Monday, 22 March 2010

A good weekend

Some pics from our big walk on Sunday. We started along the river as usual.

Stopped for a swim and to collect some sticks...

Are these the dreaded Canada Geese?

Then carried on towards Hathersage.

No Shelagh, we're not going to cross here, we've got a long way still to go...

Choices, choices

I love this Hall. It's set well away from the road so you only see it from the river path. I want it...

Every time you walk past the Hall, this Lab comes bounding out, runs down to the river and barks at you the whole way along. This would be fine if he had a majesttic booming bark as befits his size and the property he's guarding but no - it's the most pathetic high pitched squeaky whine. My girls don't even dignify him with a response. I feel quite sorry for him!!

Then the river gets slower and lazier and it all goes quiet and peaceful for a while.

A quick stop for lunch and we're on our way again with renewed energy. Hence Minty chasing Shelagh and Shelagh's slightly hunted look.

How is this for a private driveway? It leads to Brookfield Manor which has recently been converted from a training/conference centre back into a private home at massive expense! It has the beautiful setting, a 2 mile long driveway leading to a lovely old manor nestling under Stanage Edge.

The view back toward Hathersage church and Carl Wark beyond.

It was steep! Come on Mum, what's the hold up here??

This was the closest I could find to spring - I could feel it in the air but the daff's aren't quite buying it yet!

It's not often they look so companiable. Minty had just spent a good few minutes chasing Shelagh in circles, barking like a mad thing and trying to bite her ears. Shelagh tolerates it with huffy grace and eventually bites back then it all settles down for another while and they are peaceful and friendly again.

Aaah, the Mill at Bamford, nearly home.

Just time for another quick swim...

So far I have dropped 3 lbs since the start of Bootcamp2010 last Wednesday. I'm hoping for another lb or 2 in the first week so need to keep the pressure on. I'm finding the chart pinned up on the kitchen cabinet to be very helpful. It's such a visual reminder of the endeavour and so far all the weights apart from 1 aberration have been written in green ink rather than red indicating a loss or a maintain. I think I will try and keep it going after I finish Bootcamp2010 as it definitely helps me to get on the scales every morning and I find that that discipline helps me keep on top of my eating and exercise in general.

So - so far so good is the early verdict.

It was meant to be a quiet weekend but turned out to be really good fun. On Saturday I met Jim and Kerry before the match and then onto the football. Nil- nil when we really needed 3 points but quite an entertaining if somewhat inept game. Then I went straight from the match into town to watch the rugby in a big pub called Walkabout. If you don't know the chain, they are aussie sports bars known for lots of big screen tvs full of sport, rock bands and relatively cheap beer.

I had expected there to be one or two other women in the group but no - I was the only girl. No biggie, I was with a group of 6 good mates....or so I thought. Then 4 lads from my local wandered in. Then a group of Derby County fans who had been watching the game (another 7 or 8 blokes from the Valley). Then 3 more who were going to see Stiff Little Fingers in concert (I was surprised to discover that they were still alive!) and finally a local farmer's son's stag do!!

It was ridiculous - we're in Sheffield but there are 20-30 blokes from the Valley all in the same pub and I'm the only woman! As the evening wore on, I became aware that all the other women in the pub were dressed up for their big Saturday night - loads of make-up, little strappy dresses and vertiginous heels and I'm there in jeans, big jumper and trainers from the game. I felt proper "daggy" to employ another aussie term I seem to remember from Neighbours!

Still, I stuck to my non-alcoholic guns, resisted all efforts to go on pints with the lads and had a great night. Ended up driving a few of the more sensible souls home at 10.30 (via a kebab shop for them....sigh) while the rest staggered on to further bars and clubs.

Sunday was much more wholesome. It was a gorgeous day so, although I had planned to go to the gym and then do some gardening, I threw those plans out of the window. I picked up the dogs' leads, the dogs, my camera, phone and a £20 note and walked out the door with no real plan of action other than to stay outside for as long as possible!

As you can see from the photos above, it was lovely. Spring has well and truly sprung and the sunshine was warm and gentle. The birds were going mental and I spotted quite a few lambs in the fields (we're late round here due to being at a higher altitude than most of the country). I walked along the river to Hathersage and then into the village to a deli for a sandwich and coffee in the sunshine. It was crowded so me and the dogs shared our table with a couple from Bakewell who were besotted with them - frustrated dog owners who can't have them due to their jobs. This couple were showering my girls with love and food despite them having rolled in all sorts and being wet from the river...sweet!

Then, rather than heading back, I extended the route up into the hills below Stanage Edge, cut across country to the back of Bamford, past the golf course, into the village, over the mill and across the fields to home. We were out for nearly 5 hours and it was fab. No part of the route was new to me but I have never put all those bits of walks together before and it was very satisfying.

We were tired out when we got home so a couple of hours on the sofa watching Lewis (my latest guilty pleasure - is it wrong to fancy Hathaway??) and then out to the final league game of the pub quiz league season.

The League only runs during the winter months so, apart from the Cup Final at the beginning of April, last night was the end of the season. We were promoted to the top division at Christmas and since then, frankly, have struggled with the more nerdy, less fun teams. So it was great last night to beat The Queen Anne who are a nice, chatty team and feel as though we haven't disgraced ourselves in the top division. We still have the Cup Final to come and, as long as they don't bring in a ringer, we should be able to beat our scheduled opponents! It's a cutthroat world in the quiz league big time!!

I was chuffed 'cos I got loads of answers last night - although it can be a bit embarassing as the only woman in the team when your contribution consists of knowing the name of John Terry's ertswhile mistress (Vanessa Perroncel) or that Sade's latest album is called Soldier of Love. Why am I not the one coming out with the highbrow stuff about the Periodic Table or Opera?? I do know clever stuff too, honest!!

Anyway, all going well so far and keeping busy is the best way to keep away from temptation so long may it last.


Amber said...

That looks fresh and relaxing, I miss such views living in London!

Peridot said...

Hey well done! And those pics look amazing - v jealous of your long walk in such a gorgeous setting.

You can have Hathaway (admittedly I don't know who this is I'm freely giving away) if I can have Gene Hunt from Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes..... Do we have a deal?

Peridot x