Thursday 30 May 2019

On the way to Graven Hill

Fantastic day today as we have exchanged contracts for our plot.

It's just a field at the moment, but work has already started around our plot. We are the space to the right of the white building in the centre.

Our lovely architect Lucia, has designed a fantastic house and all we have to do now is build it.

We are due to complete on the 16th August and it should be all systems go from then.
Lots of things to do in the meantime, tradesmen to be booked, materials ordered and decisions to be made.
Great challenge. Hopefully we can rise to it.

Tuesday 28 May 2019

Vitality 10k race, London

We laced up our racing shoes yesterday and headed down towards Buckingham Palace for the Vitality 10k.
We were joined by Mo Farrah and Jonathan Brownlee although I never saw either of them, and they finished before I even started. That is mainly because another 20,000 people also turned up to join in the fun.
All of those people made it a great atmosphere and there was also thousands of people cheering us on along the route. I don't think that the Queen was looking out of her window, but you never know.
I started in the fourth wave of runners and lots of them must have fibbed about how fast they could run because the stats show that I overtook over 1,200 runners in only ten kilometres.
I zigzagged for the whole route, which helped take my mind off the running, but distracted me from much sightseeing. I finished in a great time, for me, of 53 minutes and 12 seconds.
Daz did better and took 45 minutes and 52 seconds.

Nice medal and tee-shirt too.

Saturday 25 May 2019

Cromford and the Middleton Incline

We drove into Derbyshire for a hike in this lovely weather. Daz had found a great circular and we parked next to the canal at Cromford.
Unfortunately we set off in the wrong direction and spent nearly an hour lost in the hillside above the town. We realised that we should have started off by walking along the canal in the opposite direction, but we managed to get on to the right track by climbing a few farm gates, hiking round the side of a few fields, and climbing a wall to avoid a herd of cows that were guarding the right route.

Once on the route it was plain sailing and we had great views of the countryside.

We then arrived at the top of the Middleton Incline which was a section of railway line that ran up and down the hills of Derbyshire. It was so steep that the waggons had to be hauled up by ropes and pulleys.

We followed the old railway route and learned that one of the local quarries supplied the rock for over 120,000 headstones for soldiers killed in the First World War, and they were all carried down on the railway waggons.

At the bottom of the hill in Cromford is a metal Catch Pit that was used to catch run away waggons, and there is the remains of one still inside it from 1903.
Lastly we walked back along the canal to where we had parked our car, and we had four minutes to spare on our four hour pay and display ticket.

Tuesday 21 May 2019

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct Cruise

Today we went on a narrow boat cruise along the Llangollen canal.
We did the cruise first and then discovered more about the canal later, so in the interest of providing more information, I will start at the end of our day and work backwards.
The Llangollen canal was designed by Thomas Telford of the Industrial Revolution fame.
He designed the Horseshoe Falls to separate enough water to start his canal and did this in the most stunning way.

Most of the water falls into the horseshoe shaped section and heads down the river, but exactly the right amount is channeled off to start his canal.
The water then runs along the canal channel and is the only canal in Britain with a current. We were told that the canal drops one inch in every mile, and that is enough to move the water along at about one mile per hour.
There was no locks in this section of the canal and once we were on our narrow boat cruise the water helped us gently along, and we only occasionally used the engine.

When I say we, I actually mean our lady captain who very skilfully sailed us along the very narrow canal and she often had to avoid the amateur drivers who had only hired their boats for a few days.

The highlight of the day was going over the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct which spans the river Dee at a height of 126 feet. All that kept us in the air was a narrow metal channel that was less than an inch thick.

It was so peaceful floating along, but it was also quite nice to make it to the other side.

Finally we caught a bus back to the lovely little town of Llangollen where we started our journey.

Ps, sorry for the old fashioned measuring system, it seems that they haven't gone metric yet in Wales.

Monday 20 May 2019

Llandudno and Conwy

We arrived at Tina and Matt's house this morning for our trip to Wales. Excellent weather and a speedy ride with Matt at the wheel.
We parked a fair way away from the action at Llandudno, but at least it was free. We also got to enjoy the stroll along the lovely Promenade.

We had a wander to the end of the pier, got lost while looking for the chip shop and then caught the cable car up the Great Orme.

The view from the top was glorious and a great start to T's first ever visit to Wales.
On the way to the hotel we stopped to see Conwy Castle, which looked exactly like a castle should.

Checked in at our hotel and sat in the sun enjoying our complimentary Prosecco.

Sunday 19 May 2019

Swindon self build show and the river Avon

Lovely weekend away at Swindon with Margs and Dave. Our main purpose was to visit the National Self Build Centre for reasons which should become apparent in the next few days. 
We did find time to do other things and ran the Marlborough Common parkrun. It was around a difficult grass cross country course with lots of hidden lumps and bumps in the ground. I think it must be inhabited by millions of moles who hope to trip up unwary joggers.
In the afternoon we had a walk around Kelston and Saltford which is near to Bath and saw beautiful cottages with gardens that ran right down to the river.
I think that one day we may even come to live here.

Friday 3 May 2019

House for sale

Exciting day today because our house is up for sale. The estate agent details look brilliant so we are hoping for lots of viewings.
It's the first step on our way towards building our own home later this year.