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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Walk on with hope in your heart

140 miles in 7 days, think I can do it? I'm going to have a darn good try. See you soon. XXX




Tuesday, 29 April 2014

When is an ironing board not an ironing board

Yes I'm still here, apologies for my absence yesterday, but housework and holiday preps kept me busy. Curtains in two kitchen windows taken down and washed, windows cleaned inside and out, garden was tidied, again, it's a never ending job, and a visit to the morning Craft Club. Curtains are now back up and all looks clean in the kitchen. Now I'm starting to gather the bits and pieces together for the rucksack. This task takes a couple of days as it involves making a list and walking all around the house picking up what I need. 
Here's an idea that works for me. There isn't much space in my bedroom for a bedside cabinet. If I put one next to the bed it would be sticking out into the room. This is where my ironing board can be utilized for two jobs. I hardly do any ironing at all, don't iron clothes, but just ironed the curtains, and sometimes I iron sewing bits that I am working on. To save getting it out of the cupboard under the stairs, or have it cluttering the spare room up, it sits very nicely in the space next to the bed behind the door. 
The top is looking a bit faded, and stained with burn marks, so it needs a spruce up. A piece of cotton fabric that I got out of the last skip I raided is the exact size. It took a few minutes to hem the edges all the way round, and bingo, a nice cover for my bedside table.

 It is the exact right height, a couple of inches higher than the bed, so it's easy to reach for my bits and bobs. A library book, a wind up torch, wind up clock, a table lamp which I bought for my mother nearly 40 years ago, still going strong, and a tub of aqueous cream. There are a pile of magazines at the other end should I wish to browse those before I go to the land of nod.

Just lately I've been taking a mug of hot chocolate to bed and sipping that while I read. I'm going to have to stop that because it's a nuisance having to get up and go to the bathroom to brush my teeth.The torch by the way is for checking my watch for the time if I should wake up during the night. In the summer months I always leave a chink of curtain open so the light comes into the bedroom at dawn, then I can decide whether to get up early or roll over and have another hour. Getting up at a time that suits me is my little bit of luxury, ha ha.
  
So, my ironing board has two functions. I could actually iron on it, the iron is kept in a cupboard nearby, and it makes a jolly useful bedside table. I like finding alternative uses for things. Toodle pip
Catch you tomorrow.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Growing Old Outrageously. Book review.

I have just finished this delightful book. Hilary Linstead and Elisabeth Davies are two old school friends who unexpectedly met up again 35 years later to find that they both love travelling, and the more exotic and far flung places the better. They went on a trial holiday to Morocco to see whether they would get along together. They did, which was surprising because they are as different as chalk and cheese. Never the less that was the start of a series of wonderfully unusual holidays, and Hil and Liz have been travelling around the globe ever since. 
Among many other destinations, they have taken in Marrakech, Fez and the Atlas Mountains, Patagonia, and Istanbul. They've been on Safari in Namibia, Botswana, and the Serengeti. Been to Naples and Prague, Mull and Iona.

I really enjoyed reading about the adventures of these two crazy ladies. Miriam Margolynes says it all on the back cover, 'You'll never be the same after reading this.....It's completely original - insightful, moving and very funny, a glorious experience proving for always, that if you seize the day and have the courage, you need never grow old.' I can echo that.

I was disappointed to read quite a lot of negative reviews on a couple of web sites. Maybe I'm easily pleased, but I liked the quirkiness of it, and didn't take it too seriously. I don't think it was meant to be a serious travel book, it was about two women of a certain age having fun, which I found very entertaining.
Toodle pip.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Forgotten something?

I started this post an hour ago, boy do I get distracted on this computer. I've been on yoootooob, and you know how it is, one thing leads to,another. Anyway, I'd better get on with this. What was it doing this morning, raining, and did I do the Parkrun, yes I did, in the rain, must be bloomin daft. There was a decent turnout, I thought people wouldn't be bothered, but they did, 250 or thereabouts. Sad to say though that I got a stitch, and didn't get a personal best, I finished on 38 minutes 12 seconds. Oh well never mind, at least I made the effort. 
I had an hour in town after, needed a few things from various shops. Aldidly are having an extension built and some of the car park has been dug up to lay new foundations. It was busy with shoppers and I sat in my car for a few minutes wondering if I could be bothered to go in. I hate it when it's busy, queue's at the checkouts and you get zapped through at breakneck speed, hardly have time to get your money out of your purse before she is thrusting the change into your hand. I needed a few food items so I had to go in, I haven't got much left. Fridge and freezer nearly empty, and only a few tins. Not enough to last until I go away. 
This afternoon was spent in the garden, it brightened up and was quite warm. Planted out more broad bean plants, and a few runner bean plants. Then I got a chair outside and sat and had a can of cider, and fell asleep. 
Guess what I had for my dinner tonight, yep, veg, this time with rice. I fancied rice today. 
Remember the three final gas and electric bills from British Gas, with  nothing to pay. Guess what, I have had another one, in the words of Victor Meldrew 'I DON'T BELIEVE IT'. This time they want a whole 32p from me. I really can't be bothered to go through the whole rigmarole of phoning them so I have gone for the easy option and paid it. There was a bit of confusion over the opening reading for the electricity, maybe that's what has caused it. The computer can't cope with common sense and spews out bills willy nilly.

I forgot to get a tub of spread for my bread, never mind. Last week I bought a pack of butter for a change. I never usually buy butter, but I fancied some. I won't be buying it again, it's very moorish and I soon got through it on toast and crackers. Not good to eat too much butter. In my case it comes under the same category as chocolate and crisps and fresh cream, and cakes and biscuits, I try not to buy any.

I usually forget something when I go shopping. Take a list I hear you say, no, I can't be bothered to make a list, because there is absolutely nothing that I can't live without. My shopping is made up of a few items I buy regularly so easy to remember those, and other things I might only buy once every few months, it's those that I forget sometimes. And if I forget something I can't have wanted it very badly, or I would have remembered.

I don't have to put spread on my bread, I can use something else. I have soft cheese that will do, or I can put some lemon curd on it. What I am saying is that if I have forgotten something it means I haven't spent any money on that item, and I will make do with whatever I already have. A cheap way of shopping for me, forget half of what I went for, ha ha.

I can't understand why people have to run to a local shop because they have forgotten something from the supermarket. Why not just manage without it and save money. Chances are you go for the one item and come out with half a dozen others that you didn't really need. Best to try and keep out of shops if you want to save money :o)) So next time if you have forgotten something just say stuff it, and try and remember it next time. Then you might forget something else, but that doesn't matter because you won't spend so much.
Toodle pip.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Fit for human consumption + 2 winners

Good evening from a wet and misty North Lincolnshire. The weather has been pretty dull all day, with heavy downpours on and off. Hope it picks up in time for my long walk. I've had a rethink on the start date and put it back a couple of days. There's a bank holiday next weekend and if the weather is good it will bring crowds of day trippers and long weekenders out across the Pennines, possibly making it difficult for me to find a bed. I'd rather hit those places midweek giving me a better chance. Should work out ok. 
Now these leaves don't look very tasty, a nice snack for a rabbit maybe. I've been saving them up, left over bits from a cauliflower, and the heart of a cabbage a week past it's sell by date. Should be enough to make a couple of bowls of soup.  
All the best bits chopped up in a pan. I did take the manky leaves to a neighbours two white rabbits, they were chuffed, ha ha. These were boiled up and some beansprouts and spices added. Curry powder, turmeric, wholegrain mustard, and garlic powder.

Then I zapped it with the stick blender, and just before serving I added two spoons of plain yogurt. A nice spicy soup with a slice of wholemeal bread, it went down a treat, and enough left for tomorrow.

Right, here is the moment you have all been waiting for. The winners of the two home made ilona bags

Tricia
and
Maggie


Please send a comment including your name and postal address (which I won't publish), and I will get the bags off to you pronto. So sorry I don't have enough bags for everyone, it would be lovely if I could afford to send more. Thank you all for taking the time to read my blog and comment, I appreciate it. 
Now it's the weekend again. If it isn't raining in the morning I will do the Parkrun. Anyone else doing it? Whatever you are doing I hope it is a good weekend for you.
Toodle pip. 

A post for Gail.

Hi, Gail asks about keeping safe while out walking. I wrote about this in February 2013, copied and pasted here.

So, let's get back to walking. Do I ever feel unsafe? No. Have I ever been in a scary situation? No. The way someone walks can tell you a lot about them. I walk with a purpose, I walk tall with my head held high. I appear to be a confident walker who knows what she is doing. I look all around me as I walk, I take note of what is on my right, and my left. I glance over my shoulder to see if there is anyone in sight behind me. If someone is coming towards me, I eye them up, I look at their face. I make eye contact and check them out, do they look ok, or do they look dodgy. I tend to say a quick hello, and if there is room I give them a wide berth, and stride on. A few seconds later I will look behind me to check they are still walking away from me. If they look ok, I might stop for a couple of minutes and exchange a few pleasantries. Sometimes, if I feel comfortable talking to them and they seem quite nice I will chat a little longer. I would never tell anyone where I am going to be that night if I am staying out. Sensible really. I always go by my gut instinct, and have never been bothered by unwelcome attention while out walking. 

On the other hand, if I was walking with my head down, feeling nervous, worried that someone might jump on me, I would be giving out all the wrong signals. People would pick up on that and I would be an easy target. Besides, how can you enjoy a walk if all the time you are panic stricken when you meet strangers. If you play the helpless female you leave yourself wide open to anyone who wants to take advantage. If you wise up and look them straight in the eye, and demand respect, you are quids in.

If you worried all the time about what might happen, you would never go anywhere. I feel more vulnerable walking alone in a big town or city, than I do walking alone in the countryside. When I am in big wide open spaces, I feel safest. I take extra care when walking through large woods or forests, because there are more places for someone to hide, but it's very unlikely that I would come across an evil person, more likely to be another walker just like myself.

It's not a good idea to take more money than you actually need with you, or credit cards if you don't intend using them. I carry a few pounds in cash in a small purse in my back pack, anything more and I have a secret place. It is not a good idea to carry a weapon, because it can be used against you. I am not going to go into personal safety here, because that's a whole new ball game, and you will have your own ideas about that. There is a massive possiblity that neither of us will ever find ourselves in a life threatening position, so don't dwell on it, and don't let it spoil your walking. 

It goes without saying that you should carry a mobile phone while walking alone. If you slip and hurt yourself you might need to call out the emergency services. The only problem is that there isn't always a signal in the hills and mountains with some of the networks. Some phones have a GPS tracking device, mine doesn't. You might need to enlist the help of another walker if you find you have hurt yourself and are imobile. The best thing you can do is to not let yourself get into that situation in the first place. If you feel the terrain is too demanding and you don't have the experience, don't try and tackle it alone. Go with someone else. I would never have gone up Helvelyn via Striding Edge in the lake District on my own, I went with a group of people. 

If you are not very confident when you start going out on walks, you will find that you begin to feel more confident the more you do it. Stay local if you are not sure you want to go too far from home. Start with a couple of miles, build it up slowly, three miles, four miles. Most people who walk at a brisk pace walk at three miles per hour, that's on the flat. Up and down hills takes a bit longer. 

This is a link to the whole post.
http://meanqueen-lifeaftermoney.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/confident-about-walking.html



I'll be back later. 


Thursday, 24 April 2014

A free pack of beans, ace!

My tum is full, I've just scoffed this lot. Broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, carrots, baby sweetcorn, and cabbage, with two boiled eggs. Very nice it was too. 
I popped in the small Tesco this afternoon in search of yellow stickers. Found a few to keep me going. I don't want to do a big shop because I will be off on my travels soon. Two packs of mixed vegetables 31p each, one pack of green beans 18p. It wasn't until I checked the receipt that I noticed the veg was buy 2 get 1 free, so I got the beans for nothing. I also got some beansprouts, and a packet of naughty Angel Slices, oooops, they sort of jumped in my basket. A little treat for 50p. 

I went to the other end of town this morning because I wanted a map and WH Smith didn't have it, so I went to the big outdoor shop, Go Outdoors. First time I have had a look in there. Lots of very expensive gear for outdoor pursuits. Way beyond my budget. Some of the walking gear, jackets and trousers, are horrendously pricey. I will make do with what I've got. Some lovely tents on display, like little houses, it would take a week to put them up. I'm not sure I would want to have all mod cons when I go camping, I like to rough it a bit. It must be dead boring to spend ages to put the tent up and lay out the kitchen and the bedrooms, then what do you do, crack open a bottle of bubbly I suppose. Glamping I think they call it. May as well go in a B & B. 

Helping Helen at the house this afternoon, she is making progress but getting a bit fed up of painting. I was the window cleaner today, and also did a bit of weeding. 

I see we have some new readers, you're very welcome, nice to see you. 
Tatty byes for now.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

ilona original designer bag

After Sue sent me a picture of herself with her 'ilona' bag, from Scotland, I put a call out for any more photo's of the bags I have sent out. I had an email. Thank you to the lovely Shabana for modelling an original 'ilona' bag. As you can see she is on holiday by the seaside. She says the bag is coming in very handy, carrying all her stuff around, including her flask of coffee, and is coping with the rain very well.  
Shabana takes her favourite designer bag into the Pier Pavilion at Southport, to sit down and drink her coffee and enjoy the gorgeous view. Next week she will be back at school when the 'ilona' bag is used for carrying her books backwards and forwards. I'm glad you are finding it useful.

I will make a new page for the bags, so if anyone else wants to send a photo, with a short description of where in the world they are, I will add it to the page. In the meantime I have two more bags to send out. They have over the shoulder handles like the one Shabana is carrying. If you want one drop me a comment here, and I will draw two names out. Will post anywhere in the world. Closing at 6pm UK time on Friday. Good luck.
Toodle pip.

Oooops, almost forgot. Two of our kitty's have been rehomed this week. They have been in the pens for a few months, so it's great that they have at last gone to a new forever home. We wanted them to go together, and they weren't that young so they were being overlooked. But a kind family came along and fell in love with them. We are so pleased that it's a happy ending.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Always a bit in reserve

Hi. Margie from Toronto gave me the idea for this post, she asks the following questions.....

Do you walk mainly for exercise - or to see the sites - or to have time to yourself - or is it a combination?

All of those Margie, plus a few others. I can't put them in any particular order because they are all equally important. Let's start at the top, I believe it is very important to do some sort of exercise, anything that gets you moving, even those with limited mobility should do something. My hips and knees are holding out for me, and the easiest thing is to put one foot in front of the other, walk until I've had enough and stop.

Enjoying my surroundings is important, seeing new places, learn about how the countryside works, meeting new people and asking questions. I love to find out how other people live their lives. On a long walk I have to limit my chatting because I also want to get on and do the miles. That's where the challenge of exercise comes in. I have to strike a balance. I get a buzz from pushing myself to do more, and feel a great sense of satisfaction that I have covered a lot of ground. Also carrying a big rucksack makes it a bit awkward to be a tourist in a town centre. I have a quick look round while I am there, take a few snaps, that's a nice building etc, but don't expect any in depth historical facts about the place. I would rather linger a bit longer in a quiet and beautiful country setting, than dodge the traffic and shoppers in a concrete jungle.

I already have a lot of time to myself in my daily life, but I am not completely free as I have the responsibility of looking after animals. I am lucky that I have a very good friend who cat sits for me so I am able to get away. If I couldn't leave my local area I would go bonkers, I need to travel.  If I haven't been anywhere for a while I feel trapped and start crawling up the walls. I have to pack a bag and go. I am a free spirit and not used to being stuck in one place. As far back as I can remember I have always had this sense of freedom, that I can go anywhere I like. It started when I left home at 18, I moved around wherever the fancy took me. I suppose I am sort of settled where I am now, because I am at an age where I can make the best life for myself wherever I am, but I still have to go walkabout.

I am well used to spending hours on my own. Driving 300 miles in a truck every day, I have learnt to find enough mental stimulation within my own head. My mind can wander anywhere I want it to, and I can draw on the memories of my past experiences to take me somewhere else. Some people might call that daydreaming, I call it living with my thoughts within my head. I am at peace with myself.

I am a great believer of a healthy body is a healthy mind, the two are connected. So my need for exercise is important to me because it makes me happy. I've been reading an article about an experiment where people waiting for chemo for their cancer treatment were put on a programme of exercise for several weeks until they were called into hospital. Rather than let them wallow in self pity at home while they waited, they had to sign up and commit themselves to workout three times a week. In all cases they recovered more quickly after the chemo, than those who didn't exercise.

When I set off it's like I have cast off the shackles of life. Everything I do for the duration of the walk is up to me, I am in control, I make all the decisions. I walk fast, or slow, or stop, or sit down. I don't have to be anywhere at any particular time. I try and plan where I will be spending the night, but it is always a hit and miss affair. It's the sense of freedom it gives me which ultimately gives me an incredible sense of well being. There are one or two anxious moments, like oh bugger I've missed a turn, but hey, we miss plenty of turns in our lives. We either go back and find the right way, or forge ahead and find a new way. That is life.

There are doubts as to whether I will find a bed every night, but something always turns up. Like the taxi driver who picked me up near Buxton and gave me a bed at his house because all the B & B's were too expensive for me. Or the time I found a pub at 7.30pm but there was no beds left. I carried on walking and found a place at 9pm. Or the time I left Selby in the morning and arrived at the Humber Bridge at 9pm after walking 30 miles in 13 hours. When you think you can't do any more, you can always find a bit in reserve, you've just got to push yourself that bit harder.

Thank you for the questions Margie, I hope I have answered them well enough for you.

Bye for now, Toodle pip.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Planning a walk

It's been a lovely day, I've been outside a lot. Cleaning and waxing my walking boots and wiping the mud from the bottoms of my waterproof trousers. I also took my office outside for a while as I wanted to do some research into possible accommodation for the forthcoming walk. I have a lot of tourist information brochures so I checked through them and made a list of B & B's along the proposed route.

It's taking me a while to sort out a suitable route, I have a rough idea of the places I will be going through, but as I look into it further I might have to tweak it a bit. Nothing is certain until I actually do the walk. A lot of the decisions will be based on timing and how far away is the next overnight stop. As I walk I am constantly watching the time and working out how far to the next village or town. Ideally I would like to walk an average 18 miles a day, starting at 9am and finishing at 6pm, but it won't always work out like that, because there won't always be accommodation where I want it. I remember when I really wanted to stop at 7.30pm because I was so tired, but had to keep walking until 9pm to get to the next town. On the other hand I had an early finish one day because I'd had enough and there was a bed available in a B & B, so I took it. Swings and roundabouts, horses for courses.

The plan so far is to start at the Humber Bridge, I hope to get a lift there as it would save time rather than catching two buses. On the first night I am aiming for Pocklington, but I may only get as far as Market Weighton. Getting to Pocklington in one hit is doable, it's 25 miles, I did in in reverse when I came back that way once, depends what time it is when I hit Market Weighton, I might stop there.

From there on to York, Easingwold, Thirsk, Bedale, Leyburn, Aysgarth, Hawes, Kirkby Stephen, Appleby in Westmorland, finishing at Penrith. Haven't worked out the mileage, at a guess 140 ish. So, this time I shall be walking out and getting a train back.

Now I've got to go over the Ordnance Survey maps again, looking for possible paths and tracks, and check river crossings. When is this going to take place? Soon. If anyone thinks they may be able to meet me please leave a comment with your details, place and phone number, which I won't publish, and I will contact you. You can email if you like. I have just changed the address on the side, for some reason I can't access the emails to the other address on this small computer.

This will be my seventh long walk and I am looking forward to the challenge. As long as my health and fitness hold out I shall keep walking. I love the freedom of setting off not knowing where I will be sleeping that night. I'll be carrying minimum gear, probably wear the same clothes the whole time, ha ha. Don't get too close, and I will be reporting in every night, signal permitting.

I'm going to have an hour on the settee reading a book now. Toodle pip.  

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Double dose today. Making things last.

Happy Easter everyone, and what are you doing on this cool and breezy Sunday? The post today is a double  dose of this and that, to make up for a lack of words yesterday. But not to worry, if I go awol you can be sure I will come back. I am spending time working out the details of my forthcoming walk, so my brain is a bit preoccupied at the moment.
Yesterday morning I got my arse into gear and did the 5k Parkrun. Another personal best which now stands at 34 minutes 43 seconds. Yippeeeee. Got a bit of a stitch half way round but not as much as before. Won't be long before I crack the 30 minutes I am aiming for. 
This morning I have been engaging in a bit of DIY, that is, making things last a bit longer by mending something that's broken. My plastic gate which I found in a skip several years ago has taken a bit of a battering in the wind, and is starting to crack on two opposite corners. It's not like it's a security gate, not lockable, it just fills a gap. The cats can get round the side of it.  
The two posts are hollow so I bashed a piece of broken gazebo frame into the ground with a big hammer, and slid the gate onto it. The other side was just loose propped up against the wheelie bin.

How to mend the broken bit. Drill two holes in the cross bar and secure to the post with cable ties.

The bit that was the foot at the bottom is now moved to the top to make the post on the other side a bit stronger, and cable ties attached to hold it together.

Now a new pole is bashed into the ground, it's a metal tube from a long gone small plastic greenhouse. Always keep bits that might come in useful. This is about two feet high. It doesn't need to be the same height as the other pole, because the idea is to lift the gate up to open it. 
And there you have it, no more flapping in the wind. The gate will last a bit longer. Mayze wants to come in, she can get round the side of it.

Bugsy is in his favourite place, in the back window. Not much sun today, overcast and windy.

Oh my, look at naughty Heidi. She loves to get up onto the greenhouse roof. She ruins the plastic sides with her claws as she climbs up the corner post. Good job the roof is heavy duty plastic and can stand her weight. She is looking over the hedge into the garden at the back of mine. She spends a lot of time over there, good job they are cat lovers.

My raised beds have got some wooden posts and cross bars on them because I used to drape plastic over  to make a mini polytunnel. I don't bother now but have left the posts because they are handy to hold onto when I am working on the beds. Heidi walks up and down on them like a balancing act at the circus. 
Look at me mum, I can wash my belly and not fall off.

And I can balance on three legs while I wash my foot. She is so funny.

Hey look at this. I've scanned and copied my final two bills from British Gas. They are telling me I am in credit, which they returned. All well and good, my new supplier is Ebico, I moved across in January, so I don't expect to hear anything more from BG. 
Now what's going on here? I have three more final bills, dated February, March, and April, all exactly the same and all stating I have nothing to pay. Now why would they waste time and money to send these? It doesn't make sense. Let's see if another one turns up in May.
In the meantime things have been sorted about the mix up with the meter readings with Ebico, and it should all run smoothly from now on. I have got rid of the standing charge that Brit Gas wanted to charge me, now I am only paying for the gas and electricity which I use, after I have used it. I don't get penalized for choosing to pay quarterly on receipt of a bill. So all's good.

Enjoy the rest of the day, and don't forget, it's a Bank Holiday tomorrow so you don't have to go to work :o) unless you are retired in which case every day is a Bank Holiday. Catch you tomorrow. Toodle pip.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Now which way is a good way to go.

Sunny day outside, and I'm playing with maps inside. My next door neighbour is chopping a tree down so I keep looking out of the window to see how he is doing. Not a very big tree, but in the wrong place. Now it's getting a bit technical, he's just tied a rope to it. I think a branch needs to fall towards the road so it doesn't bring down the telephone wire. There are three men on the job and none of them are wearing any protective equipment whatsoever. No helmets, no goggles, and just an ordinary ladder to shimmy up the tree. Now the rope has been taken off and re positioned higher up. There's a lot of conversation going on, do it this way, no do it that way.  There goes a big branch, must stop being nosey and get on with this. 
Maps, now which route should I take? First look on an atlas. 
Then stick some pins in a bigger map on a board. Guess the route at this stage.
Aha, another use for pegs. Borrow some Ordnance Survey maps from the library, fold and peg them together and lay them on the floor. 
Now look at the maps in more detail, searching for the best options, not too far from civilization for a better chance of finding a bed for the night. Note down on a piece of paper several possible routes, then check the footpaths between towns and villages. 
Simple isn't it. The last big branch has come down, just three tall stumps left now to chop down. I'll carry on with the map reading. Have a nice day. Catch you tomorrow. Toodle pip.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Another circular walk from Thorne

Hiya, I've been a walkabout today, back to Thorne for another bimble. Parking is free in Thorne, and the car parks are located in the centre, handy for the shops and anything else you might like to do. I chose a different area to explore this week, taking the main A614 road, to junction 6 of the M18. This old school building caught my attention as I was passing it. It's boarded up, looks like it has been empty for years. What a shame that this magnificent building has fallen into a state of disrepair. 
The creeping ivy has just about devoured the top of  this side of the building.

Look at the wonderful clock tower, they don't make them like that any more.

I reached the M18 junction and turned right and took a minor road which runs parallel to the motorway. Along here is a huge distribution depot for BMW cars, and a depot for The Range department stores. At one time this road used to be a favourite place for trucks to park up overnight, but sadly there are 'No Overnight Parking' signs everywhere. The road runs alongside the motorway, then follows the railway line, before it turns left and crosses the motorway. I took a picture of this dog poo bin because I had just walked along the road and found piles of dumped rubbish all along it. How ridiculous to put a dog bin there, when there is no dog mess around. They should park a skip at the side of the road so all the disgusting people who make such a mess with their rubbish can deposit it in the proper place.

The oil seed rape is back again, this time there is a new variety which doesn't grow so tall. Last year I was wading through it at head height, now it is only just past my knees. I didn't have to go through any today though. 
The weather has been overcast all day, but at least the rain has kept off. This narrow bridge crosses the River Don. There are bollards at each end to restrict the width to 6 feet 6 inches. I sat on a big rock and had my lunch while watching everyone creeping carefully through the gap. Some of them had obviously done it before and put their foot down to get to the other side before anyone came onto the bridge at the other end. One big van got a bit stuck and had to reverse out. The surface of the bridge has wooden slats which rattled noisily when a car went over it.

According to the map, the tracks I was following were supposed to be well defined bridleways, but some of them were very overgrown and lacking signposts. This one went through a wood, but on the map it shows it should be around the outside of it. I persevered for a while but had to give up as it got a bit wild. I got out of it and walked along the field edge next to it.

I got onto the New Junction Canal at Sykehouse Lock, where Kirk Lane Bridge goes over the top of it. 

This is part of the Trans Pennine Trail, a long distance cycle track.

After about half an hour I crossed back over the canal at the next bridge, the Kirkhouse Green Bridge. This is a road bridge that lifts up if any boats want to pass through.
Oh dear, what a sight for sore eyes. The dumping of rubbish is an epidemic in these parts. 
A bit of road walking then onto a footpath, past the pond, to Fishlake. Only one swan here, couldn't see if there was a nest anywhere.

This is St Cuthbert's Church at Fishlake. It's only a small village but this magnificent building dominates it.

Looks more like a Cathedral from the back view. It's lovely. Sadly it was locked so I couldn't go inside.

It was time for me to head back to Thorne. I was on the wrong side of the river so I followed the road back to the narrow bridge, and after a short walk along the main road I was back at the motorway junction. I walked 14 .85 miles today, I'm pleased with that.

Now is the start of Easter, I won't be going anywhere. I picked up some Ordnance Survey maps from the library this morning before I set off, so I shall be studying those over the weekend. Have a good time whatever you are doing. Toodle pip.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Not back breaking work.

Hello. I'm all for making household chores easy for myself, I do only as much as I need to, to keep things ticking over. Today I will share a load of washing with you. It's a warm and sunny day with a gentle breeze  so a good opportunity to strip the bed. The washing is in the machine, a 30 minute cycle at 30 degrees. My method of transferring it from the machine to the garden is not a conventional plastic basket. I don't drag it all out in one big pile, all tangled up, and drop it straight into the basket. By the time it gets untangled and hung up it's already creased. 
I don't have a basket because I don't like having to bend down and remove the items piece by piece as I hang it. This tall seat is what I use for transportation. I carefully take the washing out of the machine, shake it flat, and lay it on the chair. 
Like this. Heidi getting in on the picture again, ha ha.
I lift the whole lot up, chair and washing, without bending down, and pick up the pegs hanging on the nail on the back door. This keeps me in an upright position and doesn't put a strain on my back. When I peg out there is no bending down. I can move the chair along the length of the line if I need to. Mostly I just walk up and down, removing items one at a time as I hang them.

When the washing is dry and ready to be brought in I have the chair close by. I shake each item and fold, and lay it on the chair, starting with the largest items first. Again, no bending down to put it in a basket. When all washing is collected it takes hardly any effort to lift the chair a few inches keeping my back straight, and taking it all inside. It is then ready to be put away, but in the case of this load it will go straight back on the bed. I don't iron anything, can't be bothered with such mundane tasks. I don't buy clothes that need ironing. 
I have two sizes of wooden spring pegs, the bigger ones for the larger and heavier items. The smaller ones for such things as teeshirts, pillowcases, and pants. 
I also have some coloured plastic pegs. These are no good at all for hanging washing out. They are not strong enough for the job and they break easily. They are however very useful for clipping together the tops of half used packets of food stuffs. I like to keep things in their original packaging so I can check on the dates now and again. 
That's my washday system, it works for me. Have you got a system?
Toodle pip.