Happiness Day, A Wedding, Care and Cleaning of Boots.

Post 132: 20 March 2017, Cleveland Circles 22.

We left home at 7.30am after a very heavy shower on designated Happiness Day. Not a good omen for our happiness. Had our good weather talis-woman Carol let us down this time? I am sure most people going to work on a Monday wondered how this was designated as Happiness Day!

However, the rain started to ease off as we drove over the North York Moors to Sneaton. We parked near St Hilda’s Church at about 8.30am and saw the door open and a hoover going up and down inside! We popped in to see what was going on to find out that there was a wedding blessing later that morning. Well and truly Happiness Day.

That was the good news, but the bad news was that the Beacon Farm ice-cream parlour just along the road was closed for the day (it is closed every Monday until April 10th). We surmised that this is why the wedding was chosen for a Monday as a relative involved in the wedding was from the ice-cream parlour.

It so happens that I also got married on what used to be traditionally ‘wash day’ in 1973 and I am still married and still doing the washing! That is when not walking.


We went to the back of the church where I knew there was a great view to our destination Whitby.


Whitby Abbey can just be seen on the hill to the top right.


In days gone by many walking routes went out from Whitby Abbey along stone monks’ trods.  Many trods still exist, albeit a little worn and hence more slippy. We soon found evidence of the influence of the abbey with sign on a door in Sneaton. No doubt many farms would have served the abbey.


To emphasise this we came across a monk in Ruswarp!


We eventually got to Whitby in time for our coffee and banana break.



and were able to watch the ships and boats coming and going.

Soon it was time to leave Whitby passing the harbour


and climb the 199 steps towards the abbey


and church.


There is an interesting inscription at a tomb at the church.


Leaving the abbey and church we rejoined The Cleveland Way coastal path wondering if and when the forecasted rain would arrive. The wind was increasing. We passed Saltwick Bay.


After lunch on the cliffs, gaining some shelter from the wind by sitting against a wall, we left The Cleveland Way and headed inland to High Hawsker and Low Hawsker, which were originally Scandinavian settlements. Hawker is on Alfred Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk. When coast to coasters arrive here they only have another 4 miles to walk to the end at Robin Hood’s Bay.

To the north we could see large rain clouds gathering.


However, every cloud has a silver lining and near Rigg Mill these primroses indicated spring was getting a hold.


Just along Rigg Mill Beck there was a delightful waterfall and ‘beach’.


Needless to say we encountered muddy paths towards the end of the walk and this led to discussions about how to look after our boots.

Good leather boots need a lot of care and attention after a walk. Wherever, possible I always try and get mud off near the end of the walk. A stream or puddle is particularly useful.

Needless to say there is never a stream or puddle towards the end of the walk and indeed we find there is almost always a very muddy path. So cleaning has to wait until I get home. First thing is to take the insoles out so that the boots are aired inside. I then use knife to get large chunks of mud off and sponge with lots of cold water to wipe off any remaining mud. I try to include getting mud off the soles as if not removed this adds to weight of the boots on the next walk.

Occasionally, it is a good idea to wipe out the inside of the boots with a damp clean cloth. The boots are now damp and should be dried over a couple of days away from radiators or any other direct heat source. Failure to do that will result in the leather cracking. When completely dry a leather wax can can be applied. However, I prefer to only do this about every 1-2 months and instead use ordinary shoe polish to treat and polish the boots. This I have found again reduces the likelihood of leather cracking, which too much wax can lead to.

We arrived back at Sneaton and the car and no it hadn’t rained! Carol could keep her good weather talis-women status!

Finally, it was reported today that according to a survey Norway is the happiest country in the world. I wouldn’t want to move from York to live there, but do like visiting Norway! The scenery is breathtaking and we have met some lovely Norwegians on our travels there.

Miles Walked 11.1

Steps 24,467

Calories Burnt 1,300

Average Pace 18.76

Fastest split 17.5 Minutes per Mile at 6 Miles.





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