No, I’m not going to start singing the song (the last time I was heard singing in public was a long time ago in a galaxy…).
It may rain later, but it’s still Caroline’s birthday and it may well be spent in Bronte country.
Not quite on Wuthering Heights, but almost!
With a fine day in prospect after taking a look at the BBC‘s weather forecasts on Saturday, Caroline and I decided that it might be a good idea to have a Sunday stroll around Ogden Water yesterday and then head off to a favourite veggie cafe for lunch.
After an early start, suitable attire and footwear was donned and the car pointed in the right direction for the ride to Ogden Water. Now we’ve been before, and not had any problems, but as we turned into the side road leading up to the car park, we almost started hailing Houston…
Why? Because there was a queue in front of us and people trying to turn their cars around in order to exit the area. The Golf in front of us obviously wasn’t going anywhere fast as the side window was down and the occupants were talking to a lady carrying some zip ties and a set of white sheets.
Once she’d finished the conversation, the white sheets revealed their message – ‘Teddy Toddle – Car Park Full’.
Ah, said I (or words to that effect!).
With no walk in prospect there, it was time to come up with Plan B – quickly!
So the car went into the caravan site entrance, was turned around and headed back the way we came.
One brief discussion later, and off we went in direction of Skipton in search of a walk and lunch.
Getting there wasn’t hard, and neither was the route finding. After living in Skipton for five years, I kind of knew the way and could easily find somewhere to park that didn’t involve paying for the privilege. No, I couldn’t park outside my old flat, but did manage to do the deed around the corner and up the hill.
With boots on and a need to walk up an appetite, back down the hill we went, passed my old gaff and then turned left when we reached the canal bank.
Things haven’t changed much in six years as the canal is pretty much a permanent feature in the town. Yes, it’s the Leeds Liverpool Canal, but it wasn’t the part we’d seen Baldrick (sorry, Sir Tony Robinson) walking on the TV the night before – he was heading to Wigan Pier.
A few others had the same idea, but it was interesting to note that just a few intrepid souls ventured beyond the Canal Basin to the first bridge and lock. We were pleased that we’d dressed for the occasion, because although it was nice and sunny, it wasn’t overly warm so merino wool base layers, fleece pullovers and either down or synthetic fill jackets were the order of the day on top and soft shell trousers on the legs and either sports boots or approach shoes on the feet.
Although I lived in Skipton for five years, some of the ground we covered whilst walking from the car towards the canal bank and up towards the Skipton Castle area was new to me, even though I’d walked around a bit on days off and headed off on my bike along the canal tow path too.
As the lighting was of the midday sun kind, the camera only came out for a couple of snapshots that weren’t wonderful when played back (we’ll see whether Bill and Ben the canal boats are there next time in better lighting conditions!). Once we’d done some walking around, our respective stomachs started to mutter those ever pervading words ‘Feed Me!’ and we went off in search of fodder.
With a load of pubs on the main street and a host of cafes or bakeries to choose from, the decision was made to head into Wild Oats cafe rather than looking for a Sunday Roast dinner.
Yes, Wild Oats is a veggie/vegan cafe, but as we’d originally planned to have lunch in a similar establishment in Thornton, we headed in. It’s a while since we’ve been into Wild Oats, but it was busy, so much so that there was only one nut roast left rather than the two we’d ordered. Never mind, the spicy sweetcorn fritters and salad went down very well.
Once done, some retail research was called for. Caroline had a look at road bikes and waterproof gloves before we hit the car once more in search of some cake to take home with us to consume with coffee and the Sunday papers.
As we know our preferred farm shop does excellent cakes, we headed there and did the deed.
And then we noticed the poster on the noticeboard for a Teddy Toddle taking place at Ogden Water.
Which is where we came in!
We will hit Ogden Water this week – when the next fine day comes along.
We have the flask, we have the bread, the sandwich filling and the clothes to combat the cold so yes we can!
Whilst heading over to Ogden Water, we passed a very posh Mercedes that had the hood down.
Would I dare allege that the driver looked suspiciously like someone who is relatively local to the area who used to baldly go where no one has gone before?
Odd title I know, but as far as I know it’s not infringing any potential trade marks surrounding a certain film franchise!
It’s been an odd month off – little bit of heading to here and there, several visits to a certain Swedish retailer, a few one-off visits to DIY warehouses, a few technical drawings (for the first time since getting my O Level in that subject back in the 1970s) and a mega clearout before the builder arrived two hours ago to strip the old kitchen out and install a new one in its place.
One thing we noticed whilst heading out to find a kitchen option that we liked was how bland some of the options we were looking at were. The kitchen we’ve plumped for is classically styled, but we’ve added a few personal touches to ensure that it will be anything but bland – hence the visit to B&Q on Thursday and to IKEA last Friday morning!
Bland is something that couldn’t be applied to some of the colours going into the latest Rohan clothing collection – red and gold coloured trousers for instance.
Visits to other outdoor clothing retailers recently and I’ve noticed how limited the choice of colours is, which is somewhat ironic when I remember how well red and electric blue coloured jackets were selling in the store I managed until around eighteen months ago. Yes, I’ve got a few black jackets on the rack in the hall, but there’s also red, electric blue and orange ones hanging either on the same rack or in the wardrobe upstairs.
So, what’s coming up on wisepacking?
Pieces about Bronte Country, a local-ish air museum, the Lake District, some more kit reviews and a little bit more about planning (but not overplanning) trips in the wake of several posts on Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree Forum that have been made by people who haven’t bothered to buy a guide book to their potential destination who expect readers of the Forum to make up their minds for them as to where to go!
And a few mentions about books I’ve been reading too.
One Kindle Book I’ve been looking at recently is Money Saving Tips for Travel In Portugal by Julie Dawn Fox.
If you’re heading to Portugal, then it’s well worth tracking down as there’s some good advice in there and a few tips that I wished we’d known about when Caroline and I headed over there.
Yes, we picked one or two points up along the way that saved us money, but Julie’s book takes things a few stages further so we will be saving more money the next time we aim in that direction.
More details about the book and Julie’s travels on http://www.juliedawnfox.com
Or head to Amazon, do not pass go and do not collect £200…
Greetings from a partially snow covered Yorkshire.
It’s bright, it’s sunny and there’s snow on the ground – just a light cover mind, but snow nevertheless.
It’s not going to last though.
The brisk walk up to the local shop an hour ago wasn’t through a full covering of snow and a quick glance out of the window now I’m back indoors has revealed that the multicoloured gnomes in the back garden have lost their frosty coating.
There is a breeze though and the temperatures are low, hence the choice of layers for that walk.
Which were pretty much the same as what I’d have chosen had I been heading out for a wander through the woods to the pub or for a day out with a pack in the country or on the hill.
First up was an Icebreaker merino base layer, then a Patagonia Snap Neck fleece pullover and then a North Face Nuptse 900 LTD down jacket. On the legs were a pair of Peter Storm soft shell trousers, a pair of Bridgedale socks and a pair of Salomon boots.
Result? Warm and toasty all the way there and back…
If I had been in the country or on the hill, then the chances are that the Nuptse would be in my pack and used when lunch or coffee breaks were declared.
I’d probably be wearing a fleece gilet and a soft shell instead (the old faithful TNF hooded soft shell has just been reproofed with Nikwax Soft Shell proofing) and have a pair of gloves and a mountain cap in the pockets, just in case. Oh, and a pair of base layer leggings too.
The choices aren’t too far removed from what Caroline was wearing earlier when she took Frosty The Snowbike out for its first spin. Frosty is her old Dawes hybrid bike that’s had winter tyres fitted and works a treat (especially now that the brakes have been fixed – the tyre fitter [not me or Caroline!] forgot to reconnect the brake cables)…
A base layer, bike shirt, fleece and reflective waterproof jacket do the job in virtually all weathers on both her leisure rides and her early morning/late evening commutes to and from work.
But layering doesn’t have to be used solely outdoors. We both wear layers around the house over the winter months – they keep us warm and comfortable and help keep the bills down so we’re not laying down the foundations for big gas bills later in the year.
Does it work? Yes, as it was a tactic I first used thirty-odd years ago as the first house I had after leaving home was an exposed, not very insulated farmhouse with single glazing.
We’ve also used the same techniques elsewhere too, most recently in a place that had a wood burner in the lounge.
Not saying it was cold, but we were both in there wearing merino base layers, fleece pullovers and down vests and were just about warm!
Mind you, it was even colder down on the beach the following day – thank goodness for high quality down jackets!
I’ll be going into more layering next week as there’s a round-up of base layer principles and some product reviews too happening on wisepacking.
The snow may be melting now here in Yorkshire, but it’s going to be back…
And we’re prepared for it – right down to the home baked cheese scones that are being baked this afternoon and a good bit of comfort food for tea.
Beef stew with dumplings and mashed potatoes. Cooked from scratch, not from a tin or a supermarket freezer section!
Greetings from a sunny and chilly West Yorkshire!
A good reminder yesterday of how good food is in Yorkshire without having to go to an establishment with stars…
A good bacon buttie that wouldn’t defy a politician’s attempts to eat it for lunch whilst the car was being sorted out in the Brighouse branch of Kwik Fit next door and then some fine Yorkshire cooking before a classic film last night.
Chicken Dansak with rice for Caroline, Lamb Bhuna with chapatis for me plus a meat mix starter and salad delivered to the door. Empty food containers and very clean plates tell their own story!
The film? Not Puss In Boots that’s for sure – we watched something in black & white that has a load of quotable lines.
Here’s looking at you kids!