>Monday interlude

>Wow, what a weekend.

Friday was very rushed as I needed to get home, fed, ready and feed the cats by 7pm before being picked up and taken to Bradford. I’ve never, ever been to Bradford before and it looks as though it could be a nice shopping destination. I’ve made a mental note to add it to my out-and-about schedule if I’m walking in that area on a Saturday morning. The band were brilliant, everyone was really friendly, and I treated myself to a t-shirt out of my new “clothing” allowance (when you’re in a debt management plan, you’re supposed to allocate a recommended monthly figure to “clothing”, but I rarely use it).

Saturday was a busy day, with an early start, a visitor, a shopping trip, and the gig list. I spent much of the afternoon on the gig list, but got it completed by 8:30pm. I’d been invited to a garden party in Huddersfield and I would have liked to have gone, but I wouldn’t have felt comfortable knowing I had this outstanding chore because by now I wanted to go walking on Sunday morning, so it needed to be done by then. I flopped in front of the telly for an hour or so, then had an early night.

On Sunday morning I was up bright and early, but got waylaid by quite a long phone call. I was hoping to visit 3 places today, but by the time I got going, I knew the last – a party in the park in Rotherham – would fall by the wayside. I went over to Ravenfield Park first and did a short walk before going home via Conisbrough Castle. The full commentary will appear after the Ullswater one is finished, along with pictures.

I got home at about 4:30pm and chilled in front of a DVD, The Edge of Love, an … interesting account of the unusual friendship 2 women in Dylan Thomas’s life shared. Then I watched some television, finishing with the last in the current series of Taggart.

Today has been spent uploading and editing pictures again, and working on the writing groundwork I started on holiday. There are only 2 more Ullswater posts scheduled – I hope they’re not becoming too boring by now.

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>Aira Force

>Thursday was another day in the cottage. I played another computer game from start to finish but also wrote up another 1,775 words of blog notes and uploaded and referenced another 37 pictures. (There are 4 “another”s in that paragraph – tut, tut Diane.)

Friday was glorious, so I packed a bag and headed off to Aira Force. It was also pay day, so I filled up with petrol, picked up another handful of groceries from Pooley Bridge a souvenir for my kitchen, and grabbed a small shoulder bag for when I’m doing these very short walks and only need a bottle of water, the camera and my mobile phone.

At Aira Force I re-joined the National Trust. I used to be in the Trust a long time ago but let it lapse when I moved to Yorkshire because there are hardly any properties within a short driving distance. I’ve decided, though, that it’s worth a run out and being a member will give me plenty of places to see and visit. It didn’t cost me anything yet, I set up a direct debit to come out in 28 days, but I had a half unexpected bonus in my pay packet (it was double what we thought it would be and they’d warned it may not make it to July’s pay packet, but it did), and wanted to see a little something for it. So I re-joined the National Trust and got out of paying £5 for the car park too.

There are lots of walks around and from Aira Force but I just wanted to see the waterfall again. It really is lovely.

Here, then, is Aira Beck:

This is what’s known as a “money tree”. People hammer in a coin with a stone (or a hammer, if they just happen to have one), and make a wish:

Here is a close up of what the tree looks like. Most people use copper, you can tell from the colour it’s all gone:

Part way up the path we got a peek of Ullswater, and I couldn’t have got a better picture than this if I’d tried – I didn’t even see that steamer, let alone position it so well, it’s a complete fluke:

Here is the bridge at the top of Aira Force:

And here she is, in all her glory:

This is the bridge at the bottom of Aira Force:

And here’s another “she” in all her glory:

This is a terrific tree, it looks like an elephant:

Back at the beginning, or the end, and Aira Beck again:

I stayed in the car park at Aira Force to have lunch and use the facilities, and then headed over towards Haweswater to see the golden eagle. On the way I tried to find what looks like an old Roman settlement, Celleron. I could see a Roman road on the map and what looks like a ruined building or foundations or footings, but when you drive past, you can see nothing.