Muddy boots

Quarry Bank Mill beckoned and we had a good walk, enjoying the sunshine and the Autumnal colours. It wasn’t too crowded, but one of the paths was just a bit too muddy, so we had to do a U-turn. We made a mental note to take our wellies out of storage ready for the next time. I take a quick photo now and then, but it was good to see a small group of people taking the time to paint a picture.

Artists

Liesel is a big fan of these red shoots. I think I remember it being known as dogwood from when I tried to solve the riddles presented in the book Masquerade, all those years ago, clues to the location of a golden hare buried somewhere in the UK. Needless to say, I didn’t find the valued item.

Dogwood

There were a few clusters of mushrooms, which looked jolly tasty. Uh? But we left them for other folks to enjoy. Just in case.

Mushrooms
Selfie of the day

We stopped off at the Leisure Centre in Wythenshawe where I had my Covid booster jab. No issues this time, except a slightly tender arm. Oh, and I felt unusually cold for a couple of days, but that may have been because it had become significantly colder and it rained a lot during the course of 48 hours.

In the evening, we walked all the way up the road again to the Northenden Players’ theatre to watch some jazz. Alec Wares played tenor sax, accompanied by a keyboard player whose name I missed, despite it being announced twice. This was our third show from Northenden Arts Festival.

Alec Wares Jazz Duo

On the walk home, we saw this bloke looking a lot worse for wear, he needs to eat something fast, put some meat on those bones.

One of the neighbours

He’d disappeared the following day, I just hope he was taken indoors and wasn’t kidnapped by some local Nothendenizen ne’er-do-wells.

It is of course the season of Hallowe’en and Bonfire night, and I think the two have become conflated in the minds of some locals. I know I’m in danger of becoming a grumpy old Mick but I’m sure fireworks are getting louder every year.

Liesel says: Whaddya mean, ‘in danger of’?

The final Sunday of each month sees the arrival of Didsbury Craft Market. We risked walking there along the river despite the overnight downpours.

Muddy path

We did see our heron though, on our side of the river. He didn’t fly off when I got my phone out. He was stock still. I suggested it was just a cardboard cutout but no, he did move a couple of times.

Heron

That picture was taken looking towards the Sun but I knew that trying to get  a different angle would be futile.

Jenny and Liam came over to the market too, with Martha and William. We just hoped the rain would stay away, come again another day.

Martha the witch

Martha attracted some favourable comments from strangers, coming as she did dressed as a witch, complete with broomstick, wand and wellies. William was dressed as a skeleton but he’d just woken up, felt cold and had to put his coat on, hiding his very bones.

William the skeleton

We bought brownies to complement the other snacks that would last me and Liesel most of the week. The first few spots of rain were the cue for us to set off home.

In the evening, we walked all the way up the road again, this time in really heavy rain, to the Northenden Players’ theatre to watch a play and a Rat Pack Revival.

The play was Dennis Potter’s Blue Remembered Hills in which all 7 characters are children, but played by adults. It was performed very well and there was a very unexpected dark ending.

Northenden Players

We could have walked home and back again for the second show, but neither of us fancied it doing that in that rain. So we stayed glued to our seats, watching Bring on the Swing set up. They’re a large band, twelve members, and it’s quite a small stage. But what a show. Plenty of the old classics associated with Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack. By coincidence, they sang Have You Met Miss Jones? which Alec Wares had played the previous night.

Bring on the Swing

At least after walking home in the rain, we could climb straight into bed. But what a great weekend, five shows over four days. Let’s hope the Northenden Arts Festival becomes a regular attraction.

We haven’t been to Lyme Park for a while, so we returned for a long walk. And yes, we wore our wellington boots. It was very muddy in places, but not as bad as expected after over 24 hours continuous rain. (So much rain, that the river Mersey in Northenden rose by over 1.3 metres, covering the island and flooding part of the road that leads to Didsbury Golf Club.)

Selfie of the day

We usually stop to watch the lack of birds at the feeders but today we were quite lucky.

Coal tits

We walked up towards the folly, The Cage, and this tree caught my eye.

Lone Tree Hill

All that rain earlier in the week had thoroughly washed the air and we had a really clear view of Manchester in the distance. And it must be that time of year when fungi feel emboldened. While we saw mushrooms the other day, it was definitely toadstools we were looking at today. I don’t really know what the difference is except maybe mushrooms look edible while toadstools look poisonous. I might be doing both a disservice.

Toadstools

We might not have spotted these fungi if we hadn’t been walking on the grass. Yes, we walked on the grass rather than the stoney path at this point because the soles of our boots are very thin, compared with our trainers, and we could feel every little stone and pebble and grain of sand. On the other foot, when we come across a stream that’s taking a shortcut across our path rather than following its proper channel, we can just plod on through.

Stream on the path

It was really cold when we collected William and Martha from school. But that didn’t stop William from taking off his coat. We walked back a different way today to avoid the debris left behind following a very recent car crash. So recent, the car was still steaming and there was glass everywhere. The children brought some of their Hallowe’en treats with them and I guess we should be happy that William wasn’t keen on most of the sweets he’d received.

We played with dinosaurs and with the pin-art device that is so much fun, much moreso than you’d expect.

We looked after William for a couple of hours the next day too. The rain made us change our plans. Instead of taking him to the playground just round the corner from his house, we took him home where we played with dinosaurs and the pin-art device that is so attractive. We ate lunch while watching Moana, and he sat still for 90% of the film, which I’d forgotten was quite scary in parts.

It’s my sister Pauline’s birthday this weekend so that gave me the idea of a radio show based on the theme of Growing Old. You can listen back here. Happy birthday, dear sister.

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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