Although this blog is mainly about growing veg from time to time I wander off into other interests of mine. One of which is hill walking and after finally completing the Pennine Way last year we decided to start The Ridgeway National Trail this summer.
You can read all about our Pennine Way exploits here.
And our first weekend on The Ridgeway can be found here.
the snow has gone……..and the garden looks a right state! Oh well lots to do as soon as this drizzle stops and the ground drys out a bit….hopefully.
The broad beans I sowed about 6 weeks ago are just starting to poke through the ground, probably in shock at the moment, but I’m hoping they’ll take advantage of the relatively milder weather over the next few days and put a growth spurt on. They’ll give me early beans next year and less blackfly trouble, that’s the plan anyway.
And the onion sets have survived. They look a bit pathetic at the moment but that should change come spring and as long as I get bigger onions than last year (shouldn’t be difficult, they’re not far off now) I won’t complain.
The bargain strawberries I bought in late summer are clinging on in the greenhouse. I’ve got just the spot for them between the beech hedge and driveway which should be enough room to squeeze one long row of plants in.
So what are the main projects for next year?
Firstly I need to get on and build some compost bins. It’s been almost a year since I decided on a composting method I’d like to do full time as buying the stuff in is expensive and I think using this quick-cook method I should be able to get decent compost in 4 months. At the moment I’m getting nothing as I haven’t built the bins yet!
I’ll also have a dabble at growing some prize winning parsnips and carrots hopefully, just need to get some bins organised and filled up with grit sand and off we go. Hopefully it will be more successful than last time.
I should have a veg plot share in the next village and with a bit of luck an allotment at some point so expansion is on the cards whilst trying to squeeze the most out of the beds and borders at home.
Off the plot there will be the big New Year diet, I need to get in shape for next summer, and I’ll be entering my 39th year so I need a mid-life crisis of sorts. Another leg of the Pennine Way will be completed and I’m sure there’ll be many other things of interest to write about in the coming months.
So it’s going to be another busy year and I’ll be using this blog to record my successes and failures. As our laptop decided to attempt to spontaneously combust last night I may be offline for a while as it goes in for repair. I hope you all had a good Christmas and have a fantastic New Year and a great 2011 in whatever you choose to do! I’ll leave you with this photo of the girls destroying a Christmas tree.
Regular readers of this blog will know that I love hill walking. There’s nothing better than getting away from it all up in the hills. Unfortunately South Wiltshire isn’t blessed with mountains and rugged scenery, I like the rolling chalk downlands but it’s not really a challenge.
A friend and I vowed to complete the Pennine Way, Britain’s number 1 National Trail, 270 miles long stretching from Edale, in Derbyshire’s Peak District National Park, to Kirk Yetholm just over the Scottish border.
Over on my Pennine Way page is the story so far. Time being precious, and the birth of my two children, means this mission has been stretched over quite a few years now. We slowly creep ever further North, one long weekend at a time.
I’ve loved the walk so far and here’s my top 3 sections that you can do as day walks:
Malham to Horton-in-Ribblesdale – limestone country, Malham Cove, and the views from the top of Pen-Y-Ghent are superb.
Middleton-in-Teesdale to Dufton – classic waterfalls of High Force and Cauldron Snout plus the sublime beauty of High Cup Nick.
Dufton to Garrigill or Alston – the peaks of Knock Fell, Great Dun Fell and Cross Fell are a challenge in this high-level Pennine Way stretch.
I hope to finish it in the next couple of years. Still to come is Hadrian’s Wall and the Cheviot Hills, can’t wait to get back out there!
Well I survived the latest leg of our Pennine Way walk with just a small blister on my left foot. 3 days and 42 miles of hard walking from High Force in County Durham to Knarsdale in Northumberland. This is one of my favourite photos from the trip of Cauldron Snout waterfall. We had superb weather as well, if anything it was too hot! I will be updating the Pennine Way page soon.
And the garden has survived my absence. The Peonies are now starting to bloom, these ones are a lovely light pink.
And the sweet peas are coming thick and fast now.
As I’m recovering I haven’t done any work in the garden just gave it a good watering. I’ll post some progress pictures next time.
Jo from The Good Life has set me a challenge to post the 8th photo from my 8th photo album. As I accepted the challenge I then began to wonder what the 8×8 photo would be, probably some close up of a cauliflower or some other exciting vegetable! As it turned out it wasn’t that bad……….
The photo is of me, (well my back anyway), approaching the famous Tan Hill Inn on the Pennine Way. The Tan Hill Inn is at the far end of Swaledale near where the borders of North Yorkshire, Durham and Cumbria meet. As you can see in the photo it is in the middle of nowhere and claims to be the highest Inn in Britain at 1732 feet. Many years ago it serviced the pack horse trains hauling coal across the Pennines and now serves tourists and tired walkers like ourselves. We’d walked from Thwaite that morning and by the time we reached the pub we were in need of light refreshment. With a few lambs roaming free in the bar a couple of pints of Black Sheep seemed in order and it certainly made the rest of the journey that day go a little bit faster.
It was apt that this photo turned up for a few reasons. I love hill walking and walking the Pennine Way has been a dream of mine for many years. Sadly I do not have the spare time to commit to three weeks solid walking so a friend and I made a plan to tackle it in stages of 3-5 days at a time until we finished. A couple of children have got in the way since then but we started at the Nags Head in Edale, Derbyshire and are now at High Force in County Durham. I have a Pennine Way page on my blog which I’ve been promising to update for some time to become a complete guide to the Pennine Way, the best long distance footpath in Britain, I must get round to updating that page soon! Our next leg of the journey is from High Force, County Durham to Knarsdale, Northumberland which is only 3 days and roughly 45 miles. I don’t fancy the second day though from Dufton to Garrigill which is 16 miles and over 3000ft in ascent over Cross Fell, the highest hill in England outside of the Lake District (there’s some good photos here, ah the bleakness you don’t get that down South!). And finally it passes through Jo’s neck of the woods up there in Yorkshire.
So there you have it, I’ll be staying at the High Force hotel next Wednesday night if you’re passing and fancy a pint (they brew their own beer) and I’ll be stepping out on the next leg of the journey bright and early the next morning, hangover permitting! That’s the beauty of hillwalking!!