Winter in Bradwell

Winter  in Bradwell

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

And then the rain

I missed my weigh in yesterday morning as I was rushing around but, as of this morning I have managed a drop of 1.5lbs taking me back to 16.8 which was my pre-Christmas low.  It was a bit of a weird week with my weight ping-ponging around 2 down, 3 up, 4 down etc but I felt that the overall direction of travel was downwards and so it proved.

I'm pleased that I managed to log my calorie intake fairly accurately every day even when I had "bad" days as this sort of accountability tends to help me in the long run.  It allows me to ,look back and see where I go wrong.  This week too many "treat" days. 3 instead of 1.  None of the 3 days were hideously ruinous which is why I managed to drop some lard but there were 3 of them!  Tut tut.

I was pleased with the exercise last week.  It was great to get out running after feeling poorly the week before.  I tried a different route on Sunday morning too.  It was rainy and muddy so Rich said he would take the dogs out later allowing me to go for a non-dog run. I couldn't face the fields so stuck to the back roads - 5.5km over a big hill.  It was remarkably refreshing.  I felt like a proper runner and thoroughly enjoyed it.

It wasn't pretty as you can see from these gloomy pictures of murk.

That's a lot of water!!

In other news, I have joined the village panto and have now been to 2 rehearsals.  I have discovered that I'm going to be a seaman, a villager and the front end of a camel.  I have learned a dance routine to "In the navy" and stood in for missing cast members in rehearsals.  It has been great fun so far but I have a LOT to learn.  Eeek.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

After the wind came the snow

Whoops. Just spotted that I uploaded these pics and mistakenly published them. Was meant to save them as a draft and come back to chat. Will try later.

Hope you had a good weekend everyone.

I took these last Thursday night after our epic 10-nil win at darts and dominoes.  We had played away and were heading back to our local, the White Hart, for a few celebratory drinks.  It was a stunning evening, thick falling snow and quiet streets.  Perfect.

Friday was even more beautiful.  Despite my hangover, I headed out for a lunchtime walk.  The snow was melting fast but the mud was manageable.  How lovely though.  The blue sky and covering of snow elevated our usual walk across the fields to "stunning" status.

It was so lovely that I couldn't resist a quick evening walk as well before the snow totally disappeared.  The streets were slippy as hell but, once again, the views made it totally worth it. The. pinkish evening light on the snowy fields...aaaah

I could see the beginnings of a bright sunset just round the corner from this point but sadly my phone battery gave up the ghost after this shot.  Taking photos in low light really drains it.  Hey ho.  Even without the money shot, it was a wonderful day to be out and about in the Peak District.

Friday, 13 January 2017

It's all about the weather

Can you remember back before the snow to the wind?? Well, these photos were taken on that really windy day, the Wednesday just gone. I was working from home and decided to take the dogs out for a run once it had stopped raining. As we battled part way up the hill we met a chap from the pub. He said it was crazy rough up on the tops so I decided to take the more sheltered path along the side of the cement works. This could have been a mistake.

The first half of the run was through a wood! It was clear that a great deal of that wood had already come down in the wind as we pretty much ran over a carpet of twigs and branches. Eeek. The wind was howling through the trees in an extremely concerning manner but it was at least quite sheltered in the wood.

At the end of that path you hit a back road into Castleton called Pindale. At that point the wind came racing down from the moor and the damage started to become even more worrying.  I don't remember ever hearing such loud wind - the trees were clattering and screeching.  The one in the pic below had suffered some proper amputation loss.

It was actually pretty alarming so I was somewhat relieved when we got to the end of the tall trees.

Then I realised that surprises could arrive from anywhere! That crumpled metal was not there last time we ran past this farm. I think it must have been a roof as there was yellow loft insulation embedded in the hedgerows for some distance.  There was a LOT  of damage that day.

Unsurprisingly the golf course was empty so we could take our favourite route home.

This week has been MUCH better for food and exercise. 2 good runs and lots of hilly walks. I'm on track for a loss but only if I manage not to go slightly mad again before Monday as I did last night. We had an excellent win at darts and doms (an unprecedented 10 nil!) which, combined with unusually tasty red wine in the pub, led me to down 5, I checked, 5, medium glasses! That is a whopping 875 calories. Whoops

Today has been better. 2 long, snowy walks and healthy food
but a slice of Christmas cake and 2 shortbread biscuits have also snuck in..  I think it's the cold, it makes you want to snuggle up with comforting contraband.  So the upshot is that I have already had my treat day for this week so I have to be good at the football tomorrow. Stern thoughts please.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Holding on

Well, I was right -  I didn't drop much last week but didn't gain either which I take as a positive after a full week of cold and cough. I actually dropped 0.5 lb taking me to top end of 16.9! Go me. 

The cold is just about gone too but the cough is, true to form, lingering. My family excels at coughing. My nana used to cough to a national standard and this tradition has been impressively continued by my auntie Barbara, my dad, my sister and myself.  Rubbish lungs are evidently very much a Nowell family trait. Grrrr

I have not hit my 11k target for daily steps this week. In fact it was my worst ever Fitbit week. I only managed 68k against a target of 77k.  But, if I put that another way, I nearly managed 10k steps each day in a week when for 6 days I had felt like death warmed up. I might not have run far or fast but I walked and I logged lots of stairs and lots of active minutes and I counted calories for 5 out of 7 days too. So my Fitbit helped me to not slide off that wagon so soon after  the excesses of Christmas and New Year.

We went up to Middlesbrough for the FA Cup tie yesterday. A coach trip from the New Barracks Tavern in Sheffield stopping off in a little village in the North Yorkshire moors called Swainby. We've stopped there a few times but never before on a Sunday. It was lovely so I went for a quick walk to take some pics of the lovely brook running through the middle of the village. I knew we were in the north-east as I met 4 Bedlington terriers on a 10 minute stroll!

And, as I walked back into the pub, my Sunday roast was being served. Mmmmmm pork. It was truly delicious but seriously generous Yorkshire portions.  I had packed sandwiches for our return journey but we didn't eat them till we got home as we were so stuffef So, half a lb off is an achievement indeed.

BTW, the match was rubbish. We lost 3 nil and played a dispiritingly negative style of football which took me back to the bad old days. Hey ho - I suppose we can concentrate on the league now. Sigh.

Hopefully I will be well enough to tackle a gentle run tomorrow. I really want to hit fresh fat next week and a few runs would help with that.  The main thing though is just to keep on stepping and logging those calories and being mindful and deliberate and it will come.

Friday, 6 January 2017


My body seems to know when I'm feeling confident (cocky even) and picks that time to knock me down a peg or two.  Having sailed healthily through Christmas and New Year commiserating with friends who had been stricken by the seasonal lurgy, mine arrived on my first day back to work.  To be fair, I'd rather feel poorly on work time than holiday time but I'm still miserable with cold and cough.  Just the usual - achy, coughing and sneezing and snot filled.  Truly I am a delightful specimen to behold.

I felt the first hints of the cold on Tuesday while out running. Oh the irony.  I was in the office on Wednesday and felt mildly grim but it REALLY kicked in on Wednesday evening.  Luckily I had anticipated this and arranged to work from home yesterday and today which has at least taken the pressure off somewhat.

Despite feeling rotten  yesterday, the weather was so gorgeous that I could not resist heading out for a lunchtime walk.  I knew that I would not be able to manage a run but I reckoned that I could handle some proper hill so Bradwell Edge it was.

I set off through the village and grabbed a couple of snaps of the centre of the village as it was so pretty and uncharacteristically quiet.

I was feeling great though so operation "Bloody Big Hill" was still a goer.  (It's the one directly behind the church.)

Here we are setting up the appropriately named Edge Road.

I felt like a proper local- I remember when the dead tree was knocked over in a storm!

You gain height quickly and get good views early.

A rare photo of Shelagh looking straight at the camera.  She's not smiling exactly but I like to think that she was enjoying her walk! Grouchy girl.

I took the "easy" route at this fork in the track, I was feeling good but not foolhardy.

Now we're talking - looking back towards the village with Mam Tor in the background.

This one shows the typical White Peak run of fields separated by limestone dry stone walls.

Now I'm looking towards the north and the gritstone and heather moorland of the Dark Peak.

Minty looking gorgeous but slightly worried.  I have no idea why.  What has a cocker spaniel out on a sunny walk got to be worried about I wonder?

Actually, that reminds me of something which has been bothering me:

There is a bit of a worrying power struggle going on at home between the 2 of them.  As Shelagh is getting older, Minty (who has always been the nervier of the 2) is starting to become more dominant and has been picking fights with Shelagh which go beyond their usual blood curdling sounding but harmless spats.

Something sets her off, usually jealousy over something like a toy or begging for food from one of us and then she really goes for her.  Shelagh retaliates and Minty has drawn blood a few times and Shelagh has been going at her her as I drag her off.  It is pretty nasty.  The damage has been minimal, a tiny cut to the ear and a cut lip but the blood is worrying.  Also I hate yelling at them and sending them to their baskets.  They are so sweet and loving normally that these episodes are horrid.

Has anyone experienced this sort of thing and, if so, what if anything did you do about it?

Looking down on the village set me to thinking.  It's probably something about being able to see the whole place, makes you feel powerful or something.  Anyway, in this pic you can see the big Newburgh factoryin the foreground (the big, green building).  It has been closed for some time now (the operation moved to Rotherham to one of the industrial parks set up by my team at the Council ironically) and is presently being demolished.  The site is going to be re-developed for housing.  I've lost track of the latest on the scheme as it has changed so often but I think there will be well over 100 new houses built in the village.

I'm not against this as I know that people need housing and house prices round here are so high partly because there are not enough new houses being built.  Also, this will be brownfield development so it is not encroaching onto our precious green spaces.

No, what was exercising my mind was the new people who will be moving into the village.  I love it  and the Valley in general so much that I hope they make the most of this wonderful place.

Back in the 1960s, when Rich's grandfather got a job at Newburgh and moved the younger half of his family from the middle of Sheffield out to Bradwell, it must have been like moving to the Highlands.  Sheffield is only 14 miles away but, before everyone had cars, it would have been a trek to get there.  Very few people commuted so the Valley was a vibrant and self-sufficient community.

Rich and Rich's family tell me about all the shops there used to be in the various villages; the number of football clubs there used to be; the darts league and the quiz league were much better supported; each village's carnival week was an event that no-one missed, now some are down to a couple of days.  I have seen the changes in the 20 years I have been in the Valley.  Some things have changed for the better but most seem to be on a decline.

Now though, you can live out here but treat it like a countrified suburb - work in Sheffield or Manchester, shop there or online, socialise with your pals in town.  You need never go to the pubs, the local shops or butcher, use the post office, hairdresser or hardware store.  And if you don't, you might not join the darts and dominoes, the panto, the quiz league, the bowls or tennis clubs, the carnival committee, the well dressing, the golf club, you might not swim in the Victorian outdoor pool during the summer, preferring a gym near work.  You might not learn and sing the local carols  or any of the other fantastic facilities and traditions we have somehow held onto.

I hope that some local families benefit from the new development and that the new people who buy there choose to mix in and enhance their community instead of treating it like a pretty dormitory.  Nothing I can do about it but cross my fingers.

So, enough of the soul searching, here we are at the top.  Stunning views and blue, blue sky.

Now we can see over  to the other side towards Bamford.  The sky is not so blue over there - not a metaphorical comment, they were burning heather so plumes of smoke were drifting over from the moors.

Now down the hill with Win Hill dead ahead.

And back over the fields to home.  Tired but very happy.  What great therapy a lunchtime walk is.

The cold is not helping me diet as I'm struggling to get all my steps in, not been running since Tuesday and just want to sit on the sofa eating.  However, with the help of my Fitbit, I'm resisting the worst of it and, although I might not drop anything this week, I shouldn't gain either.

I should have been out tonight actually - a visit to our Sheffield local and then onto the football.  Not a league match but a U18 Youth Cup fixture no less.  That would have made me a proper hardcore Wednesday fan and I was looking forward to it but am feeling too grotty to face the drive into town, the walk to the ground and the cold stand.  It would have been good for the exercise too - I would definitely hit my 11,000 steps today if I had gone, sigh.

But there is no point in railing against illness.  I may as well sit tight, look after myself, do what I can when I'm feeling okay and take it easy the rest of the time. Sigh, again.