Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Saturday 17 December 2022

15 to 17 December 2022 - Around Timperley

We had a sprinkling of snow in Timperley last Saturday morning. It's still here, a week later, during which week the temperature has hardly risen above freezing.

On Thursday I wandered along the towpath to Sale, passing the Walton Perks cafe boat en route. The boat, along with others nearby, was frozen into the thick ice that currently coats the canal, but there was no sign of any coffees being sold.

The frost has remained intact all week in the shade, but bright sunshine from the clear blue skies has led to evaporation in places.

The path beside Sinderland Brook isn't necessarily in the shade, but this is how it looked on Friday, after a fresh bout of hoar frost.

There was a mini family reunion in Chortlon thanks to trains being cancelled for some family members, leading to long journeys by car to collect/visit/etc other family members. Isabella was wandering around people who were strangers to her, armed with a purple helium balloon. Hello Izzie, you were very well behaved.

Later on Friday, Sue and I were at Sale Waterside for a concert by GreenMatthews - Chris Green and Sophie Matthews, who badge themselves as modern-day balladeers, specialising in telling stories through song. Some of their instruments are home made, and Sophie uses English bagpipes that apparently pre-date the Scottish versions by several hundred years!

An excellent performance.

Saturday is 'parkrun day'. After a week of freezing conditions, all our local parkruns were iced off apart from Woodbank, in Stockport, which always runs, even if you have to do five laps around the 1km perimeter of a field! So we went there, arranging to meet Jan. On arrival a few minutes before the 9am start, we saw that the direction signs had been put up, so the run would be on. Or would it? A shower of freezing rain at about 8:15 had turned the surface into an ice rink, so regretfully the organisers had to abandon. They were very apologetic. I suppose we will always be able to say "We were there when Woodbank cancelled", by way of a novelty comment in the future.

Anyway, the rain eased, so we met up with Jan at Wythenshawe Park and did a 5km+ run mainly around the perimeter of the park. Here we are in the car park before setting off.

And here are Jan and Sue on a path outside the park.

It's pretty clear why the run was cancelled, as it uses the river of ice pictured below. As there were only three of us, we could run on the grass, but this would certainly have presented problems for over 200 parkrunners.

Sue and Jan went a different way, but I made it to 5km by passing Oliver's statue opposite the Hall, before finishing at the otherwise deserted cafe.

Coffee and cake (thanks Jan) went down well, and one of the staff kindly took the next picture. Well, at the time they had no other customers.

What fun!

Thursday 15 December 2022

Monday = Isabella Day (34)

'Bean and Brush' in Sale, was our first venue. Whilst Sue and I enjoyed the (coffee) 'bean' element, Isabella wrestled with a variety of 'brush'es and paints.

Eventually, after about an hour, a tree had been daubed with the requisite three layers of paint and was ready to go to the kiln. We'll discover how it turns out next week.

Then Mickey joined us for a long tram ride - a favourite occupation for Izzie, whilst I jumped off at Timperley in a bid to prepare lunch.

But before lunch, there's a Christmas tree to decorate.

The tree was quickly dealt with, then the Ted family needed to be 'tinseled'.

All good fun for the junior reindeer.

Then after lunch and a nap, there was a long session of washing a doll who kept being sick, and then the trusty Duplo house provided its usual endless fun. This toy in a previous generation had kept Isabella's dad and aunt entertained for hours on end, and the red and yellow car was brought back from Amsterdam after a visit by Grandma Whoosh for her 40th birthday. (Quite some time ago!)

Reluctant to go home, the little minx decided that 'the way to travel' was on the red car's parcel shelf! 

Mum and dad will be pleased to hear that this mode of travel did not meet with universal approval, and some bribery was needed to negotiate a 'safe passage' back to Didsbury!

Meanwhile, up in the freezing north (Bacup), Kate has a new bathroom. Oscar has discovered its underfloor heating...

That's it for now.

Wednesday 14 December 2022

Sunday 11 December 2022 - NOT The Tatton Yule Yomp

Here's Sue, standing where there should have been hundreds of people assembling to start the annual 'Tatton Yule Yomp', a 10km race through the grounds of Tatton Park.

With icy conditions, the organisers decided to cancel the event. Probably wise. Someone would be bound to get injured and perhaps blame the organisers for going ahead.

Anyway, Sue and I went down to the park and walked a 'virtual' 10km in about two hours - over twice the time it should have taken us to run it. We did not adhere to the Yule Yomp route - it's easy to make up a 10km circuit in this park.

There was sunshine in the distance over Winter Hill and parts of the Peak District, but a thin layer of cloud hung above us for most of the morning, giving the pictures a rather bleak look.

The fallow deer, above, and red deer, below, were scampering in the localised inch or two of snow.

Here's our 10km route - click on the image for a version you can see properly.

Well, that was a nice walk, even if we didn't get to take part in the race. The medals will need to be collected from the organisers' shop in Wilmslow. (Picture to follow.)

Tuesday 13 December 2022

Saturday 10 December 2022 - Trentham parkrun and some grandchildren

With light snow falling in Timperley on an icy morning, Sue and I headed south for a family function, pausing en route at Trentham Gardens for a 5km jog/walk (parkrun).

The course had been gritted - how many parkrun venues would receive that sort of support from their 'sponsors'? - and was quite safe to run on.

Other local parkruns had been cancelled at the last minute due to the slippery conditions, so the run director kindly delayed the start to enable folk to regroup here.

We milled around and made new friends as the 266 participants slowly gathered at the start of the scenic one lap course.

Luckily, there were no trains to watch out for - I think they were just out of season, not on strike like their grown up brethren.

It was a lovely sunny morning, as Sue and I jogged and walked slowly round the lake that is circled by the course.

At the end of the lake is a cafe that appeared to be open. I was sorely tempted, but I didn't want to be told off by the 'Tail Walker', so I made do with a photo from where I could have purchased a mid run coffee!

Further on, the sun had melted some of the frost/snow, and the mallards came waddling up to the runners in the hope of a few crusts.

After 3km there's a loop where runners turn to the left in the picture below, returning over a mat to the right of this jolly marshall who keeps everyone in order. No short cuts allowed!

Here's a view from the same spot.

Then it's a pleasant downhill jog to the finish near the entrance to the Gardens, with good views over the lake.

Sue found Alan and Alice, regular Wythenshawe parkrunners to chat to whilst waiting for me to finish at a very leisurely pace, as we were booked to run the Tatton Yule Yomp 10km race the following day. More about that later.

Despite the flood of runners from other nearby events that had been cancelled, this 266 person turnout on the 40th Trentham Gardens parkrun event was the lowest in its history. The cold weather must have discouraged some of the regulars. Full results are here. And the route is shown below.

Meanwhile, our grandchildren had active days:

Isabella had fun in the snow in Didsbury.

Jessica went to the gym with her mum to take part in an all day event.

And Jacob went to a Mid Lancashire running race event in the snow....

Well done, everyone.