the lock-keeper's cottage. I had to double back and take a footpath which led me through the woods to the Transpennine Trail; it was rather muddy and overgrown in places.

After a few hundred yards I took a short detour to climb to the summit of an artificial hill which I think is called 'Observation Hill' - there are certainly fine views from here.

This whole area used to be the site of two collieries, together with sundry railway sidings and coal loading facilities, so I think that this hill is where some of the demolition rubble was piled up and then topsoil added.

Along this stretch of the walk there were a lot of pretty purple flowers growing in large clumps. I took a photograph, but for some reason, even though it was bright sunlight the flash fired and bleached the image so that the flowers appear to be almost white...they are purple though, and I think they might be Cape daisies because I used to have some in my garden.

It was only a short walk to Conisbrough Viaduct, where the final photograph was taken.

It was then a short, but steep, climb up to the main road at a spot between Conisbrough and Warmsworth which I think is called Butterbusk; there are about a dozen houses there, two garages, and a water tower.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Kinder Edge With Chris

Well today I might have been to somewhere that doesn't actually exist...or to a place where I've made up the name. I've always known the edge which marks the northern extremity of the Kinder Plateau as 'Kinder Edge,' yet there seem to be no references to this term online; additionally Ordnance Survey maps just call it 'The Edge.'

I managed to arrive at Sheffield Bus Station in time to catch the Fox House bus and meet Chris for ten o'clock, this being despite there being no trains again...and the bus I had to travel to Sheffield on having an oil leak.

I normally arrive in Sheffield by train and am able to use the toilets on the platform for free, this isn't the case at the bus station though. It costs 20p to go, but it cost me 40p this morning because my money got stuck in the mechanism and the electrics inside the turnstile had to re-boot, hanging on to my first 20p in the process.

Chris was waiting for me when the bus reached Fox House; I got off and we immediately drove to the start of the walk at the Birchen Clough parking area on the Snake Pass.

After Chris had got ready we crossed the road and walked over to the Snake Woodlands, turning south and walking along the bottom of the valley, then gradually climbing up to open moorland on Ashop Moor. There are some lovely views of Kinder Edge from here.

We reached Ashop Head and then climbed up on to the plateau from where there are extensive views of Manchester and beyond. I'm not exactly sure of the geography but I'm claiming to have identified Pendle Hill, the Clywdian Range, and Snowdonia.

There were some interesting rock formations to look at as we walked along the edge, we had a bit of fun naming them since they aren't named on the map. When we approached the location where the next photograph was taken we decided we'd better to be very quiet and give the sleeping stegosaurus a wide berth.

More rocks and nice views.

We made our way back down to the car via Fairbrook Clough, another name which doesn't appear on the map. This is difficult descent, Chris said it was as difficult as anything he'd encountered in the Lake District.

I was struggling; I had two severe attacks of cramp, the worst I've ever had...I needed to swallow a couple of extra vitamin D tablets. When I see the nurse on Tuesday I will have to mention this to her.

We arrived down at the Snake Pass road at a very pretty spot.

At this point we made a decision; because my walking pace had significantly slowed we decided that Chris would return to the car and pick me up at the Snake Inn...which I noticed is now called the 'The Snake Pass Inn.' This saved my legs over half a mile.

I was dropped off at Malin Bridge where I caught the tram back to Sheffield City Centre. When I arrived at the railway station there were still no trains running to Doncaster.  I had to walk to the bus station and catch a rail replacement coach. There were some railway staff there and so I complained because there was no advanced information about the line closure on either the Northern Rail webpage or the SYPTE site, where I thought such details would be updated. I was told that all the details had been posted on an obscure railway engineering website six months ago; I told the man that I wasn't interested in railways...I just wanted to get home. He then got on his high horse and told me that I was the first person to complain today, well boo hoo; what did he expect me to do, give him a slice of cake, or kiss him?

That's the bloody trouble with people today, no-one complains, no-one wants any confrontation in our over polite, politically correct world inhabited by special snowflakes.

As I was sitting on the bus waiting for it to set off for Doncaster several people wanted to get on without first having purchased tickets, this is actually allowed on some trains; the guard will sell you a ticket. So...a massive heated argument flared up between the driver and about three or four women who hadn't got tickets. They were told to wait until a member of staff working for the appropriate train operating company arrived with his or her ticket machine. They weren't happy; I'm not sure if they got on the bus or not. To be honest I was with the woman, if a train company doesn't provide a service you shouldn't be expected to pay for that non-existent service, quite a radical and shocking idea...send for the thought police to kick down my door and taser me.

Long live the revolution!