This weeks events, or lack thereof, were largely governed by the amount of rain we enjoyed. Well, obviously, not ‘enjoyed’. The word is more like ‘endured’. I try not to let bad weather get to me too much, but at the end of Mental Health Awareness Week, my brain was feeling the strain.
We paid a quick visit to Cheadle Hulme where we stood around Jenny’s garden in the rain for a while.
We played hide and seek making good use of the only three places we could hide in. Squatting on my haunches in the play-house put too much strain on these aged knees. But sitting on the soggy terrain is no good for other parts of the anatomy.
In the evening, I watched Wall to Wall Bowie online, marking the release of Janette Mason’s new single, Fame, featuring David McAlmont on vocals. He’s a very interesting chap. Sarah saw him perform with Bernard Butler in the late ’90s, somewhere in north London, when their song Yes was a big hit. Miles and Lynne were also in the online audience. Lynne asked if I was Mick the Postman. Yes, but retired, I told them. Oh, you’ll always be Mick the Postman to us! Janette asked how we knew each other. Miles couldn’t restrain himself from telling everyone about how he worked at GLR, and I was its most loyal listener. Recognition, at last! And, aptly, a modicum of fame.
You’re wondering why you can’t see my fizzog? I was using my own PC for the Zoom call, and it has no webcam. Any day now, I am going to buy myself a brand new laptop computer. I’ve been saying that for 18 months now, so don’t hold your breath.
In between showers, we had a quick walk around Northenden. Unusually, the heron was on our side of the weir.
Of course, as soon as I took a couple more steps closer, it took off. As if I don’t have enough photos of animals running off and birds flying away.
Kenworthy Lane Woods were a bit muddier than we’d anticipated, but there was far less litter than usual, which was nice.
Liesel thinks this is wild garlic, but we refrained from picking any, just in case it was something else.
Monday was, unbelievably, the 20th anniversary of Sarah’s passing.
How did I mark the occasion? I went for a walk, in the rain, and picked some litter, in the rain. It was also the first day we were allowed to sit inside coffee shops, as things slowly open up.
So I sat inside Boxx 2 Boxx and watched the torrential rain for a while. I had a nice chat with Dan, the choirmaster and sometime fellow Radio Northenden presenter, and with Jill and Shelly, the proprietors. Jill, by her own admission, isn’t yet very good at drawing a nice picture on top of a frothy latté!
Liesel and I thought we’d go for a walk in a different place, just for a change. The Trans Pennine Trail at Reddish Vale is a nice rhyme, but it’s probably not somewhere we’ll return to. Far too many dog-walkers with their charges and their charges’ discharges. Lots of it on the path, and plenty more in bags and just left behind. If only there were proper training for dog owners and professional dog walkers.
I don’t know what we were expecting, to be honest, but we certainly didn’t anticipate this being a hunting venue. Rabbits and magpies, maybe?
As far as we’re concerned, this is a waterfall, but known locally as Harrison’s Weir. You can walk across the river a bit further downstream, if you don’t mind getting wet trainers. This is known as Harrison’s Ford.
It’s lovely to see so many newly planted trees here in Reddish Vale Country Park, a rain forest of the future maybe.
My brain has been complaining about the lack of daylight. So it was time to visit the barber and have my hair cut. This was my first visit to the barbershop for eight months. I’ve enjoyed a pony tail for a couple of weeks, but it’s time for a change of style. And a tidy up. Another indoor venue, but I felt OK, and I think being vaccinated against Covid certainly helps. Sadly, when I’m out, I usually can’t refrain from visiting a coffee shop. I think that’s as close as I get to an addiction.
As usual, as I walked along the damp, soggy, wet pavements of Northenden, I noticed just how bad the drainage is. Just put the drains where the puddles form, that would be my advice. But I am just a bystander, waiting to be splashed when the next vehicle goes by.
Driving to a National Trust venue that is new to us, we spotted a Möbius strip. Not a real one, just a logo on the back of a van.
I probably spent too much time trying to see whether it was a one- or a two-sided strip, when I should have been helping with the navigation. It’s still not 100% clear, is it? Even when you waste time looking at their website, it’s ambiguous.
The rain it rained harder and harder as we approached Hare Hill. It eased off slightly, we had raincoats, we had waterproof trainers, so we decided to walk around this place, despite the weather.
Mick: If it’s too bad, we can always sit inside the coffee shop instead.
Liesel: There is no coffee shop here.
Mick: No coffee shop? What’s the point of the place then?
It was a nice, quiet place, with a one-way system in place, and very few other visitors. Our walk was shorter than many National Trust sites, and I’m sure we’ll return, maybe with a picnic, when the weather’s less rainy.
But the displays of colour are very uplifting.
Looking at the low clouds, almost mist, I remarked that if the Sun were out, we might see a rainbow. Trying to look on the bright side.
We sat in a bower, sheltered from the rain, waiting for it to ease. It didn’t. As we were leaving, Bob, the National Trust guy, engaged me in conversation about what I was wearing. Shorts. It’s nearly the end of May, I should be able to wear shorts and show off my tanned lallies by now, but no, when I look down, my Dad’s voice comes into my head: ‘That reminds me, I must get two pints of milk on the way home’.
We’ve booked a couple of trips for later in the year. Going by train? No, neither of us is comfortable with travel by train, yet.
I dedicated my radio show this week to Sarah, playing some music that means or meant a lot to us. I don’t think I could have done such a thing before, but now, yes, it’s still emotional, but I was able to cope, and I think there were just a couple of slips of the tongue. Oh, and I was also caught singing along a couple of times, when I forgot to mute the microphone. You can listen to the show here.
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Not necessarily for coffee, but to help pay for this very blog: we might have to move up to the next payment level soon and any help would be much appreciated, thank you. It’s rewarding knowing you’re there, but we’ve been brainstorming how to make this thing sort of pay for itself.
Over 24 hours of continuous, torrential rain has resulted in the level of our River Mersey rising by over half a metre. Time to get the rainproof wellies out again, soon. Did I mention it rained a lot this week?