Walk: Fairholmes

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The poet checking my map-reading! (Picture: Diane Wordsworth)

We didn’t go out anywhere last weekend. We were both under the weather and the poet was on antibiotics. So we stayed indoors.

The weekend before, however, we did go for a short walk. We went on the Saturday, though, as we had a Monkey Dust gig to go to at teatime on the Sunday.

The walk from Fairholmes to Derwent Reservoir is one that I’ve done before. But this was the first time we did it as a “family”. (Me, the poet, the dog!)

It’s a short walk, only 1¼ miles, but it’s a good one for starting out on a new fitness/stamina regime.

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One of two benches strategically placed to make the most of the view. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

The walk starts at the exit from the car park at Fairholmes. We crossed the road and went through a gate that took us up an “easy climb”. (I swear some of these guides can be “done” for misrepresentation!)

The path crosses a water conduit via a stone bridge. Then at the first junction, we turned slightly right and went up some stone steps to skirt the woods, keeping the reservoir to our right and the main woods to our left.

These steps lead to another “gentle rise”, but then it’s all level or downhill from there.

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The memorial to Tip the sheepdog, who stayed beside her master’s dead body for 15 weeks during the winter of 1953/54. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

At the highest point of the path there are two benches engraved with inspirational verses designed to encourage the visitor to sit and rest a while and enjoy the view.

Then the path drops downhill to join a road that runs alongside the reservoir. Here, the poet left us to get closer to the water and to take the picture below of the reservoir.

When he re-joined us, we strolled along the path and saw the memorial to Tip – a sheepdog who stayed with her master’s body for fifteen weeks during the winter of 1953/54.

Rufus had his picture taken here, but he wouldn’t keep still, so it’s a bit blurry, which is why I’ve not shared it here.

Next up is the dam wall, which sometimes has the gate open so you can visit the small museum commemorating 617 Squadron of “dambusters” fame. The gate was closed (it was closed last time I did the walk too), but the poet was still able to take a picture of the memorial just inside the gatehouse.

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Memorial to 617 Squadron, “The Dambusters”. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

In the past few years we’ve been up to see the Lancaster bomber fly-past. I think it’s stopped flying now, so it was quite emotional the last time we went.

The whole area can get very busy, though, particularly on anniversaries.

Both the reservoir and the car park at Fairholmes were quiet, but there were still a lot of cars parked. Lots of people use it as a base for longer walks and there are a lot of cyclists who visit too.

We continued along the road until we reached the far end of a roadside car park, then we turned left and dropped down a path that leads to a closer inspection of the dam wall.

We visited the dam wall itself only recently, and have lots of photographs from then. This time, the water wasn’t running, so we only had a small detour here.

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Derwent Reservoir. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

When we got back to the car, we continued on along the other side of the car park, adding another ¼ mile to our walk.

Down some more steps on the other side of the car park wall was once a farm, which was flooded when the dams were built.

Once we’d completed our walk, we visited the kiosk and bought a Bakewell slice and a bottle of pop each, which we sat and consumed in the car.

We only walked 1.45 miles, or 6,104 steps, and it took us an hour and twelve minutes with all the pausing for pictures. And we burned 217 calories.

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MapMyWalk

Derwent Reservoir, 28 February 2015

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Around Derwent Reservoir. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Last week was the poet’s birthday, and we kicked it off on Wednesday evening with a run out to the pictures. We went to the Vue cinema at Meadowhall to watch Jupiter Ascending … well, actually, we were going to see Kingsman: The Secret Service, but we couldn’t get there in time for that showing, perhaps we’ll make it next week to see that. So we saw a later showing and before that we indulged in a KFC for tea. I do know how to show my man a good time … although he did insist on paying for the KFC.

On Thursday – his actual birthday – he was supposed to be at band practice at 7pm, but he’s been so busy at work he’s not had time to learn the new songs, and he was so busy on Thursday too, he couldn’t guarantee he’d be home in time. So he cancelled that and we had a chilled evening when he did get home, in front of the telly.

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The poet at Derwent Reservoir. (Picture: Diane Parkin)

On Friday we were at the pictures again, this time to see The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel at Penistone Paramount. We had chips from the corner chippy for tea, which was just closing, and we had pop, popcorn and chocolate while we watched the film, which we thought was very funny and quite nice. We do like the Penistone Paramount, and the poet declared on Friday, on our way home, that it was his favourite pictures. He quite liked the Vue at Meadowhall too, having popped that particular cherry last week.

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A bit blurred, but the poet getting up close and personal with his new camera. (Picture: Diane Parkin)

On Saturday we thought we might be having the best of the weekend weather, and so off we pootled to Derwent Reservoir. This is the one in Derbyshire and not Derwent Water in the Lake District – but it’s just as nice, and it’s where the Dambusters of WW2 practised their bombing raids. The reasons for going are many, but it was another of his birthday treats, he’s still breaking in new boots, he wants to practise using his camera, and we all benefit from the fresh air and exercise – Rufus too.

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The insides of a tree. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Derwent Reservoir is less than an hour from where we live and is the latest in a string of places I’ve shown the poet – and he’s the local lad! 😉 We were here last year to see the Lancasters flypast 2014, and I was here the year before when he was too poorly to come with me – again, for a Lancaster flypast, but the 70th anniversary that time. I’ve also been here before walking where I took pictures and blogged about it again. (The link to that is here.)

When we come here again we’ll probably do one or more of the many walks. There are several, of varying lengths and accessibility. Plus there’s all of the Dambuster history we want to look at, and the poet wants to get a picture of the sheepdog memorial stone and another of the Dambuster commemoration stone.

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Diane and Lord Rufus. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

We took a picnic with us and ate it in the car. Next time when we go, we’ll take the deckchairs. In fact, the deckchairs may become a permanent feature in the boot anyway because we’re hoping to get out and about a lot more now that things are settling down for us again.

On Saturday evening the poet’s band was playing in Doncaster and quite a few of our friends came along to watch. It was a good night. And very busy.

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I think this is Ian’s current favourite picture of me. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

On Sunday we had a leisurely start over a leisurely breakfast. With the wedding just 2 months away now, we decided it might be nice to lose a few pounds … well, I decided, he agreed. 🙂 So we’re down now to replacing what we usually eat with more healthy choices, no eating or snacking between meals, apart from fruit, and set meals throughout the day including breakfast. Every day. So far we’re doing okay, but it is only Day 2 today …

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Derwent Dam. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Then we headed out to Doncaster (again) to replace my walking coat. I’ve had my old waxed jacket (seen in these pictures) for a very long time. Probably 15 years or more. (I do buy clothes to last.) But last weekend, when we went to Slaithwaite, we noticed a rip in it. I’d already bought the poet a new walking coat for his birthday so he said I could have one for mine too, even though he’s also paid for my fiction writing course. So off we went to get me a new walking coat …

We came back with new trousers for me too, gaiters for both of us, and several tops for him, some of which were paid for by my dad for his birthday present. He’d already bought me a new pair of walking trousers, to match a pair of his (we’re like a proper Howard and Hilda), but these new ones have zip-off shorts. We should both be suitably attired now for our walking.

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Derwent Dam. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

The new clothes will also be for the first half of the honeymoon, when we’re touring some of the west of Scotland for a week before flying off to Cyprus for another week. Now we just need new clothes for Cyprus …

On the way home we dropped off at the pet superstore to get flea treatment for all 3 pets, for 3 applications each, and bird food for the garden visitors. Then we had a Subway lunch before going home, and he made us a mushroom omelette for tea.

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He’s getting a bit good at that blurry background thang. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

This week he’s at home all week, which is quite exciting as we don’t have any other plans either, and no band practice. We may go and get the materials for some new shelves in the living room one evening, and he may have a go at making them. But I think he’s going to be mainly recharging. He has his annual review at work this week too, when we hope to have some news confirmed.

I’ll be mainly editing the big book and writing in between. I’ve already started to work on the gig list again and I have my fiction writing course to continue with too. Don’t forget, too, that the book giveaway runs for another week. Thanks to all of those who have already joined in.

I hope you enjoy the pictures. I know this slows down the rendering for some dial-up users, which is why I’ve started to make them smaller.

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He has a remote control for the camera now, it’s not Rufus taking the pictures – honestinjun. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth – yes, really.)