Saturday, 19 January 2013

Watch Hill and Keeping Warm

Watch Hill
The rest of the country is in the grip of Snowmaggedon but in Hobbiton barely a snow flake has fallen.  White stuff is, however, visible on most of the felltops and it is very, very cold.  Daisy and I needed/wanted a decent walk this morning so we toddled off to Watch Hill.

A diminutive little hill on the edge of Cockermouth, mentioned in Wainright's "Outlying Fells".  When we first moved here and rented a house in town I could see Watch Hill from the bedroom window and we often went there with Ollie.  It fell out of favour because the ground around all the gates can get very, very churned up and muddy and there were days when it took longer to clean Ollie's coat after the walk than we'd spent out in the first place. 

It's a nice walk that can be made as long or short as time allows if you carry on into Setmurthy Common or Plantation, which I didn't do today, our little outing was only a couple of miles.  This morning we stayed on the ridge line, such as it is, doubling back just before we got to the common.  Looking at the map, I think I was trespassing.

I'm not sure what the legality is of using this bit of map. have an option to show Ordnance Survey maps which is surprising given how sniffy the OS can be about reproduction of "their" maps without tight licensing and ridiculous fees. 

It wasn't the day for taking decent photos.  Although visibility was rubbish this morning, the potential views from this little hill are outstanding.  It feels slightly surreal being able to see Skiddaw, Whinlatter, the North Western Fells and all the way around to Scotland and then on to Caldbeck, but still be in sight of Cockermouth, the place I'd left Hattie, and most times, back to Bag End.  On a clear day you can probably see the Isle of Man; my back-of-an-envelope calculation is that you can see 25 miles from Skiddaw to the coast and if you add Isle of Man into the equation that would be 60 miles ... some view!

Here's a couple of views of this wonderful vista from two different places.  The white speckles are snowflakes.

Daisy studiously ignored the few sheep wandering around in the top field and is getting very cheeky with regard to the "come back to me when I blow the whistle" training.  I have biscuits in a little pouch hanging off my rucksack and get one out, then blow the whistle so that I can reward her as soon as she returns.  If little Madam notices me open the biscuit pouch she starts sprinting back to me BEFORE the whistle goes .....

Parking is easy at the bottom of the road leading to Higham and the journey has the benefit of requiring me to go through Main Street - perfect opportunity for 10 minutes shopping if necessary without having to go out of my way.  I can see us doing this walk on many, many occasions in future.
     The light changed to allow a view down towards Lorton Vale and Buttermere.

Keeping Warm
Last week at the beach Daisy and I got a bit wet.  Although her posh Hurtta coat is waterproof the outer layer was wet enough that I took it off when we returned to the car.  It would have been useful to have a soft, dry coat in the car to keep her warm until we got home.  I could go and buy a proper greyhound rug but for a laugh knocked up a little 'house coat' out of half a yard of fleece. 

Daisy loves it and will pull the fleece off the chair/radiator/table to tell me she wants to wear it.  We find this very odd having never subscribed to the 'dogs in clothes' thing, and being used to Ollie who had such a thick coat of his own that our problem was keeping him cool, not warm!  Today's little excursion has worn Her Ladyship out - and suitably attired she settled down in front of the wood burner whilst I spent the afternoon watching snooker.

(anyone else noticed I've got some dirt on the lens of the little Panasonic that I cannot seem to clean off?  Grrrr)


  1. We've got about 3", but it's not exactly snowmaggedon!I have high hopes for this afternoon and overnight though ...could so do with a snow day or several! x

  2. Had about an inch or so Sunday night, much of it has already gone.


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