Derwent Riverside Walk – Take 2

I’m normally quite strict in posting things in chronological order and so, at this point, I should be blogging about my daughter’s wedding.  However, as things turned out, I didn’t get the chance to take many photographs (and the ones that I did take were quite ordinary).  So I (and you) will have to wait until the newly weds return from honeymoon (in Houston, New Orleans and Miami) for me to post some of the best official photos.

So, in the meantime, I’ll get you up to date on the rest of our time in the UK…

You may recall that Judith and I had rented a cottage in Hathersage and on our last day there, before heading up to Scotland with my other daughter, Joanne, and her partner, Aaron, (see post tomorrow), we went for a quiet stroll along the River Derwent.  (Regular followers may recall this post nearly 2 weeks ago).

 

Mike’s Music Monday #4

This week we go back to the disco beat with a tune by Phil Fearon and Galaxy called Dancing Tight.  Born in Jamaica in 1956, Fearon moved to London when he was 5 and eventually set up a recording studio in his North London house.  Together with backing singers, Julie and Dorothy, he had his first hit with this record, reaching no. 4 in the UK  in 1983 (according to Wiki).  However, the video below says 1984 and was probably taken from the UK’s infamous Top of the Pops TV programme.   I’m not sure if he made it in the States, but he did have 2 other UK Top 10 hits ‘Do What I Do’ and ‘Everybody’s Laughing’ (the video for which is worth watching in itself).

Don’t miss the forward flip half way through the song.  Impressive or what!?

Mike’s Music Monday #3

After the Celebrations of last week, I’m afraid I have to be a bit more serious this week as it will be a year since my dad died, aged 94 and a half.  He liked halves, whenever you asked him how long he would be he’d always say “5ft 8½”.  He liked his little jokes.

Anyway, his favourite song was, ironically enough, Take My Breath Away by Berlin.  Released in 1986, it shot to fame as one of the soundtracks in the film Top Gun.  (My dad used to work in the Aircraft Industry, so maybe that’s why he liked it).  It reached no. 1 in Belgium, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, the UK and the US.  So, he wasn’t alone in liking this song.

Circular Walk from Castleton, Derbyshire

By the time most of you read this I will probably be at my daughter’s wedding.  Eventually I will post pictures of said event, if I’m allowed, but for the time being, I’m trying to keep up to date with recent events, otherwise you will all be bombarded with an even longer series of posts when I get back home…

So, on Thursday, while my wife was enjoying herself baking cakes and finishing off her dress for the wedding, I set out to do a loop from Castleton.  It started by walking south west up Cave Dale, before striking north west and over Mam Tor (at the dizzy height of 517m / 1,696 ft), to follow the ridge or crest north east over Hollins Hill and Back Tor to Lose Hill, (which is also called Ward’s Piece for some reason) and then returning to Castleton for a well earned refreshment. 🍺

The forecast was for ‘good’ weather, but the sun seemed to take an age to burn off the early morning mist, so the pictures below are a little murky.  Being pretty much in the middle of England, the Peak District is easily accessible to many and, as such, the paths can get very eroded.  So the powers that be have placed massive paving stones to help alleviate the problem.

P.S. Re pic 10: Don’t worry, I do plan to have a shave and smarten myself up for the wedding.  You may not even recognise me! 😊

Derwent Riverside walk from Hathersage, Derbyshire

It’s funny how certain places crop up again in your life.  It was only last year that Colin and I started and finished our Inn Way to the Peak District walk in Hathersage and, this week, Jude and I just happen to be staying in a small cottage on the outskirts of the village.

On Tuesday, I had a little time to spare and so decided to do a walk, which didn’t cover the same ground as Colin and I along all the ‘Edges’.  My route would take me south along the River Derwent as far as Calver, where I turned west to the ‘plague village’* of Eyam, before heading back across the moor to Hathersage.

Along the way I saw many birds, including 3 nuthatches (not captured on camera unfortunately).  But just to forewarn any slightly squeamish readers, I’ve included a series of 3 pictures below of a European Robin taking care, as it were, of a huge worm.

*In 1665 the plague hit the small town of Eyam and, led by the Reverend William Monpesson, the locals agreed to a self-imposed quarantine to stop it spreading.  At the top of the hill, I passed a well, where food and medicines were left in exchange for the villager’s money.  The coins were subsequently disinfected with vinegar.  Figures vary but around 270 villagers died, with anywhere between 83 and 430 surviving.

Llanymynech Limeworks Heritage Area Walk

As previously mentioned, my wife and I are in the UK at the moment and on Monday we went to visit Judith’s parents, Angela and Lawrence.  After a delicious lunch, Angela took us on another wonderful walk, this time around the Limeworks Heritage Area at Llanymynech.   (I’ve never understood how to pronounce these Welsh names, but I understand the first y is as you might expect, like an ‘ee’ sound, but the second y is more like a u, as in bun.  It’s no wonder I’m confused!)

Anyway the village straddles the border between England and Wales and the old Limeworks does the same, such that there is an English Quarry and a Welsh Quarry.  As you might expect, the two were fiercely competitive, until a tunnel was made which connected the two and they decided to merge.  However, the Limeworks eventually became uneconomic and closed in 1914.

The Offa’s Dyke long distance path also runs alongside.

 

Mike’s Music Monday #2

This week is a double celebration for me, with my birthday last Saturday and my daughter Sarah’s wedding this coming Saturday.  So there was only one song that I could pick for this week and that’s Celebration by Kool and the Gang.  I love this song.  I could play it all day.

Released in 1980, it reached no. 1 in the United States in February 1981, but only no. 7 in the UK, though it was in the charts for 13 weeks.  I hope you enjoy this song as much as I do. 🙂

65 today!

I’m not usually prone to make a big fuss about ‘key’ birthdays.  Like when I turned 50, I was on holiday in Majorca with my two daughters, Joanne and Sarah, and only they knew it was my birthday (otherwise the compere in the hotel might have had me up on stage doing something silly, which was the last thing I wanted!)  On my 60th birthday, I ran the Vienna marathon.  The idea of running a marathon when I was ‘old’ always appealed to me as a challenge, especially when I knew I would be 60 on a Sunday, so it had to be done. Again Sarah was there, but this time with my wife, Jude.

Today, I’m 65 years old and I thought it worth a mention, purely because you readers are all my friends and I think you should know.  I am writing this in advance, as I’ll be in the UK for Sarah’s wedding next week, so I’ll have no time to be blogging!  All things being equal, I will have been out for a meal last night with my brother, Steve, and his wife, Beverley, and my sister, Karen, and her partner, Paul.  Tonight I will be having a quiet meal at a local hostelry in Hathersage, near Sheffield (and a few beers no doubt) with my lovely wife, Jude. 😍

As is customary, it seems, on these occasions, I’ve dug out some old, and I mean old, photos of me as a child, plus two more ‘grown up’ pictures that I came across recently.

See if you can spot me in the group photos… (Answers at the foot of the page).

Football photo: Back row, second from right.  Rugby photo: Front right.

Mike’s Music Monday #1

Like many bloggers no doubt, I’ve been struggling to find new material for this site.  Over the past 4 years I’ve walked almost all of the paths in the Val d’Hérens (many of them, several times over) and I’ve been conscious that long time followers will, perhaps, be getting a little bored with the ‘same old, same old’ pictures.

With that in mind, I do plan to go further afield this year to bag a few more ‘new’ Swiss peaks and Judith and I have at least two holidays booked (so far) to ‘new’ locations later this year.  But that is not enough for yours truly…

The idea for this series of posts came while I was in my car listening to my ipod (yes, they do still exist) and I thought, why should I have all the fun!   So today starts a series which (you may eventually be glad to know) will only last 52 weeks, unless there is a blogosphere outcry of course…

You can look forward to hearing masses of marvellous music including some Motown, Madonna, Marvin, M People and more.  I’m sorry, but you’ll not be listening to any AC/DC nor Leonard Cohen here…  So what better way to start than with a song by ‘M’ called Pop Muzik.  Released early in 1979 (yes, 40 years ago), it reached no. 1 in several countries, including Canada, South Africa, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, the US and even Switzerland.  However, a rather endearing, though some might say soppy, tune by Art Garfunkel, called Bright Eyes, kept it off the UK no. 1 spot.  So it was clearly a popular song at the time.   I hope you enjoy this series and that it brings back some fabulous memories (for those of you old enough to remember this stuff of course!)

I defy anyone, once they hear the words New York, London, Paris, Munich (in any order) in any other everyday context, not to say “Pop Muzik”!  My wife and I always do! 😊

With thanks to Youtube for providing the video and my apologies for any adverts which might appear.  All good things are worth waiting for though. 🙂

The day after the day before…

The snow continued to fall until about 5pm yesterday, so it was inevitable I’d have a bit of shoveling to do this morning.  Luckily today has been quite warm and sunny, so after I’d shifted most of it to one side, our grassy driveway is green again and almost dry.  This prompted a European robin to hop down and take a look for something to eat.  (It’s the first robin we’ve seen this year).  And, with the snow about a foot deep across the rest of the valley, our bird feeder has again been quite popular.