Seagulls playing chicken

And so, as the days become shorter but at a slower rate than before, and the radio waves are filled with more and more seasonal music, I realise that it’s very nearly the end of the year. But before we go, there will be a couple more posts here. Yes, even when nothing much happens. Some days are rounded off nicely with a half-decent sunset. I say ‘half-decent’ because it would be even better without those roofs in the view.

Sunset over Northenden

The highlight of the week for Liesel was a Zoom call with Martha in which they made some Christmas decorations together. Both girls did very well.

Martha did very well

The highlight for me I think was taking a really good picture of our heron, in flight, coming towards me. It was good timing, really, he was flying away from someone on the opposite bank of the river.

Heron on the Mersey

Yes, we’re still going out for walks in the local area, it’s been quite a while since we ventured outside our own postcode.

Here’s another picture of the heron. He’s looking at me as if to say, ‘I know, I usually fly off when you get your camera out, but honestly, I can’t be bothered right now.’

Heron by the Mersey

One thing we don’t like about being out for a walk these days is those nasty, irritating clouds, swarms, of very small flies, or midges, whatever they are. I hate to think how many we’ve inhaled over the last few weeks. I wonder if they’re just breeding fast thanks to the large number of muddy puddles available right now?

The first Covid-19 vaccine has arrived in the UK and is being given to the most vulnerable people first. So, a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel. As more people are vaccinated, things might get back to more normal. We’ll be able to make plans again, hooray! We’ll be able to visit Martha and William again, even bigger hooray! (Oh and Jenny and Liam, I suppose.) (And Helen and Adam but that’s a little further ahead in time.)

Phwoar, that smells like a coal fire. Then we turned the corner and gasped at the sight of this.

Holy smoke, Batman

We don’t see smoking chimneys very much any more, thank goodness, so this one, near Didsbury, took us by surprise. I feel sorry for anyone who had their washing hanging outside to dry. (In this weather?) And to think within my lifetime, this was every house in the neighbourhood. I’m surprised I still have a functioning pair of lungs, to be honest. Thank goodness things are getting better. Oh, apart from new-build houses being sold with wood-burning stoves, ffs.

Something equally surprising but much nicer to see was this tree in the park, blossoming. Maybe it thinks we’re past the worst of Winter this year.


Sometimes when you’re walking by the river, you just fancy a sit-down and a foot-bath. Thank goodness someone has provided such facilities.

Rest your feet here

This week saw the 60th anniversary of the TV serial Coronavirus Street. No, Coronation Street. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a whole episode, but it’s good to see Northenden joining in with the celebrations, big style.

You’ve been Barlowed

The fairies are taking over the woods. This time when we walked through, we saw many more fairy doors on the trees. So far, we’ve not seen any of the inhabitants, but we do like the bright and cheerful designs.

Lots and lots of fairy doors

Also in Kenworthy Woods, decorations on the ad hoc Christmas tree have spread out a bit further.

The world-famous tree that isn’t really a Christmas tree

One of the most entertaining five minutes of the week was spent by the river, just above the weir. The seagulls were playing chicken. They’d fly around for a bit, land on the water by the bridge, then drift downstream with the water. The last one to take flight before plummeting over the weir itself was declared the winner.


The person we felt most sorry for this week was someone, presumably fairly local, who went shopping and left their toilet rolls in the trolley afterwards. I hope it wasn’t an emergency visit.

Lost pooperty

Our online entertainment this week included Artists Against War: A Stop the War Online Xmas Fundraiser. We were entertained by various poets, actors and activists for over two hours. There was an auction too for Stop The War, but (a) we don’t need any more clutter and (b) thank goodness other people had pockets deeper than we were prepared to dig.

Alexei Sayle, Tariq Ali, Brian Eno, Jeremy Corbyn, Salena Godden and Mark Rylance

I wish I’d had the foresight to record Mark Rylance singing the Irish folk song Arthur McBride, a capella, it was very moving.

On the radio show this week, I spoke with Ciro from the online band Daphne Did It. Their new single Black Rose was released on the same day. Watch the Black Rose video here. The show otherwise was a bit of a mish-mash: some Christmas songs, some requests, some songs left over from previous themed shows. You can listen here. Just one more show before Christmas, and it will be mostly Christmas tunes of course. I am happy to receive any requests and suggestions, please use the Contact page, somewhere near the top of this page, I think!

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.

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