Living Near Water

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I’ve almost always lived near water, I grew up next to depleted gravel pits (now a fantastic nature reserve), holidayed by the sea and swam almost every day.  Debbie and I have always lived close to rivers or the sea and I spend most mornings walking or cycling along the sea front.  Today was no exception, I woke early and cycled to, and around, Fairhaven Lake; spent 90 minutes in Caffe Nero reading and then cycled to the Blackpool end of the prom where I jumped off my bike for a beach walk, before cycling home. 

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I then headed to Chorley to meet up with Matt and walk along the canal towards Burnley, turning around just after we walked under the m65.

Canal walks like today’s provide a unparalleled view of our varied countryside and took us next to steep valleys, woodland and fields, amazing housing developments and quaint narrow boat communities, smallholdings and villages.  There’s no better way to appreciate the countryside, it’s even better than cycling the same route and much better than cycling on roads or re-purposed railway tracks and of course it has the advantage of being flat; always a plus on hot sunny days.

It was great to catch-up with Matt and hear his tales about CSC, but also his plans for the future and I’m looking forward to climbing the Pike with him in a couple of weeks time, practically my last unscheduled day of the month.

On my way home I stopped off at the garden centre to get one more tray of Violas to finish off the autumn bedding display at the front of the house and then had a short nap.  I then started the first of many jobs that need doing to tidy up the outside of the house over the next few months.  This first job was to disassemble the patio table ready for Fylde Recycling to take it away on Thursday.  This will free up most of the patio for my fruit trees and cold frames.  Moving the cold frames creates space for the new raised beds, moving the fruit trees off the drive makes way for the utility room extension that we hope to have built there.  It’s going to be a busy few months.  I must say the patio already looks much better, cleared to the decaying table!

I’m really hoping that the idea of a utility room works out to be affordable and practical.  The plan is to add an extension that will cover half the width of drive and run from the kitchen door to the end of the dining room (approx. 16ft).  Once complete it will allow us to move most of our household storage out of the garage as well as the clothes drier, and move the washing machine out of the kitchen to be next to it.  This will free space in the kitchen for another freezer, to allow us to buy food in bulk and to freeze garden produce.  The main advantage though will be to keep the house warmer and dramatically reduce the number of times we have to leave the house to visit the garage, which will be a huge plus in winter. 

We got the idea for this extension from a flat we stayed in while visiting Scarborough last year and although the version we are planning is structurally more impressive, functionally they will be identical, it really enhanced the liveability of the flat we stayed in, so I’m excited!

I’m also really looking forward to the replacement USB keyboard arriving, because the constant lost characters with this Bluetooth one is beyond frustrating.

The top photo today is of the cows and sheep in the field by the canal and the second picture is of the gateway to the beach that I walked down this morning, but before I walked I managed to fall flat on my back, tripping over a mostly sand buried hand-rail that I was standing next to, I jammed my iPhone charging port up nicely with sand but managed to clean it out eventually, what a food I felt!

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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