It’s been mentioned before, I’m sure, but sometimes our flat feels colder than it is outside. We open the fridge and the light comes on, inviting us into the warmth. Venturing outside, I exclaim, ooh, it’s warm out here. Not this Saturday though. It was cold, but at least I didn’t have to scrape ice off the car. Martha and William both have swimming lessons on a Saturday morning now, and I drove over to watch them. It was warm inside.
It’s a nicely heated venue of course, and upstairs in the viewing platform, the Sun was streaming it. It felt fantastic on our backs as we watched the children ploughing up and down the pool. Martha earned her 10-metre certificate today.
After the lesson, I drove back to Jenny’s, walked back to the pool and accompanied Liam, Martha and William on their walk back home. My reward for all this exercise? Jenny cooked up a gorgeous roast dinner for me. Well, for all of us, thanks, Jenny!
William asked me to help him build his Lego police car. He really didn’t need my help. Dozens of very small parts, and he managed very well.
While I was watching William not needing my assistance, Martha went out with Liam and came back with dessert. I think William enjoyed his chocolate cake.
Later in the week, I saw this.
There’s not much more likely to cause a panic attack than seeing this on a screen, like we’ve gone back to the 1990s or something. Anyway, all sorted now. It also took way too long to get the printer working. It went ‘offline’ but I could find no easy way to put it back ‘online’. I ended up reinstalling it as if it were a brand new device. I think this is something I’ll never understand about technology: why does something work flawlessly for two months then suddenly stop? I wonder how many printers have been thrown through windows in frustration?
I’ve said this before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, to myself at least: Do the shredding little and often. Don’t save it up for years and years. I spent several hours this week shredding old, unwanted but confidential paperwork. One thing I realised though is that once it gets going, our shredder puts out more heat than the actual heating system in this flat.
But I’m not the only one having major issues this week.
Someone had a slight altercation in Palatine Road. There’s a bit of a mess here. I don’t know whether the torrential rain that we had affected his driving ability. Torrential? At times yes, but there was just a lot of rain over a few days. The river was high again.
Walking around Northenden and Wythenshawe this week was uneventful. Rain was threatened a couple of times but we stayed dry, just a bit of drizzle.
There was more rain to negotiate when I drove to Darwen. I’d never been before, so I left really early so I could see some of the town. Good job too. There was a long hold-up on one of the motorways, so I went a different, longer way, but quicker, if Google Maps is to be believed.
This artwork celebrates the proud industrial heritage of Darwen. Please help us to look after it by not touching or climbing it. The edges may be sharp to touch and falls can cause injury. What a shame the plaque didn’t credit the actual sculptor.
I was delighted to see The Weaver Bird because five minutes earlier, I was very nearly locked inside the market. After parking up, I went downstairs to a deserted market, glad to find a public toilet. When I came out, the Men were walking around locking all the doors. I followed them round like a hungry puppy until they let me out.
This India Mill Chimney is one of Darwen’s most famous landmarks, the last remaining chimney standing as a memorial to the local cotton industry.
Supper was taken in a bank. Yes, really, it’s a pub called The Bank and it really was a bank, once. The barman asked a few times whether my meal was good. Well, yes it was. In the end, he admitted that this was something new on the menu. I can recommend their sweet potato and chilli curry, if you’re ever in Darwen, and hungry.
I was here to see Martha Tilston in concert. We’ve not seen her for about five years, and Liesel and Leslie should have been here too, but are still over there in Anchorage. So, I had three seats to choose from. One minute before show began, in came the inevitable tall man with a big head and I knew exactly where he was going to sit.
Teri Birtwistle, local to Darwen, supported Martha beautifully. I had a quick word with her in the interval, promising to play her music on my show.
I also spoke to Martha’s accompanist Matt in the interval, passed on my regards to Martha and her Mum Naomi, whom I got to know, crikey, thirty years ago now, when we were on the same creative writing course. St Patrick’s Day came up in conversation and I boasted that I was playing Martha’s song Over to Ireland in my radio show this week. So imagine my delight when she played that song on stage, even though it wasn’t on her playlist originally. Matt just went with the flow!
The drive home was much faster, the motorway had been unblocked. But a long drive, late at night, isn’t something I’m used to, so I woke up far too late the next day to go for a walk with the usual group. Instead, after another spot of shredding, I went back down to the river here in Northenden: it was still flowing high and fast.
I’ve mentioned it already, and this week’s Wythenshawe Radio show marked St Patrick’s Day, mostly Irish singers and songs about Ireland. Catch it here.