For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

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Monday, 13 November 2017

Waiting for opo.

On Sunday we went treasure hunting.

That was welcome therapy to detract from my painful knee, hip, and shoulder.

Daughter, High Horse (school teacher)  has a new project underway - as her brother W would say “she’s on one.” Granddaughter Katie, and I have been co-opted.

I am not sure what all this is about, but earlier in the week I was consulted on how to drill holes in glass. Within the family I have a modest reputation for DIY, but I think that is only because they have less aptitude than me. I recognised this as a challenge that High Horse knew I would be unable to resist. Normally I rebel when somebody poses the leading question “What are you doing on Wednesday?” If you reply “nothing” you are then doomed into an unwelcome  commitment, but on this occasion I decided to play chicken and asked no more about her need for holes in glass. There is some parallel here with my current reading, a bio-novel based on the life of Shostakovich* who refers to Stalin and subsequent communist tyrants as POWER and the author delves into Shostakovich's  guilt and feelings of cowardice at his repeated capitulation to POWER.  I was researching on You Tube pronto, then ordering the appropriate drilling bits on the Internet.

On Sunday it was suggested that I should join HH and Katie for an expedition to Half Moon Bay south of Heysham. There I was instructed to become a beachcomber and slowly scour sand and pebbles for pieces of washed up sea-glass. The glass is opaque as was my grasp at that time, and still, of the planned purpose. So there I was on a glorious sunny day, but with  perishing cold wind direct from Greenland with my Paramo jacket zipped up above my chin, hunchbacked, head down, and the cold starting to penetrate my several layers of clothing, limping slowly, and appearing as some eccentric to the abundant dog-walkers and family groups who were sensibly walking more quickly in the interests of keeping warm and self preservation. 

Katie joined in enthusiastically, perhaps she knew more than I did. I think others had been on that beach looking for our treasure - it was not all that abundant, but between us we collected what HH reckoned was sufficient and then we had  pure joy and fun with Katie flying her kite.

I am now waiting to be summoned to drill holes in glass, the reason for which is still unknown, perhaps it's on a need-to-know basis?

I think I'll go and listen to a bit of Shostakovich, or what about some  suitably abstruse Philip Glass?

* The Noise of Time, Julian Barnes
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I have just received a call bringing forward the date for my knee operation to Wednesday 29th November.





Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Knee op 1

I have been offered a replacement knee operation at BMI private hospital in Lancaster under NHS with my surgeon Mr Patel.

Pre-op appointment - Wednesday 15th November.

Operation -                Wednesday 13th December.

They have also said the op could be sooner if they have any cancellations etc.


Sunday, 5 November 2017

Arnside Fireworks 2017

Last night the tradition of fireworks on the prom at Arnside was continued, but building on the success of last year, and a splendid community effort, it was bigger and better than ever. A couple of stalls with burgers and drinks were added and the crowds were huge. The show is funded by voluntary contributions on the night and organised by our local community. This year money raised has, I think, doubled to something int he region of £6,600, so the omens are good for next year.

Here is a link to my little slideshow:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2nve2hjq9kxu4fg/AABHJ4R7HmISZelb6V0pxfP9a?dl=0

Click on the first thumbnail, then on "fullscreen" at the bottom.

Two Trips - addendum

Below are three maps to support my reply to RR's comments on the previous post: Two Trips:

The location of my car on Google Maps


Car was parked at southern end of the green route opposite Middle Low Wood


RR intimated that Ordnance Survey had blanked Sellafield, but here it is in great detail on the OS 1:25000 map


Friday, 3 November 2017

Two trips

Thursday 2nd November 2017 - Thursday walk with Pete


Eight o' clock, breakfast time; I go out to the garage to get bread for toast from freezer. Coming back I trip on the only step, it's not serious, but I skin a couple of fingers.

The cause: Crocs!

Not long ago I had a bad fall caused by wearing Crocs, slipping on wet tiles outside Aldi documented here:

http://conradwalks.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=Aldi

Crocs are going in the bin.

I have worn them for years, but enough is enough. They are lethal in the wet, and because they are bulky and floppy they lead to slight misjudgements. I have read that they are banned for staff in some hospitals, especially in operating theatres.

This was Thursday walk day with Pete, but walking for me is not so good, and Pete is struggling with age and arthritis. I had thought we would go to Ambleside on a shopping trip, but the day was glorious and that was aborted and we managed to walk about three miles (there and back) north of Witherslack on a minor, grass-in-the-middle road with views down to the river Winster, and more distantly of the Lake District hills. I particularly enjoy these areas on the fringe of the Lake District with little ups and downs, rich green fields with rocky outcrops and largely unspoilt 17th/18th century cottages and farms. In those days they seemed to have a proficiency for nestling these buildings, oh so cosily into carefully selected havens in sympathy with the landscape, something that is not always achieved these days.

Returning to the car, which I had parked on the grass only two feet off the unfenced road we found we we were bogged down and all attempts to get back on the road just dug us in deeper. "Never fear" I thought, I'm a paid up member of Green Flag. Out with the iPhone - no signal with EE - a remote location with no passing traffic, and the cottages across the road unoccupied - doomy! BUT, Pete had two bars on Vodafone.

We got a guy at Green Flag with a strong Scottish accent who seemed unable to assimilate anything I said, but in the end we were fairly sure that we had been able to appraise him of our location, but then he would need to pass that on to another risking dilution - fingers crossed.

In this country we have Ordnance Survey mapping, the best in the world, which includes the OS Grid Reference system which positions a point on the map to within a few yards, but organisations seem reluctant to use it. I did try but I think the guy had no idea what I was referring to. The cottages opposite the car were named on the 1:50000 OS map which would have identified our position with no further detail required, but I suspect the guy was looking at Google Maps or some other inferior system. Why oh why?

We waited for an hour and three-quarters. That annulled our usual visit to Café Ambio, but I was back home in time for tea.


CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE

The car was parked just two feet off the road near here

Here and next - distant Lake District hills






There and back - south to north




Saturday, 28 October 2017

A knee to kneel on

On Tuesday 17th October I saw Mr. Patel, the surgeon who did my Knee-One replacement in May 2012.

With the various checkups and a proposed operation on Knee-Two last year which I aborted I have had quite a few meetings with Mr. P. and he is now like an old friend. He agreed straightaway that a replacement would be available for Knee-Two, but it would mean 3 to 6 months on the waiting list.

Then on Thursday this week I had a call from the waiting list people saying Mr. P. had needed to reschedule his list and would have a number of NHS slots at the BMI private hospital in Lancaster during November, and would I be interested. Would I!

I am now awaiting a call for a date for the pre-op examination and hopefully a date for the op. in November.

Fingers crossed.

My main worry now is the possibility of being stranded on the deck when  I get down there. When I stand up from lying on the floor (or getting out of the bath et al) I use one knee to aid that manoeuvre, and except for one occasion I have never kneeled on the operated knee, even though I have been told I could if I wanted, but I am very apprehensive about that. So with two dodgy knees I will have to work out a strategy.

I have had a few scrapes in my time when serious injury or worse could have been the outcome, but my nearest death event was the one time I used Knee-One to kneel on in September last year on the ascent of Lord's Seat in the Lake District - here is an extract from my post at the time - if you want to read the whole post got to:

http://conradwalks.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=Lord%27s+Seat


"Then I saw a rock band ahead blocking the way, fortunately with a rake going diagonally left, but even that had a small rock outcrop halfway up, but I had no option. I had two attempts at that rock pitch, and got into a desperate situation and came very close to coming off. After instructing myself to suppress the fear I managed by kneeling on my replacement knee which is something I do not do, but now that really was the difference between achievement and what would have been a potentially fatal fall, and it had to be done. That was  serious."

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Ikea


Yesterday I was sandbagged into a trip to Ikea but at least it was a chance to give my new car a good run. I swapped the Kia Soul (35 mpg only) for a Kia Ceed 1.6 CDi Sportage GT Line Automatic - how's that for a mouthful? The car was registered in January this year with only 3000 plus miles. It is very lively and so far doing about 50mpg against its claims for circa 60mpg, but whatever, that is a huge improvement on its predecessor and it is early days yet.

It seems granddaughter Katie is in need of a new bunk bed and various related accessories, so off we went along with daughter High Horse.

I have always pretended to hate Ikea, but in truth it is not a bad experience, and Katie was in her element. She was in and out and up and down amongst all the room layouts, and sampling all the cuddly toys with glee, but not demanding purchases, and not a single strop all the jolly day; Ikea is better than one of those new soft-play attractions designed for children.


CLICK TO ENLARGE






Just to finish there is a short video - click the YouTube link below.