29 September 2021

Lound

Idle Valley Nature Reserve

I like to get at least one long walk in every week. After all, walking is pretty much the only exercise I get these days but fortunately I love it. Not much can beat the feeling of sheer fatigue after a long walk when you can slake your thirst with cold water and check over your map to see how many miles you have covered.

Today I parked Clint in the village of Lound in Nottinghamshire - just north of Retford. East of the village there are several lakes and ponds that are a remnant of sand and gravel quarrying in days gone by. Mother Nature has done her best to reclaim this landscape and nowadays it is a haven for wild birds. Two miles beyond the nature reserve you reach a narrow river that was navigable in medieval times. It is called The River Idle.

The pub and a Royal Mail van in Lound

I walked by the meandering river for a further mile and a half before crossing a convenient foot bridge that led me to the north of the watery world I had just traversed. At a bench with a view, I met a genial gentleman called  Michael from Misterton. Neatly dressed in "Craghoppers" outdoor gear and with a mop of silver hair, he was clutching a pair of binoculars though he wasn't obsessive about ornithology. He told me that his wife died from COVID last year and I sensed that he wanted to talk so I gave him some time. There was a lightness about his character that I liked though we exchanged some serious thoughts about the environment.

Where I met Michael

Leaving Michael, I tramped to remote Wildgoose Farm  and then headed for Blaco Hill before arcing back across farmland and along quiet lanes to Lound.

It was a lovely day but with a little autumnal chill in the air. Most fields that needed harvesting have been attended to though there were still some swathes of maize and carrots holding on till October. Once reconnected with Clint, we travelled home via Bawtry, Tickhill and Maltby. 

The radio news was of The Labour Party's annual conference in Brighton - specifically the keynote speech of Sir Keir Starmer, the party's relatively new leader. I thought he came across well. He said that his late father had been a toolmaker and added there was a sense in which our current prime minister's father had also been a toolmaker! That made me laugh.

Maize near Lound

41 comments:

  1. Beautiful sights. I'm glad Michael and you connected. It is lonely to lose one's spouse. (as I know)

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    1. For him it was so recent. I didn't wish to pry and he didn't wish to talk about her very much.

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  2. You just couldn't make up Michael from Misterton. It's a nice looking body of water. Very soothing.

    A good joke by Starmer.

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    1. Glad you got that one. Johnson is a tool.

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  3. People are one of the things about good walk. We meet some interesting people and many are well worth spending time with.

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    1. I would like to walk with you Red but I don't suppose I ever will.

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  4. That first photo looks like northern Alberta, minus the dead bodies of course because covid is raging out of control here.

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    1. Officially, Canada's COVID death toll currently stands at 27,819. Alberta has lost 2,697 citizens - that's 625 per million. In contrast Britain's death rate is now 1998 per million.

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  5. Keir Starmer reminds me of Tony (Tory) Blair. He's far too focused on the middle classes and seems to have forgot that Labour is the party for the labourers. Great photos YP.

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    1. I disagree with you. Keir Starmer's heart is in the right place.

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  6. Michael sounds like a pleasant chap. Perhaps he was lonely and welcomed an opportunity to chat to a like minded fellow.

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    1. Like me, he was clearly happy in his own company but not misanthropic with it.

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  7. Looking at the last picture made me thing about the days when the skill of the farmer walking the Shires and the plough would pride themselves on their straight furrows. Of course they couldn't get as narrow as those in your picture. Having been in the cab of the machines that now do the work I realise that the current farmer who occupies the 'ploughing seat' is no less skilled. It's just that he has to understand computers, machinery and navigation amongst his many other skills. It's no longer an art. It's a science.

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  8. Lovely photos, and that bench looks such a good place to contemplate nature and the universe.
    I recently saw on TV that the very latest tractors are self drive, and require no assistance from humans, apart from the occasional re-programming and recharging.

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    1. It's true. Nowadays farmers can achieve very straight lines as long as they know how to operate their computer systems.

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  9. Love the 'Toolmaker' bit, lol
    Briony
    x

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  10. The Royal Mail van symbolised the sea-change in English politics, which has left Labour without any clear agenda or identity.

    The Royal Mail does not exist, it was privatised by the Tories in 2013.
    Who trusts the postal service? Only junk mail is guaranteed to arrive bang on time.

    Even Mrs Thatcher was not prepared to have the Queen's head privatised.
    Just watch the sloppy way letters are collected from post boxes.
    In our day the postmen, with their smart uniforms and peaked caps, took pride in their work.

    It would take a combination of Harold Wilson, Barbara Castle and Denis Healey to win the next General Election for Labour.
    English voters are Tory. They voted for Blair because he sounded Tory.

    Keith Starmer's speech cannot rewrite history.
    New Labour modernisers made some necessary changes but the Blairites went too far.
    In the lost childhood of Tony Blair, social democracy was betrayed.

    Read an old online interview with David Owen.
    *Lord Owen: Politics is a blood sport, no use complaining.* Varsity 2017.
    Read what he has to say about the National Health Service: his degree is in medicine.

    A sea-change is brought about by oceanic currents: irreversible political, economic and social conditions.
    Neo-liberal economics knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
    Globalisation, dominance of China, crisis in the EC: These are treacherous currents.

    If Starmer looks bewildered it is because he is bewildered.
    A face like Starmer's does not reassure worried voters in very uncertain times.

    Only a political bruiser with a killer punch could destroy the Tories.
    Healey could have done it, only Healey had the nerve to destroy Militant Tendency.

    Politics is indeed a blood sport as Lord Owen, a seasoned combatant, said.
    Haggerty

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    1. He's not called Keith Starmer. He is Keir - named after a man from Lanarkshire who had a dream. David Owen was a traitor. I wouldn't put much weight on anything he said or wrote.

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  11. I like Keir Starmer. I think he's a much more appealing leader than Corbyn. And that WAS a good line!

    Looks like an excellent walk. Get your walking in while the weather cooperates!

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    1. You know, it's very rare to have a week when there isn't at least one good, dry day for walking and photo taking.

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  12. Keir Hardie (1856-1915) did have a dream, and he died broken-hearted as workers of the world failed to unite, took up arms, and massacred each other in a blood bath.

    History has many cunning passages as T.S. Eliot said, and neither Marx nor Keir Hardie could have foreseen the global catastrophe of the First World War.

    Calling Lord Owen a traitor is silly student politics.
    It cost Owen, Roy Jenkins and Shirley Williams much heart-searching to leave Labour.
    Shirley Williams said she could not endure the lies Tony Benn spouted about the EC.

    Denis Healey said Benn was responsible for keeping Labour in the wilderness for nearly 20 years, and I suspect Healey was a mentor to Kinnock, whom Benn hated.
    Read *Hammer of the Left: The Battle for the Soul of the Labour Party* John Golding.

    If Keir Starmer had remembered Keir Hardie, he would not have been ruffled by the honest woman who called him out on the minimum wage. It should be raised to £15.

    Food Banks are the result of austerity measures, a Tory tactic to keep people frightened. Stopping people's Benefit is another, a disgrace in rich tax-haven England.

    If Keir can't bring down Boris and his spivs he isn't worth his namesake's ghost.
    I say again, the Tories could win the next election, a disaster for our country. The Scots Nats know it and smell blood.
    Haggerty

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    1. It may be time for The Yorkshire Nationalists to start campaigning against the Old Etonians and their ilk.

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    2. Ah, if we could have a new kind of regionalism which aimed to preserve the Union.
      It would call attention to English regional needs as well as Scottish and Ulster regions.
      Aberdeenshire is as different from Glasgow and the West as we are from Yorkshire and Lancashire.

      I am in the Departure Lounge, it is the young ones I am worried about, Neil.
      Inflation is back.
      Remember the almost weekly hikes in food prices in the 1970s?
      Haggerty

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    3. This is going to be a hard winter as some of the chickens come home to roost.

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    4. A winter of hard talk:
      Keir must humiliate the Corbynites, tell them that voters rejected their ideas, that they appealed to the London Labour Party and dewy-eyed students.

      Corbyn is a narcissist: the day Labour lost the election he was being kissed and cosseted by his cooing fans: the man had no awareness that he had delivered our country to Boris and his Wrecking Crew. He did not look sad or worried.

      Corbyn's political immaturity makes Benn look like Aneurin Bevan, and Bevan was the great strategist.
      Corbyn had not the manhood to say: *I was wrong; we must rethink our ideas; above all Labour must be united.* He blamed everyone but himself.

      Politics is the art of the possible as Rab Butler put it.
      The rest is theology as Harold Wilson said.
      Haggerty

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  13. What kind of maize is grown in England? Our field corn (as we call it) gets fed out to livestock and turned into sweeteners for many foods.

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    1. I grew up in the countryside when you would NEVER see maize growing in the fields. Nowadays it is grown mainly for animal fodder and sometimes as cover for game birds - including pheasants

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    2. That explains why I don't remember seeing it in my previous journeys through your island nearly two decades ago.

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  14. Interesting area to explore. I expect if I lived near where you do I would spend all my time in the Peaks, but it is good to look elsewhere too. I have been in Wales for three decades and yet still find new places every year.

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    1. It's nice to mix it up and besides, there is loveliness and interest in the most unlikely of places.

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  15. Okay, the toolmaker comment was excellent. You all don't eat corn over there?

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    1. Yes we do eat corn but it is not as common or as popular as in the middle of America. Supermarkets also sell tins of sweetcorn.

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  16. Beautiful pictures!
    There is something special about walking near water, be it a lake or river or even just a beck. We have been hiking upmand down mountains for 9 days now, and the bits along streams and waterfalls were the ones I liked best.

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    1. Water can be magical with its reflections and its gurgling.

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  17. Everything looks so peaceful and nice! Of course your pictures are wonderful, as always. You always find such great places to walk.

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    1. That area is indeed very peaceful. I am glad you came along once more Jennifer.

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  18. That was kind ……the Michael meet

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