Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Saturday 28 January 2023

Thursday 26 January 2023 - Around Timperley and a bike ride to RHS Bridgewater Gardens

This was actually 18 January, from our study window, and (below) on the towpath to Sale. Slippery on the ice.

The following day we had a bit more snow. It took some time to melt away.

But a week later, it was still cold, but windless and sunny, so Sue and I hit the towpath on our bikes without any fear of skidding on ice.

It's just over ten miles along the towpath to the Bridgewater Gardens. An easy ride, taking about an hour each way.

We paused en route to admire reflections on the still morning.

The outing was sort of triggered by a voucher of Sue's that imminently expired, so we took advantage of that (and warmed up) in the large cafe, before enjoying a quick wander around the gardens.. Volunteers were busy setting everything up to 'Go' when the growing weather returns.

Everything was very neat and tidy, just waiting for growth...

Eventally we left to cycle home. You can see that there was ice on the pond outside the cafe, fenced off by a discrete arc of chairs. Gloves were needed today! Hand warmers would have helped at the start, before we warmed up.

Sue couldn't resist a 'fungal pause'.

There's easy access to the gardens from a newly laid path on the north side of the Bridgewater Canal.

I waited for some time on a bench at the spot pictured below, as Sue took an age to compose the image below that one.

Despite it being less than five minutes from home, we stopped at the Walton Perks cafe to enjoy a welcome cup of 'Sicilian' in the fresh air with the local bird population, before retreating indoors for the rest of the day.

My first 'bike outing' since early December, and very nice too, especially as we avoided picking up any punctures from the hedge trimmings that are actively being produced by the highly active trimming teams just now.

Wednesday 25 January 2023

21 to 23 January 2022 - Another Visit to Center Parcs (Sherwood Forest)

 This was a repeat of last year's visit. (All visits since 2007 are recorded here.)

Sue and I joined Robert, Lyn, Gerry, Chris and Louise in house number 878, complete with games room (pool table) and sauna.

Sherwood Pines parkrun passes near the fence at the end of our road, but we know there's no way of getting out that way (some Chorlton runners tried and failed), so we headed out of the main entrance to the nearby Sherwood Pines car park, where some 276 participants assembled for the run on a cold but sunny morning.

After quite a long briefing (brrr), we set off in mist. I got a long way ahead of the person behind me.

(There weren't many behind me...)

A friendly marshall pointed the way on this 'one-lap, anticlockwise' course.

The finishing funnel was fairly quiet by the time I arrived, some distance behind Sue.

Here we are, in our running kit, before returning home for coffee and cake.

It's a 15 minute walk from our house to the activity centre, passing the frozen lake on the way.

Table tennis, short tennis, outdoor tennis, badminton, outdoor bowls, etc, ensured that we used up some of our huge intake of calories thanks to the surfeit of food back at the house.

Outdoor bowls were quite slow thanks to the frosty surface.

The men were outnumbered. This was one activity in which we could all take part.

Sunday morning: as last year, Sue and I joined Chris and Gerry for a 12km walk to Rufford Abbey and Mill.

There's an assortment of sculptures.

And a frosted herb garden.

On the way back, in the grounds of Center Parcs, a freshley carved squirrel was all that remains of a recently felled tree. Better than just an ugly stump!

More table tennis, etc. No photos.

Monday morning saw us back out on the, much faster, bowling arena, before an enjoyable game of tennis brought us up to lunch time and an easy journey home.

Thanks for your company everyone, it was a lovely relaxing weekend interspersed with a bit of exercise. 

Here are a few more photos from others: