Tag Archives: Ronnie and Sarah

A True Story: Having the time of your life?

On top of a hill in Yorkshire. Some time in the late 1990s.

Recently on here I’ve been writing about being self-employed and the kinds of work I do. About how much I like variety in the work I take on and the stress it caused me recently when I found myself doing too much of one thing.

So when I read this article by Owen Jones in The Guardian, suggesting that a four day working week could be good for our economy, our society and our health, I remembered.

I remembered that ever since I began leaving my day job in the mid-1990s and becoming self-employed one of my objectives in doing so has been to work less. Not that I don’t enjoy the work I do. I do, and one of the big things I’ve always gone on about is finding and doing the work you love. And I have, mostly. But a core part of living the life I’ve had over this last 22 years has been to have more time than I used to have for me.

To do what? Well, we’ll get on to that. Continue reading

A tale of two ducts: Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Cefn Bychan Viaduct

A ‘Letter from Sarah’ here with a slight difference. She’s put all the structure together, taken and selected all the photographs and will be the main writer. But I went on the day out in North Wales too, so we’re going to sit and write together. My occasional contributions in italics.

*

So… with one thing and another it’s been a while since me and Ronnie have had a day out together. Me being up in Knoydart, off in my kayak, and of course, Ronnie not being well from early August, have all meant that we’ve simply not had the time or wellness until now to pack our day bags and go off exploring.

I’ve suggested that we come to Pontcysyllte Aqueduct today, out of sheer curiosity. (For those of you not fluent in Welsh, a helpful sign tells us, ‘Pontcysyllte’ is prounounced Pont-ker-sulth-tay.)

We arrive at Trevor Basin, not far from Llangollen.

It’s the day the clocks have gone back so we’re a bit disoriented. And after an early start from home we eat much of our packed lunch as soon as we arrive. Though our watches are telling us it’s only 11am our bodies know full well it’s lunchtime.

We arrive here without a plan (for once), but knowing it’s a World Heritage Site expect good signage and obvious things laid out. Continue reading

Half Way There: Walking to Leeds Section 8

One last day trip from home before we do the rest of our canal walk from stops along the way. (Yes, I know we said last week’s was the last day trip. but we couldn’t resist another.)

One last day trip to get us to the half way point between Liverpool and Leeds.

Early on, our walks all used local public transport to get to and from each walk. But since we got beyond the reach of local Liverpool transport we’ve done what we do today.

Drive to where we plan to finish the day’s walk.

Then walk to the nearest train station or bus stop.

In today’s case walking along the canal itself for a while.

Continue reading

The Blackburn Rovers: Walking to Leeds, Section 7

Only six days after our last canal walk we set off to walk from Top Lock to Blackburn, the Blackburn Rovers, as we’re calling ourselves for today. Let’s go.

First we drive to Blackburn.

Where we will, eventually, end today’s walk.

We get the bus back to where we finished last week.

And a bus ride later here we are.

Back at lovely Top Lock.

Beginning a walk that will stretch us both, more than a little. Continue reading

Out of Liverpool: Walking to Leeds Section 2

leeds-liverpool-2-65On the bus from the centre of town then, back to where we left off at Wally’s Steps for the second section of our walk from here to there along the whole of the Leeds Liverpool Canal. 127 miles to Leeds with 119 to go. Today we’ll cover the 8 miles from Aintree to Downholland Cross.leeds-liverpool-2-1 leeds-liverpool-2-2 leeds-liverpool-2-3Quality graffiti here. So today will we be Riders on the Storm who will Break on Through to the Other Side? Well.

Sarah has a new jacket.

Sarah has a new jacket.

It’s a ‘paramo’ thing and apparently ‘jacket’ is hardly the word for something that will prove to keep her warm, keep her dry, keep her cool, keep her ventilated and be her best friend when other humans, me, aren’t quite up to the mark. It’s a miracle. And you can keep canal maps in the front. Continue reading

Walking to Leeds 1: Vauxhall to Aintree

A series of walks, in an as yet unknown number of sections, where Sarah and I will walk to Leeds along the Leeds Liverpool Canal.

It's the beginning of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. Another way the North Docks area links to Liverpool's industrial past and the rest of north western England's industrial places.

 

We began this walk last Sunday by walking through this magic doorway and then having the idea of walking all of the rest of the way to Leeds over the next few months.dsc08243In the week since then our resident map maker Sarah has been planning the possible sections of the walk and we’ve both got quite excited about doing something so obvious we wonder why it took us so long to think of it.

Anyway the Sunday after we first have the idea we get the train to Sandhills and walk back a little way to Boundary Street to resume this Section One where we left off last week.dsc08294

Leeds is that way.

Leeds is that way.

Continue reading

Paradise: Two hours from Liverpool

On our way into Wales Sarah and I drive through many miles of the brutal ‘we’ve broken the sky’ kind of rainfall we get too often in these climate-changing days. But we keep going because, well, it’s a day out, an adventure and we’re determined to enjoy it.DSC03080Besides, we’ve been where we’re going many times before, though not for a long time now, and we know it can have good weather even when it’s raining everywhere else. That’s how it is with Paradise.

Across the bridge then to Anglesey and two left turns later we arrive at Niwbwrch. Where we turn left again, through the pine woods and down to the beach.

DSC03075

Where it is of course a perfect and deeply blue sky day.

Lovely. Snowdonia over there doing its usual job of hoovering up all the clouds.

Lovely. Snowdonia over there doing its usual job of hoovering up all the clouds.

Well done that mountain range. Continue reading