30 December 2016
As 2016 draws to a close,
looking back over the year there have been some good walks. Probably the
best was Haystacks and Fleetwith Pike in the Lake District. Moving house has
cramped the walking a little but needs must. I have had a number of really
nice emails from people complementing me on the website and/or thanking me
for walks. I have replied directly to all such emails and these are really,
Unexpectedly and unsolicited, I
have had three offers to buy the website. I have kept a note of the names in
case I change my mind but at the moment, I do not want to sell. We never
therefore got as far as discussing price but I doubt I will be joining the
ranks of Bill Gates anythime soon!
I would really like to update
the website to some more modern software but so far have not been able to
decide which to use. Some advice has been to use Wordpress or Joomla but I
have yet to research. No-one has actually complained but I would like to
make the site more compatable with tablets and mobile phones, what I believe
is referred to as having a "responsive" website.
Unfortunately, I am not a "geek" (no offence) so anything is going
to take some learning. I could buy in expertise (as long as it did not cost
too much) but I feel I would lose control then. Anyway, I feel if I managed
to sort out MS Front Page with no experience, I should equally be able to
sort out something else. My requirements are very straightforward and I am
not looking for anything "flash". I work on the KISS principle
(Keep It Simple Stupid)!
To all who have used my walks,
thanks for the support and happy hiking for 2017.
10 December 2016
You may remember that there was
a campaign to buy the Lake District mountain Blencathra from the Earl of
Lonsdale, the money to help pay death duties. After a long series of
negotiations, the Lonsdale Estate found another way of covering the cost and
elected to retain the mountain ownership. This left the Friends of
Blencathra (FoB) "holding the baby" in the context of many
thousands of pounds, raised in donations (including a small amount from
me!). Determining what was to happen to these donations has been the subject
of very protracted discussions with the Charity Commission.
Originally, only donations over
£10 were to be refunded in the event the deal fell through and I think
those under £10 were to be donated to appropriate charities, after
deduction of costs. Also, lots of people said they were not concerned about
their refunds and wanted the money to be donated to such as Mountain Rescue
and/or other worthy causes.
However it looks as though there
are quite tight legal restrictions on how money must be used or refunded.
As of 8 December 2016, it
appears that all donations that can be identified, including those for £10
or less, will have to be refunded, less costs. FoB are awaiting final
agreement with the Charity Commission on processes etc. Whatever happens,
FoB must have quite a formidable task returning the funds.
It looks as though there will be
a claims arrangement with anything unclaimed or disclaimed being the subject
of an obscure legal process, the cy-près doctrine (French for "as
close as possible"). In effect, this seems to imply that such funds can
be redirected but only to purposes close to the trust's original goals. The
trustees have to make a formal application to do this, I think to a court.
It all looks very much a
nightmare. Presumably FoB trustees will have to be able to prove they have
taken reasonable steps to let all contributors know about the process so one
hopes they have kept adequate records! The clerical work involved must be
tremendous. Very much a cautionary tale for anyone else planning such a
24 November 2016
Following suggestions from
visitors to the site, I have created a Walking
Time Calculator. This uses a remotely hosted spreadsheet. I will be
stating the ascent/descent figures on future walks, where this is
significant. I am starting to retrospectively insert this for previous walks
on an "as and when" basis so it will take some time. I am starting
off with the most popular hill walks and will then move to other hilly ones
where the calculation might be more important. Feedback on how well it works
would be appreciated so I can refine the calculations as necessary.
30 October 2016
I had an interesting question
emailed to me this week; namely if one only has an OS grid reference, how
does one easily find the relevant OS map. It struck me that I have never
tried to find a map this way. I know the map(s) I want because I am going to
a specific area, not trying to discover the right map from an abstract OS
reference. The questioner had evidently emailed Ordnance Survey four times
and they did not even seem to understand the question. My first thought was
that I had no idea.
The OS website only invites you
to "Enter location or map number". Now to most people,
"Location" means a place name. However I discovered that if you
enter the OS reference, the site does tell you the map. It would be helpful
if OS added "or OS reference" to the box!
I mention this in case the
information is of use to anyone.
12 July 2016
Ain't life a bitch! Was looking
forward to a holiday in the Lakes this week to do some more walks. Car ready
packed etc. Then overnight, laid low by some evil bug, so trip cancelled.
This just after moving house so, all things taken into account, not a lot of
walking is being done at the moment. Still, things could be worse - I could
be a Labour party leader (not)!
21 June 2016
Never move house! I have just
been through it and am still living in chaos. BT was a nightmnare to deal
with and I had no service for a week, despite plenty of notice. Yorkshire
Water on the other hand were a joy to deal with. With packing up before the
move and trying to get the new place and its garden sorted, there has sadly
been little time for walking so entries have been a bit sparse. I will get
back to it eventually!
9 May 2016
Weird bubble nearly gone (see
below). It is like having a spirit level in your eye - at least I know when
I am stood straight! Vision gradually improving though eye bloodshot and not
nice to look at. Wearing close fitting sunglasses when out to protect the
eye. Stevie Wonder comments wearing thin!
4 May 2016
Had my eye surgery yesterday
(see post on 30 March below). Floaters removed, cataract resolved and
epiretinal layer peeled. All under a general anaesthetic as I don't think I
could lie still for an hour! Needed a good sleep anyway! I now have this
weird bubble in my eye, which should dissipate over the next few days.
Cannot do any energetic activity or drive for a couple of weeks, so hiking
28 April 2016
Two new long distance footpaths
due to be launched shortly:
1) The Ulswater Way. This 20
mile walk uses existing footpaths to circumnavigate Ulswater in the Lake
District. It has been developed by a combination of the Lake District
National Park Authority, "See More Cumbria and the Lake
District", The National Trust, Eden District Council, Ullswater
Steamers and the Ullswater Association.
2) The Welcome Way. This is a
28 mile circular walk, developed jointly by Walkers are Welcome in Otley,
Burley, Baildon and Bingley in West Yorkshire. It is due to be launched by
Kate Ashbrook, Patron of Walkers are Welcome, President of Ramblers, and
General Secretary of the Open Spaces Society, on the first day of the Otley
Walking Festival, 25 June 2016 at Otley Parish Church at 9:30am. A 50 page
route guide will shortly be published.
2 April 2016
At the end of March, the bodies
of Tim Newton and Rachel Slater from Bradford were discovered on Ben Nevis.
The couple were well experienced, well equipped but had been swept away by a
huge avalanche. Converseley, a few days later, one (admitedly contrite) Sara
Albone climbed the mountain in trainers, clad in shorts and carrying only a
selfie-stick and weekend bag, basically on a whim. She became stranded by
sudden bad weather and but for being found by climbers who gave her
clothing and escorted her down would most likely have died of hypothermia.
Temperatures down to -15C that night were likely.
Mountains are no
respecters of people so you have to respect them! Take care.
30 March 2016
As I don't like endless
scrolling pages, I thought it was time to rationalise my blog pages so I
have separated my entries by year. In the unlikely event that anyone wants
to track back, see table above. I could delete the old stuff but in some
ways, it records the history of my site and I think of it as something of a
diary. I have kept the "My Cabbage and I" page as a separate
entity. It records my double heart by-pass operation for anyone interested
or who might be having to go through it themselves. I know it is a mad title
but the text explains the "logic". I have added a "QED"
Having thought I had had my
share of operations, I now have to have one on my eye! The main reason is
that I have developed a huge floater which was supposed to "settle
down" according to a consultant I saw 2½ years ago. It has not changed
at all. There are also now early signs of a cataract. Additionally, I have a
slight contraction of the epiretinal membrane. This causes distortion of
vision, especially for reading. So, whilst the surgeon(s) is/are in there
anyway, they may as well do everything! Maybe I will have X-Ray vison
afterwards. Superman watch out!
Maybe I will do another medical
blog - "Eyes of March"?
Is it true a trainee ophthalmologist
is a pupil? Are all female ophthalmologists called Iris? Such fun.
17 February 2016
Just returned from a great two
weeks in Lanzarote. There is some superb walking there and the island seems
to have discovered the potential tourist attraction for walkers as
fingerposts are popping up all over the place. Between about October and
February, my Lanzarote walk pages feature heavily in the statistics.
24 January 2016
The Lake District and Cumbria
has been through an horrendous ordeal over the December/January period,
because of flooding. Businesses are really suffering because some visitors
seem to have virtually abandoned the area as inaccessible. Yes, the main
A591 is closed to private vehicles between Grasmere and Keswick, because of
a dramatic landslip but there is to be a park and ride service with pick up
points at Keswick, Legburthwaite and Grasmere, operating via an upgraded
forest road at Dunmail Raise from the end of January. The Lake Distrcit is
open for business and you can divert round the blockage. Up to date
information on what is happening where can be seen on the Westmorland
Gazette website. Please do not foresake the area just because of the
more sensational storys in the media.
All information on this
site is given in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of any
damage, loss or injury which might result from acting on it.