Roachside Cottage

Part of the living landscape of the Roaches

Peak District National Park - Upper Hulme, Nr Leek ST13 8UB

Another milestone for Roachside Cottage!

We just had our 100th consecutive FIVE STAR review on Air B&B

Need we say more?

We're "proper chuffed"

Today is the Autumn Equinox.

The day when the supposedly languid days of Summer end and the theoretical chill of Autumn spreads across the land.

The darkness of the nights has now become longer in duration than the daylight of the day and will get progressively more so until late December.

As we headed home at Rudyard this evening, the setting sun underlit the tattered shreds of cloud left by a feeble weather front.

Time indeed for some Autumn poetry;

     Nature's first green is gold,
     Her hardest hue to hold.
     Her early leaf's a flower;
     But only so an hour.
     Then leaf subsides to leaf,
     So Eden sank to grief,
     So dawn goes down to day
     Nothing gold can stay.

     Robert Frost 1923

The forecast this morning is for the weather to begin to change over the next few days, bringing an end to one of the most prolonged periods of "static" high pressure that I can ever remember. For about a month now, the air has been still, hardly a breath of wind at all. Not that it's been warm & sunny - it hasn't. We've had odd days when the sun has broken through the cloud, but mostly it's been pretty grey and cool for the "height of summer". 

Yesterday, was gorgeous, today is turning out the same

On our trip round Rudyad Lake this morning, the water was like glass, the boats slack on their moorings and sitting atop almost perfect reflections - perhaps we'll have our kayak out tonight, before the weather changes!

For anyone contemplating a stay at Roachside Cottage, remember, within 10 miles, there are lots of places to get your kayak or canoe on the water - Rudyard, the Cauldon Canal (both branches) and the Macclesfield canal.

If you don't have a boat of your own, Tittesworth Watersports do beginner sessions in kayaks, canoes or using paddleboards down in the valley below the cottage. 

Scout's 4x4 kennel-on-wheels will turn 10 years old later this month.

When I bought it new, it was a very luxurious workhorse, wafting me and my equipment in comfort up and down the length and breadth of the UK.

For the past 6 years though, it's been a mobile kennel, builders van, kayak truck, bike carrier, campervan and surrogate tracked towing vehicle, used and abused on a daily basis.

As it turns ten, the milometer is showing 199,100 miles - an average of almost exactly 20K a year. (Yes, I have had a massive carbon footprint over the years!)

It's been hit 3 times - twice really seriously; once by a drug-addled drunk, then by a one-legged man getting used to an adapted car, and lastly by a boy racer in his mum's new motor. For a couple of years, it seemed that the factory in Sweden was doing little other than make parts to repair the old thing.

The last time it was washed was May 2019 - I think I shovelled a couple of bucketful's of mud out of it last winter sometime.

We gave it a treat today. Hoovered out about a barrow full of sand & gravel, dead leaves and twigs, dog hair, lots of random socks, some loose dog treats, dead spiders and probably a nesting bat or two. Then we took it down to the local car wash place and the guys shined it up like a new one.

Perhaps it'll "see me out"!

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust have succeeded in their endeavour to acquire Gun Moor.

After a mammoth fundraising effort, the Trust have been able to acquire the freehold of the wild tract of land covering the top of Gun Hill.
Gun is the hill on the opposite side of the valley from Roachside Cottage and provides the silhouette to our sunsets for much of the year. A former Grouse shoot, it is a wild upland of bilberry, heather, Rowan and stunted Oaks & Birch.

The view from the top is one of the most extensive you'll find anywhere - across the Cheshire Plain to Liverpool & Manchester and out into the southwest quadrant of the Peak District. To the south, the view extends down the valley of the Churnet into mid-Staffordshire.

We took our morning scamper there today and it was cold, damp & misty. It was also completely deserted, apart from us!

Autumn come early?

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