A Marvellous Achievement

Passion flowerThe passion flower rescued recently is now blooming. Stop clockLouisa & Claire & RichardEarly this morning we learned that the intrepid trio attempting the Three Peaks Challenge were, having completed Scafell Pike in three and a half hours, doing well. Louisa has sent some stunning photographs.Louisa & ClaireScafell PikeScafell Pike 2Scafell Pike 3Scafell Pike 4Louisa, Claire & Richard Signs of excited tiredness are evident at the summit, but when you think they had to be driven, by Paul Scott, from Nottingham to Ben Nevis before they could even start, unless they managed to get their heads down in the car, they will have been without sleep for a deal more than the 24 hours target time. For those unfamiliar with the geography, Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles, is in Scotland; Scafell Pike 5Scafell Pike in England’s Cumbria; and Louisa abd PaulSnowdon in Wales, Paul ScottPaul, who should not be forgotten in this venture, had a fair amount of driving to do in the Nottingham – Lochaber – Cumbria – Snowdonia – Nottingham quadrilateral. Golden hopsI imagine lap 3 (6 hours+) in the timer photo represents the drive from Ben Nevis to Scafell Pike.

Soon after 9 a.m. Louisa changed her Facebook Profile picture to the silhouetted image above. Possibly not from the mountaintop itself, but…… what mastery of technology.

Golden hops 2Whilst eagerly awaiting news of the completion of the challenge climbs, I continued battling with the invading lonicera and brambles at the front from next door. I also shortened a hawthorn by some length. Several new upright trunks had sprouted from one curtailed some years ago. Jackie unravelled golden hops from a cherry tree they were choking and trained them onto the fence.LouisaSnowdonSnowdon 2

 

Having taken fifteen minutes out for a swim in her favourite waterfall pool, Louisa and her friends completed the challenge in 23 hours, 43 minutes. What a marvellous achievement, says the proud father.

Tests of endurance rather run in the family. Sam rowed the Atlantic and I ran 18 marathons. But I am sure Louisa’s brother would agree that she’snow-capped us both. When Sam collected his boat in 2003 and rowed it to Newark from Henley, I walked alongside him. The last leg of this was the 25 miles from Nottingham. Sam having already arrived at his destination, Louisa met me at Newark Castle with a pint of beer for me in each hand. So……Cheers, my passionate flower, and the team.

We will be having roast beef followed by gooseberry and apple crumble for dinner, but I can’t wait until afterwards to post this.

The Three Peaks Challenge

Hoverfly on verbascumMost of our verbascums have been ravaged by caterpillars. Some, perhaps protected by hoverflies, have survived. Salvia microphyllaThere are some wonderful scents in the garden. Some simply pervade the atmosphere. Others, like this salvia microphylla, a woody shrub native to Arizona and Mexico, emit their fragrance from crushed, or simply rubbed, leaves. These have odours of mint and blackcurrant. At 7 a.m. this morning, my daughter Louisa set off with her friend Claire to attempt the Three Peaks Challenge. Louisa and ClaireThey must climb Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike, and Snowdon in 24 hours. Having each lost their mother to the condition, they seek sponsorship for Cancer Research. They look beautifully excited don’t they? Louisa is on the viewer’s left. She first climbed Scafell when she was about seven. This was one of my trips made in an unsuccessful attempt, accompanied by Jessica and Sam, to cure my fear of heights. As we neared the summit, the little girl slipped on some scree. That was it for me. Vertigo is much worse when there are children involved. I could go no further. The others made it to the top whilst I remained paralysed.

Today, my lovely daughter, you will make it.

Should any of my readers feel like donating, here is the link: www.justgiving.com/3peaksteamwestdaleLouisa and Claire at Ben Nevis InnLouisa and Paul at Ben Nevis Inn

Jackie shopped early this morning and bought me a nice new pair of gardening gloves. Oh, ‘frabjous (Lewis Carroll in ‘Through the Looking Glass) day’. That meant I could continue clearing the front garden. I made enough progress in this to realise that the invasive lonicera hedge and brambles from next door run down the side of the house at the front as well. I shouldn’t have been surprised really.

Late in the afternoon we drove to West End to visit Mum. The traffic was so bad that the journey took almost two hours. After spending time with Mum we collected Elizabeth and the three of us dined at Eastern Nights in Thornhill, where the food was as good as ever, and the service as friendly. With more staff on than we have known, there was no extended waiting time, either.

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On the way home we learned that the two young women and their male companion and dog had scaled Ben Nevis in four hours fifteen minutes, which was bang on target. They looked fit for their next mountain, Scafell Pike in the Lake District.