Thursday, April 27, 2023

City Break - York

York, UK. Friday/Sunday 28/30-April-2023.

Following on from our week in Bakewell we segued straight into a weekend in York. Not only because I'd never been to York but also because it gave us a "Y" for our parkrun alphabet.

Mary went mad and booked us into the Grand Hotel for a bit of luxury. Their valet parking is a bit steep at £35 per night but the friendly concierge pointed us at the station car park 5 minutes walk away which was only £6.75 per day.

Friday night we dined at Guy Fawkes at the recommendation of the in-laws, George and Sandra. Food was fine and I learned that Guy Fawkes was from York so I'm older and wiser now.

Saturday morning we walked out to parkrun at the racecourse. Very popular with many other parkrun tourists out for their "Y", probably around 600 people.  As always a great bunch of volunteers.

Nice flat course with start and finish in different places so Mary ended up carrying my rucksack for last 2km 😟! 

My results 29/04/2023. 27:20 [301 / 607]. Now I have the t-shirt!

We went for a post-parkrun breakfast en-route back to the city centre, The cafe was doing a roaring trade in bacon butties. Had to include this photo of their menu. All together now: 🎵 Spam, spam, spam, spam ...

During the day we did the tourist bit wandering around randomly including The Shambles which is supposedly the inspiration for Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter series. Not true it seems but that didn't stop the entrepreneurial shopkeepers from selling all manner of magical memorabilia.

York Minster.

City Gate.

Cute timber-framed house.

In the evening we went to Pairings for an excellent wine and food experience - read more at Matching Food and Wine at Pairings Wine Bar.

Sunday we went for a circumambulation of the city walls. 

No dogs.

Then back to the hotel to pick up our luggage and home.

Margery "Geri" Faith McLellan - a Celebration

27-April-1927 to 16-January-2021.

I posted about Dad on the one year anniversary of his passing. It has taken me over two years to do the same for Mum. She died during the second Covid lockdown so the funeral was a small affair with no post service gathering. It took most of that year to deal with her estate as her sole executor.

From the Order of Service: 

Margery “Geri” Faith McLellan passed away peacefully on 16th January 2021 at the age of 93.

Geri was born on 27th April 1927 in Hertford, Hertfordshire to Kathleen and Harry Scales. When only 8 years old her father died and she became a boarder at the Royal Masonic School for Girls in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire. After her Matriculation in 1945 she commenced her architectural studies at The North London Polytechnic Institute where she met her husband to be, Michael McLellan. She left before gaining a full qualification as an Architect in order to home nurse her mother who died in 1950.

Geri and Michael married in 1951, living in Blackheath where their three children Mark, Ian and Jane were born. In 1956 the family moved to Kenilworth in Warwickshire where for many years Geri was actively involved in public life, notably as Chairwoman of the National Council of Women’s local branch and as a magistrate sitting on both Family and Juvenile Benches. She also resumed her career in architecture, working for a local private practice.

After all the children had left home and Michael was appointed the Chief

Architect of Waverley District Council in 1975, Geri and Michael moved to Guildford Surrey where she was a volunteer Court Ancillary Clerk for the Probation Service, became a formidable contract bridge player and adept at buying and selling antiques through local fairs.

In 1996 Geri and Michael moved to their final home together in Farnham,

Surrey where she enjoyed helping out in their local Cancer Research charity shop and continued to play regular bridge with a wide circle of friends.

Within a year of Michael’s death in December 2017, Geri moved into Eversfield Care home in Reigate, Surrey where she lived in comfort and safety until her passing on 16th January 2021.

Geri is survived by her three children, Mark, Ian, and Jane, six grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

Now six grandchildren.

Mum in 1951

Also around 1951.

On their wedding day 02-June-1951.

Pregnant with me, summer 1952.

With daughter Jane, circa 1959.

Family photo: three children, six grandchildren and partners, 2015.

After my father died my mother never could bring herself to answer the question of disposal of my father’s ashes. Nor would she ever express a preference regarding her own arrangements. So his ashes had been sitting at the undertakers for several years until Mum died. They had no special places we could go for. 

In the end we decided the Thames was an appropriate location. My father was a Londoner, my parents met and married in London, their first home together was in London and us three children were all born there.

The End. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Walking Three Shires Head

Derbyshire. Wednesday 26-April-2023.

We headed west the next day to just south of Buxton where our walk included the Three Shires Head, the junction of Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire. Different terrain from the previous day, birds and animals were today's highlights.

Our walk started and ended at Flash which previously had a reputation for being a centre for illegal activities such as cock fighting and counterfeiting ('Flash money').

Our first sighting was a herd of red deer.

We saw this Wheatear plus Greenfinches, Reed Bunting and lots of Curlews. Yesterday was extremely quiet but today we had bird song all around us, including Greenshank, Chaffinch and others we could not identify.

Three Shires Head lies at the junction of several ancient tracks, two streams and three counties; Derbyshire, Cheshire and Staffordshire. It was once an important crossing point over the River Dane for trains of packhorses and a place where the horses could be rested and watered.

Not as scenic as yesterday but still with some lovely views.

Cute lambs of every colour: Snow White here ...

... white and black here ....

... and mostly black towards the end of our walk

Our third consecutive day of walking and that's it for the week.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Walking the Edale Valley and Kinder Scout

High Peak, Derbyshire. Tuesday 25-April-2023.

Gorgeous day and breathtaking scenery for a walk around Edale and Kinder Scout in Derbyshire. Went for height rather than length today along trails that were sometimes good and sometimes more challenging on our feet!

Typical views of the Derbyshire Peak District.

Some of the usual suspects.

Everywhere we looked was just gorgeous.

Surveying her realm?

Lots of stones all weathered into interesting shapes.

More stones.

Yet more stones.

According to the map there should have been a wall here and then we realised we were walking on it!

The cairn marks where our path joined the Pennine Way.

Just gorgeous views on the way back down.

Looking back up at where we just walked before the final descent.

There were two options on the way down. Jacobs Ladder was the steeper and supposed to be the more difficult.

This bridleway was supposed to be the easier way down but it was still steep and the stones were very tough on our feet!

An excellent day's walking.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Walking the Monsal Trail

Bakewell, Derbyshire. Monday 24-April-2023. 

As well as ensuring you know which way to go, vital information on distance to refreshments. We availed ourselves at both ends!

Gorgeous scenery.

And more.

Lots of tunnels so walk is generally flat, only 87m of elevation in 11.5km.

Back to our start point at the car park the trail does go on for about another 3k towards Bakewell but we did that bit at parkrun so thought 23km was enough for one day.

23.25 km, 3:55 hr hours walking. Time for a rest!

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Bakewell Walking Holiday

Bakewell, Derbyshire. Friday 21-April-2023 to Friday 28-April-2023..

When people ask how long are we in Italy, we generally say half the year. but there is no simple answer, every year has had a different pattern. 

When we first retired, we spent blocks of time out in Italy to visit and to manage our rental properties, coming back regularly to the UK visit our ailing mothers, first together, and the next year taking it in turns. Then the Covid years meant we could only come over for a short period in both Septembers. 

This year the pattern is what I am calling "Reverse Holidays". Yes, we are spending most of our time in Italy between March and October but doing lots of trips out from Italy. This was the first. It was meant to be two back-to-back cottage holidays with different sets of friends. Unfortunately, the first one had to be abandoned through illness. Fortunately this one with the “usual suspects" went ahead.

Bakewell was chosen as a base because of good walking options and because it has a parkrun. That was our Saturday morning sorted. We had to explain to the Run Director that as it was the 22nd, or two-two day, we were wearing our tu-tus. Luckily she explained it to the crowd so we did not get too many funny looks.

The main aim of the week was to do walking in the Derbyshire Dales and, as well as the parkrun, we managed to fit in three decent long walks, follow links for more:

Some Bakewell sights: 

Lovers' Lock Bridge.

All Saints Church with stacks of Anglo-Saxon carvings.

Read more at Bakewell Sculpture Project.

Saxon cross.

We also visited New Bath Hotel Lido in Matlock Bath as Mary had read good things about it. Also to gather information on behalf of Friends of Carlisle Victorian and Turkish Baths. Part of their social media and awareness campaign is to feature and/or link up with other bathing establishments. This spring-fed pool is at a constant temperature because of the natural source and used by a group of enthusiastic advocates.

It was built in 1934, 40 yards long and 9 foot deep, 800,000 litres of mineral rich, geothermal water, flow through it daily coming in at the shallow end at a constant 19.8° C. No chlorine no chemicals.

Lots of eating, drinking and catching up with old friends, an excellent week.

From Bakewell we went straight to York for a city break and "Oh look, a parkrun!".