When I pulled my curtains open this morning at about 7am people were already taking their daily exercise. They were the wise ones as the forecast was for the hottest day of the year by this afternoon. I considered, indeed almost succumbed to a quick breakfast and away. But no my daily sloth had me back in bed with the first coffee of the morning. I seem to be getting through vast amounts of ground coffee, there is another delivery expected tomorrow morning.

A second coffee followed as I sorted through my emails etc. A friend living in France has been in severe lockdown but now because of their diligence is allowed out to live more or less normally. He sent me a recent picture of his 3-month scruffy beard.

My enthusiasm for exercise fluctuates with the day, At the weekend I did a couple of decent walks. Yesterday I could not even summon the effort to drive across to East Lancs to climb with my friends – I’m still not convinced about keeping to 2m social isolation on such escapades.

Today would have been lovely up on Parlick and Fairsnape but I haven’t yet got my head around the risk factors of high moorland walking. Last week a group of people I know, local fell runners, had a simple run up Beacon Fell which ended up with a helicopter rescue of one of them. I know I’m becoming paranoid. All the excitement and hullabaloo of opening shops and pubs passes me by. Note that the medical establishment, which the politicians are casting aside, have issued warnings of progressing out of lockdown too rapidly. So I’ll be keeping to my relative shielding and the 2 metres distancing for a few more weeks until I can see we may have turned a corner.

So where do I go today?

Yes, you have guessed it – Longridge Fell. I opt for a simple circuit around the lanes up and down from Longridge onto the western half of the fell.

My enthusiasm increases with every few hundred feet of climbing. I take a keen interest in the flora on the verges. There is virtually no traffic to disturb me. I watch butterflies flitting over the flowers and marvel at the dedication some photographers must have to produce even the simplest of shots. See https://beatingthebounds.wordpress.com/ for an idea of what can be achieved locally.

At the point where the road went left, I decided to carry on and pick up tracks leading to the trig point. By now I was walking freely and could have continued for miles to the east with no way of getting home. As I climbed higher the heather which a week ago was nondescript was beginning to flower. I suspect this summer with all the moisture and now the heat we should have a good display on the fells. There is nothing finer than a purple hillside. Oh and I noticed a few small bilberries beginning to appear – get out the pie-dish.

Ir was only when I was on the summit ridge that I met anybody. A man with two young girls who had been collecting sheep’s wool, the oldest, about 5, suggested her mother could make a sheep out of it which seemed perfectly reasonable. A young man looking for a different way off the fell, no he didn’t have a map. I sent him on his way with precise directions but I had doubts as to his navigational skills. A young couple, new to the area, taking selfies on the edge of the escarpment with Chipping Vale below and the Bowland Fells in the background.

Reaching the car park I was admiring a modern smart fourth-generation Mazda MX 5, [I have a 15-year-old Second Generation convertible.] It turned out to belong to the young couple so we had an extended conversation on a wide variety of topics before they sped off down to Chipping with the wind in their hair.

I was now on my homeward stretch down past the golf course with hazy Longridge ahead. I reached the little reservoir at the top of Longridge where I was on the lookout for grebes which often nest here. Some youngsters had climbed over the wall and were settling into a picnic above the water’s edge, all strictly private water board land. I jokingly admonished them for trespassing and said they didn’t want to be caught there when the water bailiff came around. I’d only walked about 50 yards when round the corner came the Waterboard van which stopped and gave a severe telling off to the youths who slinked away looking rather crestfallen.

By the time I reached home, it was far too hot to contemplate gardening.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll be away with the larks.





20 thoughts on “…IT’S EXERCISE AFTER ALL.

  1. DorothyGrey56

    Beautiful pictures, thank you. The reservoir walls and the shooting but are a trial for the Manor to maintain.
    Nothing beats the view from Jeffrey Hill. Lennox Farm was an outlying land-holding of Aighton, Bailey and Chaigley. It’s name may have come from Lynalx, a family who were for a time Lords of Ribchester in the Middle Ages.

  2. John Bainbridge

    They’re saying “walk within your capabilities”. We are walking way below what I know we can do, mostly because of our concern for mountain rescue. After all we can all have accidents. It’s a dilemma.

  3. shazza

    I was out early today with Hugo. It’s already a scorcher. We are keeping in the shade for the rest of the day now. I have never been bilberry picking. Sounds a nice thing to do…..and eat!

  4. Michael Graeme

    Too hot for me yesterday, kept in the shade. You did well. The way things are shaping up, I’ll be in the shade today as well, possibly a brief jaunt this evening. When I bought my old MX5 one of the first things I noticed was they’re a good conversation starter, and the drivers wave at you in passing. It made me feel like a member of an exclusive and very genial club.

  5. conradwalks.blogspot.com

    At least you are getting out with some decent amounts of ascent to keep the fitness going. Perhaps you could drive a little to find some variety ? I don’t think that would break any rules or make you any more vulnerable or impose potential activity from emergency services any more than the activities you are currently pursuing.

    1. bowlandclimber

      Yes that was about seven miles yesterday with my added on extension.
      Was your “Perhaps you could drive a little to find some variety ?” a suggestion that you are becoming bored with my posts relating to Longridge Fell?
      I fancy a spot of Limestone scenery so may go up to Whitewell tomorrow.

  6. conradwalks.blogspot.com

    Never bored with your posts. I was just trying to encourage you to work as much within the rules as possible whilst keeping within the spirit of our own imposed interpretation. Do you know any good “bubbles” to join?

    1. bowlandclimber

      Yes, I know.
      I’m keeping well away from bubbles at the moment. I didn’t see any scientific evidence for them yet, Just Boris appealing to the masses.
      Now the politicians are trying to escape scrutiny. {Remember when Boris tried to close parliament during the Brexit debate] That strategy may backfire as it gives a bigger platform for the scientists and medics to speak.

  7. 5000milewalk

    As kids we used to cycle up to Bodmin Moor to go eating bilberries 😊.
    I found it funny, you of all people admonishing kids for trespassing!!! 😂
    Nice write-up BC

  8. ms6282

    It is a dilemma- just how far to go and keeping “within capabilities “. I pushed my boundaries on a hot Wednesday and drove up to the Lakes, but picked an area that I felt would be quiet ( bit not so quiet that I’d be stuck in case of something going wrong) and a walk that wasn’t too ambitious (well, except for it’s length) and made sure I was carrying plenty of fluids. I set out early, too. So, I think with some careful thought and planning it is possible to stretch your boundaries a little. I think Parlick and Fair Snape Fell would be quiet, and certainly well within your capabilities. But you have to make sensible decisions you feel comfortable with.
    Truth is th e re-emergence from lockdown is being handled badly with mixed messages – but we should expect nothing less than that from this lot by now.


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