Tuesday, June 30, 2009



(and, if you want to, become a follower.)



Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Flood pics

I dare say there are LOADS of flood pictures on the net by now, but here are a few I took during the day after the rain stopped.
These are the meadows Buckland hollow on the A610 below Ripley.
I had to turn back when I got to Ambergate, it was just too deep!

Cricket, anyone? Maybe we could have a beer afterwards (it's in the barrels there).

Well up the walls of the Hurt Arms pub.
Yes - that's a car and caravan submerged in the back yard!

Rain well and truly stopped play!

The digger was pushing water off the road, it didn't slow down for anyone attempting to get through though.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

My fifteen minutes of fame.

If you haven't heard of them, you have no interest at all in Irish folk music. Lunasa are a world famous band, selling out most of their venues. They travel extensively, but when they are within 150 miles of me, I get a ticket to see them. Last Wednesday they appeared at Nottingham University (a sell out), and I was in the second row.

Anyway, after the last time I'd seen them, at Litchfield, I was my usual gushing self about the performance. Mind you, it is always perfection. I jokingly sent a; 'Jim'll fix it' email to their site for me to play with them on stage (one of my hobbies is playing the bodhran, or Irish drum). It was very tongue in cheek, and I just forgot about it.

I checked my emails just before going on Wednesday, and there was one from Tracy Crawford (the lead of the band's other half, I guess), saying my email had only just been seen, then going on to apologise that there was NO WAY Lunasa could invite an unknown onto the stage without practice, knowing ability, etc etc. She was very nice about it, and I was a bit embarrassed, as I hadn't really expected them to agree to it.
Anyway, off I went to Nottingham University's Djanogly theatre. First half, fantastic, second half, just as good, then they came back for the encore, and Kevin suddenly announced they were going to dedicate this last song to Les Singleton (yours truly). I was stunned, to say the least, but what happened next was he got me up, took me to the stage, (for some bizarre reason made me put on one of those Day-Glo vests), and then the band struck up. I was given the drum, and off we went!
It was a dream come true, and I think I 'held my own'. I even got a smile & a wink from the usually dour Cillean Vallely - praise INDEED! Sean Smith looked over and winked too, and that really put me at ease. Well, after our little number, the auditorium erupted, and I was SO proud! Here I was, in such fantastic company, me - and I had actually played along with Lunasa.
Does it get any better?
Thanks lads.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Summer greens, Summer rains, and FUNGI!

Today I went to the edges, Froggatt and Curbar to be precise. I'm glad it was the usual early start, as by lunchtime, the rain set in and stayed the rest of the day. Luckily, we had an early lunch, so got my picnic in, sitting by the river Derwent, JUST before the deluge came. I went into the plough at Hathersage, just to see if it would blow over, but a couple of pints of Bombardier bitter later, and I had no choice but to suit up and face the precipitation!
Hope you like the pics, don't forget, you can click on any of them to see a larger version.

Oh, the day had one great highlight, I found a sizeable clump of 'chicken of the wood' fungus, ( Laetiporus sulphureus) one I love to eat. I haven't found any for a couple of years, so this one went straight into the bag for dinner tomorrow!

One of the many joys of this time of year is the blossom, and one of my favourites is the horse chestnut, or 'conker', as it's colloquially called. This was a small part of a HUGE tree in full bloom.
This week, I began the walk at Calver mill. The old mill, where 'Colditz' was filmed, has now been cleaned and turned into very pricey apartments.
The old mill stream is still there though, and makes a pretty picture

Who wouldn't want to walk along this inviting path? If ONLY I could convey the way it smelt this morning. Sweet, heavy with the scent of bluebells, wild garlic, hawthorn blossom, etc etc.

Some of the local 'air fresheners'.

Still waters - the river Derwent, at a deep point. Again, if you could hear the birdsong here, wow!

New Calver bridge, with an almost perfect reflection.
I couldn't resist this!
Everywhere I looked today, it was flower central!
A nice clump of marsh marigolds tucked below the riverbank.
Like lambs to the water!
Time for reflection..........

I wish I had a pound for every pair of feet that passed over this stile.

Sorry the foreground isn't JUST right, but the ones at the back are good.
Don't you just LOVE the blue eyes looking at you?

A really good wisteria, on a really nice cottage.
(Look at the knotty, twisty trunk!)

This is Spooner lane, and old packhorse route. You'll see more of the flag stones later.

'Ere guv', got any food?

The path through Hay wood.

A lovely place to take five, listen and take in the woodland sounds and smells.

A nicely framed section of the packhorse path.

" Wot YOU lookin' at, eh? You WANT some?"

These pretty cottages are ten a penny!
(Or so I thought, then I looked in an estate agents window, and saw they were almost 1/2 million EACH!!!!)
No wonder the old ram was looking knackered - obviously, he'd been busy!

I went fly fishing once - never again - I got a two pound bluebottle!
Ahhhh - LOVELY!
When I went off to France two weeks ago, I feared I'd miss my beloved bluebells, but here they are, in all their glory!
I think they must be my favourite English wildflower.

Oh LOOK! A lovely great clump of chicken of the wood fungi - MMMMMMMMM!
(In the pot tomorrow)
And after that - the rain set in. The camera was consigned to the rucksack, but I HAD to get a picture of this - whatever was a red London bus (with 'Trafalgar square' on the destination banner) doing in the middle of Derbyshire?

The end! As you can see behind the bus, the day finished in murk and very wet.
Ah well, they can't take the morning off me!

Monday, April 23, 2007


Hi all, I am now on holiday in France. More pics when I get back.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Monsal, Cressbrook, Wardlow mires, Longstone moor.

Here we go then, pictures from last Sunday. We walked from Monsal head to Wardlow Mires via the very top of the dales. These paths have only been opened up recently, so it's good to have a new slant on an old walk. We then walked over Longstone moors, through Great and Little Longstone, and back to the car.
Don't forget, you can click on any of the pictures to see a bigger version.

This first picture is the Viaduct in Monsal dale, plus Monsal head.
This is Cressbrook. It's only a small hamlet, but has a very nicely restored mill which is in the dip
(so can't be seen in the pic - sorry!).

Looking down to Ravenstor cottages. This view is usually only seen by climbers.

One week there's nothing, except for the odd flower, then all of a sudden - cowslips, celandine, wood sorrel, etc etc.
Here's a really nice cowslip.

The sun made for good shadows, which we took advantage of!

A view across to Litton village.

A zoomed view of Litton, with the wall patterns.

Mum and baby resting by a wall.

Looking back up Cressbrook dale. We walked alongside that wall on the top left.

Last time we came along here, we dropped into the dale bottom. This time we stayed on top.

Nice light and shadow on the walls.

Looking back across the buttresses we walked over.

This is Peter Stone. I've never seen it from this angle.

Our goal, Wardlow mires and the pub for lunch.

The usual tree.

A pretty green lane on Longstone moor.

We could see Mam Tor too, I've never noticed it before, but the face is unmistakable.

The black sheep of the family.

And that was it, apart from a coffee in Little Longstone to finish off the day.