The Vault Regulars

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Hollingworth Lake stroll.

Yesterday we managed a few hours to ourselves and considering how nice the weather was we decided to get the train to Smithy Bridge and then take our time on the perimeter path.

Its only a short journey from home, in fact its only 2 stops and within the Greater Manchester transport area, which means i travel for free. We were very surprised to see that our train had 3 new carriages and they were virtually empty. It really is annoying that when its busy we usually only have 2 old and dilapidated carriages.

On arrival at Smithy Bridge we crossed the Rochdale canal, which is the reason why Hollingworth Lake was built in 1800. As a water feeder system. Today it is used purely for recreation.




Rochdale Canal at Smithy Bridge.

Hollingworth lake on a cloudless day.
The walk from the station to the lake takes about 10 minutes. Once at the lake the hardest decision we had to make was do we go clockwise or anti? We chose clockwise and seeing that it had gone 12 o'clock thought we would have lunch in the Wine Press, the white building in the above image.

The lake shops and the pathway were quite busy for a Monday. There was even a queue all the way outside Mr Thomas's fish and chip shop. The amount of rubbish scattered around was quite appalling. 
Obviously the rubbish bins are to small to accommodate the weekends revellers. It would have been chocker block here on Saturday and Sunday.

 The Wine Press was doing a good trade, we opted for Ploughman's Lunch and a bottle of Chianti.
The Ploughmans was ok but it could have have been so much better for a small amount of extra cost. It was only £6.95. It was also served on a slate which i hate. What's wrong with a white plate.
 Looking across to Blackstone Edge.
 The above image is off the camping and caravan site which was looking splendid. Its been a while since we came here but i don't recall it looking as good as this.

 Zoom from across the lake of our lunch spot.

 Many new features were noticed along the way, including this Owl. it was a shame to see the Sea Scouts centre closed down though.


 I wish.
It takes about an hour to walk around the lake and at the mid point there is a cafe and toilets facility. Its a lovely stroll and was perfect for us, time wise. We couldn't have asked for better weather, so all in all it turned out to be very pleasant. We needed to be out and get a little bit of time to ourselves. 
It also proved how unfit i am. 

Monday, April 30, 2018

Headlamps - your choice.

I read this post with interest so thought I would pass it on to readers who may have missed it.

https://www.greenbelly.co/pages/best-ultralight-backpacking-headlamps

. It’s worth a look.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Not what we expected or needed this year.

Because of the lack of blog posts here recently and the relatively few visit and comments to other blogs you may be thinking I’d called it a day. This isn’t the case.
A couple of months ago Sheila’s mum took ill and without going into detail we took her to a walk in centre. She’s 78 but has never been registered with a doctor. Big problem.
The centre had reverted to a surgery and as she wasn’t registered they wouldn’t see her and were actually quite rude and off hand.

We had time to get her to our own surgery but again they couldn’t see her as all appointments were taken. This time though everyone could see how poorly she was and were full of apologies.
They recommended that we should go to Rochdale infirmary where they had a another walk in centre not A and E.

We got there and they saw her pretty quickly. Heart problem, pneumonia caused by Edema for starters. They couldn’t cope with it and so an ambulance was called to take her to Bury Fairfield hospital.
Two days later, she talked the staff into letting her out. We don’t know how. We got her to our house and put her to bed. At 2.00 am she was in a bad way and although she had stressed all along that she didn’t want help, we called an ambulance.

The paramedics were in the house within 6 or 7 minutes. They spent around 30 minutes with her and the news was not good. They said if we hadn’t have called them out she would have been dead within the hour. The ambulance took her back to Bury hospital.

At this point we thought the worst, she was in a bad way. We were rushed into Resus where I can only say these medics were 1st class. We stood at the side whilst these magicians did miracles. We watched everything as it happened. She was in Resus for 6 hours. Many wires, injections, forced oxygen and much more.

It was so stressful and very upsetting. The specialist called us to one side and told us it wasn’t looking good and if she passes do we want them to resuscitate. Tears flowed. We couldn’t make the decision alone, we needed to call Sheila’s sister in New Zealand.

It was a difficult conversation and with advice we took the decision that resuscitatation would not be the right thing.
Resus stabilized her as best they could and then she was moved into intensive care. Again we stayed close to her whilst ICU performed their job. In the meantime Debbie in New Zealand was on her way to Manchester.

After 3 days in ICU she was moved to the coronary care ward. Debbie had arrived and so we were able to share our stress, anxiety and the responsibilities with someone else.
Sheila’s mum (Dorothy) turned out to be a nightmare patient, for what ever reason everyone was out to kill her and she was hallucinating and shouting.

When in the CCU ward all information dried up. We became mushrooms. When doctors did the rounds we were moved into the family room. We never got into a position where we could ask questions. The nurses told us bits but not enough.

As it happened, one day a specialist nurse from ICU came down to see how she was doing. We were thankfully told not to get our hopes up too high as it still could end up badly, she was still in a serious condition. Even though you don’t want to hear news like this at least it was news.

Another week or so passed, not eating, no progress, still a bad patient. We spend most hours at the hospital and even staying overnight when things were bad. It was now taking a toll on us all. We were now calling staff on first name terms, we had become part of the furniture.

We tried to get more information as to what was their future planning. We got passed around. We rang the consultants office. We spoke to the registrar, we rang  the consultant again. Eventually one day after speaking to the registrar ( a different one) we were told the consultant would speak to us after rounds. We waited and waited. He had gone.

Back with the registrar, he rang the consultant and back he came for a chat. We found out that the left ventricle was not working, she had poor kidney operation, but the pneumonia and general well-being was under control. Their plan was to try and improve kidney function and then do an angiogram with the probability of putting a stent in the heart.

We waited, day after day, night after night.

At some point, can’t remember exactly, we asked where she was on the op list as she was getting more and more anxious and we were no better. The next day we were told the kidney function was no better and so they could not do the op. Also she was so weak, now weighing 5st. 4lb that the op would/ might kill her, she may die on the table.

Not good news. So what happens next.
There’s nothing more they can do and so she being discharged.
Meantime we had spoken to social services and to be honest, although nice enough people, they offered no real help.

She is now home. With no real improvement possible to the problem she is on 14 tablets per day which will maintain some sort of normality. The 3 of us are doing 24/7 care between us. Not easy believe me. We have had one call from social services. Saying nothing basically.

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? It doesn’t look like it.
Debbie has to return to NZ in early May. Without her we would probably have caved in by now.
What happens after she’s gone who knows, we have to take every hour as it comes.

Sheila is struggling with stress and anxiety and being honest, so am I but to a lesser degree. What will happen when Sheila has to go back to work will be a whole new ball game. One which I am not looking forward too.

We have a week in Norway booked and flights paid for in June, this is now looking ominous. We are not in a great place.

As an aside, Twitter has been a good stress reliever and I have had a few laughs. Thanks to everyone who has commented on some of my stupid sarcasm. At least I haven’t been blocked. Yet.


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Knowl Hill and Naden reservoir.

The last weeks of November, the whole of December and into the New Year has been particularly uneventful on the blog. I have been inactive due to a good dose of Gorilla Flu and a kind of Bronchitis that i couldn't shake off.
At times i thought i was on the mend only to find out at the instance of any effort that i deteriorated rapidly and came over completely weakened.
It isn't unusual for me to get a bit of a bug around this time of year but i admit that this one has been the worst and the longest that i can remember and thats even with having the Flu jab weeks before.

Sheila and i were looking forward to Martin B's annual Christmas walk and lunch, we did attend but to be honest i was feeling dreadful for most of the day. I admit that i wasn't good company.
Over the Christmas holiday we had a place booked in Broughton In Furness and again i just basically slobbed around with no walking done except for an hour down the old railway line.

When an ailment lasts so long you start to wonder if you will recover or is part of the ageing process that you have to learn to live with. Well i'm pleased to say i am definitely on the mend and i hope i am not speaking to soon.

Last Sunday i went out for an easy walk and although struggled a bit on the steeper sections i did feel that i could do it. I was pleased that i also had a reasonable pace.

This brings readers up to date and also gets me to the main point of this blog post which was todays walk (Sunday 14th Jan)
We parked on the infamous Rooley Moor Rd or the Famine Road as some call it. It has stories going back including Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War when cotton stopped being shipped to Britain.
Anyway its worth having a read about it.

Quite a chilly day, we had to be well wrapped up, it was overcast and grey with poor light for photographs. Heading uphill to the mast on Hunger Hill soon had us warm and as long as the momentum was kept up you stayed that way. Stop and you were perished in a few minutes.

A noisy start to the walk with there being an agglomeration of small holdings, plenty of dogs barking ensuring that you got the message that you are not welcome. The public face of Hunger Hill is cut up with scrambler bike tracks and even deeper tracks on the way down to the LRT which leads to Middle Naden reservoir.

Visibility was reasonable, the hills being clear of mist even if the tops of the wind turbines were shrouded at times. Once across the bridge and on the west side of the reservoir we turned and picked out a track diagonally left which isn't shown on the OS map. It climbs at a good angle and not before long it joins up with the rochdale Way. Here we turned right following the path to a ladder stile which we crossed and followed a widening scarred route past a wind turbine and a steady pull up to Knowl Hill.

More and more scrambler bikes could be seen and heard away to our left, the area is badly gouged in places and it does seem as though they can just about ride anywhere. They seemed a happy lot as the majority waved as they went passed us.

Once on top of Knowl Hill the wind was biting and the chill factor was definitely below zero. I had hoped for a brew here but it was just too exposed. After photos at the trig point we headed north towards a wind turbine. We followed a boggy gulley until finally reaching the access road which dissected our path.

It was easy walking now and we followed this LRT as far as Muckin Nook where we slowly picked our way down through the rough, deep bike tracks to Lady Lees Wood. Good views were had through the fire breaks towards the reservoirs.
We were about to stop at the edge of the wood for lunch but i fortunately spotted a bench alongside the reservoir path and so we headed there. In hindsight the wood would have been a better option as we were sheltered from the wind. The bench wasn't so fortunate and it also had the disadvantage that we were visited by every dog and its owners as they passed.

From here the route up and around Higher Naden Reservoir is a good one, with good views of the crags and waterbirds. The cold wind however was cutting in this exposed spot, even well wrapped up we still felt the bite. One thing it does though is make you keep up a good pace.

There's a good grassy bank at the dam between higher and Middle Naden reservoirs, what a good camp spot if only it was legal. The steep slope has the effect of pulling you down at a fair rate of knots and your soon back on the track.
Quite a few people were about now and a multitude of yapping pouches. We decided that seeing we were in good form we would go up Hunger Hill again on the way back to the car.

Our route was just under 10km.

A few photo's of the walk.
 Hunger Hill
 In the distance is our 2nd top, Knowl Hill.
 Naden Lower reservoir and Greenbooth reservoir. 

 Naden Middle reservoir.

 Up to the Rochdale Way.


 Fell into disrepair as a consequence of Brexit i imagine.
 Bitterly cold on top of Knowl Hill.

Heading north off Knowl Hill.
War of the Worlds?





A little bit of brightness in the sky.


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