Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Tuesday 20 February 2024

Some weekend running,etc

Sunshine! At 9 am on Saturday morning. That was most welcome, but the Wythenshawe parkrun course was as muddy as ever. My photos were all taken at the start.

Paul has to hold back with Rufus, who doesn't understand the pre run barking etiquette.

239 runners and walkers took part. The results are here. It's a great way to start the weekend.

Sunday morning saw me marshalling at Wythenshawe's 5 km Community Run.

I was at 'Alty Out', where the route leaves the park for a few hundred metres to run along the Altrincham Road pavement. Mark Coffey arrived ahead of everyone else on his second lap, having just passed 'Tail Runner' Graham and his team at the back of the small field of runners, on their first lap.

I think this is Andrew, all alone in third position.

Others eventually followed, including a pushchair combo that was well ahead of Sue, who can be seen in the distance.

Graham and his team soon arrived on their second lap, and my duties were over. What did surpise me was the game of cricket going on in the background despite the field being rather muddy!

Full results are here.

After jogging home, I wandered into De Quincey park - it's quite colourful just now.

Thursday 15 February 2024

Monday 12 February 2024 - The Wabash Jazzmen at Eagley Jazz Club

Sue and I had the pleasure of attending an excellent performance by the Wabash Jazzmen, pictured above with an audience member, Carol Oldham, who provided some impromptu vocals for a couple of numbers.

The front line is Jon Critchley on trumpet, Mike Hayler on clarinet/tenor sax and Richard Slater on trombone,
 driven along by the flowing banjo playing of leader Mark Challinor, accompanied by the rhythmic string bass of Richard Vernon.

The band is coming up to a big anniversary, having been going for nearly 40 years. Well done them! (Although not all those pictured were in the original line up!)

Sunday 11 February 2024

29 January to 11 February 2024 - Two Weeks in Timperley

Monday 29 January - a great evening with 'The Teds', aka Chicago Teddybears Society Jazz Band, tonight's team being John Padfield on Reeds, Brian Singleton (hidden) on Drums, Jim Lucas on Trumpet, Dean Revera on Double Bass, Andrew Mackenzie on Trombone, and Rae Owens, band leader, on Guitar/Banjo. A lively and entertaining performance.

Thursday 1 February - a visit to great grandma Dot in Eccleshall. Looking quite chipper today, and at 98 she is still enjoying a game of nomination whist

Friday 2 February - Sue and I chose the best weather of the week to enjoy a bike ride to the RHS Bridgewater Gardens, together with Paul and Jeanette.

After a lengthy coffee and cake break, we pedalled back home for lunch. It's about 11 miles, (17.5 km) each way to and from the gardens from Timperley Bridge, taking a fairly leisurely hour each way.

Saturday 3 February - Wythenshawe parkrun #557 - quite squidgy. Full results are here.

The usual gang had to wait quite a while for me. An advantage of running slowly is that I save time that the quicker runners spend queuing for drinks in the cafe, including one for me when I finally arrive.

Later - a family meal in Timperley.

Gammon in cola went down well.

Isabella likes ice cream with her apple crumble!

Sunday 4 February - Wythenshawe Community Run. I volunteered to be Tail Walker - taking a pleasant 44 minutes for the 5 km, in nice weather.

Meanwhile, Sue went to a yoga retreat, returning home to create a chocolate roulade in preparation for the evening's annual Book Club 'Christmas Dinner'. A most enjoyable occasion.

Monday 5 February - part of our fence blew down before Christmas. We'll get it mended. Eventually.

Meanwhile, Chris and Darren have given our Leylandii trees their annual haircut, sadly for the last time as Chris is soon to retire. A tree surgeon will need to be found. Thanks go to Chris and Darren who have looked after these trees for a good 20 years.

Sue found a distraction from her 'Retirement Projects'. Can you spot the missing piece?

A walk along the towpath almost witnessed an accident that had happened a few minutes earlier. The driver of the van was thought to have blacked out. A worker from the nearby garage jumped in, smashed the driver's window and dragged the poor man out. A workboat just happened to be nearby and arranged for the canal to be closed to traffic for a while. When I arrived, the van's windscreen wipers were going strong! The driver 'walked away', but was no doubt taken to hospital. Nearly a week later, the vehicle is still awaiting a suitable crane for removing it.

Tuesday 6 February - a wet day in Timperley. I went for a walk around De Quincey Park.

Wednesday 7 February - a walk to Hale for coffee and cake with Paul and Jeanette found us in Stamford Park, admiring the durability of some information plaques for which I helped with some of the artwork many years ago.

What's a giant alligator doing in a children's playground!

Thursday 8 February - walking to Sale and back in the rain, I may have paused for a coffee at 'Walton Perks', had there been any sign of life!

Friday 9 February - an Isabella day, starting with a second breakfast of hot cross buns.

Jump Heaven is currently a favourite destination. Isabella went flat out for two hours, before baked potato and beans in the cafe for lunch, and a nap in the car on the way home.

I'm not quite sure what was going on here.

After more playing, we enjoyed a musical interlude on the way home while Sue had a long phone call.

Saturday 10 February - Wythenshawe parkrun #558 on a misty morning.

I was marshaling at 'Far Bridge', on the way to which the going, after rain on Friday, was decidedly muddy.

After 287 participants last week, this week only 181 folk braved the mud. Many people gave themselves a rest, as there was a cross country race nearby in the afternoon. Laura, Paul and Rufus jogged round by way of a warm up for that. Full results are here.

Sunday 11 February - about 115 participants assembled on a cool, misty morning for their weekly outing on this entirely dry underfoot 5 km run. With adequate volunteers, I was able to go at my own pace, which included some walking. 33:55 was an acceptable time on the day. Results are here. It's great to see the small children enjoying this run.

Phew, that's got the blog up to date, albeit without mention of parkrun's controversial deletion of many of the parkrun statistics, nor any mention of Balmoral House.

Wednesday 31 January 2024

Saturday 27 January 2024 - Owen's 200th parkrun

                                   Owen and some of his many supporters

Wythenshawe parkrun #556 was notable in that it was Owen's 200th parkrun. Congratulations to him, and to all the people who have taken the trouble to accompany Owen around various courses since he started running in 2017. 154 of those runs have been at Wythenshawe, so he quite rightly chose this, his 'home' run, for his 200th outing.

Cary had generously produced a magnificent cake in celebration of the occasion.

There were two cakes, as the previous week Cary had completed his 250th parkrun, also his 200th at Wythenshawe, amongst the mayhem of a record 609 finishers on that occasion.

Tris had an easier job as Run Director this week, with just 273 finishers spreading out nicely in the starting field. (Full results are here.)

By the time I reached Oliver Cromwell's statue, most of the 273 were strung out ahead of me.

Owen was supported today by Martha and Annie.

They stuck with him to the finish, where numerous others who had already finished peeled off to avoid confusion with the results.

Here are the supporters - mainly Barbers - but I should mention Graham Horsman, who often steps in at the last minute to accompany Owen. His efforts may go unnoticed, but they are greatly valued.

We adjourned to the tea room to sort the barcode tokens, ready for next week, with Owen still hanging on to the balloon provided by Annie, another unsung hero.