It’s so easy to be critical of the weather here in Manchester. People say I should be more positive. But I am positive. Positive that the weather here can be a little disappointing at times. While we were having a blast in Malta, it was raining a lot here. So much rain that the river Mersey was flowing very high and in danger of flooding. The little island opposite the playground in Riverside Park was still completely submerged when we first walked by.
Underneath the motorway, I came across someone sleeping rough. I wanted to report them to Streetlink so that they could be looked after, but this organisation is only interested if the rough sleeper is outdoors at night, not during daylight hours. Mixed feelings here. Sad to see anyone sleeping rough at all like this, but at least it wasn’t just a pile of flytipped rubbish, which is what I thought, from a distance.
Any regrets about going away to the Med for a short break? No, not really. I shouldn’t have taken my sandals though, that was a bit optimistic: I lugged all that extra weight around for nothing.
In other news, Martha and William returned to school a bit later than their peers, having just returned from their adventures with their Mummy and Daddy and Auntie Helen in Australia. What a great time they had.
A great time, apart from poor Martha fracturing a bone in her wrist, something I didn’t manage until I was 14 years old. She was very philosophical about it though: at least it wasn’t her writing hand.
Liam and Jenny managed to get away by themselves on a ‘minimoon’, spending a few days on Hamilton Island while Auntie Helen looked after the children
King Nyani is the largest bronze gorilla statue in the world and he was very pleased to welcome Helen, Martha and William to Taronga Zoo.
And here they are, feeding carrots to that well-known native of Australia, a giraffe.
Previously, I may have mentioned the weather forecast that briefly led us to consider the possibility of extending our stay in Malta. The forecast proved correct. It snowed here. Not a lot, admittedly, but overnight for three nights in a row, down it came, leading to a strange reluctance on our part to venture outside.
One morning though, I did get up stupid early to go to the hospital for my long awaited echocardiogram. The gel was cold and my heart produced some weird sound effects, straight out of Doctor Who.
Of course, we did go out for a walk in the snow a couple of times, once with the regular walking group. Well, four of us walked that day, the rest stayed behind at the coffee shop. It wasn’t as slippery in the woods as some folks anticipated.
In the afternoon, we collected Martha and William from school. It was lovely to see them again, for the first time since well before Christmas. The sunblock must have worked well, none of them had a particularly strong tan after a month in the sunshine down under.
At home, they both played with and made models from Wikki Stix. These are made of hand-knitting yarn enhanced with a microcrystalline, food-grade non-toxic wax, the kind used in bubble gum and lipstick. And that’s it. (It’s that touch of wax that allows them to stick). Martha declared them the best toy ever, but I’m not sure we agree.
To the delight of the neighbours, I’m sure, Martha and William were taken out for rides on their sledges very early next morning, well before sunrise, lots of screaming and whoops of delight ensued. Dad Liam provided the horsepower, in case you were wondering.
So there I was sitting on the sofa, when Liesel piped up, what a gorgeous sunset. I looked up, and it wasn’t too shabby.
This week’s radio show is not to be missed. The theme is Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. If you missed its broadcast on Wythenshawe Radio WFM 97.2 on Friday afternoon, you can catch up here.