Tag Archives: Longridge


This has made me smile today.                                                                                                              

The road near my house was trenched recently to put in a new water main. They finished the work before the Covid-19 crisis began and tarmacked over their work, it all looked very neat and tidy. There is very little traffic during the lockdown and I hadn’t noticed before that where their strip passed through a SLOW sign they had obviously been expected to make good with the lettering. This was the result…

They had only painted the lettering on their tarmacked strip with the obvious bizarre result.

I can imagine the worker in charge of the painting machine asking his supervisor how much to print and being told  “just our bit, it’s more than my jobsworth to touch the rest

The expression ‘jobsworth’ has come to mean someone who sticks to the rules of their job even when it would be more sensible to do otherwise.   ‘It’s more than my job’s worth’  suggesting I might lose my job if I did the other.

We are all familiar with this attitude in the workplace  –  the opposite ofJob’s a good’un’



Last evening I took my first walk, my permitted local exercise, for nearly a fortnight.  It was a warm sunny evening and I just strolled around Longridge to see what was happening.  Precisely nothing as there was hardly a car on the roads and I only passed maybe half a dozen people.
The rather boring photos below show empty streets but note the large proportion of stone houses for which the village was renowned before all the new developments which bear no connection architecturally to our heritage.
Not quite as bleak as the one depicted by The Specials which was in my ear as I walked around.



The road to Chipping.

Inglewhite Road.

Halfpenny Lane.


Whittingham Rd heading to Stonebridge roundabout.

Abandoned Housing Development.

Stone Bridge Roundabout, a local bottleneck.

Kestor Lane.

Market Place with Palace Cinema – will it survive?

Market Place with our local cobbler.

When will this Sale end?

Empty Pub – The Dog.

Higher Road going up onto the fell.

Berry Lane, the main shopping street.

Our local hardware shop.

Derby Road.

Abandoned road works.   

This won’t be my regular walk as it is all urban and crossing the road to avoid oncoming pedestrians is awkward. People of my generation are extra careful but I find a minority of youngsters pay little heed to distance, I personally am not convinced that 2 metres are sufficient. Social distancing isn’t working as one can see from the steadily rising coronavirus infection figures. The wearing of face masks by all early on would have cut down on transmission but the politicians couldn’t say that as there weren’t sufficient reserves. Next time I’ll head into the countryside or should I just stay safe in my garden, I’m privileged to have one and feel sympathy for all flat dwellers.



I mentioned in my last post that I had ordered some fruit and vegetables to be delivered to me.

Disillusioned with the supermarkets home delivery services, or lack of, I phoned a local firm who normally distribute to the catering trade, pubs and restaurants. Obviously, their trade will have dried up unless they have hospital contracts. The lady on their phone was extremely helpful and explained they did a family box of vegetables and one of fruit delivered for £25. She suggested I try these first and then adjust my further orders to suit me. I set up an account there and then and paid by card, simple. She said to expect the delivery the next morning. Now that’s service.

[The firm, Ribble Farm Fare, is based in Longridge,  A family-run business specialising in fruit and vegetables. David Coulston founded the business in 1964, selling potatoes door-to-door. I remember when I came to Longridge in the early 70’s he was just becoming successful, he’d purchased a villa out in Lanzarote and named it Casa Potata.  His two sons run the firm now, with a substantial workforce, from a large warehouse in the village. Looking at their website I was amazed at the variety they provide, not only the raw products but an extensive range of prepared restaurant items. Obviously the latter are defunct at present.]

At 7am whilst I was making coffee the van arrived and the boxes were dropped off in my porch without any person to person contact. I was staggered when I saw the selection. She wasn’t exaggerating describing them as family boxes. It felt like Xmas and birthday all in one.

The fruits included 10 oranges, 10 apples, 10 pears, a large melon and bananas.

The veg box included generous portions of carrots, onions. large and small potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, swede, red pepper, tomatoes, celery, lettuce, cucumber, mushrooms and for good measure 2litres of milk and a loaf of bread.

All the products were of very good quality and obviously fresh. What great value delivered to my door. The other box in the picture is bird food which cost me more than my own supply.

I set to make a large quantity of vegetable soup. I will struggle to eat all the fruit, certainly will be getting my ‘five-a-day’. When this lot is eaten I will definitely place another order but will have to be more explicit on the volume. I hope that with people like me in the area we go some way to supporting our local businesses, they need all the help they can get.

I’ve previously mentioned I have a daily milk delivery and he will supply eggs as and when needed so I feel less stress about food.

On the subject of deliveries, I had a bit of debacle trying to get prescriptions from my local chemist, part of a national group, so in discussion with my doctor I arranged for another fairly local chemist to supply and deliver my outstanding items. I know everyone is under pressure at the moment but some go out of their way to be helpful.

Sorry about all these minutiae but I suppose we are all focusing on the problems ahead. My heart goes out to any families directly affected by the coronavirus and I express my gratitude to any of you out there on the front line.

On a lighter note, some of you thought I was becoming morose in my last posts so I enclose a link my son sent me to a funny comedian, Stephen Cookson, I’d never heard of before.

One line for Sir Hugh – I’m thinking of switching my energy supplier, from Red Bull to Lucozade.

All the best.


I don’t think I’m going to be very good at this. I don’t have a regular routine at the best of times – get up when I feel like it, eat at odd hours, read and listen to the radio through a lot of the night. Should I keep to my non-routine or change to the ones recommended everywhere at the moment?  The best I’ve seen was a video from an ex submarine captain who was used to months underwater in very confined conditions.  Worth a look…


It may work for you but a couple of weeks in and I haven’t changed so it looks likely that I’ll plod on as I am.

I wake at maybe 8 o’clock, come downstairs to make coffee and feed the cat. Now I have an extra job – bring in the milk from the doorstep and wash the bottles in soapy water. Don’t believe I’m writing this, what hope for people with OCD? My hands are already getting chapped with all this soapy water washing. I never thought when I started this humble blog site about rock climbing and walking that I would be posting a picture of milk bottles.

I take my coffee back to bed and have a look at what’s happening in the world and in my Emails on the computer. I get distracted by some climbing videos on youtube, you know how it is. One often links into another and another, better make another coffee.

Once up and about I go into the garden. I’m slowly working my way around the beds weeding and clearing up. I tend to do about 2-3 hours until my back has had enough, there are plenty of days left for more. I’ve a good selection of all the common weeds as well as some plants I introduced and wish I hadn’t. This is the first year for a while to have the time to do a thorough job and try and catch the weeds before they become established.

Common weeds…

Bittercress. Seeds early and everywhere.

Cleavers. Sticks to everything.

Dandelion. Deep tap root, worse in lawns.

…Herb Bennet, Nettle, Buttercup, Rosebay Willowherb, Chickweed, Ivy, Bramble  – the list goes on.

Plants I introduced by mistake…

Dog Violet. Tenacious little b…..

Cuckoo Pint. Bulblets and seeds proliferate out of control.

Welsh Poppy. Orange variety has a deep taproot.

Yellow Variegated Dead Nettle. I wish it was dead, suckers everywhere. I was a sucker to plant it.

And then there is my lawn in amongst the moss. Need to buy some lawn sand, I will have to look online.

Lawn in my moss.

I could write a whole post on weeds, I almost have. When is a weed a flower?  Catch them early before they flower. They’ll all be back tomorrow.

The cherry blossom I pictured in my last post a week ago is shedding petals like snow in today’s breeze, it’s such a shame they only last a short time, rather sad really.

The fields opposite my house are earmarked for development and in the last few weeks the bulldozers have been in and stripped the hedges and destroyed most of the trees. They had started on the drainage and access roads but now the site is closed down leaving the whole place in a mess. I used to see deer and hares in those fields and the hedges were full of birds, what now for wildlife? Anyhow, I’m straying off the subject but this has prompted me to build a few more bird nest boxes which are now in place around my garden.  The sound of bird song is very noticeable this spring as there is little traffic noise.

The day passes quickly and cooking my evening meal is something to look forward to. Normally I shop up in the village every day and buy what takes my fancy for that evening’s meal. That’s all changed of course and now I delve into my store cupboard for inspiration, tonight I used rice and lentils to make dal bhat. Dal bhat is a traditional popular meal from Nepal consisting of rice and spiced lentils.  It is a staple food in these countries so as I have a good supply of rice and lentils I should be able to see out many weeks of isolation. I learnt to cook it fairly authentically whilst travelling in Nepal and I still have some spices bought there which are difficult to get in the UK.

What I’ll miss most are fresh fruit and vegetables. I’ve tried to book supermarket deliveries but all the slots are taken so I’ve turned to a local fruit and vegetable firm who normally supply to the catering trade. I’ve just phoned them and they couldn’t have been more helpful, I’ve a box being delivered tomorrow. Maybe picture then and give a plug if they are up to scratch.

The evening is passed with maybe an hour trying one of the cryptic crosswords from my bumper book of TheTimes Crosswords. Then tonight I’m going to watch some films from the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Every year they normally host an adventure film festival and the organisers have selected a series of films to view free every Wednesday throughout this isolation period. Very good of them, thank you, my own little film festival – I’d get out the popcorn if I had any! Fell asleep halfway through the last film – just like the real cinema.

  Times moved on quickly and I don’t have much to show for it. That just about sums up my day. So don’t take any advice from me regarding isolation strategies as I don’t really have any except…

“Take one day at a time”


It’s a wonderful time of the year with some exceptional weather, the blossoms are appearing and we’ve just gone onto British Summertime which I always look upon as a turning point.

My cat manages to sleep from dawn to dusk finding warm sunshine throughout the day. I’m jealous.

Last week I was going out for short walks from home Social Distancing as I went. Then this week I developed a sore throat, fever and headaches;  I’m sure, or almost sure, that this isn’t the coronavirus but the rules say if you have symptoms then Self Isolation is necessary for 7 days.

That’s no great hardship as I’m pretty self-reliant but I think I misread the rules and thought I was not to leave my house at all  [that is Shielding – we all have to get accustomed to these new terms]  So I’ve stopped going out altogether which is probably wise in any case. Hence no walking in this post.

I’m fine for food and medicines and have been pleasantly surprised by the offers of help in that direction. Thanks to those concerned.

My telephone line has never been so busy as I catch up with friends near and far.

And there is the bonus of a new friend who is almost hand tame after a couple of days gardening. On a larger scale, the night skies have been clear with a bright crescent moon and an even brighter Venus.

Lots of positives there.



I’m trying to exercise whilst social distancing and at the same time reduce driving to a minimum. Yesterday I was on roads all the way and didn’t really enjoy the experience, today I’ll attempt another walk direct from home but this time avoiding busy roads so I’ll need to get my boots dirty.

So off we go. It is another beautiful day, the Spring Equinox. I’m soon into fields, yes they are boggy but I’m enjoying the bird song. For the record, I see Deer, Hares, a Stoat and lots of lambs. The lambs photographed better than the rest.


All around me are hills – the Bowland Fells, Waddington Fell and Longridge Fell.

I pass a deserted country inn, the catering trades are having a hard time. Such a shame as everything is looking so good in the spring sunshine.

Towards the end of my walk, I use an old track to cut a corner off the road but wish I hadn’t as it was virtually impassible with mud and branches.

On the last stretch of road, I spot this beast waiting for restoration.

So today was more acceptable than yesterday but I still ended up with some road walking and the fields were very unpleasant in places.

Body count today, one pedestrian and one runner, both on the roads. Nobody was out in the fields despite the perfect weather. I think it is going to have to be all off-road but on decent tracks until the ground dries or we are all grounded.



If you don’t meet it you won’t catch it.

Engaging in a healthy diet [if you can buy it in the chaos of our supemarkets] and exercising regularly are both recommended to keep a high immunity and a positive mental approach during this worldwide crisis. There are scores of articles out there detailing methods for survival. In my last post I shared the British Mountaineering Club’s sensible advice which may well change in the coming days. Today dawned the perfect walking day, bright sunshine and clear crisp air. Time to put my boots on – but where to go?  I thought to keep it local and risk-free – don’t want to put a burden on Mountain Rescue teams or ambulances and casualty.

So a walk around the roads from my house seemed sensible. I peer out to check nobody else about, I am highly vulnerable you need to know. I set off at a brisk pace down the lane and immediately bump into a neighbour who wants to chat, it is embarrassing trying to keep 2metres away.

At last, I’m out of the village but I hate the main road I’m on with cars and lorries flashing past within 2 feet never mind 2 metres – have they not heard the government advice.

I didn’t reach a calm space until branching off up Back Lane and into Ashley Lane. Along here I caught up with another walker who crossed the road to avoid me, people have been doing that for years so I wasn’t surprised. Along this stretch birds were singing and some gathering nesting material, Buzzards were flying overhead, it felt great to be out in the open and worries disappeared.

At the road junction, the Bowland Fells appeared in the distance with Beacon Fell, Fairsnape, Parlick, Birkett Fell, Waddington Fell and Longridge Fell all lined up in a splendid panorama.

As I walked into Longridge the dismal sight of traffic jams caused by new developments greeted me. Gloom descended once more.

I won’t use this route again because of the traffic on the roads. I will endeavour to come up with a better alternative for tomorrow’s Social Distancing walk.

Potential viral persons encountered   5.