Babysitting with back pain is not ideal. So I followed Liesel’s advice and went for a massage the following day. Babysitting the day after that was so much easier.
On the first day, the highlight was talking to his Auntie Helen in Australia. On the other day, I took him out for a walk around Waitrose and around the park.
Next time I take him to a supermarket, I’m going to put him in and chain him to the trolley. He picked everything and anything off the lower shelves, put it back, told or asked me what it was. Repeating “Put it back” on high rotation annoyed me, never mind the other customers!
In the park, he played with sticks and mud and made friends with the trees while looking out for squirrels (unsuccessfully) and pigeons (very successfully).
He was tired when we got home but was revived with a handful of raisins.
A long, long time ago, Jasmina came round to measure up for blinds for our living/dining room. She came back with the finished items today, which is great. I now have to spend a day putting them up. Yes, it should be a quick and easy job, but I know from experience, five-minute jobs always take significantly longer than five minutes!
I walked in the sunshine for a while, taking advantage before the Autumn chill kicks in.
I’ve walked past this tree many times, but I’ve not noticed the fungus before. Either it’s sprouted overnight, or the light caught it just right today, no other possible explanation.
Walking by the River Mersey, I took a picture of the only bird I saw.
Some sort of metal cormorant, I think, but I couldn’t find an explanatory plaque.
Depending on which sign you look at, this picture of the river was taken from the Trans-Pennine Trail, National Cycle Network Route 62, Northenden Riverside Park or Manchester’s Green Corridor Route 13. The kiddies’ playground is now complete and I’m sure William and Martha will make use of it soon.
The Tour of Britain bike race finished in Manchester. They cycled 166 km from Altrincham, the long way round, through all ten of Manchester’s boroughs. Because of the circuitous route and ensuing road closures, I couldn’t decide where to go to watch the action. In the end, I watched a couple of hours on TV then caught a bus into Manchester, to be near the finishing line.
But there were some interesting sights on my indirect walk from the bus to this point, on Deansgate.
The British Cycling team has been sponsored by Sky for many years. But their sponsorship deal expired and a replacement sought. Chemical and fossil fuel company Ineos took over. This fracking awful decision hasn’t gone down well with everyone. There does seem to be some conflict here, between a supposedly ‘green’ sport, cycling, and an environmentally destructive company.
I didn’t acquire as many freebies today as we received when we saw the Tour de France grand départ in Yorkshire 5 years ago.
There was a huge crowd here in Manchester and, as seen earlier on TV, in all the other towns and villages along the route.
I looked to see whether there was a high-level viewpoint that I could access, but no. In the end, I set up camp by the 500-metres to go mark. I lost count of the cars and police motor bikes that came by at 90mph, ahead of the racers.
The leading group of cyclists came by at slightly less than 90mph and I thought they’d have to slow down a bit for the 90° sharp left turn into Deansgate.
It was all too fast, I couldn’t identify anyone, and photos taken with my phone camera aren’t as clear as those taken at other races with a real camera. Today’s stage and the overall race was won by Mathieu van der Poel. Matteo Trentin came 3rd today and 2nd overall. I’m pretty sure those two are in this leading group.
A few lone riders came by and then, several minutes later, a second large group. Somewhere in there was Mark Cavendish, apparently.
I walked down the road to the Science and Industry Museum because I know the café there has a good selection of cakes, and I needed to top up on energy, after all that walking about.
Many years ago, during a previous cycling Tour of Britain race, we were in Worcester, waiting on the High Street for the peloton to come through. The first cyclist we saw was the local postman, who deserved his round of applause! Today, before being allowed to cross the road after the race, we had to wait for the last few cyclists to come through, plus the lantern rouge, the ambulance and final vehicles. Then, a minute later, the real final cyclist came by.
I walked to catch my bus back home, but the road closures meant another long trek and Manchester continued to provide interesting sights.
There’s no sign telling us what this blue box is for. Maybe Royal Mail just run out of red paint that day.
I came across Manchester’s China Town, so I had a quick look.
It was good to get home, just in time to enjoy a pretty sunset.
Next morning, despite a good night’s sleep, I took ages to get going. As if my body thought it had completed a 100-mile bike ride rather then watched some other people for a few seconds. But the good news is, I didn’t give a thought to my back pain from earlier in the week!