Noel has a new superhero name

RubbishMan

Noel has a new superhero name, he’s not that keen on it, but it does what it says on the tin, so that’s that. He is Rubbish Man, he has the powers to locate, pick up and dispose of any rubbish scattered around the countryside as he runs or walks. These are very special powers and may save the world from destruction, but in a very understated and long-term kind of way.

Take today for example, we were walking in the Peak District, up on Bamford Edge . Whether we’re running or walking, I pack a small carrier bag to pick up litter, not all litter, and certainly not dog poo bags which are often dangling from branches in the woods, but wrappers, plastic bottles, little things, but I am not a superhero, I’m just a plogger.

Noel went one step further. Not for him a little carrier bag, he donned his superhero outfit, which bears more than a passing resemblance to his usual outdoor gear, he’s  a modest superhero, and set about picking up Serious Litter.

The Bamford moors, much like most of the rest of the Peak District at the moment, are tinder dry, it wouldn’t take much for the whole lot to go up in flames. So what sort of idiot takes a bottle of gin up to this beautiful place, drinks the contents and dumps the bottle where it can catch a few rays and start a fire? Did the same idiot leave a nearly-full container of barbecue fuel next to it? I assume a different idiot left a five-litre waterbottle. Idiots.

Fortunately Rubbish Man was on the moors, casting caution to the north-north-west wind and fearlessly scooping up the offending items with his bare hands and carrying them all the way to the nearest bin, which wasn’t very near at all, but he is Rubbish Man, he has super rubbish-carrying powers and I’m very proud of him.

Meanwhile I’ll just carry on plogging. My mate Bev and I are doing our bit in the village by picking up litter while we’re out and about. Leeds City Council has given us bags and will collect them in September on World Cleanup Day. We’re hoping there won’t be much, but with Rubbish Man around, there’s no chance of that.

A fine way to spend a weekend


Grace and poise?
Originally uploaded by StripeyAnne.

When you live an hour from one of the finest rock climbing venues in England and possibly the world, it would be rude not to go there at every possible opportunity.

For non rock-climbers, this gritstone edge stretches for six kilometres through the Peak District National Park. It's impressive to just walk along the tops, but for climbers, it's a Mecca

It's not high – maybe 30metres at its highest, so it has nothing on Yosemite, but the rough, rounded gritstone, which is a hardened sandstone, presents a technical challenge and attracts climbers from all over the world.

Here I am struggling up a climb called Kirkus' Corner. I'd like to say I was fantastic and wowed the admiring audience,. but I ran out of strength and, thank goodness, the only witnesses were friends who had the tact and good manners not to tell me I'd fluffed it. They didn't need to – I knew that already! And practice makes perfect!

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You see some things……


Fishing?
Originally uploaded by StripeyAnne.

Our Sunday walk took us to the Peak District and Black Hill in the aptly-named Dark Peak. You get the whole darkness theme here!

Now one thing you don't expect to see near the summit, is a fisherman. Even though it can get quite boggy. But there he was, large as life, fishing rod, flask and butties.

Of course, it wasn't fish he was after, but radio waves. He's part of SOTA (Summits on The Air) http://www.sota.org.uk. These guys test out reception and technical radio stuff which for one thing makes sure there are good systems to help folk like me when we get lost (a high probability) or injured (not so high, but more serious!)

Thanks, guys!

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T’was the weekend before Christmas……

I always like to get my 'flu over with before Christmas. Usually it doesn't work out that way. Usually, it's the Christmas day sniffles. But no. Done with.

So the weekend before Christmas has been eventful and fun. There was a bit of a wobbly start, with the Leaning Christmas Tree of Calverley. I told Noel people would have paid to see it. Well, perhaps not, especially as it leaned so far in the night, it fell over. Cat was unimpressed, it was kind of behaving as if the great big tree in the corner wasn't really there. It's number one suspect in the knocking-the-thing-over stakes. So there had to be un-trimming, re-potting then re-trimming. All very festive and good-humoured, of course!

The skies have emptied themselves of rain for the time being, so we headed for the Peak District. Beautiful countryside. Beautiful day. In't life brilliant?!

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