Time ladies and gentlemen please.

Peak Rambler's Ramblings 2012 first post went live on Tuesday 21st February 2012, titled: White Peak Walk from Monsal Head Sunday 18th December 2011
One of the very first photos published in Peak Rambler's Ramblings

I still remember now what was going through my mind, what to say, how to say it and would it be of any interest.

Peak Ramblers Ramblings is now ten years old, and while very far from the biggest blogs, it has been an enjoyable ride. A lot of people were starting out blogging at the same time, some I knew, walked and camped with and virtually all have long since stopped blogging.

Have I stood the test of time?

I doubt it from a content perspective, from the perspective of time, perhaps I should have laid Peak Ramblers Ramblings to rest long ago.

My last proper hill walking blog was Kinder Low and Kinder Downfall, a Winter Wonderland, a true winter walk, snow, clag, and although it was only a short duration, the conditions required the use of an ice axe and crampons.

The following photos are some of the last photos to be published before my accident.

Kinder Downfall from Kinder Low End

Kinder Low

Yours truly

Pym Chair and the Woolpacks viewed from Kinder Low

There have been many breath takingly awesome moments, like being at Kinder Downfall when the wind was taking the water back up!

The breath takingly awesome sight of Kinder Downfall at its unique

I have provided a full list of all my blogs still open for reading at the of this so if you want to have a look back at any, or even all, then please do.

However, I feel it is right to call time on my blogging. It has become difficult to find content to write about.

Peak Ramblers Ramblings was intended to be a walking blog, the hills, moors, camping, the places I visited along with the people I met, walked and camped with. As many will know, that was taken away from me back in February 2015 when a motorist ran a red light while I was legitimately on a pelican crossing, resulting in major lower right leg reconstruction.

As a result, my leg is now very misshapen, swells up a lot and I can no  longer easily find trousers or footwear to fit, so suitable outdoor clothing is no longer an option to sensible hill and moorland walking, something a lot of people find hard to grasp, but that is the sad reality.

So I have turned my outdoor activities to wildlife and landscape photography, it gets me out and gives me that escape from urban life I need to escape from.

At that point I decided to write about my experiences with photography, the places I’ve been and what I saw. Although the change to vlogging, and other forms of video sharing of stories, adventures and exploits has been building up for years, Covid-19 changed that with the big turn to video calling and vlogging. Even though vlogging isn’t new, it just isn’t for me.

The way people interact via social media and other platforms has changed somewhat over the last decade, and I feel the time is right to call time on my blogging.

Facebook, nt that I use Facebook, has changed how people interact there, along with greater use of YouTube and Instagram, neither of which I enjoy using. I used to enjoy YouTube, but today it seems to me to be more money orientated, and I’m not interested.

Even though vlogging can be done without facing the camera, and I’m one of those who prefers to stay behind the camera, not infront, and while I don’t knock those who stand in front of a camera, it really isn’t my thing.

Instagram isn’t on my list of favourites, I’m afraid I don’t like their privacy demands, I’m not one who wants or likes personalised adverts. Yes, provide adverts, but not at the expense of sneaking a look at my purchases or websites visited, for the great majority of them are one off visits and that is it, and the way I want it to stay.

I said earlier YouTube has become too money oriented, and again, that isn’t for me, and the current videos I have in Peak Rambler’s YouTube channel will be transferred to my Peak Rambler on Flickr, where my photos and a selection of videos have been kept for public viewing for almost as long as my blogs.

Also, post writing editing has become too complex. It used to be straightforward, now it is a lot more involved, and for me, time consuming requiring me to ensure everything is perfect, which I know it isn't, with the added complexity of accommodating all the many formats readers use, which dictates layout considerably.

For me, now I'm retired, and while I don't have the same time constraints as to when I was working, my time is to be enjoyed, and not be a slave to tech any more than necessary.

As things stand, the existing blogs will remain, unless I see a reason to remove them, which I had to do back in 2020 during the Covid-19 lockdowns, with three blogs.

Those blogs where I walked in tranquil and sensitive areas, but respectfully and with the way some people attempted to walk in the country, up the hills and across moors, leaving litter and an untidy mess behind, they had to be removed to protect not just the environment, but the local communities as well.

It was sad to have to do that, but it was seen as necessary at the time and still today, I have no regrets, they still remain to me special places I have visited and left nothing more than footprints which will have disappeared within minutes, taken lots of photos and memories away, and those places will remain special memories for the rest of my life.

That I’m afraid is the future, and the clock will ever turn back, things will continue to progress and change, it’s just that change is not for me.

The money I would have spent on outdoor gear is now spent on my camera gear, and associated clothing, utilising the skills and knowledge of what clothing to wear gained from my hill walking days for my much tamer past times, that I intend to enjoy in my retirement.

I will continue to get out and about, I will continue to use my camera to take photos and some videos, and who knows, my trusty Digital Single lens Reflex  (DSLR) camera may be upgraded to one of these new, but expensive swanky Mirrorless cameras.

But that change requires a lot of outlay, not just the camera, but the lenses to accompany the camera.

However, my online photos via Peak Rambler on Flickr, are to continue. There are my old hill and moorland photos on view, along with my post accident wildlife and landscape photos.

Some of the more recent examples at the time of posting this finale, are a pre-storm sunrise at one of the many nature reserves I visit post accident. These sunrise photos herald the dawn of a new era for me.

It is here that I say for the final time, Finally, happy rambling and thank you for reading,

Peak Rambler

The full list of blogs posted

Google Blogs

White Peak Walk from Monsal Head Sunday 18th December 2011

Lathkill Dale and Bradford Dale 28th December 2011

Castleton’s North Ridges Sunday 19th February 2012

Alport to Stanton Moor; Sunday 4th March 2012

Toughprint Waterproof Paper from Memory map

Tuff Maps, laminated Ordnance Survey maps with a detached cover

Bleaklow, The B29 Superfortress and I got Bleaklowed!

Bleaklow and the Bristol Blenheim Crash Site

Tissington Well Dressing, an ancient custom, today

Bleaklow and the Defiant, on a hot day in May!

Beinn Bhreac and a Trig Point on Carn an Fhreiceadain

Derwent Moor and those funny shaped stones!

Mill Hill and the Liberator Sunday 29th July 2012

Moel Siabod and my old Navigation Training Ground

Peak Meet; Parkhouse Hill & Chrome Hill

Monsal Head Camping, Bleaklow and the B29 Superfortress return visit

A Heartbeat Walk from Aidensfield on to Howl Moor

What's in my pack?

Win Hill and its winning views!

Kinder, Kinder Downfall and the Sabre…..

Stanton Moor on a snowy Sunday

Peak Rambler's Ramblings one year on!

A Peak Winter Meet, a Bunkhouse and Kinder

Derwent Moor to Highshaw Clough from Cutthroat Bridge

Bleaklow, the B29 and the Lancaster KB993

Stanage Edge on a sunny Bank Holiday Sunday

Froggatt Edge, Big Moor and some Stone Circles

Axe Edge Moor, the Cat and Fiddle pub and a Stag Do

A Limestone walk from Monyash

Crimpiau, a nostalgic walk from Capel Curig

An Autumn Walk on Bamford Moor and Stanage Edge

Bakewell, the Monsal Trail and a Tunnel

Eyam; a plague village and a walk on Eyam Moor

Derwent Edge and Ladybower late autumn walk

Bamford, Hope and Win Hill

Peak Rambler’s Ramblings; 2 years old, Twitter CB and a Stag Do!

Mill Hill, Kinder and Kinder Downfall

Long Mynd, Pole Bank and a nice cuppa in Carding Mill

A windy wander on Mam Tor and along Castleton’s Great Ridge

Bells Palsy, The Flu and Lymes Disease

Walking Big Moor, White Edge Moor and Barbrook Reservoir

Creag Dhubh and a walk on the wild side

Trekking Poles, love ‘em or hate ‘em?

The Liebster Award

A wander from Monyash to Magpie Mine via Flagg and Taddington

Classic Kinder walk, and some Gritstone formations

Alport Castles Alport Dale and River Alport

Stanton Moor Night Hike, and a drink in the Druid Inn

Axe Edge Moor Winter Walk and I’m a BIG kid at heart

Peak Rambler’s Ramblings; another year ends and time to reflect

Goyts Moss, a short walk across open moorland

Mam Tor and the Great Ridge, an old classic

Kinder Low and Kinder Downfall, a Winter Wonderland

Unplanned walking interlude

Modern technology vs. traditional methods!

Winter walking 2016/17 is only a dream!

Peak Rambler’s Ramblings; when life brings its realities close to home!

Winter walking, its pleasures and dangers!

Spring time walking in a diverse season while still in the shadow of winter!

Early walking days, time to reflect before we judge

Summer walking, “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun”

Autumn walking: walking in the shadow of summer….

Peak Rambler’s Ramblings; where’s the light at the end of the tunnel?

They stuck parking meters outside our doors to greet us

Walking disabled: carrying a fold-up seat!

Peak Rambler's Ramblings.... Where to next?

2018 A Poignant Centenary Year & Milestone Half Century!

Arbor Low Stone Circle and Gib Hill: A short wander, with WOW factor

Stanton Moor, my old favourite, I've missed you

Aber Falls, you don’t conquer by giving in!

Peak Rambler’s Ramblings, from one historic year to another

Sir William Hill & Froggatt Edge, along with a few personal thoughts

RSPB Conwy 19 Sept; a long overdue visit!

Peak Rambler’s Ramblings; 2020 a testing year for all!

2021 and another year locked in!


Arbor Low Stone Circle and Gib Hill: A short wander, with WOW factor

Stanton Moor, my old favourite, I've missed you

Eyam; a plague village which went into self-isolation

Sir William Hill & Froggatt Edge, along with a few personal thoughts

RSPB Conwy 19 Sept; a long overdue visit!

Peak Rambler’s Ramblings; 2020 a testing year for all!

RSPB Burton Mere 19th May 2021

Titchwell Marsh (and a trip to King's Lynn)

RSPB Burton Mere the return

RSPB Conwy Thursday 26th August and a new lens

Brandon Marsh

2021 and another year locked in!

2021 and another year locked in!

This year has been yet another tough year, with ongoing Covid19 restrictions in various forms and no obvious signs of things improving fast.

Not just Covid19, the weather as well, but the almost incessant dull grey cloud that has been over us along with the damp and wet conditions that come with it, which in itself has induced a form of additional lockdown for me, has made for me 2021 a difficult year.

As many of you will know, after my accident back in February 2015, because walking the hills and moors is no longer a viable option, I have turned to wildlife and landscape photography which still gets me outdoors and also a very interesting and pleasant hobby to get in to.

One of the first photos of 2021, a magpie finding breakfast on a sheep
before the first lockdown of 2021 was implemented

In my last annual review: Peak Rambler’s Ramblings; 2020 a testing year for all! I opened with the following:
What a year 2020 has turned out to be.
For me, a daunting start to the year, which saw me relinquishing more of my independence, started off with surrendering my HGV, PSV, Motorcycle and full car licence categories, purely for automatic car licence only.”

I also stated that I didn’t see Covid19 settling down in 2021:
I don’t anticipate the travel restrictions ending anytime soon, and even with the vaccination availability slowly gaining momentum, I feel the Covid19 virus will hamper our ability to move around for the next year or so, but it will settle down, and we will regain the freedom we enjoyed before Covid19 in good time.

For me, this year seems to have been a continuation of more freedom being removed from me, something that has been gradually happening since my accident back in February 2015, though it did seem that things were starting to turn around for the better.

I’ve talked before about the Cold War years, and my thoughts, and the following I’ll never forget, when I started work back in the late 70’s as a trainee mechanic, my mentor was a superb guy, what he didn’t know about cars wasn’t even thought about at that time.

His life skills were probably second to none as well. But one thing he did say that came back to haunt me, and remember, this was during the Cold War years:
Son, now the Cuban Crisis is well and truly over, we are probably living in the safest times that mankind will ever live in. No one will ever intentionally press the button to activate a nuclear war. We’ve had chemical warfare, napalm, mustard gas, agent orange and others, but one thing that is yet to come, is biological warfare.

That one will be the killer, that’ll be our World War 3!”.

Toward the end of last year I deactivated my Twitter account, which I have since re-opened. There are some very good people I know through Twitter, and it was nice to be able to meet back up with them.

However, it still seems bent on forcing me to take up lists and follow accounts of which I have no interest in whatsoever.

In fact, generally I’m finding tech in any form these days to be dictoral and that is not a good thing. We as humans have learned how to think for ourselves and something we need to continue doing, and yet today that is being taken away from us, I fear many have lost the ability to think laterally.
I’m being dictated to by big tech, telling me how I should lead my life, and that is something I don’t take kindly to.

But I’m not even a molecule size in this big world of hi-tech today and I certainly feel I’m very much alone in wanting to retain my independence.
I’ve fought and worked hard, and not with that much support to rebuild my life after that IQ Zero ran a red light while I was legitimately on a pelican crossing, which resulted in my lower right leg requiring major reconstruction, taking away my ability to sensibly get out in all weathers and all terrains, either moorland walking or mountain climbing, summer or through to winter (using ice axe and crampons) and the in-between seasons.

I don’t like losing my independence, and I certainly don’t want big (or small) tech dictating how I should lead my life, especially when something simple like predictive/autocorrect text tries to dictate and more often than not, wrongly dictate what it thinks you should be typing!

And that’s simplistic artificial intelligence (AI), how will more complex AI cope?

Currently it doesn’t, because it can’t cope with non-stereotype people where it tries to box me into categories that I’ve no connection or interest with….
Anyway, in other news, my employer offered early retirement to all over the age of 60 towards the end of 2020, which at the time, with the financial package offered, was a good deal, financially.


With Covid19 restrictions etc, I’m not so sure, I had a good employer and worked with a lot of good people, all of whom I am missing. I feel that if things were not so restrictive because of Covid19 and the incessant inclement weather, I would settle into retirement very easily, after all, it is something we all work hard for.

Recently I heard of yet more development taking yet more of our valuable and fast diminishing countryside being lost to construction, a solar farm of some 300+ acres moving the nearest countryside yet further from me.

Something I’ve said many times before, and possibly in an previous write-up is the questionable location of solar farms.

While I understand the need tailor our reliance on fossil fuels, it has to be at the right cost, and I don’t mean financial costs either. There are many suitable places in our towns and cities where solar panels can be placed high enough to capture the sun, and one such place could be multistorey car parks, where the vast majority of them don’t have a roof on the top level. What better, a roof that helps not only the car park users keep dry when it’s raining (or even snow or hail), but the dependency on fossil fuels.

Many shopping malls could also contribute by having roof mounted solar panels….

From my home, it used to be a 10 minute walk to the countryside, with HS2, now it’s a 30 minute drive at the least, and if this solar farm does go ahead, add another ten minutes to that!

It is only a matter of time before the West Midlands will be one big metropolis!

And the government keep crying about keeping green, by imposing taxes!

I really don’t feel the Government committed is to the environment, much seems to be pure lip service. Because in my view, if they were committed to the environment, then:-
  • why has Heathrow been granted a third runway?
  • and Gatwick a second runway?
  • why is the countryside always being used as the scapegoat for so-called green projects?

So, I have my doubts, and very grave doubts for the future of the countryside.

I’ve recently booked a holiday for 2022, taking advantage of the retirement days and avoiding the peak holiday periods. However, I’m feeling very sceptical about it.

So, what have I done this year?

Not a lot, in fact, I did more last year!

One thing I have decided, I’m not maintaining two blogging platforms. There’s been some big changes to the Google Blogger platform and in my personal view, it’s lost some of its nice flexibility to edit. So, for now, I’ll just be posting to the WordPress platform and post periodical links from the Google Blogger.

However, the existing Google based blogs will stay where they are, but no new blogs are to be posted for the time being.

As a post-accident new found activity to get outdoors and enjoy our fast-diminishing countryside and nature, combined with the fact I do enjoy photography, a first visit to Burton Mere Wetlands had been on the cards for a long time.
A general view of Willow Pool, the first pool after the visitor centre
Covid19, along with the unsettled weather that 2021 has endured, had put that and many other reserve visits for us all on a back burner. For me getting out in the wet is not an option, if I slip, its not easy for me to get back on my feet again!

Then, weather window occurred, and it was a last-minute decision made as I had got up, as normal around 04:00 one rare sunny morning.

I’d heard about Titchwell Marsh, and felt it was worth a days jaunt out, but it needed to be a decent weather day, and yet another, but rare weather window occurred. is an interesting reserve, not just because its coastal with coastal marshes, but also being on the east coast, is home to WWII bunkers, in varying states of disrepair.

It was also interesting to see the many now derelict bunkers from WWI and WWII.

A WWII bunker, known as ‘Merlin Perch’
on the marsh land to the east of Titchwell reserve coastal path

My wife fancied a day in Kings Lynn, not too far away, so I dropped her there and then carried on to Titchwell, before returning for a couple of hours in Kings Lynn with my wife before heading back home.

I had said a return visit to Burton Mere was in the planning, and just waiting for a decent weather day amid the ongoing unsettled conditions that 2021 had been enduring.

It was good to be able to access all public areas of the reserve, and even better, was walking past the Bunker Hide, which was set in a mound alongside the path, and view across a different part of the reserve.

A collection of swallows, sand martins and some other species

For me the highlight to the day was all those swallows, a brilliant day, and with the company of two people I’d only been talking to via a forum.

Bee rescue....

This was a long overdue visit to Conwy, and a good opportunity to try out a new lens. A few days beforehand I had purchased a Canon 100-400 USM-II lens after seeing the difference people were getting with the Canon lens over the Sigma 150-600 Contemporary.

The Sigma lens was, and still is, a very good lens, with the right camera, and for me when I bought the Sigma, I was using the Canon 750D camera, which I still like very much as far as budget cameras go and worked well with the Sigma lens. However, July 2019 I upgraded my camera to the Canon 5D MkIV.

With knowing Conwy Reserve so well, it was the ideal opportunity, plus good to see things I’ve haven’t seen much over the last couple of years, no thanks to Covid-19.

It was also a good opportunity to meet up with family who live nearby I’ve not seen since October 2019, again, no thanks to Covid-19.

I had made a return to Brandon Marsh mainly out of curiosity to see how things were after some big changes many years ago, which took away the character of the reserve, and I was totally taken aback that it had more or less returned to the old reserve I knew and enjoyed.

and the photoshoot…

OK, there were a few changes, like most of the hides had been renamed, but that didn’t detract from a very pleasant return visit, the reed bed that had once been a hive of wildlife activity, then changed to a pool, has been returned to a reedbed.

I have made a couple of very enjoyable return visits, and on two occasions, enjoyed watching and photographing a kingfisher, not an easy bird to photograph at the best of times.

I am seriously considering rejoining the Wildlife Trust that manages the reserve, along with a few other reserves, but that’ll wait until sometime early in 2022.

I’ve also made a couple of visits to another local reserve, Middleton Lakes, which has been very quiet generally and not a lot to report back or write about, though on one of my last visits, I did see a goldcrest, which is a winter migrant here, very small and very hard to photograph, particularly on a very dull day, something which for me, 2021 will always be remembered for.

What for 2022, well, as I’ve mentioned before and in last year’s review, the Covid19 isn’t leaving us anytime soon and with restrictions still ongoing, but hopefully the weather will be a little better and I’ll be able to get out more, and of course, the late summer holiday.

That is assuming things do start to ease and we don’t have another scenario like Covid19 to suppress the world.

I’ll close and wish you and your families a very Happy Christmas, hopefully without too many restrictions, and a Happy New Year.

Peak Rambler

Some links mentioned in the blog: