Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Me and Jasper, Down by the Waterside.

Hello and Good Morning World. I had a bit of a shock yesterday evening, a blog related shock at that. I've often wondered at the fact that my friend Daniele can tell me when I've looked at her Blog, or indeed when I haven't. I've had a page counter for a while now, just so I could actually see that there was more than me reading what I write. Yesterday evening my beloved was busy watching her soap opera of choice, Coronation Street, and I was feeling a little bored, so I filled in some time by looking at the page that you get when you log into the page counter. It's called StatCounter by the way, and it's the little red number at the bottom of the left hand column. I had not realised that the 174 visitors it shows were actually unique visitors, I had it in mind that this 174 was Me, Daniele, Ann and sometimes Pat, but that nobody else ever had a look. On the StatCounter webpage for my "Project" you can see a map and it tells you where the people who have visited your site come from, and they are all over the world. Utterly Amazing. So I found Daniele, and I found Ann, and I even found me, though I have no idea why the thing thinks that Hadfield is a suburb of Leeds. But the strangest one was a visitor whose ISP was shown as "APO Military Forces USA" and appeared to come from the sea bed about 200 miles off the coast of West Africa. I mean, they don't think that I'm a threat to World Democracy do they. Mind you, British Prime Ministers often seem to get scared by teachers, we must be a truly scary lot.

I have to say that most of these putative visitors only ever appear to come back here once, so I assume that my rambling style bores the pants off them big time. Ho Hum. Nor do I seem to get any visitors at all from South America. I guess it would be the writing in English that does that. Not a lot of Russians read it either, though I appear to have had one hit from someone in Kiev, but they didn't come back for more. Well, all I can say is that if you are reading this from somewhere a long long way away from Glossopdale, WELCOME!

Yesterday was a funny old day. I got up at about 7 am as usual and the sky was the deep grey lead colour of imminent rain, except it didn't rain. But the weather girl on the BBC said that the sun was cracking the pavement flags. Ah well, she was in London, not Glossop and we always seem to get strange weather in our little valley. Jasper and I went out walking anyway, but I put my fleece back on as it was cold.

Yesterday, as we do so often, we walked along the Longdendale Trail, the once upon a time route of the railway from Manchester to Sheffield. But this time we dropped down from the Trail at Padfield and followed the side of Bottoms Reservoir to the dam, then on and up until I rejoined the Trail some 2 miles from home. Then returned along the trail. It made for a nice walk and it reminded me that the things we see, and are used to seeing, often look very different when seen from the opposite direction. Anyway, I've bought myself an Ordnance Survey map of the Dark Peak, so maybe I will start to look for different walks.

I often walk along roads and wonder where Public Footpaths might take me. I'm not enormously adventurous and the last time I took such a path I ended up walking about half a mile through ankle deep mud and ended up no more than 50 yards from where I had started. So the map is supposed to give me an idea as to where these footpaths go. However, the last time that I used an O S map in anger I was in the 6th Form at school, some 40 years ago, and I was not terribly adept at reading the damned things then. After all, the representation of the ground you are walking on, as deduced by a cartographer and drawn as if seen straight down, often looks nothing at all like the bit of field that you are walking through.

I tried using Google Maps because you can always switch on the overhead photographs, but the problem is that it does not go off the road, so when the road stops, so does Google Maps. I found out not long ago that just because Google Maps said that there was no way through, didn't mean that there was not. Following the road to Broadbottom from Brookfield you are not supposed to be able to get through, according to Google. However, in reality, there is a perfectly good footpath, it's just that you would never get through in your 4x4, or SUV as I believe these monstrosities are called in America. They may be wonderful vehicles in the open parts of Middle America but there is nothing more awkward than a Dodge Pickup on Church Brow in Mottram where the road is actually narrower than the vehicle. Some things should be preserved from the onward march of monstrous technology.

Anyway, just to finish off, here is another photograph of Jasper the Spaniel enjoying the walk yesterday. He didn't mind the cold and the overcast, but then he doesn't mind what the weather is, he just likes going a walk. Here he was on the path running alongside Rhodeswood Reservoir yesterday. Funnily enough, by the time we got home the sun was shining and the rest of the day was beautiful. I planted two new rose bushes in our front garden, I just hope that they thrive. Today, the sun is shining and all is looking pretty right with the world. I don't know where we will go our walk today. We will just have to see.

See you all soon, wherever you are. Have a good day!


Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

Nice to discover a blogger from Glossop.

Gramma Ann said...

Jasper is one cute doggie. We have a toy poodle, he is 10 years old this month.

I haven't been around in a while, I love the pictures of your area. It is so different from this area in some ways. I hope this fines you feeling well and the weather is sunny again today for you. We have had some very nice weather the last few days. I think Summer is on the way.

Enjoy your walks with Jasper, and keep the photos of your little corner of the world coming, I enjoy seeing places I will never see otherwise.