Jamie's Notes

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The scenic route

The satnav offered me two options for my journey home from Staffordshire earlier this week, a large stretch of the M1 (shorter) or straight through the heart of the Peak District National Park (longer).

Despite the worrying check engine light sign that has plagued my dash for the last month, I opted for the latter and enjoyed an hour of heather lined winding roads, engine stressing hills and picturesque villages.

Please enjoy a minute of my journey through this marvellous place.

Location Tracking with OwnTracks

I have an app on my phone that periodically checks my location via GPS and sends it to my server at home. It seemed like a good idea when I installed it all last year, but then there was a pandemic and I forgot all about it. It has been sat quite happily in the background ever since, tracking me everywhere I go.

Basically, I have been nowhere interesting.

But I have seen a fair amount of my home city, as would be expected:

That track veering off up to the coast on the right is my trip to Hornsea last week.
Eating a pasty at Woodall Services while stationary. Safety first.

I’m not sure that this serves any practical purpose at all – but it is kind of interesting.

I can’t tell you exactly how I set it up because I can’t remember, but the component parts are:

  • Owntracks (iOS) – Records your location
  • Owntracks Recorder – Stores all the information and gives you pretty maps
  • Mosquitto – This sits in the middle of the other two. I’m not sure what it does, but pretty sure that it’s essential.

Please let me know if you can think of a useful purpose for this, then I can justify the electricity use.

Wish I was here

Grisdale

It’s just over six years since me and a friend went wildcamping in the Lake District. Two days of (very) long walks, bathing in crystal clear rivers and sleeping on soft grassy ground. We really should go back.

A walk around Welton

My friend Dave and I took a walk around Welton on what turned out to be a sunny evening. We’ve walked the various routes around Welton before but this route was new to us. The first small climb offered up some great views over Ellougton Wold and out across the Humber that we hadn’t seen before.

The route took us back down to our starting point through Welton Dale – which has sadly been fenced on both sides now so it feels like you are being kettled as you walk down the valley. If you’re prepared to jump off the path for a bit you’ll find the Raikes Mausoleum hidden within the woodland. The structure is two hundred years old and sadly in need of some attention now, which is a shame as it still houses the remains of some of the family. It was a bit spooky at dusk and we didn’t hand around – so no photo.

I told Dave that Welton was quite posh, but I don’t think he believed me until we walked past a million quids worth of helicopter parked on someones lawn.

Photos from 10th February

Living dangerously

A year with the National Trust

Last year we joined the National Trust. It wasn’t something that we had considered before, but after arriving at Fountains Abbey on Boxing Day and realising it would cost us an arm and a leg to get in, we signed up to their family membership plan to spread the cost. It was a good deal on the day because we didn’t have to spend forty quid on the entrance fee, but whether the £120 spread over the year was worth it remained to be proved. Since I am a massive nerd, I kept track of what we spent over the year.

Without membership we would have paid £242.90 (including £17 parking charges), so we saved £113. Not bad! If cost is the only metric, membership has proved to be very good value for money. Having the card in our pocket (and the monthly direct debit going out) pushed us to get out as often as possible, and they were all well worth the visit.

Here’s a list of the National Trust properties that we visited:

Unfortunately there are only a dozen national trust properties within a couple of hours drive of us, and we’ve done the majority of them now. Some of the properties are massive and need more than one visit, so I’ve renewed the membership this year so that we can go back and explore those further and maybe visit a couple of the ones further out. I can’t see that it would be worth renewing further than that unless we move somewhere else, but we only need to visit five or six properties to cover the cost.

Here’s some photos from our year with the National Trust:

Hull to Skegness

This Sunday saw a small group of hardy bikers brave the grim looking clouds and head out for a ride to not so sunny Skegness. To be fair, I knew that it was going to rain anyway. The previous day I had spent two hours fastidiously cleaning the inner corners of my bike. Sods law says that if you do this, the next time you leave the house it will completely piss it down.

We set out with one eye on the clouds, planning to stop off at Willingham Woods and Cadwell Park along the way, offering chance to turn back early on should the heavens unload on us. Luckily, the rain didn’t hit us until just before Willingham Woods and it was over in a flash, so we decided to carry on to Cadwell Park, then on to Skegness.

For the rest of the day it did indeed rain. It rained a lot. It rained so much that the road into Barton was under a foot of water. Despite this a lot of fun was had. I’ve put the route up here for posterity because some of the roads were excellent; particularly the bottom end of the B1203.

The parking at Skegness was free for bikes. Top marks to North Lincolnshire Council.