The Vault Regulars

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Super Delios Water Filter Supply Update.

We all are aware of the terrible problems that Mother Nature bestowed on Japan in March this year.
Well Super Delios have also been caught up in the aftermath of that tragedy.

After a few people had mentioned to me that stock was not available in the Uk, I contacted Miss Fujimoto from Delios Uk for an update on supply and timescales and below is the thorough response from her.

1st Re:- No UK Stock

Yes, Alan, it is true.
I have placed a notice on Delios UK’s website in early June.

Delios has been in overwhelming demand since the earthquake in Japan and we, both in Japan and UK, have no stock, except for several (12) Drip Delios here.

The partner in Japan notified me that the manufacturing facility we have been working for the last 10 years is having a problem, not damages from the earthquake, but overwhelming orders for production of various products, including Delios. It is a shame that they failed to prioritise our order on this occasion. However, I understand that the facility wants to deal with everyone equally.

As I noted in my previous Delios news letter, the manufacturing industry and household in Japan are also placed under electricity use restrictions, which is impacting production capacity further.

Therefore, the partner has been in the negotiation with other manufacturing facilities and they are now in the process of testing Delios filter. When you move to a new facility, you need to produce a new mold and have to go through a rigorous hygiene and safety testing process again.

I was told that it will take 2-3 months to get products for shipping.

We are having a very difficult time as we fully understand that people wanted to try Delios this holiday season.
However, we also understand that we are at the mercy of the Mother Nature.

Yes, I have no stock of Super Delios, only 12 Drip Delios left.
There is no stock in Japan.

Q2.  Can you tell me when stock is due to arrive.

I am expecting Delios to be delivered in September or so. They are doing everything they can to speed up the process.

Q3. Robin Evans, replacement bottle?

Yes, I have contacted Robin last month and explained about the situation. He kindly sent me several photos of damaged bottled, which were also forwarded to the partner in Japan. He replied to me and kindly accepted the delay of Super Delios shipping.

I apologise for any inconvenience caused to you as well as your friends, who wanted to try Delios this summer.
It is a very difficult experience for us that we cannot deliver items at this moment.

In the meantime, however, please do let me know anything you think of Delios.
Thanks so much again for your email.
Your email is always appreciated.

Yours sincerely,
Yasuyo Fujimoto (Miss)
Super Delios Ltd. 

I think i am right in saying that we the customer are very pleased with the product and wish all at Delios and in Japan a speedy recovery. 
May i also thank Miss Fujimoto for a quick response to my questions.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Finisterre Tee shirt

A few weeks ago Millets and The Ideas Network, sent me a Finisterre Tee shirt, they never asked me to review it but i have reviewed a number of outdoor items for them so thought i would, because i do like Finisterre products.

Finisterre are a British Company based in Cornwall and as the location suggests they are more well known with surfers than mountain folk.
However there are overlaps and you will find from there product range numerous pieces of clothing that lends themselves to the hills.

Finisterre are a company that make environmentally friendly technical clothes from recycled or natural fibres, such as merino wool and organic cotton. They even have there own Merino wool sheep on a farm close by.
They also make clothes that last.

The Tee shirt above is organic cotton and there are numerous logo’s/pictures or plain available to choose from and a number of colours too. I chose the basic simple name. 
The Tee shirt is soft feel and well made with no tough seams to rub when wearing gear on top. Although not a hiking Tee shirt it’s a nice piece of kit for everyday use, holidays or a trip to the pub.
It’s machine washable at 30℃ but i would treat it more like a wool mix than just cotton and don’t tumble dry it if you want it to stay in shape.

All the dyes are environmentally friendly and it has a GOTS standard, meeting toxicological criteria. Also as part of the STD at least 70% of the material is organic and that environmental criteria and social criteria has to be met along the entire supply chain of the product.

The STD also involves much more but that is not what the review is about. If you want to read more about it, it’s here.

All in All, it is something i like to wear and it will last some time.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A sign of “The Times”maybe.

Last weekend as my last post shows Sheila and i walked the Duddon Valley or i should say a bit of it. We know the area very well and it’s a favourite place.

While we were there we came across this article by Christopher Somerville in The Times newspaper Saturday 9th July 2011.
It was a walk in the Duddon Valley from the Newfield Inn in Seathwaite.

 Can you spot the three obvious mistakes above?

No! Well let me increase the zoom. 
Spotted them now? Yes - No?
Ok for those who have given up.

1. Seathwaite has gained an extra h, where did that come from.
"Anybody can make that mistake”, i hear you say. Well yes i suppose, but this is “The Times” we are looking at here.
2. The photograph is Borrowdale and not the Duddon Valley.
How can this happen, who vetted the piece prior to it’s release to press?
And to make it worse.
3. The title on the photo is the Duddon Valley which the author goes to length in the first paragraph to emphasize that this is not Seathwaite Borrowdale but the other one in the Duddon.
My goodness who own’s this paper.

The author, at the end of the guide specifies that it is a moderate walk and boots are essential. What rubbish! Boots essential, i don’t think so. Good trail/approach shoes are all that are required and, ok boots if that is what you prefer to wear. But essential, No, not in the least.
Dear oh dear.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Thunder in the night

From Grey Friar to Dow Crag a low rumble of thunder was passed around the combe and encompassing tops. Our wild campsite at Seathwaite Tarn that we hoped would be a calm, sunset evening was anything but. Fortunately no lightening just God re-arranging the furniture as my mum used to say.
We had checked the weather before setting off on thursday evening from home to Seathwaite in the Duddon Valley and although it said rain for the weekend it also mentioned, showers, intermittent, sunny spells, changeable. It will be ok we thought and set up a base camp at Turner Hall Campsite.

Our route basically, was to follow the River Duddon north up to Birks Bridge where we would then take the track through Pike House Close and head up to Seathwaite Tarn for a wild camp before hitting the heights and returning to Seathwaite via Walna Quarries, Natty Bridge, Stephensons Ground, Long Mire and the Park Head Road. All together about 15 beautiful miles.

Friday morning dawned, the day was calm, ever so sunny and humid, the campsite was quiet, no kids. We laughed at the weather forecast, they’ve got it wrong again. It has been a glorious week we had been told by our friends and residents of Seathwaite.
The River Duddon was slow running, the birds singing and all was good with the world.

The scenery following the Duddon is magnificent, with scree, broad leafed woodland, forestry plantations, open fell, hills, wild flowers, bubbling becks and the odd waterfall or two.
There are also lots of good swimming pools for days like today.

 The River Duddon

 Scree slope below Wallowbarrow crag
 The views open out as you approach Grassguards Gill, Long Stand at the head of the valley can be seen and to the right Dow Crag, The Coniston Ridge and Grey Friar dominate.
Many Bog Myrtle plants can be found here and the leaves exude an aroma similar to eucalyptus when crushed in the hand.
 Broad leafed forest at Grassguards Gill
 Fickle steps with low water in the Duddon.
 Still in the Broad leafed forest with the sun so strong we stopped for a minute or two at the waterfall at Wet Gill. Sparkling in the sunlight it’s a lovely spot to relax.
 One of the many good swimming pools.
 Not too far ahead we lost the lovely broad leafed trees and entered the world of the man made forest with the needle floor. Such a difference to the previous hour but not ugly in this instance as many  forestry plantations can be.
Sheila took a bit of a tumble just a little further on, tripping over an exposed root. Fortunately she was able to carry on but her ankle is a bit swollen now.
 Bog Asphodel
 Birks Bridge
We could hear voices even before we arrived at Birks Bridge and the splashing as lads were jumping off the bridge into the deep pool below. It’s usually a busy place being adjacent to the fell road but today there were only 3 people there. It’s a good spot for a picnic and a swim.

We had lunch here, capitalising on the picnic tables which today were empty. The blue sky which had dominated the last couple of hours was looking fragile as the cloud cover started to blanket out the sun.
The odd rain drop noisily landed on the plastic map case whilst we demolished our mackerel and rye bread but it was just a threat.

We were greeted with a hello from a chap heading up Harter fell as we finished lunch, packed up and headed off up the road for a short distance before a right turn takes us into Pike How Close.
The clouds were mounting at a pace and the temperature was noticeably a little cooler. Still the rain held off.
North end of the Duddon Valley with Hard Knott on the left and Little Stand on the right.
As height is gained on Grey Friar’s lower slopes the splendid views of Harter fell and the middle section of the Duddon Valley open out.
 Caw, (far Left) with Tarn Beck in the lush valley, High Tongue in centre and Whit fell in the distance.
Harter Fell in background
The good track starts to meander to miss the extensive boggy ground ahead which surrounds Tarn Becks exit from the reservoir. Otherwise it is a track with good views. 
Ahead of us the blue sky was hanging on but the quantity of it was reducing fast. The dam wall came into view and a short shower greeted us to our first view of the reservoir. Not heavy enough for waterproofs but a warning non the same.
 Seathwaite Reservoir dam, centre left.
North shore of the reservoir.
The original tarn was damned in 1904 and the navvies working on the construction rioted in The Newfield Inn, in Seathwaite village which resulted in one man getting shot and much damage done. A newspaper cutting of the event can be found in The Newfield Inn pub.
The reservoir was built to provide water to Barrow-in-Furness and it was also featured in the film Plague Dogs by Richard Adams.

We found a decent enough spot and pitched the tent, the mist rolling in encouraged us not to hang about. We had no sooner got things in place when we had our first taste of wet weather. Looking out across the tarn the hills to the south west were rapidly disappearing as the weather closed in. Fortunately this shower only lasted for 1/2 an hour. 
 We managed to get tea done and dusted. I had Wolf fish casserole and Sheila had Pasta Bolognese before the heavens opened once again. This time it rained heavily for 2 hours before we had a lull and we had the chance to venture out.

 An all to brief venture out.
 We had some wooly visitors, i think we may have pinched there spot.
Too quickly the rain started again so it was back to the tent. This time we said it’s in for the night. Nothing else for it but to call it a day. So an early night was had. 9.00pm.
We were woken up quite a few times before it dawned with some very heavy rain and low rumbles of thunder. The noise on the tent was like rapid multi drum beats and the tranquil stream of a few hours ago had began to increase in decibels. 
It always goes through the mind at times like these. “Have we pitched far enough away from the beck if it overflows”? And this was no exception.

At 6.00am there was still no let up and looking out of the tent door the mist was very low and it was so eyrie, the tarn so dark and foreboding, just the rain and the stream to be heard, no birds, no sheep. 
At 7.00am there was no change so we opened discussions on what to do. Do we wait a couple of hours and see if it improves or do we pack up now and head down. 
We decided to wait until 8.00am and then make the decision.  8.00am came and the weather was getting heavier if anything. We decided to call off the walk and head down.
The rain was really heavy now and the wind had picked up, it was so bad that i wouldn’t risk getting the camera out of it’s dry bag to capture the event. 

As we made our way back along the path to the dam, which was now flowing nicely we saw a shape come out of the mist. It was a fell runner, he came to the end of the dam and then retraced his steps back down. 
Many new streams were flowing down the fell side, they were appearing out of the mist like great white tails. Before we got down to the bottom of the track we heard the cacophony which was Long House Gill. A tremendous noise of the power of nature. Photographs and words cannot express fully the sound.

 Long House Gill
 Sheila at the confluence of Long House Gill and the Walna Scar track.

 We made our way back to Turner Hall campsite passing Tarn Beck 
which also was noisy in spate.

And as we reached the campsite the heavens opened just to let us know that we had made the right decision in giving the high ground a miss today.
Believe it or not but we had had a nice time. The modifications i made to the Scarp 2 proved successful with no leaks what so ever. It stood up to the severe conditions superbly and that was without the additional pole set.

Number of ticks removed....1

Cannot wait to go back and finish what we started.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A tale of two bridges.

I have spent a little bit of time away from the blog this last week or so.
At some point within the year you have to give priority to jobs around the house and i needed to decorate the kitchen, landing and stairs.
The call to be doing anything but this was always there but i knew it had to be done. It had been put off far too long.
We absolutely blitzed the job and so today having arranged with a friend to go out and do a bimble from Sowerby Bridge to Hebden Bridge, i managed to fulfil the arrangement.

Sowerby Bridge and Hebden Bridge like so many so villages gained prosperity with the Mill’s and with the development of the canals and railways to transport goods.
The walk today follows the Rochdale canal. It is quite an unusual area with 4 modes of transport running parallel the whole way. Apart from the Rochdale canal, there is the River Calder, the Railway line from Manchester to Leeds and the main A road.

We caught the train from Castleton to Sowerby bridge which took about half an hour or so and as the conductors ticket machine had run out of battery we got off scot free.
Where did that saying come from Scot Free?

Amendment added 14/7/2011.
Phrase, Scot free:-
 'Scot' is a Scandinavian word for tax or payment. It came to the UK as a form of redistributive taxation which was levied as early the 13th century as a form of municipal poor relief. The term is a contraction of 'scot and lot'. Scot was the tax and lot, or allotment, was the share given to the poor.
Scot as a term for tax has been used since then to mean many different types of tax. Whatever the tax, the phrase 'scot free' just refers to not paying one's taxes.
No one likes paying tax and people have been getting off scot free since at least the 11th century.
(My thanks to

Our walk plan was not distinct but quite fluid. Fluid being the intention. If we could get a beer along the canal every half hour or so that would be great.
As it turned out this was never achieved.
We alighted from the train at around 11.00am and after a spell of window shopping in the lovely Sowerby Bridge we headed off east past the wharf with the 253ft Wainhouse tower taking the background view.

We got to the Navigation Inn to find lots of hoovering going on but alas too early for anything liquid so we retraced our steps and carried on along the Rochdale canal West towards Luddenden Foot.
The Navigation Inn at Sowerby Bridge.
But before leaving Sowerby Bridge we had to have a look at the Deep Lock.

 The deep lock. Sowerby Bridge.

The day was quite warm with the sun to our backs and the walking obviously very easy with being alongside the canal.
 One of the many tunnels on route.
We came across this statue of Patrick Branwell Bronte along the towpath.
The scenery was most enjoyable, the industrial archeology there for all to see with the now derelict mills, some that had been renovated into new homes and the old canal cottages and small business’s.

 Now derelict canal side industry
It is a sign of the times that from Sowerby Bridge to Mytholmroyd we didn’t find a single pub open along the canal.
The ones we knew were boarded up or for sale. Yes, we could have strayed away from the canal to find some refreshment but desperation had not taken over.
We decided to carry on ahead towards Hebden Bridge where we came upon this cheeky heron who didn’t want to move.
 Cheeky Heron.
 All too soon we were on the outskirts of Hebden Bridge, having passed 2 herons, a field with Highland Cattle, numerous ducks, geese, chickens, goats and 2 stoats that i never had time to get a photo of.
 Hebden Bridge 
 Hebden Water at Hebden Bridge
The Rochdale Canal at Hebden Bridge.
There was a need for some lunch and a beer now that we had reached our destination. The Railway pub was first in sight and we made haste there. Unfortunately no food so we moved on until we found the White Swan Pub on Bridge Gate. 
Our luck was in, food was ordered and Black Sheep Cask bitter served and demolished.

We were on a timetable for transport so we had to keep an eye on that. 10 past the hour for the train back to Castleton or 20 past the hour for the bus back to Rochdale where we could then get a change of bus home.
The train was the most convenient and the shortest travel time so we chose that. 
Having then walked for 20 minutes finding the railway station we said we could have been half way to Todmorden in the time. 
Maybe another day.

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