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Thursday, 25 February 2010

Will it all get done?

"Breaking eggs with sticks" here as my nana used to say (and as I have probably said in a previous blog).
Lots to do before I go away on my photo course on Monday - just hoping for dry weather, with or without snow.  I hate sleet and rain when I'm taking photos.
I've put most of my photo gear together but have to make sure all the batteries are charged, lenses cleaned, etc, etc.
Over the weekend I'm leading a walk for the Geltsdale Fellwalkers on Saturday and on a walk with Shepherd's Walks on Sunday so there is not much time to pack.
After the photo course I'm going to the Literary Festival in Keswick - a lovely change I hope.
Back here, the curtains are now hung in R's room. B put the rail up for me yesterday, a job that required a special glue gun (never used when I've put fittings up!) and a curtain rail that remained obstinately curvy.  The curtains hide it OK so it's better than no curtains up there.
Carla has just been violently sick - was it fur balls or a bad mouse? Yuck.
I have an article to write for the Northumbrian and writing this is a delaying tactic. The job MUST be done asap.
I've had a wonderful invitation for the evening when the Wall is illuminated. I'm going to Barcombe Fell to watch from there and then back to B and J's for drinks.  It will be fun to go with a crowd and I think the view will be great.  Hope no one else thinks of it!! (Shhh.)

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Visit from an old friend

Day started with visit to vet for Bowlby who needed a jab.  Just was I was getting ready to go, the tumble drier repair man came.  (We'd expected him on Tuesday.)  Mum was in the shower,  and not at all ready to face the world, much less the repairman.  Thankfully he had the problem sorted in 6 minutes - there was nothing wrong anymore, but he was able to confidently diagnose the fault - good man.
Then to vet - in and out of there in 4 minutes.
Home to try to tidy up after decorator.
To Hexham to meet train bringing my lovely friend, S, to visit. We have been friends for 35 years, don't see each other often, but it's always excellent when we do.
Did a bit of shopping in Hexham - really enjoyed going around with her - normally I'd prefer to be alone and just get on with it.
Lunch at home catching up. Mum loved seeing her (she made S's wedding dress all those years ago and they have a special bond).
Lovely day.

Wednesday walk

Dense fog here on Weds am, not promising. Drove to Haltwhistle along the Military Road in poor visibility.  Very foggy in H too.  We drove to Lanercost for the walk - and spent all the morning and early afternoon in brilliant sunshine.  It was cold and clear. Lovely walking conditions.  It's an ace walk from Lanercost. We have done it in the Festival before.  M forgot her back pack and had to go back for it.  Great hilarity because it contained the first day of her diet lunch.  (We're really a very supportive lot!)
There were 25 of us and the short walkers mustered 16.  Lots of laughs and we nearly filled the pub on our return.
I'd walked 19 miles in 2 days and felt fine.  Hooray.

Wall walk continued

Once we reached the top of the rise, we turned east and walked along the Trail, crossing over the Military Road and then gradually making our way back to Fallowfield by Hangman's Hill and Written Crags.  We visited the alpacas who were very friendly. D is a bit cautious near them because one spat at him in the past. Then down the path to Wall again. A good 10 mile stretch with 1800 ft of ascent.  It may be too long for the Geltsdale walkers next week but will make a good Wednesday walk for Haltwhistle.
I can shorten it for Geltsdale.  It contains such a lot of interest. The snowdrops are out. There is the battlefield and the church to visit, the industrial archeology and the views. Superb.

Excellent walking week so far

Tuesday morning saw me setting out to pre-walk a walk for the Geltsdale Ramblers with my friend DH.  He and his wife know this area extremely well and devise good walks. We left Wall and walked up the Trail to Heavenfield.  It is a steady pull up hill for the first part of this walk. At Heavenfield we admired the open views north. Cheviot was hiding but it was fairly clear.
Out of the churchyard, over the stone stile I had missed on my own recce, and downhill towards the Cockshaw farms. There is an old quarry with disused equipment to view.  Then the view of the North Tyne Valley opens up beautifully. You can see Humshaugh, the river and Chollerton as you scan from left to right.  The tarmac lane at the bottom of the descent is a respite from very muddy fields. After striding out on this for a while, you turn south again and begin the long ascent back up to the level of Hadrian's Wall. By the lane side someone has constructed a bird hide and there are bird feeders.  Must go there with the camera one day. Up and up and up the lane, but rewarded by good views, and now we could see Cheviot.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Monday morning

Off to Haltwhistle today for a training session for leaders and back ups for our walking festival.  Should be fun.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Walk from Netherton

Shepherd's walk from Netherton yesterday.  Only 5 takers and a quiet group.  Pleasant walk, about 11km. We reached the snow line but nothing hard to cope with. We could see that clouds on the coast were disgorging rain/sleet onto the land below, but it was fine and sunny all morning for us. It became grey in the afternoon.  Not too many photos and none I was really excited by.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Old habits die hard

Typical. I started this blog in January, just like I used to start diaries years ago, and by February the entries had dried up.   Will try harder!
Very busy day: played piano for the Unlikely Ladies at 0900 in West Woodburn. We are performing in a concert in Bellingham next Friday evening.  I've decided not to continue to be "musical director" and I'm flattered that JR is taking over.  (Very prestigious catch.)  Then came home, read Courant and saw decorator who finished painting the dining room.  Excellent work.  Read bits of Northumbrian and was very disappointed that there was no mention of the Haltwhistle Walking Festival in a big article about the new Wainwright book on the Pennine Way.  Not only that, they have used one of my photos in the article with no acknowledgement!!  Must make sure the next Northumbrian contains reference to the Festival. Had lunch, went to help J and D with their computer. They are like so many older people who get a computer, but who then don't believe they can work it. I can help, but I know they will have to put in some work themselves to understand the basics.  Once they are over the hump they will be fine. Then taught a flute lesson - well done M who had worked hard between lessons.
Now cooking tea (cooker is buzzing away) and we are going to the Hexham Music Society concert tonight. This will be Mum's first time out in the evening since mid-December. Another step forward.