Sunday, 28 April 2013

Catching Up & Ladybower Reservoir

Hello Readers,
The last two weeks I have spent updating the blog and ignoring the kids so I just have a few items to catch y'all up on then we'll all join the Frey's for a walk in the Peak District.

Carol Seppanen Book Update - In my blog down time I did read a book, Black Notice by Patricia Cornwell, 527 pages.  It is a Kay Scarpetta series detective type novel which was an interesting and fast read.  Just the type of book I need to wind down.  A lighter type novel that grabs my interest but doesn't require me to put any extra effort into looking up words I don't know or consider what the author was trying to convey to the readers.  An anti-Kafkaesque book to be more concise.

The last two weekends were mostly spent around town as the kids used the time to spend with friends which was nice and relaxing.  They really enjoyed getting together with their mates which is probably something we don't do enough of as we explore this part of the world so I was happy to accommodate their wishes.

Last weekend we dropped Lori off at Birmingham (OZZZZZIIIEEEEEE!!!!) Airport for her Indy RR job hunt trip.  When the RR peeps do this assignment they typically have to find a new job back at their mothership so this last week she was back pounding the office carpets for a position.  Hopefully it comes with high pay so I can stay retired.  One part I did not enjoy of dropping her off (besides the obvious) was paying for the Drop and Go parking while we helped her haul the luggage to the desk.  Seven pounds for twenty-one minutes to park.  Wow was that expensive.  Way to suck more car park money out of us England.  Another interesting part of the assignment is the kids not learning US history while we are here.  Poor Kalle wrote a paper for a homework assignment last week and she mentioned the 52 United States in it.  Ummm, no Kal.  When we left the US she was about to learn the state capitals so it isn't her fault, it is just a part of the assignment.  This topic has come up a few times with our good friends the Frey's as our kids are the sames ages so I know it isn't just our kids or school system.  Just a trade off - experiencing world travel vs. learning US topics.  A worthy trade off IMO.

This past week we had a Better Halves Club lunch as Moonsha Japanese Bar & Restaurant (link).  We had the teppanyaki where the chef cooks right in front of you which was tasty and fun.  I had a heck of a time getting there as some roads were closed and my GPS was not finding the place.  Eventually I just parked at Laverne's and she escorted me over.  Not sure if I punched in the wrong post code or what but I spent about an hour trying to find the place before parking at Laverne's.  A smaller group this week, five of us, as some others had conflicts. 

I had a rare double lunch treat this week as Aussie Shirley invited us over for Anzac Day tea.  Anzac Day (Wiki link) is Australia and New Zealand's Remembrance Day so she invited her neighbours and the BHC over for tea.  Shirley is an excellent host and cook so everything was great although I forgot to bring my camera.  Shirley posted some pics on FaceBook and tagged me so some of my FB friends did see the spread and attendees.  Shirley, three of her neighbours, and four of the BHC enjoyed Victoria Sponge Cake, cupcakes, brownies (from Luella), sausage rolls, fresh fruit, tea or coffee, Tim Tam (link) cookies, and another homemade cookie.  Never host a tea after Shirley, you will definitely pale in comparison.

Since the month is over we are saying goodbye to William Shakespeare.  The month just flew by so I felt like I didn't get to bond with Will but time waits for no one, even if it is a world famous bard like William.  Cheers William!   

The William Shakespeare - I thinketh thyselfeth wille enjoyeth thy walketh.  It has beeneth a longeth timeth since we haveth walkedeth thy owneth countrysideth.
We ditched the Frey's last weekend so the kids could spend time with their mates but we didn't this weekend.  After sitting in front of the computer for two weeks I was raring to get out of the house and into the countryside.  Plus walking the picturesque Peak District makes for a fun day with friends.  Even better is when we go with the Frey's I just ask Steve when are we meeting and where, he does the rest.  Double bonus!  You can read Steve's version of the walk on his blog here.

Suiting up for the forecasted rain.  The other benefit of walking with the over prepared Frey's is that they have anything I forgot or didn't bring.  Here Steve and Kuk are consolidating their two backpacks into one.  All I brought was water which I regretted as Kalle needed a band aid that I borrowed from them.  They are seasoned hikers while I am a newb.  Thanks again guys.

We are in the Dark Peak (Wiki link) for this walk. 

Tammy Foster Pic - Cutthroat Bridge (link) has an old and gruesome history.

The scenery was so nice we decided to check out the area besides on our walking path.  Here is the navigation crew discussing the proper path.  Not to be sexist or surprised but the man was correct on both right or left questions.  (I know I am safe as Kuk doesn't read my blog.)  Note the wrapped up heads and flying hair, the wind and rain are starting up now.

Looking out over the hills, the sun isn't really trying yet.

Steve crossing the stream and Nicole descending down to the stream.  I love the rocks that are used for natural stream crossings here.

The Brits are very pet friendly.  This is a doggy door to cross through the stone wall as the humans climb the ladder crossing.

Steve Frey Pic - We saw a lot of lambs on the walk.  This one here is checking us out as mum refuels.

Walking into the stinging rain and harsh wind, this was our toughest stretch of walking.

Cresting the hill and being rewarded by sunshine and a look over the countryside.

Group shot at the top.

Walking down the hill.  I love the stone wall boundaries in the fields.

Looking down at Ladybower Reservoir (link).  With duelling blogs this week we alternated picture angles to show slightly different views of the same places, I wonder how good of a job we will do with the reservoir.

Close up of the reservoir from a rocky patch just down the trail.  The sun is winning the sky battle with the rain clouds now but it wouldn't last.
I thought the striations on these rocks were interesting.  I wonder how many years it took to cut them into the rocks.  A sign later on the trail says Whinstone Lee Tor (link) was this way so I am not sure if this is the Tor or not.  What I found interesting from the National Trust link was they have found and dated stone tools and burial mounds back 10,000 years in this area.  Maybe that Roman stuff we saw in Italy wasn't that old after all.
Walking down the ankle breaking sand trail.  The boys are distracted by some animal holes.

Stone wall close up with the reservoir in the distance.
Quintessential rural England - wavy stone walls, patches of trees and sheep dotted hillsides.  The rain is resting up right now. 

Walking though the mature pine trees with power lines running through the middle reminded me of walking in the Baraga Plains.

The joys of a teenager.  Karl sees a stick so he naturally has to pick it up and start "testing" it as boys do.  He's behind me at this time.  After a bit of "testing" he asks why the stick is so bendy.  About twenty steps later he yells "OW my face".  So I turned around and quickly snapped this picture as I told him that's going on the blog.  

Take out the power lines and you could be standing in time 150 years ago which is one thing I enjoy about some of the sights of England.

William Shakespeare enjoying the sunshine. 

I felt like I was in a scene from a Robin Hood movie at times.

We were pelted by a mini sleet attack on the way to lunch at the Ladybower Inn.  The tiny sleet storm (size of sleet and duration of storm) came out of nowhere and hurt as I had a few hit my face.  Alex's black clothes show a couple of sleet streaking to the ground - thanks Alex.

Kevin Coleman Pic - Steve's girly French beer on the left, my local Farmers Blond on the right.  Interesting for blond beer, different from the normal bitters that pubs love to serve.

Dana Johnson Pic - I tried the gammon and eggs which is my default pub selection.  Not the best I have tasted although it was better than normal pub grub.

Looking down the uphill path after lunch.  My legs thought we were done for the day at the pub and decided to tighten up on me.  They were not happy going up this hill but quickly loosened up for the final walk to the car.

Walking up nature's stairway.

Tammy Foster Pic - Karl in his red sweatshirt back at the bridge after our enjoyable five plus mile walk with friends.  The strange weather day continued on the drive home as it went from sunshine to rain to sleeting/pouring rain then back to sunshine.  Very odd.
After going home for a few hours to rest we went back to the Frey's for pizza dinner and to enjoy their company for a bit longer.  We also watched Britain's Got Talent which was pretty good.  I don't normally watch those shows but this one was interesting with the blend of good acts and awful acts.  We capped off the weekend with Karl hosting a mate Sunday while Kalle and I caught a movie, The Croods.  The movie was good as was Pizza Hut afterwards but even better was some one on one time with my little girl.  I'm sure it won't be long before she will be to busy to spend time with me.  Th-th-th-that's all folks!  

Thanks for listening,


  1. Nice one, Jay. Not too many repeats on the photos (with mine). I liked your impromptu/candid shots and commentary.

    The walk, weather, pub and even the Papa John's pizza at night all exceeded my expectations. Great day.

    Btw, I've given up trying to man up here on the ale. Make fun if you will, but I'm tired of drinking the warm, flat, bitter stuff, especially on a hike.

    1. I commented awhile ago but it didn't save for some reason. You should have tried the ale, it was only warm and flat. ;)