Saturday, 23 July 2016

Shining Tor, Cat Tor and the Goyt Valley

What wonderful thing did life give me for free today? A wonderful walk along the border of Cheshire and Derbyshire, with historic ruins and FREE FOOD

How? Just get up and go. You can do it too
Errwood Hall


 The Goyt valley is a favourite of mine. It's got woods to get lost in, ruined buildings to play in, high hills to view from and babbling brooks. It's a beautiful and fascinating place and it's all free, including the parking.
A long walk up The Street to Pym's Chair and a view I've never appreciated before. With the aid of some new binoculars I could make out the hills near my hometown of Glossop (Lantern Pike, Chinley Churn and the Mare's Back quite easy to spot) but also the vista round past the airport to Jodrell Bank. Having been driving a desk in all the sunshine this week it was great to be out and part of it. From Pym's Chair it's a stride over Cat's Tor to Shining Tor along the Cheshire/Derbyshire border with constant views of the Cheshire plain.
Meadow Pipits aplenty over the moors here, kestrels hovering in the thermals running up from the plain to these high hills. Cotton grass thrives here.
Shining tor
Shining Tor is the highest point in modern Cheshire. It's a gentle ascent from Cat's Tor and from afar it's hard not to focus on the
para gliders that soar around the summit. On reaching the trig point it's odd to watch the sails of these gliders suddenly appear over the lip of the Tor and then disappear again below one's feet.
A quick banana and then over Shooters Clough and down to the Goyt Valley. The Cat & Fiddle pub is in the distance, an alternative starting point.
This descent to the Goyt is dominated by the most delicious bilberries.
There are millions of them spread either side of the path. Nobody picks bilberries yet they taste just like blueberries, which are really expensive in the shops. I grabbed as I passed, and munched all the way through Shooters Clough to the ruins of Errwood Hall.
This once magnificent hall was the home of the Grimshawes, a wealthy merchant family from Manchester. Sadly, the hall was only used for less than 100 years as the family dies out and it was soon demolished (over eagerly) as the nearby reservoirs were built. I'm not going to give you any more details as I urge you to visit David's excellent site and lose yourself in the photos there. I've been bringing my children here all their life, it's a great place for hide and seek.
Errwod Hall
From the hall I carried on down to the road and back to my car. An absolutely wonderful walk.
Errwood Hall

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Free milk, but I prefer Accrington Stanley

What did I get? A small bottle of milk

How did I get it? Freely given away in Manchester

I hate the taste of milk. At 5 years old I remember being told to drink my free bottle at school and thinking, I really don't like this and never have. I've not drunk it in over 40 years.
I know it's a shame, it's a healthy thing. I encourage my kids to drink as much as possible and we get our milk delivered by a milkman from the dairy to keep prices fair to the farmer. Please do this if you can, Britain's dairy herds can't survive much longer at the prices supermarkets are paying and for an extra 3p per pint I am making a difference.

It's all about the taste, I think. I can drink chocolate milk with no problems but any other flavours don't mask it enough for me. Cream and milky products in food are hit and miss. I don't mind a fresh cream cake if I get enough of the other flavours to combat the taste of milk. Warming milk for porridge and the like? That really turns my stomach.
There really isn't much in the way of food and drink i won't eat. I think milk and particularly strong goats cheeses are the only thimngs that my body rebels against. It's not an allergy or intolerance, I'm fine with it - it's just the taste.

It's weird when you think about it. If I were to say I like breast milk there would be cried of outrage (I probably don't like it, but I haven't tried it since I was a bab) but that's from my species and my start in life. Yet drinking from a cow is perfectly acceptable once your mother's dried up. I'm not ridiculing it, it's healthy stuff, but it just seems odd. Who was the first person to look at a cow's udders and put two and two together and go for it?

Anyway, this is a rubbish review of Cravendale milk because I didn't try it. But bless the fine people in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester, who gave thousands of bottles away for free on one of the hottest days of the year. Cheers.

Here's Dr Feelgood - Milk & Alcohol

Friday, 8 July 2016

How do you like them apples?

What did I get? Apples

How? Right place, right time. A leftover buffet at someone else's workplace.

Another long gap between posts. I'm having a very busy work period and was working away for much of the pat week. Plus, I've been short of freebies for the past few weeks.

With all my freebies I post after I have tried/tested/used/visited them. There's no point in judging or reviewing otherwise. I've actually got dozens of books, DVDs and other stuff I've received (literally, dozens) but until I've managed to try them I shan't post.

So I was leaving work today and heard a shout calling me into a shared meeting facility. Another organisation had finished a large meeting and the cleaner was reluctant to throw all the food away. It's sinful how much hospitality food goes to complete waste.

An apple for each of the family. Granny Smiths and average in quality. I have no idea who supplied them so it's not much of a review but there you go - it'll keep the doctor away.

Have a playlist about apples.