Given that the weather has been pretty atrocious, and the forecast was gloomy, Sue and I decided on a rare New Year’s Day lie in, rather than our usual trip to somewhere high. There seemed little point in using a tank of petrol to get to the top of some hill or other where we would be immersed in view inhibiting clag.
New Year’s Eve saw us lunching together with the pixies (who are now probably too old to appreciate that description) and Kate and Jacob, now eight months. Those of you who can read upside down may correctly surmise that Jake’s mother is an optimistic mathematician.
The little boy becomes more interesting by the day…
Anyway, with mum back at work, he’ll have to fend for himself over the coming months. I’m sure he’ll manage fine. There’s a very small slideshow here.
After the NYD lie-in, we did of course observe our tradition of a walk, even if no hills were to be involved, and we were pleased to be joined by JJ for a stroll down the Bridgewater Canal and the disused Warrington and Altrincham Junction Railway as far as Warburton.
We started by lingering on Timperley Bridge whilst JJ finished his breakfast at home. So this is the first image of 2012. The first of many!?
This gent appeared to be enjoying his NYD ‘sail’.
JJ duly joined us for the 9km stroll to the Saracens Head, our designated port of call for lunch and the afternoon.
We arrived just as the rain started.
It rained all afternoon. We didn’t get wet. Not externally, anyway. This was a traditional ‘session and sing’ accompanied by Hob Goblin.
There were 30 to 40 folk in attendance, many of them, like Richard (below) and JJ, musicians and singers.
A fair old dent was made in the stocks of Hob Goblin, and there was a moving tribute to JJ’s mum, a stalwart member of this fraternity, who sadly passed away on Christmas Day.
Darkness fell, the rain stopped, the moon came out, and the three of us stumbled back to Timperley without recourse to any other means of illumination.
It had been an excellent start to the New Year.
Yesterday a stroll into the village for provisions revealed a gaping abyss in the local retail sector.
Ian Moores, greengrocers, was empty, with To Let signs outside. Whilst it wasn’t the finest of its type, this shop did provide a useful local service. It’s a sad loss. The nearby Co-op now needs to up its game.
Luckily, we do still have an ironmongers and ‘DIY’ shop, which apparently opened in 1907. I wonder how much longer it will survive. And there’s a bank and an excellent butcher.
Timperley was once the home of John Arnold, a stonemason. He was landlord of this pub, which dates from 1840.
It’s also known as ‘The Naked Child’, but that’s another story.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone.