Tuesday, 1 April 2014


You know what they say about the best laid plans? Well, today we practised it.
We had an excellent plan to do a long walk high above Derwent, mainly because we had a very early start and nothing to rush home for, which meant the luxury of time. However, our plans were scuppered.
First of all the weather. The sun of the previous days had given way to a misty drizzle and low hanging cloud over the hills with fog on lower ground. Not a safe option when we wanted to get high up. Nevertheless we met at Fairholmes car park with a vague hope of rescuing some sort of plan from the dismal weather.
Then the second spanner threw itself into the works. PC's car was acting up to the extent that she was worried that she wouldn't be able to get it back home after the walk. So we decided that it would be safer for her to drive it straight to the dealership (in Sheffield) and I would follow to make sure she was safe, and pick up any pieces on the way if necessary!
Once her car was deposited at the garage and PC, Mollie and the contents of her car boot were transferred to my car we made our way back out of Sheffield, our early start a mere memory.
So, by default, we decided to go to Damflask. Mollie needed her walk, we needed fresh air and it isn't too far from where PC lives making it easy to drop her off afterwards.

So we pulled up at the side of the road on the dam wall and looked over at the grey expanse of water and the incoming clouds which promised more rain.
We set off around the reservoir with no clear intention of how far to go although we hoped to stay out for our lunch. Then PC realised that she had left her sandwiches (egg - they'll smell lovely later!) in the car. I promised to share mine, which was probably just as well as we had 2 buns each today.

We made our way along the road then onto the narrow path running next to the water. There were enough dog walkers and joggers about despite the drizzle. A small flock of Canada geese pottered around at the water's edge, positively welcoming the threat of rain.

There were plenty of birds flitting around in the wooded margins between the water and the road, most of them well into their nesting and courtship rituals of Spring, although it doesn't feel terribly Spring-like today.
Our late start means that we haven't been walking for too long before we are ready for lunch and we luckily spot a perfect bench looking out over the water. Here we have a nip of Cointreau, coffee, a shared sandwich and two fresh cream eclairs each. Well, they aren't very big and they do make up for the disappointment of the curtailed walk.
As we sit we suddenly see a nuthatch poking its head into a hole in a tree directly in front of us. How on earth had we missed it? But by the time the camera is out to take a photo it has gone, and although we wait some time for its return, it doesn't.

But the rain returns again, along with hail and sleet, and we decide that we had better head back. It's no fun getting soaked.
So we return Mollie to her home, and I return PC to hers before heading back to my own. With some luck we might be able to go for our long walk next week.

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