The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Sunday, 3 June 2007

The Good and the Bad of the Weekend

No walking this weekend. I felt the need to stay at home and do some useful things, like point around the top of the chimney where water’s been getting in and do something with the wilderness that is our boundary hedge. Not everything about this weekend was good. Here’s a quick summary of the good and the bad:

The good: My route planning for our LEJOG expedition next year stalled a couple of weeks ago, when I reached Chirk Castle on the Offa’s Dyke Path and decided that the Maelor Way was the most sensible way to head East from there. I finally got around, on Thursday, to phoning Wrexham TIC to mail order the guide book for this 24 mile route. It arrived on Saturday – and what a good book! It’s a little dated, but the detail inside of it appears to be fantastic, with route instructions given in both directions and huge amounts of detail about the things you can expect to see on the way, from trees and plants to wildlife and butterflies, and of course landmarks and buildings of note. The book is very neatly hand-written (in the Wainwright style) and the biggest benefit for me is that the sketch maps, whilst mildly difficult to tally up with the 1:50k OS map on which I am route planning, will be adequate to go alongside the OS maps in order to keep us on the Way. So, for £3.65 (including P&P), we’ve saved the need for 4 off 1:25k maps.

Now that the route planning has reached Grindley Brook, I’ve the decision to make as to whether we follow canals to Prestbury or whether to follow the South Cheshire Way to Mow Cop (which in my head is Cow Mop) and a canal from there. I think that the latter option is winning at the moment.

Bad things: For those people who may be reading this and don’t know me, let me just say that I’m quite a practical person. I’ve re-plumbed a number of houses, I’ve fitted central heating (back when all you had to be was ‘competent’ in order so to do legally; ie before the Building Regs decreed that one could only be competent if one holds certain qualifications and memberships), I’ve re-wired and wired in new circuits (similarly before Building Regs decreed that I could no longer do that). So, the prospect of fitting a room thermostat to our boiler was not a daunting one.

Alas, in a moment of female blondness/stupidity/carelessness, I shorted the circuit, blowing the internal fuse. Sunday afternoon is not a good time to do something like that when you don’t just happen to have a spare in the house. It’s even worse when that combi-boiler is your only source of hot water. Having had a cold shower after my run this afternoon, I don’t know how Paula manages those ice baths! Tomorrow I will be on a mission to get a replacement fuse. Then I will wire the thermostat in and pay a bit more attention this time!

Whilst creating disasters with the boiler, I had a load of washing in the maching. The bedding had been washed so many times before that I felt quite safe putting two cream towels in with the blue and green. I now have green tinged towels. Doh! Two mini-disasters in one afternoon.

But, back to the positive: the lawn is mowed, the hedge is 25% trimmed (it’s a huge hedge!) and the chimney is pointed.

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