Firewirks over Sydney Opera House

Firewirks over Sydney Opera House

Saturday, 12 December 2015

I am not a number!

I feel as though my tribe (women over 45 who are overweight or obese - of which we are legion, apparently) is somewhat beleaguered at the moment.  You can't open a newspaper, surf or listen to the TV or radio without being berated for being fat and exhorted to exercise.

This is painful as I KNOW I'm fat and I'd LOVE to be exercising but, just at the moment, there's not much I can do about it!

So, I'm shutting my brain off to public opprobrium and continuing to "do my best" until I'm mobile and ready for action again.

I'm confident that I have stopped the rot and will be able to end the year at the same weight as I started it so at least I'm not going backwards.  2016 will be my year!!

In other news, the weather is foul, cold and rainy so today we will mostly be indoors.  My brother and his family are visiting later (possibly with an American woman who is on his bakery course and needs some company at the weekends).

We had already arranged an expedition with friends to a local pub of character out in the middle of nowhere.  This pub (the Three Stags at Wardlow Mires) is famed for its crotchety landlord (pushing 80 now); multitude of lurcher type dogs; and limited choice of drinks.  The landlord only serves drinks he approves of, so no lager unless it is bottled by monks in Belgium etc etc.  If you ask for a shandy it is bitter and ginger beer out of a 2 litre plastic bottle!

I have expanded the taxi to a minibus to cope with our multicultural crew and hope it will be a successful expedition.  I suspect the American lady may have a good story to tell about the wilds of Derbyshire when she gets home!

I had better go now as I have a house to ready for visitors and much to do.  This will help my fat ass if nothing else!

Saturday, 28 November 2015

November walk (while it's still November!)

The weather today is grim.  Cold, wet, rainy and windy.  Not that I have seen much of it.  A brief trip being driven to the Post Office and a quick walk to the bins being the extent of my outdoor adventuring today.  Rich played golf this morning before the rain kicked in and took the dogs out and informs me that I haven't missed much!

So, when I spotted these pics from a sunny autumnal walk earlier in the month I thought it might lift some spirits.  We went up to Surprise View and then walked around Millstone Edge and back.

 It was a warm, sunny day although early November.  Definitely tee shirt weather and I was slightly annoyed I hadn't gone for shorts!

The dogs met a lovely greyhound while exploring the rocks.  Minty was not impressed by the situation but Shelagh was perfectly happy.

We scrambled through the rocks and down to the old quarry below which is now a peaceful birch wood.  It never ceases to amaze me how you leave a busy car park full of families and walkers, walk for 20 minutes then not see another soul for hours afterwards.

After the woods we crossed the main road and headed down towards Millstone Edge.

A stunning view of the Hope Valley.

Unsurprisingly, Millstone Edge is named after the former principal industry there - making mill stones.  I presume the market  for the stones collapsed as there are dozens, probably hundreds just lying around, being covered by moss and gradually growing into the earth.

The human effort involved in chipping these massive polo mints out of gritstone staggers me.  And it is hard to picture what these gorgeous, grassy woods must have been like when they were a working quarry, teaming with people and horses.  Now it has a smattering of walkers and climbers and a few sheep!

At the end of the wood, we climbed up the quarry wall and turned back towards the car park. You can see the rock formations we had scrambled through at the start up ahead.

All in all it was a lovely, if limpy, walk.  I hope this operation has been a success so that next time we head out onto the hills I can go further and not suffer for it afterwards.

We've had a lovely afternoon in front of the fire and the telly watching the Murray brothers in the Davis Cup but I wouldn't like to stay in EVERY weekend!  We're out this evening for the Golf Club dinner.  No dancing for me but at least I am getting out of the house for a change of scene.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Dieting while static!

Obviously I'm out of hospital now.  It was a wearisome day as I wasn't taken down to theatre until 7pm having arrived at the hospital at 12 so there was a lot of sitting around in a hot room getting bored and frustrated.  However, everything went very quickly once we got going and I was out and home by10pm and had a good night's sleep.  Now I'm just shuffling around the house trying to avoid cabin fever and not pile on the lbs.

It is tricky to watch what you're eating while you're barely moving.  Although slightly easier than I thought it would be. I can walk around the house in my big ugly boot but must not stay standing for long periods or walk far which is a bit of a drag.  And, when I'm sitting around, I have to keep my foot elevated which is also a drag.

Having said that it is a LOT less of a drag than I expected it to be!

I'm not in a lot of pain which friends had said I would be, just some discomfort from time to time.  I'm still taking my pain meds religiously though (only paracetamol and souped up ibuprofen) as otherwise my jailor caregiver (Rich) will nag.

I had a full day off yesterday but am doing a few hours working from home today to keep work things ticking over and me from going crazy with boredom!  I don't think I could do full long days though as, despite it only being laptop based stuff, the discomfort and awkwardness does take it out of you.

It was weird yesterday though, I had felt really positive and chirpy as things were easier than I'd expected but then, later in the evening, I suddenly felt really teary and down for no reason I could think of. Rich was somewhat surprised to have a crying woman on his shoulder and I had no explanation to offer him.  A colleague told me today that he had felt something similar the day after he had a general anaesthetic so I'm hoping that it was just a side effect of that.

Foodwise, I'm trying to stick to branflakes and a banana for breakfast, a light lunch (preferably not bread based) and a normal but smaller supper.  No snacks apart from drinks and fruit.  I've designed a short upper body workout too - just arm weights, abs and a few press ups on my knees and have done that for 2 days now.  There's not much else I can do without leaning on my foot.  It is more exercise (other than walking) than I have done in a long while so I'm hoping I will carry it on after I've completed my recovery.

As I mentioned in my last post I'm definitely going to join the gym again in January too (despite the fact that January is the WORST time for gyms) just to keep the momentum going.  I was texting my sister last night and we're both really motivated for next year.  2016 is going to be our year!

Monday, 23 November 2015

Being sliced and diced

So the big day has arrived. I'm presently waiting for my operation. I was hopeful that I would be going to theatre early in the afternoon as the consultant said he likes to do the quick procedures first. Sadly that doesn't seem likely now as I've just been given a glass of water (woo hoo!). It looks as though I might have a 2 or 3 more hours to sit around. It's after 3pm now but I'm still hopeful of being let out this evening

I am starving!! We were told to have a light breakfast before 7 so I got up at 6.30 and had a bowl of branflakes with a banana. (It's very strange eating at that hour.) I went back to bed and slept for a couple more hours. Chores, walking the dogs and sorting the house out this morning then Rich's dad gave me a lift in. And now it's just a waiting game......with a rumbly tummy.

Having spoken to various nurses and a friend who has had the same procedure, I'm a bit reassured that I will be more mobile after the op than I'd expected. Hopefully this means that I can get back to proper exercise by the beginning of next year. I genuinely can't wait. I've been dreaming about running - can you believe it?! I have decided to invest in some new gear, warm running leggings, new shoes etc and really get stuck in. I hadn't realised how much I must have missed the proper exercise so am looking forward to reintroducing it to my life.

Golf and dog walking are all well and good but they're not the same as proper, sweaty workouts.

Happily, my finances are slightly improved at the moment too so I have some leeway for equipment, classes and gym membership if need be. 2016 will be the year when it all happens!!

And that means more blogging too, to keep me on the straight and narrow. So apologies for being a neglectful bloggie pal. It has been a pretty tough 6 months since Mum had her fall and the whole sad procession of hospital, nursing home, funeral arraangements and now probate started. Work is horrendously busy too both with more wogk and fewer people to do it. And all that combined with increasing pain from this dratted foot.

Now it feels as though I can see light at the end of the tunnel and that is a very positive feeling when I've been in the tunnel for quite a while.

That's not to say that we've had an unremittingly gloomy 6 months or anything. I'm still so happy with lovely Rich and we've done quite a bit and been away for a few football awaydays and golf trips. It's just that the general WORKLOAD of my life is quite heavy which gets wearying. It will be nice when it's lighter. Fingers crossed for Christmas.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Neither here nor there

I can't seem to find the time or the energy to either blog or diet but I have been out and about walking despite my poorly foot.  These pics were taken a couple of weeks ago before the leaves started to turn.  It is stunning now and I took loads of pics on our walk today so next time I'll  post 'em.

I mentioned my poorly toe in my last post.  I've had the appointment with the consultant now and it si reasonable news.  Osteo arthritis has knackered the big toe on my right foot.  It has really flared up this summer and has made walking, dancing, golf and running very sore.  I'm still doing everything but the running but I suffer the day afterwards.

So, I'm biting the bullet and having an operation to (hopefully) sort it on 23 November.  There'll be 2-6 weeks of recovery afterwards with no walking or driving for at least a fortnight.  Gah!!  I've already re-gained the stone I dropped, I'm going to struggle even more when I can't do any exercise.  Much care to be taken.

But, at least with the op there is a fighting chance that I can get on with the things I like doing next year.  Fingers crossed.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Starting again, again, again, again....

I designated today as my starting again day and I have, miraculously, started again! I didn't weigh myself although I have been on the scales in the last week or so so know roughly where I am. I'm still lighter than I was at the start of 2015 but not much. If I knuckle down I can drop a stone by Christmas!!

So, I am cutting right back on bread, butter and all other toppings, booze,  sweet treats and all the usual contraband.

I also want to get back to regular exercise but am hampered in this by a sore big toe. I was initially told it was gout so thought there was not much I could do about it. However, it has been getting quite a bit more painful recently so went back to the doctors more in hope than expectation. Well this one said it wasn't gout and that he reckoned there may be a surgical solution so has referred me to an orthopedic surgeon to check it out.

I was very impressed by the referral system. He gave me a printout with a code and password and said I could phone or book online. Expecting the worst I went online and, within 90 stress free seconds, I had booked a lunchtime appointment at a private hospital 20 minutes away from home 2 weeks today. Can't say fairer than that. Now fingers crossed that they can do something about my stiff, painful toe!!

So, progress is being made even though dancing tonight is going to be sore!!

Below a couple of drizzly, misty pics from my lunchtime dog walk. Lxx

Saturday, 3 October 2015

A good day

I haven't got time for a long post but wanted to say what a lovely day we had for mum's funeral. Sunshine, beautiful flowers (arranged by my own fair hand I tell ya), a wonderful service with lovely singing, a church full of friends and family, a pub full of chat, love and memories. It was a happy, healing day.

I watched my father stand tall through the day, from a bowed, drawn man dreading the day ahead to his old self by the end of the day, chatting to his friends and planning trips in the weeks and months to come.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Nearly there

I think funerals are normally a little quicker but we are getting there, it is scheduled for this coming Tuesday.  I think it is going to be a fairly busy event too - 90, maybe even 100 or so people which is a pretty good turnout for an 84 year old, the last in her family, most of whose friends live miles away.  Not that I'm surprised of course, Mum made great friends and everyone loves Dad and wants to support him

My sister and I have made most of the arrangements with lots of help from my brother and his wife and my Dad of course.  He has been amazing, so strong.  Endless phone calls to friends and family, talking about his feelings and Mum's preferences.

We started off going for a crematorium service and committal.  This then changed (on discovering that the music would be canned) to a church service followed by a crematorium committal with close family.  Dad then slept on it (actually he said he barely slept a wink) and thought about what Mum had wanted (even though it wasn't really what he wanted).  So, all change in the morning and now we're on a church service in lovely Coleby Church followed by a burial in the cemetary at the bottom of the village with a wake at the local pub we have been going to for decades.  It is the right choice but funny how it evolved like that over 24 hours!

My niece and nephew are each reading a short poem (one was my choice - "Success" by Ralph Waldo Emerson).  My sister, brother and I are sharing the eulogy which is going to be hard but has GOT to be done.  I haven't worked out what I'm going to say yet although have lots of thoughts jotted down.  My eldest niece Liz is determined to sing during the ceremony.  I wouldn't have the guts but she is adamant that she want to do it and she has done a lot of public performing so fingers crossed she will manage it without breaking down.  I doubt I'll make it through the hymns to be honest.  

We've gone for "Tell out my soul" (my favourite and my sister's); "Oh Lord, my God (how sweet thou art)" (chosen by the nieces) and "The day thou gavest us, Lord, has ended" (Dad's nod to tradition).  Some proper tearjerkers there....gulp.

I'm sorting the flowers, both the spray to go on top of the coffin and in the church and have decided to go with my gut.  Mum was not a pale "English" sort of woman.  She always looked best in bright colours and I think of (and inherited) her love for the African flowers from our gardens in Kano, northern Nigeria where we lived for so long.

So I've not chosen pretty creams, pinks and purples but gone for lush green foliage and brights reds, pinks and oranges in bold tropical blooms with an African theme - proteas, leucadendrons, pinheads, deep red calla lilies and amaryllis.  I'm taking more of the same to the church on Saturday and a collection of village ladies who knew my mum are going to help me deck it out in suitably tropical style.   The florist and the village ladies are all excited by the different style I've gone for and have been so kind and keen to do this for Mum and the family.

We've prepared some cork boards of photographs from Mum's life going right back to her Grimsby back garden as a child in the early  1930s.  I found pics of her looking drop dead gorgeous aged 17 in short shorts on a beach holiday with her friend Nadine who is going to be at the funeral.  Some amazing pics of their first tour in Nigeria in 1955 - the mud hut they lived in, her in a cool 1950's frock with a giant python draped around her neck, one showing her with a sheep, captioned "Mary had a little lamb, which made good chop"  (chop being food!).

So, as you can tell, we have been busy.  It hasn't really been very sad.  Sad moments, yes but many good times looking back over her loving and loved life.

We were up in Newcastle yesterday and today for a match (which Wednesday won!) and had a great time.  It had been booked and paid for weeks ago so we decided still to go and I'm so glad we did.  We went shopping before catching the train home this lunchtime and found a couple of dresses  which I can choose from for the funeral.  I shed a few tears after buying them, thinking about how happy Mum would have been at the fantastic sale bargains I'd picked up and also just because I felt happy while buying something to wear for my Mum's funeral.  A strange contradiction.  A big hug from Rich in the store and then onwards.....

That's how it's going to be I think - good times, with the odd sad, emotional moments.

Friday, 11 September 2015

From good news to sad news

Well, we got mum to the nursing home shortly after my last post and it WAS a lot better.  Dad could visit her twice a day without the long drive and spend proper time with her not on a hospital ward.  We were still worried as she seemed to have lost/be losing the will to or memory of how to get herself up and walk so was spending most of her days either in bed or in a wheelchair.  This was worrying for the future - would she ever come home?  She was so sleepy all the time and no longer interested in eating some days, although fine others.

I came over for the day a few days after her transfer and dad and I were heartened when the staff met us at the door excited with news that mum had got up and walked all the way the corridor, with assistance of course and that was how it was - some days good news and progress, other days steps in the opposite direction.

Then the home was stricken with the norovirus so no visits for a few days.  Dad got it but I must have dodged it, as did mum (our constitutions of iron!).  Once things were better and dad had recovered, he and my sister visited mum twice on Tuesday and they said she was up and about, awake, alert(ish) and eating okay. Which is why it was such a shock when the home called him that night to tell him that mum had died in her sleep.

We don't know what caused it as, medically speaking, mum was fine.  My sister (a GP) suspects a embolism, possibly caused by her fall.  (If it was the latter then surely the hospital should have caught it as they knew she had had a head injury?)  So now poor mum is with the coroner and my sister and I and various parts of her family are with my father trying to make sense of it all.

In fact the house is deserted just now which is why I'm taking the opportunity to type this post and get it all out. Hilary and dad are off picking up my brother and his wife from the airport.  They have travelled over from Malaysia and I think Graham is intending on staying for a year to do a course so that will be good for all of us.

Dad rang me on Tuesday night in a terrible state.  I had been at the cricket all day in Manchester but luckily was not too well-oiled.  Would hate to think that I heard of my mother's death while pissed.  Still, it was pretty awful.  I had felt my phone vibrating in the taxi but knew we would lose signal and just assumed it was Rich calling to say goodnight from his golf trip to Wales.  As I was letting myself into the house I heard the house phone ring so ran for it in the dark with dogs going crazy greeting me.  And then it wasn't Richard, it was my dad sounding devastated.

Of course I knew what had happened but such a weird shock.  Standing in the dark, then sitting with Minty on my lap licking my tears (she does that) listening to him pour it all out. I knew how he felt as we were both alone in dark houses missing mum.

Wednesday was hard of course.  Planning: work, dogs, what to take, who to tell, driving, hugging, talking, cooking, sorting out beds, endless phone calls and dissection, trying to persuade dad to eat a bit. Thursday was better. Dad had a good sleep and was much, much brighter.  Hilary and I had a day of funeral related chores but although a gloomy topic getting the ball rolling can be quite jolly once you get going.

Graham and Hadi have just arrive so I'm going close now as the house has suddenly filled up!

I'm heading home this evening as there are so many people around.  Then going to go to the football with Rich and our friends.  Sounds weird I know but hey, I just fancy a day of normality before getting back into the fray of organising flowers, eulogies, music and endlessly thinking about feeding people.  I also want to see Richard as I haven't seen him since crack of dawn on Monday morning and I need a hug!!

So, dieting NOT a priority at the moment but we're so busy that all is not lost.  It will not be off the agenda for long.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Good news at last

Lincoln has finally agreed that mum can be transferred to a nursing home very near to where they live. There are just a few pieces of paperwork and then she will be on her way PROVIDED she is medically fit to be discharged. There is a tiny doubt about the latter but I am crossing my fingers so hard I can barely type!!

Hopefully she will be discharged tomorrow and we can all start getting better.

In other news I played a lovely round of golf this evening with an old friend. Just a fun round and a good chat but good exercise nonetheless. 18 hilly holes, about 7 km.

So I feel a lot happier this evening. (Rich even happier this evening as he won his holf tournament today and is £50 better off!!)

Toodle pip.

One week on...

And nothing has really changed.  Mum is still in hospital (2 1/2 weeks now) and is deteriorating as an acute medical ward is not the right place for her.  She is unbelievably sleepy despite not being on codeine any more.  She developed masses of mouth ulcers (which the nurses didn't spot until my sister (a GP) visited on Saturday despite my drawing their attention to her swollen face the day before) probably due to not being supervised for meals and not drinking enough.  Dad and I have visited every day, always at a mealtimes, but that still leaves 2 meals per day.

But the worst thing is the utter frustration of the lying, obfuscation by the bureaucrats.  We are told different stories by different people every day. What we need to do to arrange for her to be moved changes with every phone call.  People say they will do something; then do not; then lie about having said it in the first place.

It appears that they are hoping that my father will become so desperate that he will discharge her and pay himself for her nursing care, and he probably will.  So cynical delay, lies and poor nursing care will be rewarded.

That is not to say that everyone we have dealt with is awful but the good ones are few and far between (and much appreciated nonetheless).

So, suffice to say, I have not really been concentrating on dieting or exercise.  But I've not been going mad either.  I dropped a lb last week through all that so all is not lost.  I managed a swim, a run, some golf and a few dog walks.

I also had a brilliant night out at a surprise 50th birthday party, bopping like crazy to a punk band and had a fun day out at Rich's golf club for Captain's Day.  So life has not been unmitigated gloom.  Richard has been a rock: a loving, caring, gorgeous rock.  It makes all the difference to have someone ready to listen, cook, sort out cars, cuddle and just generally be there when needed.

Hopefully better times ahead for Mum, Dad and me.

Monday, 10 August 2015

A week late

I was intending to start again properly with weigh ins and SW sheets etc etc last Monday but was delayed by having to cope with a series of horrible events, some worse than others, which cumulatively have knocked the stuffing out of me.

I did, however, step on those scales this morning and I have a virgin SW sheet ready in my handbag together with SW compliant breakfast and lunch with me for the office. So, bloodied but unbowed I am starting again. I'll do the stats later when I'm not on my mobile and can work out formatting etc but I'm between my lowest and my highest weights this year so all has not been lost.

The crap you ask?

The main thing is my mum taking a nasty fall while visiting me last Thursday. Dad was upstairs sawing and hammering at a cupboard door and she got up to go and shout at Minty who was barking at the local free newspaper. I was on a work call but followed her through to the hallway and saw her lying face down having missed the (very stupidly placed) step and bashed her head on a cabinet.  It was a sickening sight.

I carefully rolled her over and got her sitting up but then we realised that her arm was probably bust so we called an ambulance and off she went to hospital in Chesterfield. She was a star throughout despite being in pain. The hospital put her arm in a sling and tried to send her home!! An 84 year demented lady who my dad can only just cope with at the best of times but who is now almost immobile with a fractured humerus (she can't push to stand up). Luckily as 2 nurses and a paramedic tried to cram her into the car at 8.15pm with a 90 minute drive home ahead of him, he rang me and I asked them what he was going to do at the other end, leave her in the car all night?? She was admitted.

Now she is still there with Dad and I visiting on alternate days while trying to arrange a transfer to Lincoln Hospital and from there into a nursing/rehab facility. She has fallen between 2 Health Trusts. One doesn't want her but has her and the other should be looking after her but is quite happy to leave her stewing in Chesterfield for the time being. Gaaah!!

The other crap is just normal stuff which you cope with okay usually but when you're under pressure assumes larger proportions: a dog with a sore infection requiring cream and antibiotics, an expensive list car key, yet another fault to the car once the key replaced and time of the month. The car is annoying partly because of the money and partly because of the logistical difficulties it causes in visiting mum.

So, all in all, it is a tough time but that is no reason to make it worse by gaining more weight so now is the time to get back going on diet and exercise. Running, swimming and writing down is my new routine.

I'm nearly at the office now so will apologise for the typos and weird font size changes and press publish. Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Blogging 1 - Chimp nil

She tried. She tried really hard. And initially it looked as though she may have won. I didn't make it to swimming early this morning despite putting all my gear out in readiness and setting my alarm etc. I woke before the alarm, realised that Rich was not going in early so I would be waking him, noted how warm and sleepy and comfy I felt and promptly reset my alarm. I regret nothing.

But that did leave me with a choice of doing no exercise;  lunchtime running; or late running. So, lunchtime it was. That chimp was toast. I smashed through all her excuses and headed down to the canal.

I'm not saying it was good or anything but I made it to the second lock and back and even managed 3 sets of, erm, we could call it sprinting if we were feeling extremely generous in our interpretation of sprinting. Running a bit faster while trying to lift the knees and panting like a carthouse pulling a dray full of beer up a hill while being chased by wild dogs about covers it.

But I went running for the first time in about 5/6 weeks. So that's good.

Foodwise I have gone straight back to where I was without too much trouble. No bread today but a packet of Rolos after my lunch, out of the machine on a total whim. Hmmmm, perhaps it should be 1 all between me and chimp after all??

Hey ho. All in all it is good news as I'm beginning to feel the love again. Thanks for those pushes and shoves.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Baby steps

I wasn't brave enough to step onto the scales this morning but I have made a start at dieting again. A late breakfast/lunch was SW compliant as was supper and I haven't scarfed down on toast or "naughty" snacks.  Exercise was only dog walking and dancing but I made sure the walk was a hilly one despite the rain.  I will admit to an unauthorised piece of toast this evening, but only the one so not tooooo bad.

I will give it a good go this week and will try to find the time tomorrow to mock up a sheet for recording of food and exercise purposes.  It really helps me stay on the straight and narrow.

So, if I'm going to keep the momentum going, I need to work out what exercise I'm going to do tomorrow while working from the office. Choices are an early morning swim on the way to work, a run at lunchtime or a run in the evening. None are particularly appetising.  The early morning swim is, well, early.  The lunchtime run a pain as I have town type chores to do and not enough time to do both run and town. And I know I'll be out of energy by the evening as I have to meet up with someone for a legal favour straight after work so I'll be later home than usual.

On balance, I think the early morning swim is the best option so I will have to prepare properly to avoid all temptation to back out! I know what that sneaky chimp is like.

I feel better for getting started.  As though I've opened the door to the hallway of The Zone and can hear and smell the action within but I'm not quite inside yet.

Come on someone - give me a push through that door!!

Sunday, 26 July 2015

A new walk!

I arranged to meet up with my pal Jenny on Saturday.  She was dropping her daughter off at a wedding in the middle of absolutely nowhere.  The daughter was invited as the friend of the daughter of the bride so I hope they both enjoyed it.

Talk about remote though.  Where I live is very countrified but at least we have a couple of shops in the village and pubs and a chip shop.  These villages didn't seem to have any of that and the roads were TINY!  I was searching for the venue, a luxury farmhouse B&B, and found myself on the wrong side of the valley, driving up a huge, steep hill on a road a few inches wider than my car.  I was dreading meeting another car and having to reverse down.  Luckily I didn't meet anyone until I reached the top and we were level with a farm track so could scoot past each other in comfort.Phew!

God knows what it is like in winter.

Anyway, we eventually met up at the farm place and realised that it was the perfect place for a walk. So we abandoned our earlier plan and headed into the unknown.  Genuinely the unknown as we were walking on concessionary Access Land paths which were not marked on the OS map! Still with some creative guess work we married our path up with the official footpaths and found a perfect 6 miler, right over the hogsback of Chrome Hill. A stunner.  Hope you like the pics:

That's Chrome Hill to the left.  A weirdly modern name for a hill I thought.  Most were much more ancient sounding - Packhead Edge, Axe Edge etc etc

 Minty admiring the view while hiding amongst the rocks.

That's Packhead Edge ,the razor sharp looking hill in the middle of the shot.

The dogs enjoyed a cooling paddle in a ford.

An unusually sturdy footbridge.

The farmplace to the left is where the wedding was taking place.  It is hard to describe how "in the middle of nowhere" it is.

But lovely backdrops for the wedding photos!