Friday, 6 January 2017


My body seems to know when I'm feeling confident (cocky even) and picks that time to knock me down a peg or two.  Having sailed healthily through Christmas and New Year commiserating with friends who had been stricken by the seasonal lurgy, mine arrived on my first day back to work.  To be fair, I'd rather feel poorly on work time than holiday time but I'm still miserable with cold and cough.  Just the usual - achy, coughing and sneezing and snot filled.  Truly I am a delightful specimen to behold.

I felt the first hints of the cold on Tuesday while out running. Oh the irony.  I was in the office on Wednesday and felt mildly grim but it REALLY kicked in on Wednesday evening.  Luckily I had anticipated this and arranged to work from home yesterday and today which has at least taken the pressure off somewhat.

Despite feeling rotten  yesterday, the weather was so gorgeous that I could not resist heading out for a lunchtime walk.  I knew that I would not be able to manage a run but I reckoned that I could handle some proper hill so Bradwell Edge it was.

I set off through the village and grabbed a couple of snaps of the centre of the village as it was so pretty and uncharacteristically quiet.

I was feeling great though so operation "Bloody Big Hill" was still a goer.  (It's the one directly behind the church.)

Here we are setting up the appropriately named Edge Road.

I felt like a proper local- I remember when the dead tree was knocked over in a storm!

You gain height quickly and get good views early.

A rare photo of Shelagh looking straight at the camera.  She's not smiling exactly but I like to think that she was enjoying her walk! Grouchy girl.

I took the "easy" route at this fork in the track, I was feeling good but not foolhardy.

Now we're talking - looking back towards the village with Mam Tor in the background.

This one shows the typical White Peak run of fields separated by limestone dry stone walls.

Now I'm looking towards the north and the gritstone and heather moorland of the Dark Peak.

Minty looking gorgeous but slightly worried.  I have no idea why.  What has a cocker spaniel out on a sunny walk got to be worried about I wonder?

Actually, that reminds me of something which has been bothering me:

There is a bit of a worrying power struggle going on at home between the 2 of them.  As Shelagh is getting older, Minty (who has always been the nervier of the 2) is starting to become more dominant and has been picking fights with Shelagh which go beyond their usual blood curdling sounding but harmless spats.

Something sets her off, usually jealousy over something like a toy or begging for food from one of us and then she really goes for her.  Shelagh retaliates and Minty has drawn blood a few times and Shelagh has been going at her her as I drag her off.  It is pretty nasty.  The damage has been minimal, a tiny cut to the ear and a cut lip but the blood is worrying.  Also I hate yelling at them and sending them to their baskets.  They are so sweet and loving normally that these episodes are horrid.

Has anyone experienced this sort of thing and, if so, what if anything did you do about it?

Looking down on the village set me to thinking.  It's probably something about being able to see the whole place, makes you feel powerful or something.  Anyway, in this pic you can see the big Newburgh factoryin the foreground (the big, green building).  It has been closed for some time now (the operation moved to Rotherham to one of the industrial parks set up by my team at the Council ironically) and is presently being demolished.  The site is going to be re-developed for housing.  I've lost track of the latest on the scheme as it has changed so often but I think there will be well over 100 new houses built in the village.

I'm not against this as I know that people need housing and house prices round here are so high partly because there are not enough new houses being built.  Also, this will be brownfield development so it is not encroaching onto our precious green spaces.

No, what was exercising my mind was the new people who will be moving into the village.  I love it  and the Valley in general so much that I hope they make the most of this wonderful place.

Back in the 1960s, when Rich's grandfather got a job at Newburgh and moved the younger half of his family from the middle of Sheffield out to Bradwell, it must have been like moving to the Highlands.  Sheffield is only 14 miles away but, before everyone had cars, it would have been a trek to get there.  Very few people commuted so the Valley was a vibrant and self-sufficient community.

Rich and Rich's family tell me about all the shops there used to be in the various villages; the number of football clubs there used to be; the darts league and the quiz league were much better supported; each village's carnival week was an event that no-one missed, now some are down to a couple of days.  I have seen the changes in the 20 years I have been in the Valley.  Some things have changed for the better but most seem to be on a decline.

Now though, you can live out here but treat it like a countrified suburb - work in Sheffield or Manchester, shop there or online, socialise with your pals in town.  You need never go to the pubs, the local shops or butcher, use the post office, hairdresser or hardware store.  And if you don't, you might not join the darts and dominoes, the panto, the quiz league, the bowls or tennis clubs, the carnival committee, the well dressing, the golf club, you might not swim in the Victorian outdoor pool during the summer, preferring a gym near work.  You might not learn and sing the local carols  or any of the other fantastic facilities and traditions we have somehow held onto.

I hope that some local families benefit from the new development and that the new people who buy there choose to mix in and enhance their community instead of treating it like a pretty dormitory.  Nothing I can do about it but cross my fingers.

So, enough of the soul searching, here we are at the top.  Stunning views and blue, blue sky.

Now we can see over  to the other side towards Bamford.  The sky is not so blue over there - not a metaphorical comment, they were burning heather so plumes of smoke were drifting over from the moors.

Now down the hill with Win Hill dead ahead.

And back over the fields to home.  Tired but very happy.  What great therapy a lunchtime walk is.

The cold is not helping me diet as I'm struggling to get all my steps in, not been running since Tuesday and just want to sit on the sofa eating.  However, with the help of my Fitbit, I'm resisting the worst of it and, although I might not drop anything this week, I shouldn't gain either.

I should have been out tonight actually - a visit to our Sheffield local and then onto the football.  Not a league match but a U18 Youth Cup fixture no less.  That would have made me a proper hardcore Wednesday fan and I was looking forward to it but am feeling too grotty to face the drive into town, the walk to the ground and the cold stand.  It would have been good for the exercise too - I would definitely hit my 11,000 steps today if I had gone, sigh.

But there is no point in railing against illness.  I may as well sit tight, look after myself, do what I can when I'm feeling okay and take it easy the rest of the time. Sigh, again.


Peridot said...

Poor you. Hope you're feeling better


Pam said...

I hope you're beginning to feel better. Happy New Year!