View from Oban Bothy

View from Oban Bothy

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Favourite Photos

Over recent years I've categorised many of my photographs as my 'Favourites'.

Here are some of them, in no particular order.  Quite a lot them actually.

Cameras used have all been digital, including: 

Olympus mju400 (weather proof, poor low-light performance),  

FujiFilm Finepix S1500 (unreliable, eventually scrapped) 

A very forgettable Canon compact (very prone to moisture ingress and dreadful battery life, eventually scrapped)

Two bottom-of-the range Lumix compacts (both good)

A Lumix TZ70 (quite good, but not as good as I was hoping) 

A Lumix G3 (good)

Friday, 22 February 2019

A 12 mile Plodders Walk

The good folk of the East Lancashire LDWA have recently re-started their 'Plodder' walks, shorter walks of around 12 miles.

This particular walk kicked off from outside a pub (obv) in Ringley, to the west of Prestwich / Whitefield.. The pub, The Horseshoe, was a Thwaites house, just in case you were interested....which you probably were.

18 walkers, well it was 20 walkers if you counted the dogs, gathered at the appointed hour and we trundled off at a brisk pace.

It always surprises my how easy it is to follow 'green' routes, even in well populated or industrial areas, and so it was.

We crossed the River Irwell and then walked through Clifton Country Park, heading in a south-easterly direction, through a lovely green corridor, to Clifton Junction and then to Prestwich Forest Park. All really quite nice.

The route passed some interesting features relating to the mining history of the area.

It was good to catch up with East Lancs once again, they're a great bunch. There were a few new faces in attendance, the group doesn't have any problem attracting new members. It's a very friendly and active group. I really should get out with them more often.

The lunch stop was in a park where we had the luxury of park benches to sit on. Nice.

Suitably fed and watered, we were off once again, now on the return leg, heading.through Philips Park and then picking up the Irwell Sculpture Trail which followed the course of a disused railway for some distance.

Then it started to rain. Oh well.

We were soon back on tarmac and within a few minutes the Horseshoe pub hove into view. This suited many, the rain was properly raining now and many dived into the pub for beer and shelter. Not me though, not this time. I needed to get back home.

Thanks to East Lancs for a nice little walk, I'll be back for another one soon.

Where we went (anticlockwise):

 Around 12 miles.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

A night with a Madwoman. And a gear test.

It was all a bit last minute. I needed to get out for some serious brain-straightening peace and quiet, plus I had some new(ish) kit to test out.

I packed my rucksack and travelled by train to Edale, alighting in the late afternoon. I scuttled up Grindsbrook Clough in the failing light and once at the top, headed east (East is good) along the edges to a nice little spot by Madwoman's Stones.

It was dark by the time I was putting the tent up, but the sky was clear and the moon was shining brightly - and it was damned cold. I grabbed a couple of litres of water from the trickling stream at Jaggers Clough and got my tea on the go

My Plan, given the lovely clear skies, was to spend a bit of time taking photographs by moonlight. The Plan, like so many plans, failed. By the time I'd eaten and sorted my kit out it had clouded over. And then it started to rain. And then it got very windy. VERY windy.

Ho hum.

I was checking some new kit out: a NeoAir X-Therm, a down-filled balaclave (for sleeping in) and down-filled socks.

The socks and balaclava all came from AliExpress for around £15 each.

Balaclava: 85gms, Down socks: 105gms

All this kit worked superbly well, I spent a very warm and cosy night in spite of the horribly cold conditions. I was so warm that I had to unzip my sleeping bag and remove the balaclava during the night.

 My wind-battered Akto

Leave no trace

 My water source at Jaggers Clough....a bit peaty!
Jaggers Clough

 Descent into Edale

Next morning I headed down by Ringing Roger, back into Edale for my train home.

Good bits:
a) All the kit I took out for testing worked well
b) I had a nice overnighter.

Bad bits:
a) I forgot to take a compass (tsk).
b) I've decided that my Caldera Cone meths stove really isn't up to winter camping trips.
c) I missed my intended train home 'cos of phone I had to drink filter coffee in the cafe by the it wasn't ALL bad!

Breaking News… 21st Feb 2019

Open LiveWriter and Blogger are once again talking to one another

A blessed miracle!

Almost. Photographs won’t post.

This was better than last week when NOTHING would post.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Test Post, images added in Blogger

Test post to try to identify the latest Open Live Writer / Blogger compatibility problem.

Original post was text only and posted without problem using OLW.

If I try to post with images from OLW the post is rejected (Error 400).

Text in between two added images

Monday, 4 February 2019

Open Live Writer / Blogger problems....again

In recent times I've suffered various problems using Open Live Writer, nearly all resulting in the message:

Can't Publish Files
The remote server returned an error: (400) Bad request

I know some bloggers have had problems with posting photographs, removing the photos has resulted in the text being published - but obviously no pretty pictures.

I've tried removing photos but I still get the same error.

My last blog post was made with Blogger which I find pretty awful. Typically the text size varies and there's nothing I can do about it - I go back into Blogger, change the text size and repost, but the text size immediately returns to the uncorrected size.

Has anyone else had these problems? I've got a backlog of posts and I really don't want to be using Blogger any more than I have to.

Thanks in advance. 

Running around Rainow, Saturday 2nd Feb 2019

The morning was bright and chilly. Others, probably more accurately, would have said it was bloody freezing.

Runners of different shapes, sizes and ages gathered at the Robin Hood in Rainow, near Macclesfield on the afternoon of Saturday 2nd February.

White Nancy, from the Robin Hood

The car park at the pub was exremely slippy. It was also on a slope and I was warned by the landlady not to park at the top of the slope: the previous day 2 cars, unmanned (or unwomanned), had slid across the car park – on car had gone through the hedge.

Whatever…a couple of hours prior to the massed gathering of knees, Rob McHarry and I had arrived in order to lay a sawdust trail of around 8 miles around the lumpier bits of the area….the clumps of sawdust were (supposed) to be followed by the runners.

We had A Plan….that is to say ROB had A Plan. It was actually a very good plan. So we sort of changed it by going clockwise rather that widdershins as Rob had originally suggested.

Suitably armed with bags of sawdust we set off, well we slipped and slid off the ice rink of a car park, and wandered off north along a quiet lane in the direction of, well, north.

Leaving the relative safety of ice-packed tarmac we turned left to skirt Rainowlow where some brown squiggly lines on the map were crossed.

A short stretch of tarmac at Billinge Head Farm took us to a nice path that skirted the eastern edges of Billinge Quarries.

The Audience

Laying Trail

Turning east, we followed a nice path that descended to Mellow Brook, then up the other side of the valley to Harrop Fold Farm….where I have hazy memories of camping weekends where lots of beer may have been consumed. Or Martini.

I didn’t drink the litre bottle of Martini. It’s not the sort of thing I’d do. Obv.

Harrop Fold Farm

A little more tarmac followed, and very icy it was too. The was little warmth from the sun, but as the track was in the shade anyway it would have made little difference.

Our route slowly changed direction to follow a more south-easterly course.

I was a little concerned that the runners following our carefully planned and even more carefully recced <koff> route might lose the sawdust trail; pale sawdust on bright white snow doesn’t stand out particularly well. We needn’t have worried, although we probably went a bit over the top with the clumps of sawdust, nobody got lost. Well not VERY lost.

Another valley crossing followed, this time down to Moss Brook and up the other side by Saddle Cote, this was a bit of a pull and Rob was well ahead of me. In my defence I was taking photographs which slowed me down quite a bit. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

It was around about here that Rob spotted a skier doing what skiers do best. Our route turned hard right to follow the skier's tracks.

 Route planner, navigator, trail-layer and runner extraordinaire…

……………and his incapable assistant

Ski tracks. And my shadow. Tsk. 

Oh, and there were goats too...I almost forgot to mention them

Another short stretch of tarmac along Bank Lane and then Ewrin Lane took us to Waggoner’s Brow were another hard right turn delivered into more familiar Turkey Trot country, approaching Lamaload Reservoir.

The reservoir dam looked quite spectacular in the freezing temperature, all the buttresses were covered in frost.

A steep descent to cross the infant River Dean, by the waterworks, had me slipping and sliding like a very slippy-slidy thing. But I stayed upright. we continued littering our way in a southerly direction,

It was a bit of a tug up hill. We followed the footpath to the western side of the reservoir to a point just beyond Wickinford Farm. From there we trotted in a south-westerly direction to pass through Valeroyal and very close to the site of the Setter Dog by Walker Barn, and then north by Gulshaw Hollow and Hordern Farm, scattering sawdust trail as we went.

Manchester, with Winter Hill beyond

We crossed the icy Berristall Road and descended steeply to the bottom of the valley before climbing equally steeply to pass by Thornsett Farm.

The going became very easy (easy = gently downhill). The Robin Hood hove into view and after another slippy – slidy adventure across the ice rink of a car park we made it back to our cars.

14 runners sat down to enjoy an excellent meal of beef stew followed by fruit crumble and custard….lots of fattening stodge, just what’s needed after a cold day in the hills.

The day was marred by the news of John Potter’s car suffering the same fate as the sliding cars of the previous day. His unmanned car ended up colliding with two other cars in the car park. John, understandably brassed off with what had happened, didn’t stick around for the run.

My thanks to Rob for letting me ‘help’, and for his good company of course….and to Wells the Elder for buggering off to Brazil so creating a temporary Trail-layer vacancy.

GPS track of where we went (clockwise from Rainow):

Around 8.5 miles / 2,000ft of ascent. And descent. Obv.

Created in Blogger, because Google / Blogger have done something to stop Open Live Writer communicating with it.


Fireworks Avoidance, Bonfire Night 2019

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