Berries, trees and kites

Recently, Manchester Central Convention Complex was converted to a Nightingale Hospital, in case the Covid pandemic was even worse in England than it has turned out to be. Thirty years earlier, one of my favourite bands from the 1990s played a gig there. Being a Londoner, I was of course oblivious to this at the time. The venue, formerly known as G-Mex, hosted the Inspiral Carpets and their performance, recorded by Granada TV, has gone down in history as one of the greats. I watched

Tom Hingley

a recording on YouTube along with about 650 other people on the anniversary, many of whom were at the show all those years ago. I was reminded again just how many great songs the band recorded. And then there’s Tom Hingley’s soaring vocals. I can’t wait to see him perform live again, either solo or with his new(-ish), tribute band, the Kar-pets.

We enjoyed a few days out, including a couple of longer trips in the car. The poor old thing doesn’t know what’s going on. But we still spent some time down by the Mersey.

Some birds by the river

Sorry, I borrowed that caption from the 1970s.

Meanwhile, some of the path in the woods is becoming overgrown. William would love it in this jungle.

The famous jungle of Northenden

One day, I’ll be taking a picture of someone’s flowers, and they’ll take offence and I’ll have to beg forgiveness while convincing them I wasn’t casing the joint, honest.

Lily

The shops are beginning to open, as the lockdown is relaxed. Well, until the recently implemented tighter lockdown in Greater Manchester. There are some pretty planters in Palatine Road.

Palatine Road
Decaff latté, natch

I sat outside Salutem and enjoyed a lovely cup of coffee while watching people going by, all at a safe distance. It felt so civilised, such a simple pleasure, long denied.

Between the flags

In another first for a long time, we drove to the seaside. It’s a long beach at Formby, and as the tide was very far out, we had plenty of space. As advised by the sign, we tried swimming between the flags but to be honest, it’s so much easier to move through water than it is through sand.

Selfie of the day
A size 5 jellyfish
The beach and the sky
Sea holly

It was the hottest day of the year so far, we had a marvellous walk along the beach before enjoying our picnic lunch. Luckily, we checked for sharp, pointy plants before sitting down on the dunes. Again, very civilised. Anything like this that can induce a holiday feeling has to be good for a general sense of well-being.

The kite-flyer was having fun, although I wanted her to run faster so the kite flew higher. In my photos, the kite is a mere three pixels in size.

To the south, we could see what we think was the city of Liverpool. Out at sea there is a massive wind farm. Liesel asked why not all the turbines were turning. I said, don’t worry, it’s probably windy enough already.

We haven’t walked to Didsbury for a long time either, but we took advantage of another warm day. There were more people having fun on the river.

Messing about on the river
Selfie of the day

We bought a coffee at Cidsin, and a slice of pear and walnut cake. While I was carefully carrying the goodies back to Liesel, looking down, making sure the coffee wasn’t slopping around in the cups, I walked between two posts and bashed my bonce on the sign that they held up. Liesel stopped laughing eventually.

Didsbury’s famour mural
Yellow door

A bright yellow front door always takes me back to my childhood. Our yellow front door at home was a more conventional rectangular shape, and it had a window, but whenever I see a yellow front door, it’s guaranteed to give me that Proustian rush that many authors write about.

A real squirrel

We walked home through Marie Louise Gardens. There, we enjoyed watching a squirrel sitting at the bottom of a tree, pretending to be a lost, stuffed toy. After a few minutes, it ran up the tree and then had a rest on top of the birdbox. I don’t think there are any inhabitants. But I did enjoy watching a blackbird sitting in the tree, mostly in the shade, but with its yellow bill glowing in the sunshine.

Martha, Laim, Jenny and William

We didn’t visit our family this week, but here’s the obligatory photo, and they’re all looking pretty good!

The famous bee of Northenden

Many years ago, the aerial on our car was wrapped with tinsel, left over from Christmas. It too was easy to spot in a busy car park.

We walked to Wythenshawe Park, another site with plenty of space, easy to stay away from other people.

The famous string tree of Wythenshawe Park
Alien bin

This litter bin is pretending to be some kind of alien invader. I’m not sure whether it appeals to young children in the nearby playground, encouraging them to deposit their rubbish here, or if it just scares them away.

Blackberries

Yes, of course we ate some blackberries.

At home, Liesel’s tapestry project is still going well. But she took time out to decorate a small stone that Martha picked up somewhere a few weeks ago.

Martha’s stone

Of course, now we have the kit to decorate stones, I thought we’d collect a couple of pebbles at Formby. Nope. It’s all sand, and shells, and dead jellyfish, none of which we wanted to bring home to paint.

We returned to Lyme Park for another fun, socially-distanced, walk. Well, it was fun, despite the rain. Look at this lovely blue sky. At the time, behind us, the clouds were grey and angry and, although we didn’t realise, coming our way.

Lyme Park mansion house, the biggest house in Cheshire
The raspberry

We passed a raspberry bush in the woods, and I thought I’d eat one. I tried to pick it, but it wasn’t coming away. In fact, I suspect I wasn’t the first to try and pick it, it was already squashed and squishy. While we took shelter from the rain under the trees, I did use some of the rain water to wash my sticky fingers.

Berries? We have blueberries at home with our breakfast most days, and the question is: whose job is it to put one, just one, mouldy blueberry into every single punnet? If you leave them too long, others will become infected, but there’s always one, and always with the mould underneath so you don’t see it straightaway.

A wall

While hiding from the rain, I suggested to Liesel that we dismantle the wall and build a more sturdy, reliable shelter using its bricks. It seemed like a good use of resources, and it would keep us busy for a while. Plus, future visitors would be extremely grateful for the new facility. Reader: Liesel said ‘No’.

The famous fairy ring of Lyme Park
The famous mouse-in-a-tree of Lyme Park
Very large kite

We couldn’t believe the size of this kite, being flown from the top of a hill that we didn’t walk up. We never saw the people run with it, so we never saw it fly any higher off the ground.

Author: mickandlieselsantics

We are a married couple, one American, one Brit, one male, one female, neither of us as fit as we would like to be, well over 100 years old altogether.

2 thoughts on “Berries, trees and kites”

  1. As requested, I’m alerting you to an error I may have spotted. I wonder if you want the word “than” instead of “that” in the first sentence: “the case the Covid pandemic was even worse in England that it has turned out to be” ? xx

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.