20 November 2020

Gringley

The Chesterfield Canal east of Everton
Yesterday I walked for five and a half hours. I left Clint in the village of Gringley-on-the-Hill in north Nottinghamshire and had set off by ten fifteen. The weather gods had granted me a lovely window of opportunity for plodding and though the day was chilly with a breeze from the Arctic, it was also bright with no hint of rain.

Gringley-on-the-Hill is a charming village with a long history and a population of around seven hundred souls. As its name suggests, it sits on a hill. North of the village flat farmland stretches out for several miles. Once it would have been marshland - home to reeds and wildfowl but in the seventeenth century Dutch engineers were employed to organise effective land drainage. Their hard work is visible today in the form of rich arable land.

I plodded out to The River Idle and looked across to the remote village of Misson which cut off from the rest of Nottinghamshire by the river. I was there in 2016. Go here.

Then it was along muddy lanes passing two or three remote farms and a flock of white geese or swans clustering on ploughed land.  I reached the village of Everton by two o'clock and then headed east to The Chesterfield Canal which took me eventually to Gringley Lock. The sun was sinking over the far horizon as I trudged up Wood Lane - all the way back to Clint and the journey back home.

"You took your time!" grumbled Clint as I lifted his tailgate.

"That is my prerogative," I responded. "After all, I own you!"

Clint said nothing for a while but as soon as I settled into the driver's seat he said. "You mean like a slave? You own me like a slave?"

"I guess so. I hadn't thought of it that way."

Of course Clint hummed slave songs from America's Deep South all the way home just to make me feel bad. However, it had been a grand day out. The six accompanying pictures should give you a fuller sense of the day I had.

Cottage on the edge of Everton

49 comments:

  1. Great photographs. You should sleep with one eye open if Clint starts humming “Massa’s in the Cold, Cold Ground”....

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    1. Well. I have never heard that one. I'll google it... Oh, how devilish of you!

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  2. Lovely photos as usual and the best part, there's no snow in them.

    What kind of birds are they? Swans?

    I wouldn't mind living in the cottage.

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    1. I don't know what birds they are. Swans or geese. I rather think the latter. If you lived in that cottage you would have to share it with a big black barking dog

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    2. In fact they were whooper swans.

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  3. This post made me think of Intimations of Immortality.
    Wordsworth's line, *The glory and the freshness of a dream.*
    And there was an echo of the last page of The Great Gatsby, when Nick Carraway goes back to the empty house on Long Island Sound:
    *I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailor's eyes - a fresh, green breast of the new world.*

    It must have been those enterprising Dutchmen you mention. And the Chesterfield Canal, such a feat of engineering. And those quiet villages I had never heard of until now, Gringley-on-the-Hill and Misson. And the skein of geese, near the three remote farms, as perfect as a Thomas Hardy poem.

    What is it about signposts on English country roads? Why do we stand there in such perfect peace?

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    1. The signpost gives the illusion that all is known, all is certain. We may be at peace for there is no chaos, no uncertainty. Go this way and you will reach Walkeringham or your fears will be dispelled or you will achieve your goals. All, is well with the world. I took the track less travelled and that has made all the difference.

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    2. There are relatively few signposts on Hampstead Heath so it is easy to lose your sense of direction.
      My young brother Ian was walking with my late brother George, and they stopped a man for directions. The man was Hunter Davies, author of the first Beatles biography and also a book about Spurs, *The Glory Game*.

      My third Brother Brian (now deceased) wasn't there that day. Brian was football mad but incredibly shy. I gave him The Glory Game* for Xmas when he was still at school. He was made up that Ian had spoken to Mr. Davies, once an ornament of The Sunday Times when the great Harold Evans was editor.

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  4. LOL at Plague.

    My cars have always been fairly reasonable. Except for the one time that one caught fire. And my husband said, "It never does that when I drive it." He was right. I refused to drive it ever again, and it never caught fire again.

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    1. Mr Robert H. Brague has a droll sense of humour. Surprised that fiery car was not consigned to the breaker's yard.

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    2. I am married to my mechanic. He and he alone makes the decision as to when cars are scrapped. He drove that car for a couple more years. A deer leapt off a bank, caved in the windshield, roof and hood. We turned back for home very slowly. I got out and shook the glass from my person. He began listing the parts that he needed to fix it. A little mote emotional than usual I told him the car was unfixable, and if he didn't think so now, I would take a sledge hammer to it. He decided to scrap it.

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    3. Self-combustible engines and deer straying from woodland and colliding with passing automobiles ... Am I in Stephen Kingland?

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    4. Probably shouldn't tell you about the bears.

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  5. Remind Clint that you not only have given him a name but worldwide fame on your blog, feed and water him. That you exercise him regularly; that you allow him to sit for hours in unfamiliar and picturesque surroundings; not to mention all that fresh air. Beats sitting in a garage or driveway, permanently parked in the same old spot, day in day out, possibly shat on by seagulls; an outing to the supermarket the highlight of many a car's day.

    Cheer up, Clint. May your days continue to be plentiful of adventure and little rust.

    U

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    1. Clint just honked his horn at you.

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    2. I'm honking with laughter.
      Ursula is my Nancy Mitford mixed with Dorothy Parker plus Jane Gardham (Yorkshire born) who wrote a funny novel *Old Filth*, about an English high court judge who sits on obscenity cases (hence the title).

      Ms Gardham wrote a novel called *Crusoe's Daughter* named after Defoe's iconic tale, arguably the first modern English novel.

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    3. My sister loved "Old Filth" and has highly recommended it to me.

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  6. I'm happy to hear you had an enjoyable hike. Your photos are all beautiful but I especially love that sunset!

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    1. The sunset maked the end of the walk... as in "Gone With The Wind". After all Bonnie, tomorrow is another day.

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  7. It looks like you had perfect walking weather and had a beautiful, interesting walk. Going back to your 2016 post about Misson, I am now wondering where Misson really is. In the former post, you wrote "Misson is a substantial village in northern Nottinghamshire", but here, you say that you "looked across to the remote village of Misson which is in Yorkshire".

    You know I have a thing for sunsets, so I find that picture particularly attractive. The cottage is also very picturesque and would be even more so were it not for the bins.

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    1. I was right the first time. It is in Nottinghamshire. Thank you for pointing out my lazy error.

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    2. Ha! Meike should turn her attention to inconsistencies in Dominic Cummings' blog.

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    3. If Meike visits "A Yorkshire Memoir" she will find a shedload of errors, inconsistencies and fibs.

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    4. You just need a good editor, old boy. Plus a fact checker.
      Boris will soon be available for the first role.
      As for the fact checker, how about Martin Bashir?

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    5. Don't you mean fart checker?

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  8. I love that signpost photo. Glorious.

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    1. Now you and Peregrine have your own signpost when it comes to housing...This way The Future, that way The Past.

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  9. These are wonderful photos. Of course my favorite is the one of birds in flight! I also like the sound of "the River Idle".

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    1. I have just found out that the birds are whooper swans.

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    2. And do they whoop?

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  10. Sunny yesterday but cold. Clint was complaining because his pistons had started to shrink and separate from his camshaft.

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    1. Co-incidentally, I heard that your piston was also in shrink-mode yesterday Tasker.

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  11. Nice day out! I am again envious of your opportunity for a long walk while I'm sitting inside at my desk job. It's kind of funny to see that quaint rural cottage in Everton with a big ol' recycling bin out front!

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    1. I felt like moving that green bin but it was the reality of the scene. Also there was a big, black dog barking.

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  12. Lovely walk, excellent photos.

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    1. Short comment. To the point. Thanks.

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  13. 5 1/2 hours? That's a great outing. It was a bright and pleasant day . When the landscape has been altered so much one wonders what it was like before.

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    1. Yes. I wonder that too. Apparently when the Dutch drainage engineers came to the area they met a lot of resistance from local people who could see that their way of life would be utterly changed.

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  14. As always, wonderful photos YP - the last one is stunning.
    I've never considered that my car may feel unloved, but Ursula's comments, and your frequent conversations with Clint give me pause for thought. My car doesn't even have name, and spends most of it's time parked behind the garage, away from prying eyes. It has been out twice today, into town and then later it took the dog and I down to the beach, where we left it parked in the road whilst we walked along beside the sea. Do you think it feels hard done by, lacking the variety that Clint obviously has?

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    1. Without a name, of course your car will feel hard done by. To remember the England you once knew may I suggest one of the following names a) Muriel b) Helen (after Helen Shapiro) c) Bessie (after the MP Bessie Braddock) or (d) The first name of your mother-in-law. This will be a start in building a healthy relationship with your vehicle.

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  15. It was a beautiful day for walking yesterday. Your photo of the sunset is stunning, Clint should be proud of you.

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    1. You are right. Clint should be proud of me! But he treats me like muck. I feel like the slave sometimes.

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  16. A very nice commune with nature, even if mostly influenced by the human hand.

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    1. I guess that there are still parts of the Australian bush that have never been altered by the human hand - such is its vastness.

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    2. Indeed there is. While deforestation is an issue there is a lot of bushland that's never been touched.

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    3. This in an almost inaccessible area. http://www.wollemipine.com/aboutwp.php

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