Smith’s Bridge 14
A day for not doing much really. The wind and rain didn’t make the thought of moving very appealing, even the hardiest crew member Tilly wasn’t impressed with the weather. I think the amount of footfall here yesterday actually had more to do with her choice than the weather.
As there is still a chance that a project I’ve been offered with Dark Horse Theatre Company might happen next year I decided it was way time I did a bit of sussing out for it. The production will have a lot of projection in it and after watching Small Island last week I decided to get in touch with my friend Jen. Jen was a Scenic Artist at The National Theatre and had worked on the show. The constant background of projection had made me wonder what colour the back wall had actually been. Almost certainly not white as this would have allowed light to bounce around all over the place, but was it grey?
She came back with the response that the back wall had been heavily textured and painted in several shades of grey. If I’d been to see the show I’d have been able to appreciate the texturing and the work that had gone into what on the TV screen at home looked more like a plain wall to project onto with just a bit of something to break it up a bit.
I sent another email to a good friend, normally a lighting designer, currently redesigning his garden, for a touch more information. Then I settled down to do a bit of hunting around for flight/boiler suits and hats for the cast to wear. I will soon need to provide a costume design so that it can be incorporated into the animation for the show.
The day being so damp and chilly Mick lit the stove and gave Oleanna a glowing warm interior. Tilly appreciated this and took pole position on the sofa for much of the rest of the day.
Mid afternoon it looked like outside was drying up a touch, so I decided to see if there might be any views to be seen from the hill up towards Lyme Park. Mick wasn’t so keen so I set off on my own, making sure he knew what route I’d be taking.
I returned to the water point, at the Trading Place I realised that the chap yesterday hadn’t been constructing something in the doorway, but it was actually a little trolley that he could put peoples purchases on which would then slide to the doorway for them to collect. Shame I didn’t take a photo.
Over the bridge and straight up the track to where it forked, a quick check of my map and I took the right fork, still heading up hill. Cattle grids to keep the sheep in and plenty of farm traffic. There were tractors moving large round bales of silage from one place to another, builders pickups and a large transit that seemed to be visiting every farm in the valley. It took a while to climb up the hill past all the farm yards sadly missing many of the disused mine shafts as I went. The area used to be filled with coal mines.
But once I was above all the tractors and mud I was able to catch my breath and admire the grey view towards Stockport and Cheadle Hume.
Fields of sheep sat either side of the track. A few woolly beasts had found the tastier grass on the wrong side of the hedge which lead to a game of chicken, in a sheep kind of way. I kept myself right up to one side of the track hoping not to worry them too much, as they all carried on running away from me up the track. But soon a gate stood in their way! What were they to do? I carried on walking up the side, then all of a sudden the one brain cell between the six of them jumped into action, one sheep making a dash for it past me, the others followed suit, panic over.
A large banner covered a gate outside the last house on the track. This must be where Heather Broadbent lives. Last year she started on the around the world yacht race. Glancing at her blog and facebook page, it looks like the boat, CV21 got to Australia before the rest of the race was put on hold due to the pandemic.
Through the next gate I was on National Trust land. I had no idea how much of my planned route would be on their tracks and the gates would be closing in half an hour. I reckoned that as soon as I started to head down hill I should be fine and I would soon be crossing over fields to the next track to make my descent, so I should make it in time.
A large wooden ladder, with a handy dog flap below it joined me onto the North Cheshire Way for a couple of fields. Of course as I changed direction the wind now blew drizzle at me, so with my coat zipped right up I continued across the wet grass.
A section of dry stone wall was mid way through being mended. All the stones had been laid out of the grass, graded into sizes and the top stones all ready to go back sat in a line.
Below in the field I could hear a ladies voice. The milk heard gathering by a gate. They’d be heading for milking. Would I get to the farm before them? She opened the gate and off trotted Mable ahead of the pack, leading the way to the milking shed. I think she got there before the last straggler had left the field. Luckily for me the route to the milking shed didn’t involve the track down hill.
Back on tarmac I passed Platt Wood Farm with immaculate gardens and then veered northwards. A short distance onwards was a rather fine Volvo Amazon Estate sheltered out of the rain.
The house it was next to was for sale. At first it looked like the house was detached and the sign suggested it came along with some woodland. Now if we got a mooring at Higher Poynton we’d be able to walk from boat to house quite easily. A shame we’ve not got £600k to spare! And it’s only a semi!
By now the drizzle had turned to rain and I was glad I was mostly sheltered by the tall hedges. Over the canal again at Bullocks Bridge and a very damp walk back to Oleanna. Mick had suggested he might move the boat so that we didn’t have to listen to the music from across the way for another evening, but due to the rain the side hatch had been kept shut, well until the skies dried up again in the evening! Oh well, we’ll move on again tomorrow.
0 locks, 0 miles, 1 wet blowy day, 3.2 miles walked, 6 panicked sheep, 1 round the world yachts woman, 5 minutes on National Trust land (worth a years membership), 1 cosy boat, 1 pair of soggy jeans, 2 much Oasis.