Friday, 23 December 2011

Das Boots

It's hard to believe, typing this today as the rain absolutely shnozzes it down outside, but the past few days I've taken advantage of the mild weather and gone out walking. As I've got nothing else to blog about, here's a few pics of my adventures. I've cheated - one or two of these pics were taken a few months back and I'll tell you which ones they are - but the rest were taken on two really nice days in late December, a statement I never thought I'd write.

(Clicking on the pictures will make them a bit bigger and easier to make out, hopefully)

The stone that greets you as you enter the quarry between The Ercall and The Wrekin. There is a poem engraved onto it, but it doesn't rhyme so naturally it's shit.

A plague about 2/3 of the way up the quarry. You wouldn't know it if you've never heard of caching, but this plaque is an "Earth cache". You can find out more about those at

This is the view from the plaque. In the distance you can see The Wrekin which I would be trekking up the next day.

The top of The Wrekin, looking towards the south and Ironbridge.

What I love most about the views at the summit are how they represent the different ages. Look one way on a clear day and you can see some of the Cambrian mountains, a stark reminder of just how old Earth is and how beautiful it can be. Look another way, and there's Shrewsbury - a market town with windy lanes and wooden houses, an important place for commercialism in the Middle Ages. To the south, there's the furnaces of Ironbridge, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. One final turn of the head and you see Telford town centre - a new town which boasts tall glass buildings hiving with people wearing suits and working for private businesses.

There's something really powerful about slowly making a 360 turn and taking in those different views. When I do I wonder what a person 500 years in the future will be looking at when standing in the same place.

Two pictures of the terrain at the top of The Wrekin. There's a conventional path to follow, but if caching sometimes a little "off roading" is needed. There is a cache buried down a hole near the rocks in the first picture.

The Toposcope at the summit of The Wrekin. These two pictures were taken a few months ago.

Hunting another cache I thought I would take a quick picture of the summit from a bit further away. The dark thing in the middle is the toposcope, the thing in the air just to its right is a crow which was flying around all the time I was up there generally making a nuisance of itself.

Final picture, and I've deliberately left this one till last. This is a bush about 2/3 of the way up The Wrekin in which someone has placed a bouquet of flowers. Why? There's no note, no plaque, nothing to suggest any motive whatsoever for doing so. The writer in me finds that fascinating - you can get 10 short stories out of that picture, I think.

I know nothing about flowers so maybe what type they are signifies something - anyone know? The obvious guess is a remembrance of  someone who passed away in that location but I guess we'll never know.

It's still pouring with rain here. The shopping and the gift buying is done, all I have to do now is wrap and then eagerly await all the food/celebrations/sport we enjoy over these next few days. I'll be back just before 2012 with a round-up of the year or something but for now I'll leave you with this: