Something guaranteed to lift the spirits at any time is seeing a display of colour in everyday objects. Liesel uses these stitch markers with her crochet projects. Seeing them bathing in sunshine, on the otherwise fairly bland sofa, well, I couldn’t not take a picture really.
The rain was torrential as we drove along the motorway. A fire engine overtook us on the inside, on the hard shoulder. A couple of minutes later, we saw thick black smoke ahead. We soon saw the source: it was a refuse truck, and the fire crew on our side of the road was attempting to extinguish the flames from the wrong side of the central reservation and its barrier. As we drove on, we noticed another fire engine stuck in traffic, on that side of the road. The children found it interesting, and we just hope nobody was injured. As Martha said, the rain would help put the fire out.
It was still raining lightly when we arrived at Chester Zoo, but it didn’t last long. Martha and William didn’t seem to even notice, while Liesel and I were wearing the brand new fully waterproof coats that she’d bought for us in Alaska.
We did see some animals at the zoo, but the main attraction were the playgrounds! The slides were still wet of course. As was everything else. Even climbing up the tree stumps with notches for footholds was risky, it was all too slippery.
I was expecting William to be Spiderman but no, Martha reached the top of the web first.
And of course, we had to capture the moment William spread his wings.
I’ve never been photobombed by a penguin before, but here is a poicture of me and my new coat!
For the first time in several visits, we actually saw an actual cheetah. Not running at 70mph, or hiding, but sitting on a mound way over there, through the haze.
It wasn’t too wet to sit on the elephant though. I assume other guests’ clothing had dried the poor old beast.
We enjoyed some good, local walks this week: Northenden, Wythenshawe and beyond.
In Wythenshawe, I was surprised to find some standing stones, signs of a really old civilisation here. Not as commercial an enterprise as Stonehenge, obviously, but quite interesting just the same.
This walk took us close to the motorway: a mere fence separated the traffic from our very loud chatting. Not the most pleasant of walking routes, to be honest, but it’s always good to see new things and new places.
Some of the insects in Benchill are huge, especially at the school.
Liesel did some laundry this week, including my jeans, for which I am very grateful. I checked they were dry before putting them on. Liesel had turned them inside out before washing them, which I probably would have forgotten to do. When I turned them outside out though, they seemed darker than I remembered. They really had needed a wash! I tried pulling them on, but they didn’t get far. Oh no, I thought, they’ve shrunk. I also wondered how come I’ve been wearing them for years without noticing some slight elasticity. Then I realised. I took them off, folded them up nicely and returned to the bathroom to look for my own legwear. Liesel is very welcome to her own, darker blue, elasticated Levis, thank you very much.
Liesel and I walked to Fletcher Moss park together for the first time in ages. We saw the heron too, always a bonus, he hasn’t been around for a while.
What a popular little park, so many groups of people must have decided to meet up for a Good Friday coffee and chat. We secluded ourselves in the rockery for a rest. And Liesel provided a running commentary on the mouse lurking in the bushes, that I totally failed to observe. Mouse, or baby rat? When Liesel told another couple about the rodent behind them, the lady shrieked and jumped up onto the bench. Well, she would have in a sitcom.
Another day, another acer. How do you dig them up, I wondered? Acer spades, suggested Liesel.
Yes, I know it’s a rubbish photo. But the height difference between Liesel and me makes it hard to get a good picture, especially when you’re trying to get some blossom in the background as well. My head isn’t really eight times the volume of Liesel’s.
Easter Saturday was very exciting, we spent most of the time with Martha and William. The idea was for them to dye hard-boiled white eggs. Imagine the disappointment when the rarely seen (in the UK) white eggs turned up with a lion mark and other stamps! Fortunately, boiling them removed all this ink, leaving pristine shells for the childern to decorate. Oh, except William wasn’t interested, in the end! He played with the dinosaurs. I don’t think his lack of interest was due to the excitement of the Easter egg hunt around the salubrious setting of our small apartment. They both had a good time, and both were willing to share when one found more eggs than the other. Of course, probably too many were consumed, but, well, that’s Easter!
In fact, at one point, William decided he’d had enough, so he took himself off to bed for a quick nap.
When I say quick, I mean very short, less than a minute, a proper power nap if ever there was one!
The eggs turned out very well, though.
So that’s Mummy’s and Daddy’s breakfast sorted for tomorrow!
It was such a lovely day, we thought we’d also take them to the playground. And on the way there and back, we picked litter. There’s just so much to choose from around here.
We saw the heron again, in exactly the same place as yesterday.
Why bother moving if you can catch all the fish you need in that one spot?
Martha and William had fun together on the swing and on the slide.
And before you ask, yes, this is a very short slide, they haven’t had a sudden growth spurt.
After returning the children to their parents (only leaving one small toy at ours by mistake) we came home to relax… What a gorgeous day.
The theme for my Wythenshawe Radio show this week was Death, pushing up the daisies, shuffling off this mortal coil. It wasn’t at all morbid or mournful or maudlin, but I was surprised at how many songs they are about the subject.
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As well as the regular show, I’ve put together a show that won’t be broadcast on any radio station. It’s a bit rude, there are explicit lyrics, lots of swearing, and other songs that you don’t usually hear on the radio. Plus a couple of poems. It’s all done in the best possible taste. But please don’t listen if you don’t approve of a bit of bad language. The idea came a while ago, but I gave it a lot of serious thought and consideration when I was laid low by the Covids.