It’s a thin line we’re treading at the moment, all of us, during the coronavirus pandemic. We’re fighting off the mubble-fubbles, that feeling of despondency and sense of impending doom. A word brought to my attention this week by Susie Dent, and as I promised myself at the time, I have now used it. Yes, it’s a thin line between staying safe and staying sane. I think Liesel and I are managing OK, but the sudden change in weather conditions can so easily affect our mood.
This week, we stayed local, walking as far as Gatley one day, and driving as far as the GP in Benchill one day. It’s flu jab time. Liesel’s had hers, I’ll have mine next week.
One of the trees nearby, on our default walking route by the river, has decided to grow some mushrooms. We watched their progress during the week.
For a change one day, we walked in a westerly direction beside the river, on the south bank on the assumption that there would be fewer people on that side.
But we’re never too far from some rubbish being dumped in the river, of course.
We haven’t seen these ducks before, and we’re not sure what they are. They have the brown head of a pochard, the long bill of a merganser and the grey back of a widgeon. And in flight, the silhouette of a cormorant.
This was a nice clear day, the river was low and as still and calm as we’ve ever seen it.
Online entertainment this week included Jessica Lee Morgan performing her ma, Mary Hopkin’s, gorgeous album Earth Song/Ocean Song in its entirety.
I didn’t count them all individually, but I’m fairly certain I generated as many goosebumps as I did the first time I heard the LP, nearly half a century ago.
I also watched Terra Naomi online, and she was kind enough to give me permission to play one of her songs on my radio show this week. Which one? Listen here to find out. The theme was Medical Complaints, hosted by me, Doctor Mick. There’s a David Bowie song for every occasion, and I always play a record from my Mum and Dad’s collection. That’s the plug for my show this week. No more adverts.
Our Ocado order was delivered and as usual, I went straight for the bread. Quite expensive, but it was very nice, very tasty, thanks for asking. So what was wrong with it? The packaging. So much packaging. It arrived in a paper tray, like you would usually expect to find a cake in. This paper tray was inside a wooden crate. I’ll say that again. We had a loaf of bread in its own wooden crate. Which was made in and imported from France. This whole was enclosed in a paper bag, which, on its own would be quite adequate.
All we can do is apologise to the planet, and move on. ‘Look up, look down’, they say. But if I do that, all I see, mostly, is battleship grey clouds where the blue sky should be! Oh well, mustn’t grumble. Sorry.
We walked to Gatley again, for the benefit of Liesel’s eye-lashes, which to me, now seem darker, longer and thicker, but they were really just tinted.
While waiting for Liesel’s treatment to finish, I got my kicks at Lounge 66, the coffee shop just a few doors along the road. I sat outside because I felt there were too many customers inside.
It started raining, absurdly loud on the awning above: I was worried about having to walk home in the shower, but it only lasted a minute or two. The newly washed blue sky with its clouds was reflected in my coffee.
Hang on, blue coffee? Well, it was the correct colour, but I played with the hue in my phone’s photo editor.
Northenden is rapidly becoming the fruit capital of north west England. Believe that and you’ll believe anything. We’ve had blackberries yes, and we missed out on the apples in Kenworthy Woods. But walking home a slightly different way, guess what we found?
Grapes growing in someone’s garden, just round the corner from where we live.
How are the mushrooms coming along?
They are bigger, more numerous, and spreading up the tree.
By the river, we passed some yellow bobble plants. Small yellow balls against the green foliage. Again, my Masters in botany has let me down.
Finally, it’s conker time! I really want to play conkers with Martha and William, but we still have to maintain social distancing, and I don’t think playing conkers with string two metres long is very practical.