Saturday, January 30, 2010

Broadbottom, there and back again.

It has been suggested that I am becoming addicted to walking. In some ways I think that is right. I started out quite resenting the time that the walking was taking up, but, especially on nice days, I find I'm really enjoying it. So, when today started crystal clear and bitingly cold, I wondered where to walk today.

Hadfield, the village where I live, is, if you like, on the right hand slope of the Longdendale Valley. On the opposite slope are the two villages of Mottram and Broadbottom. Mottram is where we go to Church, and it's a lovely village. Broadbottom is, perhaps, just a bit more industrial in nature, but that was a long time ago now. I decided to walk to Broadbottom and see what time I got there, then I could decide whether to walk home, or get the train, for the Manchester Train come through Broadbottom on it's way to terminating in Hadfield. Useful!

The route I chose looked easy, following a road along past the Communal Waste Disposal Site (The Tip) and then went past the Sewage Works and eventually into Broadbottom by way of an area called "The Hague". Sounds wonderful, doesn't it. With just a few words you think you know what it's going to be like. but it isn't. Have a look at this.

This photo was taken about two thirds of the way to Broadbottom. Way away in the distance you can see Hadfield. (You'll see it better if you double click the photograph!) But isn't this gorgeous. It was one of the most pleasant walks yet. I do feel so lucky to live where I do. I can be in manchester in about 40 minutes by car, and I live in the middle of all this beauty. How lucky can you get. Nor is it hurt by having a walking companion like Jasper the Lunatic Spaniel who enjoys himself wherever we go.

Anyway, I got to Broadbottom in about 75 minutes. really happy with that, so I thought that I'd walk home again, but by a different route. That's where things went wrong. Basically I made two bad choices out of ignorance and effectively rejected shortcuts in favour of going the long way round in both cases. As a result I had to walk up one of those long, slow hills that really kill you, especially when you are still suffering from a weak knee, as I am. Having walked up the hill I then had to walk along a really long, hard road. I think that Jean Paul Sartre was probably thinking of the road from Charlesworth to Gamesley when he wrote "La route est dur". It certainly was today. Then when I got to gamesley I followed the wrong signpost for the Trans Pennine Trail and ended up walking all the way around a fairly extensive housing estate.

All in all the walk took three hours today. jasper got home and collapsed in a corned and slept for an hour. For an 11 month old Loony Spaniel that is going it.

So I will certainly walk to Broadbottom again, but next time I shall find a different road back. By the way, I was so happy to discover that using the photographic mode in Google maps let me discover that a road that was shown as not being continuous, was actually one piece of road. Now all that I need is for the GPS mapping system on my mobile phone to actually work for me next time. Today it decided to run out of battery power just at the moment when I really needed it. Just my luck.

I thought I'd just stick another nice scene in for you to have a look at. I just cannot remember what that long hill is called, but it's pretty neat. Unfortunately the sun was strong and quite low, which accounts for the glare at the right hand side of the picture. I take a lot more photographs than I show on the blog, so I think that I may have to start uploading more of them onto my Flickr and Picasa Accounts so that you can see, and criticise them more easily. I'll have a think about that, and let you know when I decide.

I was talking about talking books yesterday. Two of my recent favourites have been "Storm Front" and "Fool Moon" by Jim Butcher. I have to say at this point that I am, and pretty much always have been a fan of Science Fiction and Fantasy. I was actually part of the organising committee for a British SF Convention when it was held in Manchester around 25 years ago. The two book above concern two of the early cases of one Harry Dresden who is a real wizard working in a variant of modern day Chicago. I really enjoy the books, which are enhanced by the reader, James Masters, (He played Spike in the TV version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer) who really reads them well and adds enormously to the stories. After I wrote my blog last evening I was looking on the Internet and started browsing. I found Jim Butcher's web site and that led me to Amazon. There I discovered that three of the stories have been made into TV films, but they haven't been shown on this side of the pond, or not as far as I know. However, they are available on DVD and Amazon were selling all three together for just 11 pounds. I decided that had to be a bargain, so I ordered them. I've got an email this evening telling me that they have been shipped, so there is another thing to look forward to this week.

Have to go now. Jasper is walking round with his legs crossed so I must go and take him a little walk up our Close so that he can use the doggie facilities. (The grass on the other side of the road.)

See you soon.

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