Spent most of the day until 2.30pm behind the wheel, and the rest sat at home recovering from the first part of the day. But this scene did cause me to pause on the way home, on the A702 just north of Biggar, in southern Scotland. I’m not sure I’ve quite captured the sunbeam effect, but I did my best.
That path snaking up this hillside on the south edge of Halifax is part of the Calderdale Way, round which Clare and I (and Joe, today) continue to perambulate, when we can. July 11th was the last time we managed some but the weather on this Sunday was too good to ignore: one of those days which proves that on average, if you want really good and reliable weather in this country, come in September.
A Wainwright walk: the last of my summer holiday. (See my other blog for the technicalities.) A struggle with pre-holiday-weekend traffic that I should have anticipated, and a long journey for what was a couple of hours of light exercise. But the views from the summit of Faulds Brow were very fine. Here, the direction is north-west, the city in the background, Carlisle.
It’s just a field, home these days to a number of sheep (two of whom were a source of great interest to the visitor at the bottom of the pic). But on October 14th 1066, around 7,000 men were slaughtered here in one day at the Battle of Hastings, and the victor, Duke William of Normandy, instituted a regime that, basically, continues to rule the island of Great Britain into the present time. (One wonders how different human history might have been if the two antagonists, neither of whom had a particularly direct claim to the throne of England, had just cut cards for the privileged, or agreed to do six months a year each.)
It is understandable that the tourists would want to come and see the place — as we did on this pleasant, bright Sunday. But I guess the import of what happened on this spot 956 years ago, the scale of the death and mayhem, will never be fully apparent. These days we walk round and take our pictures and listen to the soothing tones of the ‘audio guide’ and then go and have lunch in the nearby pub. Battle is worth a visit though, whether you are English or not.
Note also — it’s day 3,650. But thanks to three leap years having interspersed themselves over the last decade, I am not quite at the point where I have completed 10 years of this blog. I assume I will make it to Wednesday, though.
Ben Lawers towers over the shore of Loch Tay and, at 3,983 feet (1,214m), is the tenth-highest mountain in the UK. In the whole country south of this point, there is no higher land. Tell you what though, it made me work to bag it; the day was a classic illustration of how conditions can deteriorate with altitude. This walker was heading up it after the worst had passed — which is more than can be said for me. See the County Tops blog for the gory details and more pictures.
The A93 runs north from the town of Blairgowrie, in Perthshire, to Braemar in Aberdeenshire. Just north of this point — and a couple of hundred feet below the point from where I took this picture, looking back into Glen Shee — the tarmac reaches the Cairnwell Pass, which at 2,199 feet above sea level, makes it the highest public road in the whole of the UK. It’s called the ‘Old Military Road’ as it was originally built as part of the general plan to assert military dominance over the Highlands of Scotland after the last Jacobite rebellion in the 1700s.
A third day in four spent walking, bringing to an end a very fine long weekend in the Lake District, on which all was pleasingly normal. This pointy slab of rock marks the highest point of Eagle Crag, a fine (and finely-named) eyrie from which to keep an eye on the Stonethwaite valley below. See more photos on my other blog, if you like. Back to work tomorrow — but I will return here, I will always be returning here.
Gave myself an adventurous walking task today — the South Traverse of Great Gable, a climbers’ path that inches its way across the face of this hulk of a mountain. For more details see my walking blog. This view of Wasdale was captured while somewhat precariously balanced above the drop; anyone going down the slope in an uncontrolled manner is probably not going to stop until hitting the fields at the bottom. But I survived it, and felt quite proud of myself in fact. See the other pictures on my walking blog, if interested.
Clare reaches the top of the steps that take one up onto the Bowder Stone — a famous attraction of the Lake District that I have never before seen. Its name is tautological, for a big Bowder (boulder) it certainly is; hollow it out, install plumbing, and I imagine a family of three could live inside in comfort.
More an abstract than anything else, today. Although the swallow (if that is what it was — it was certainly flying like one) gives it focus. I felt like putting up an evening shot, anyway: there have been very few of these in the last eighteen months. Nights out are a thing of the past. Mind you, 40,000 people could be accommodated in Wembley yesterday afternoon — but apparently, going out to the Trades Club is still considered ‘unhealthy’. Enough of this bullshit.