Thursday, 24 August 2017

Where has the summer gone? Derbyshire – August 2017

Brian belaying Rob up a climb
Where has the summer gone? Both ours time wise and weather wise! The last week has been just as hectic, Rob and Alex from the climbing club arrived lateish on Friday night, so not being keen to cook that late we tucked into baked Camembert and cheese and crackers over a good chat and a glass of wine! Up, not very early, for a leisurely breakfast before heading off to Harborough Rocks, in Leicestershire, but the closest place to here. We were just trying to decide if it was raining or not, when up pulled Phil (owner of Maggie cat from previous Housesits in Solihull) with two novice climbers. We'd seen his email plea for victims to help him complete his SPA climbing qualification, but we were busy. They'd got rained off at The Roaches, so decided to try Harborough. It has a gentle walk in, and some short climbs. Rob soloed a couple, Brian led a couple, going off route on both, followed up by Alex and I before the rain came in, we sheltered in a cave to eat our first sandwich before deciding it had eased up enough to run for the car! What next? Well obviously a pool competition in the pub. Can we play pool? Not very well, but we had a good time! Back home to Stimpy, fishpie and a slightly earlier night. 

Harborough Rocks. The figures on the summit in the centre are Phil with his novice climbers.
Playing pool in the pub. Rob, Alex taking a shot and Jackie
They headed home as although they have had no hot water for over a year, even Rob decided fixing the loo in their house was a priority! He succeeded. Hurrah! We chilled with the Sunday paper for an hour before heading to Fiona and James's for a big birthday bash, Jenny was 13 three days before, Abbie 19 three days after. Fiona's is a week before and Brian and Steph a week later, so much eating, chatting and singing. It was lovely to see everyone.

Alex checking routes at Harborough Rocks before it started raining
Brians 3 grandaughters, Jenny, Becky and Abbie holding great-niece Ivy
Monday we had off, except for readying ourselves for Denise and Paul on Tuesday/Wednesday. They arrived bright and early, and fortunately the mist was clearing so after tea and cake we set off to try and do the walk B and I did the other Saturday, but this time correctly. Failed again, but closer! (it’s the badly marked, overgrown and sometimes missing paths, not our navigation!) Back via the pub for fish pie, (guess who made a job lot and froze half of it?) 

Lunch in the garden. Jenny (13), Becky (17), Abbie (19), Ivy (6 months) Sam (over 18), Jackie (well over 18)
The birthday cake baked by Steph, candle from the pound shop!
Wednesday B was determined to get to Lathkildale as recommended by Tim and Jill. About an hours drive so hopefully the mizzle and mist will have cleared..... not quite, but we set off anyway. It was actually good walking weather, and once it did finally clear as we ascended from the river valley, good views too. So 9 miles, with some up and down (Denise doesn't 'do' up and down) added to the 6 1/2 from Tuesday and we all felt very virtuous.

LtoR: Jackie, Steph (hidden behind Jackie), Ivy, Becky, Jenny, sister Denise, daughter Fiona and Abbie engrossed in her mobile phone
Paul, Jackie and Denise on Tuesdays walk round Hilton
Today cleaning, packing and blogging, oh and trying to finish the jigsaw B decided it was a good idea to start on Monday, so better go! (It's an evil one by the way Abigail!)

The almost correct walk round Hilton with Denise & Paul:
Denise wouldn't lie down on the railway track!

Which was just as well as, not long after one of several trains came by. This one was a Class 37 diesel. Only Tim and a few people know the significance of this particular type of train - I won't go into details here!

Outside the church at Marston-On-Dove
Drinks at Generous Georges in Hilton afterwards. Unfortunately Jackie couldn't have alcohol as shes on anti-biotics, so we made up for it!
Lathkildale early on in fog and mizzle
Jackie winding the handle to generate lighting power in the old mine pump house at Batemans House, Lathkildale
Paul at Lathkildale
Heading off to find the source of the river Lathkil...
And here it is. Unfortunately there is very little water, due mainly to all the old lead mines in the dale that have diverted most of the water into the underground passageways
The middle part of the walk. The weather had considerably improved, the sun was out and it was warm
The latter part of the walk near Conksbury Bridge near Alport in Lathkildale
Out of the Dale near to our start at Over Heddon looking back down into Lathkildale
Denise takes a 'selfie'
Chilling out sheep
A cheeky Robin on the wall at the Lathkildale Hotel where we stopped for a pint after the walk
Our Lathkildale walk:
What a sensible use of largely disused public telephone boxes. This one contains a defibrillator
A few photos of Stimpy and, the main reason we are here, to look after Tim and Jills house and Stimpy
I had been to take the bin out, down the drive past the gate, only to find Stimpy had followed me out
She followed me all the way out and all the way back
Hurrying me up on a few occasions
Alex got a stroke too (proof that women can do two things at once!)
We're looking after the wild birds too. They eat an unbelievable quantity of seed
Brians home-made blackberry ripple ice cream. Highly calorific but fabulous!

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