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Archive for the ‘Derbyshire’ Category

Ogston is a village close by to a reservoir and sewage plant in Derbyshire. It can be quite smelly but nothing like as stinky as Stoke Bardolph which is quite bad. In the past I would shut my windows when passing through the area since it smelt worse than 10,000 cows all breaking wind simultaneously. Still on the days where the wind is blowing the right direction, it can be nice to walk around.

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There were places in the walk where even in Ogston you still could almost taste the pollution, but by comparison this was when I was standing just outside the gate of the plant where as normally its a quarter of a mile away lol

Ogston is a beautiful place, a reservoir with a tarmac road all the way around it meaning that those that don’t want to walk can be driven to the many nice spots where you could stop, sit and just take in the views. Down below, you can often see people from the sailing club, sailing their little boats, as well as allot of nature.

We parked at the same place as me normally do, off Colliery Lane I think its called. There are quite a few entrances and places to park. If you fancy an ice cream then the north entrance is a good bet to find an ice cream van! I don’t, as it dries me up which is the last thing you need on a long walk.

Our walk was around the edge of the reservoir as well as taking in some of the fields on the other side. Whilst climbing the hill back up to the reservoir I took this picture of actually a field full of weeds, but it kind of looks like a meadow doesn’t it!

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I didn’t take too many pictures, I often don’t for places that I have been to before. What’s the point of taking the same pictures again of the same things?

The walk itself was roughly 2.5 hours, which is about average, though it felt harder due to the hills. Its worth it though. Its one of my favourite places.

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Today the weather was good enough to go for a little walk out in Ilkeston in Derbyshire. It was cold out and was wrapped up in a scarf, hat and gloves as well as the usual walking gear. I sweat far less now I’m thinner and fitter than I would had done with this amount warm clothing on.

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As per usual we parked next to the canal and up the footpath. The Canal itself was covered with this red algae and the local youths/idiots have been throwing bottles, cans and other items into the canal which stick out like a sore thumb. I wonder what would happen if grown-ups took the same attitude and emptied the contents of their bins into the teenagers bedroom. Would they go running to mummy? Or would they notice since people who drop litter probably live like pigs already.

I did take my instant camera with me, but I think it might be faulty since its started to report battery failures even a few hours after they were replaced. I took a few initial shots, in poor or washed lighting condition and then the red battery warning was flashing. Its very odd as as of tonight I have not changed the batteries and its connected to the pc, uploading the picture above.

The ground was really soft under foot and in places muddy as hell. We passed many walkers though despite it being a bitterly cold and wet day. There was the usual bunch of horse riders on an afternoon amble, dog walkers, cyclists and the odd group of proper walkers. You know the sort, the people that carry maps with them and a compass! I’m not a proper walker, I just like to walk sometimes just because its a nice thing to do of an afternoon and it gets me away from the dreaded computer.

The footing next to the canal was passable, but the trouble started when we decided to take a new path to the left in hope it would cut off the muddy path up ahead. The new path was extremely muddy indeed and only looped back to the path we were actually trying to avoid. It was really slippery not too dis-similar to being on ice. I did need a hand over a particularly section as it was very wet and the trees over hanging the pathway really did not help with a guy carrying a little backpack.

I always carry a mobile phone and camera with me, some weather gear after once upon a time I was caught in the mother of all storms and torrential rain.  I still only go light because its not like I’m on safari and I’ve got lions to worry about. Still, at very least take a mobile phone for emergencies. Like slipping over in the mud and breaking some bones for example! lol

My trousers and boots are in terrible condition and once they dry sometime next week I will be brushing them for hours. There’s no point washing my walking trousers every week as they just get muddy again. Though, looking at them now, the mud may be the sunk in mud rather than the surface stuff, which means I’ll spend a couple of hours scrubbing them and then deciding to put them into the laundry any how.  I’m not even going to begin to describe the condition of my boots. Just appalling..

The walk started from ilkeston to Cossall in Nottinghamshire and then back again, just a very scenic muddy as hell way.  The ground conditions made it a tough walk, challenging balance wise and you had to think about foot placement or slide over on your backside.  Nice!

I got home safe and suitable exhausted, which is good. Walking really helps my arms as a swing them and I get significant pain relief afterwards. Obviously it doesn’t work if you walk with your hands in your pockets. Something I used to do but not any more.

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We started out just after 2 p.m. into Derbyshire. On coming to the village of the strangely named “Whatstandwell”, we took a sharp right turn off the main road and parked near to the Derwent hotel in a small lay-by. There were several cars already present parked in a rather awkward position making it difficult to safety Park without ramming anybody or ending up in the canal. I wish people would have a little bit of common-sense and decency to leave their cars so that other people can park as easily as they did.

Whatstandwell is where Helen McArthur was born the famous sailor that has done many amazing feats of endurance that have won her many friends and a lot of respect from the sailing world. Her parents actually still live in the village, so I’m told.

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We walked along the comfort canal, which is a very pretty walk in the autumn colours. The tow-path was covered with leaves of Brown’s and oranges, making it difficult to see the edge off the path and the dog muck which usually is very evident in these types of walks normally.

Derbyshire, especially around Comford is a popular place and there was as a result quite a few people there. It was mainly people just like us out for a walk and the obligatory dog walkers too. The wildlife was pretty thin on the ground as normally when you see lots of people and dogs you don’t see much wildlife. There was some ducks like Mallard’s and Coots, but these can be normally found peace in any public park in any city in the UK. I did know have an audience with an endangered small mammal which popped out to greet me; the water vole. It’s a very shy creature and small which makes it really difficult to take a picture of. It’s really fast too, digital cameras are really slow on the other hand!

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As we followed the canal at some points you could see the river Derwent through the trees within a few metres. I love the sound of flowing water and to what you how it goes over rocks; there is so much drama involved and yet I find it so relaxing.

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We came to a small hamlet called “Lea Bridge” and had to sit down. They were so many people here, all walking because he was a nice day rather than sitting at home doing very little. Families were out sitting at picnic tables enjoying themselves, dog walkers play with their charges and couples walked hand-in-hand in the sunlight. You notice a lot when you’re sitting still and really take your time to look around you. Near Lea Bridge there was this abandoned Locke keepers cottage (see above) which was fast becoming part of the woodland. Nature always reclaims land from humans!

Time is getting on, so we walked back along the canal along the leafy tow-path on the edge of some woodland. There are so many wonderful views in such a small area in Derbyshire. I enjoyed my walk though I was extremely tired and I suspect I will be sleeping very shortly.

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Yesterday we went on our weekly walk into Derbyshire, actually little place called Shipley gate that is located just the other side of Eastwood. It is a walk I’ve been on many times before, though it’s not some way you can get bored of because he has everything from the mud, waterways, babbling Brooks, vandalised land and even a bit of tarmac. The walk really starts… [Read More]

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Yesterday we went on our weekly walk into Derbyshire, actually little place called Shipley gate that is located just the other side of Eastwood. It is a walk I’ve been on many times before, though it’s not some way you can get bored of because he has everything from the mud, waterways, babbling Brooks, vandalised land and even a bit of tarmac. The walk really starts from the pub on the Nottingham Canal, just over and humpback bridge to the right. We parked up opposite, walked over the bridge and turn left to walk downstream.

It is quite a narrow path along the canal and some care does need to be taken, especially if you have children as they could very easily take an unscheduled dip. The canal is rather high to, though not as bad as it had been in previous weeks. There were some slippy bits has the mud was very soft in places and I was glad I had my boots on.

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Some way down we turned away from the canal into some fields, continuing on the public footpath and eventually onto privately owned coal mine land where the sign welcomely said “trespassers enter at their own risk”. It is strange is the sign to have, even though the path was open to the public. As we entered the land we heard the sound of motorbikes. It turned out to be teenagers playing on bikes are scrambling and racing on a bit of concrete that was perfectly straight and seemed to run alongside an old railway line. They weren’t causing any trouble, they just wanted somewhere to run their bikes and I paid them little attention.

What was fascinating me more was that despite the scrap metal price being high someone had left the railway lines! You hear the news people nicking led off church roofs and yet there is lumps of iron not claimed. The pathway was muddy again as it’s been churned up by scramblers. We carefully danced across the pools of water and mud, eventually onto dry ground. As we walked away, the sound of motorbikes disappeared into the distance.

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We walked more and came to the back of a housing estate. The couple of teenage girls were walking in front of us and directly behind them a group of teenage lads; which were being rather crude towards the young ladies. I cannot print the sort of things they said, there you can imagine the sort of things teenage boys say. And don’t know if it’s just kids nowadays though we never talked like sewer rats. I was brought up to treat people in a decent manner, though decency and being good in life doesn’t always give the right reward. Anyway, the two girls crossed the rail road bridge turning off the left and we turned off to the right. The young lads carried on the pathway on the other side, though from a distance away I spotted them on the bridge probably looking at those two girls.

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We’ve walked up a little further and underneath another railway bridge; apparently it’s got some sort of heritage protection and prevents it from being knocked down and as such it’s been vandalised of course. During this part of walk we spotted a skylark and a couple of rats. I’m not scared of rats, even find them quite cute actually. We joined up with the canal again and started walking up the river back towards where we had come from. On the way back, a small robin flew in front of us and settled on a gatepost. We still walking and we had a little moment where the robin just stayed at us and we stared back. It was a nice moment and I said I’m not going to take a photograph today, as I know if I moved he would have flown off — so I just enjoyed the moment!

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I think we come back to the car about half past four and the sun was starting to set. It was brilliant orange in colour that occasionally dazzled us on the drive home. Who cares, as it was so beautiful.

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Safewire, Derbyshire

I drove to an interview today at Codnor in Derbyshire. I tried something different of holding the steering wheel towards the bottom when I can and resting my arms more against my body. This worked as my arms didn’t hurt half as much when I got home. I’m not sure you are suppose to drive like that, but its apparently alright in the states and also my Dad suggested it to.

The company I went to see was called Safewire. Its a small company of 4 or 5 people currently and they were looking to add another two people. Its my understanding that there were 6 people that made it to the short list. I’m not sure if that included me, or there was 6 other people. But whatever, 6 or 7 competing for 2 jobs isn’t bad odds.

I met Peter, the owner and he was a really nice man. He had this very laid back attitude and wasn’t too boss like. So not a stuffed shirt like so many other bosses I’ve met over the years. The atmosphere in the office was okay, though I didn’t like that fact that at the end of the Office where I would be going there was very restrictive nature lighting as the windows were high up – a bit like a dungeon or something. The office is also open plan and there isn’t wasn’t really anywhere to use voice recognition. They did have other connected offices, but one of these was the server room which could be heard from the open plan office. With all the noise coming from both offices, I don’t think I would have a hope in hell of getting voice recognition to work.

The other concern is that if the job was all programming then its highly unlikely I would be able to use any tools to help me. Its all sitting and typing all day, which I think will be very bad for me indeed. Peter did make the suggestion of perhaps trying it part time and I could try it. Apart of the interview, I had to take a psychological test too (which I refer to as the axe murder test) and the results were pretty much as I expected. It showed that I was indeed a creative thinker with introvert characteristics. Peter said it showed that I make decision based on emotions and I am sensitive to the feelings of other people. Yes, that is all true. I wasn’t an axe murderer.

I left the interview in a good mood, as I feel I got along really well with him. He used to be a programmer like me and so perhaps I think we were reading from the same book. I’m not sure though if I will hear back from him or not. But, whatever.. Its not often you can say you have enjoyed an interview.

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Today I went for a meeting at a local firm out in Derbyshire which is run by Peter, a real nice bloke that commutes all the way for Macclesfield to his place. He has my respect commuting from their everyday, its quite a daily journey on roads that twist and turn. I used to do the same drive occasionally.

Getting back to the topic of the post: the result of the meeting was that he wanted to hire me on a part-time freelance basis to help him out with his business. It’s a small software house who develops CRM’s (Customer Relationship Management) back ends for retail and e-commerce web sites. There is not kind to be any programming involved or Web development, which is great as it is highly unlikely I will ever will be able to go back to that. I am looking forward to trying it out and just see what happens!

He is fully aware of my injury and I suggested to him that to it should do it on a freelance basis has I cannot be sure if I will be physically up to the role are not. I hope I am because it does sound pretty good at something different to get my teeth into. I am still carrying on with the writing and web work of course, and actually I already have another project lined up which is on a commission basis and merely takes a few hours on a Friday.

The hours will be spread over three days; Monday to Wednesday’s. I usually have some sort of health-related activity to do on Thursdays or Fridays are taken because of my commission based project — cutting-edge stuff! In between doing all these things of course I’ve got to get myself a web site for the business and to secure that name. I haven’t really done yet but it is definitely on the list with many other things.

I start next Monday at 11 a.m. which is very convenient and what’s is really good is that there is no dress code. I hate places with suit and tie dress codes; I am with my friend Michiel on this one! Besides, in my business if I attended a meeting dressed like a accountant I would not be taken seriously at all. Bizarrely, you dress down for the creative industries though of course you maintain a smart but casual look. There’s no point looking like a tramp!

I cannot really say that my hands on much better. I have good days and bad ones; today is a bad one. I hate to say I have a disability, I regard myself as long term injured.

Many people, especially the able-bodied don’t understand how hard and painful it is to not be able to use your hands well. I remember for example not so long ago they would work a full day programming, drive to the gym to lift weights and then go on to the pub to a place all those calories I just burnt off. I just cannot sustain that level of activity any more. This is just a normal level of activity, nothing special that most people just take for granted. Life changes.

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