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).


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! 😊

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.

Birthday boy – still Bobbing Along…

Today, I’m very pleased and proud to say, is my dad Bob’s 94th birthday.  I’ve just spoken to him and he’s on top form, as usual.  🙂  It also seems an appropriate moment to mention his book, or Memoirs – called Bobbing Along.

It’s been a long time in the making and publication, as it started life in the 1980’s as series of typed anecdotes, which were all stored in a folder.  Some years later, my younger brother, Steve, scanned these into pdf form, just in case the originals were ever lost.  Then late last year, I thought it might be a good idea to get them made into a book.  So I ran the pdf files through some OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software and turned them into a series of Word documents.

Somehow all the a’s became anything but a, so after around 3 months of editing and a bit of tweaking here and there, the finished document was sent off (electronically of course) to Book Printing UK (who, I have to say, were very good).  Three weeks later a physical proof copy was duly sent to me here in Switzerland to check.  A couple of minor modifications were made (mainly to the book cover) and we ordered 30 copies (for delivery in the UK) to distribute amongst our family.  (Sorry, it’s not available in the shops or online I’m afraid!)

See the Contents picture below, but the book is more or less his life history – from being a child, growing up in Hounslow, Middlesex, to joining the Royal Navy, where he became a Signalman and travelled all around the world.  (It wasn’t until he was in his 80’s that he travelled anywhere by plane!)  After the War, while on leave, he went to stay with his aunt and uncle in Yorkshire and that’s where he met my mum.  The rest, as they say, is history… 🙂

Hannah and Mike’s wedding

The main reason for travelling over to Scotland again this year was to attend Hannah’s wedding.  Hannah is the younger daughter of Judith’s great friend Kate.  She and her husband, Geoff, are the owners of the award winning Waterside Café in Lochcarron. (More about there in a later post).

The whole of the wedding day went beautifully, with traditional Scottish dress in evidence.  During the ceremony, the rings were delivered to the front by a Great Grey Owl – a magnificent creature, especially when viewed close up.  (Sorry about the poor photo, but it kept moving its head!)  Mike is an aspiring film actor, so there was a Hollywood theme to the reception.