It's been a sort of busy weekend really. Packed lots of dull stiff into it that really I won't bother you about... oh if you insist... washing clothes, cycling 20 miles, washing more clothes, eating too much, walking round Manchester during the Manchester International Festival... yeah I told you it was boring but you insisted. The festival looked more like a night festival really, or we were in the wrong place so we messed about a bit, bought books and ended up in Salford via Blackfriars. Walking along towards the bridge that links Salford to Bridge Street my Wife spotted a statue looking over the Irwell, interested to see what it was about we walked back into Manchester and onto Bridge Street and there's a small relatively hidden set of steps down to nothing in particular that overlooks the Irwell. When you step down to this place there is nowhere to go but what you might call seats but nothing else apart from this statue. Very weird really almost like it was all some sort of hidden statue never to be discovered. Not sure what Joseph Brotherton would make of it being Salford's first MP. To the right of him looks horribly like a tomb with his name and the usual details you would expect on such a stone because the statue has nothing on it at all. It's also weird because I suspect the statue is actually in Manchester if you assume that Salford's boundary is the Irwell... so perhaps not strange because he's looking out over Salford.
Either way it's a weird place to put a statue more or less hidden out of the way where I'm assuming Manchester's less that healthy night life like to spend their time by the looks of it.
With nothing of interest, Zamyatin has been a barren place for the last few weeks and to be honest there has been nothing doing, so I though that I would rectify that by posting a picture. Taken on the same day as the last picture we went to the squirrel park known as Marie Louise Park. Named after the daughter of the patron who gave it to Manchester. However it appers that there are a whole load of squirrels that have taken it as their home. You might think that I am spinning you a yarn but no. I have never seen so many. If you're lucky at home then you might see one or two every so often but I suspect in this park then you'll see loads all of the time and bearing in mind that they don't hibernate then I suspect it's an all the year round thing.
Because of this you would expect a good picture but I am afraid I had two problems. The first is that they move far too quickly and I am far too bad at taking pictures. Add to this that the lens I chose wasn't an auto-focus, otherwise it would have been like shooting fish in a barrel. Anyway I'm not sure where the focus point is as I can't see it so perhaps it's camera shake that's the issue but here you go.
Hooray, I got out of the house. This must be my birthday or my Anniversary... but no. Finally we left the house to see the Singing Ringing Tree. After a few mishaps I thought that the trip would be aborted but no. Despite adverse situations we finally started out around 2pm. Now to me this appears too late since it starts getting a little dark around 4ish. Despite my reservations the dark was the lest of my worries. The lack of wind and the low cloud/fog was the issue.
My Wife told me that you could see the Singing Ringing Tree from the car park. With this mist/cloud (and I say cloud because as we moved up it all got brighter and it was thick) you could not. I started to doubt whether she had actually been anywhere near when -after a minute or two of walking- she didn't know where it was either, despite the fact that it's a pretty prescribed route from the car park to the tree.
When we got up their finally it was silent other than a quite eerie sound. I thought initially that it was the Singing Ringing Tree until it was pointed out that it sounded like people in which case it must have been Burnley beating West Ham 2-1. After a few seconds of listening it was clear that either the Singing Ringing Tree had learned football chants or it was Turf Moor.
The great thing about the Singing Ringing Tree is that when the wind is blowing you get some haunting sounds from the sculpture. Today all we heard was Turf Moor. Air was still so really this looked like a load of scaffold. The other great thing about the Singing Ringing Tree is that you have a great view from it. Today the cloud/mist was so thick you could not see 30ft in front of you. Oh joy. You would think that we would abort the mission but no... we headed off to find another Panopticon with even less luck. So why are they called a Panopticon? I have no idea.
For those or you who wish to get really close to your feathered (well not really) friend without having to get in a hide and stay very still for ages then this is the bird for you. Proving that I know nothing about birds. This Falcon is in Bramhall Hall gardens just near the back (or is it the front) of the hall. An archive picture of course because I have been so busy, this is just a tester of the poor quality pictures I'll be able to tantalize you with when I have time.
After a bit of an unsuccessful day in many respects, here's another one of those chainsaw sculptures that seem to be popping up everywhere. This one isn't as good as the others, but the picture probably doesn't help because the camera had problems with the sun in the background.
The problem today started with the fact there are two Walton Halls and my GPS only knows about one of them and you can already guess whether it was the right one. So after travelling in the right direction for a while, I assumed that the strange diversion was just me not really knowing where Walton Hall was. As we approached Liverpool I realised that this was all going wrong. A quick check on the web got me the correct post code and so we were back retracing our steps back to just outside Warrington. Whilst it's a wee bit small and there's not a great deal there we did spend a bit walking around the gardens and then spent much longer watching my Daughter fail to play mini golf.
Blimey I should almost make this a feature of the site with this the third in the line of Chainsaw Wood carvings but then again perhaps they aren't made using chainsaws, it's only my assumption. So on this feature called “When Chainsaws Turn Good” -hmmm not that catchy, I'll never get a spot writing programmes for Channel Five- here's another carving.
This little gem is from Heaton Park. I'd have personally liked something more imaginative than a face but who am I to judge, I have never carved one of these things. It did take a few moments for me to find the thing after it was pointed out. It was a bit of “Oh look over there at that face carved in the tree”, so I started looking half way up a tree with leaves so of course I stupidly asked “What tree and where”. After a few minutes being told that “it was a tree and a face” someone actually pointed to the ground and it was obvious really.
With no time this weekend we were coming back from the bike shop with my broken bike (well not too broken) I remembered an owl that I wanted to take a picture of, so I had to hop out and take a picture. Of course just like the the Squirrel this too has been carved from a tree trunk.
It's less impressive but it's a better picture that makes is feel better and it even tells you that it's East Victoria Park as if Victoria Park is big enough to have an East, West, North and South.
I decided not to see the the Uboat that has been moved to Liverpool from Birkenhead, thinking that it would be too far as I was feeling a little tired, so I left it to my Wife for advice. I wish I'd have just gone for my first instinct and gone to Liverpool and be done with it. Quite a lot of driving would have been saved and half a tank of petrol too.
So we headed out on the motorway towards the M62. Approaching the turn-off for Heaton Park she started looking for Abbeydale Industrial Village on the GPS. As soon as this was keyed in we were back on our way home because we were going in the wrong direction completely. So after a long drive there we found it closed for winter. Not wishing to be defeated I looked at the GPS to look for the nearest thing of interest and it came up with Revolution House Museum. With no idea what it was we set out. A while later we were in the vicinity but either we couldn't find it, or it too was closed. So since we were hungry we headed for The Fox Hall, a huge and nice looking pub for a rather late lunch. We saw it on the way to Abbydale but of course we were on a mission then and now we had time on our hands. On the way to the pub my Wife saw a sign for Beauchief Abbey, so in a mad dash to salvage something out of the mammoth drive we followed the sign, only to find a golf course and a closed Abbey. So back on the trail for The Fox Hall
On entering we were intercepted (yes there was no greeting about it) by what looked to be Paul O'Grady's brother who said that there were no tables but we could be put on his list. Looking at his list I spied we were the 6th on it so not bad but could be better. My Wife asked how long we might have to wait (a pretty reasonable question I thought) only to be told that it depended on how long people took to eat... Uhh well yes Einstein. He did finally give us a 10-30 minute guess. He only offered this after he saw our stunned looks after his initial response and then we were offered to the bar. A pint later we left it and it's toilet of the year 2009. Back on the road again, this time heading for home.
Through Hope we started looking for a place to eat, expecting little because we were just expecting anything we found the The Poachers Arms and decided to stop. What a strange place... and that's not bad. It did look like we had just stumbled into someone's house that they had converted into a pub but forgot to remove some of their own stuff. A cross between a pub, front room and restaurant it's a nice change, and the food is good and fresh, it's not been sitting there under heat lamps and the like. Too much fish on the menu for my liking but hey that's just my own personal flaw, not their fault. One Addlestones Premium Cloudy Cider and a full stomach later (I should have had the rump steak, there was nothing wrong with the chicken but I was in a chip mood and steak would have gone down very well too, again my fault) we left for home.
So to the picture. On the way back we came back through Disley. On the way we passed Torkington Park to find the picture I have been trying to take for ages, but since there were nearly zero pictures today I had to hop out and take the snap. I think it's pretty impressive carved out of an old tree that I assume is still in the ground. I'll be disappointed if it were carved off site and planted but suspect that isn't the case, I saw someone on North West Tonight about the very same thing and if it is the same then it'll be all done with chainsaws.
So there we have it, hours and hours of driving to find a picture only 20-30 minutes away.
I just stepped out of my house for lunch and lunch on a Saturday when my daughter is choosing means a trip into town for Chinese Buffet which I am no fan of. If I really wanted average food I'd go and get a pre-packed ready meal. So since my daughter was choosing I was not in store for a trip into town. As I shut the front door all I could hear was a lot of birds cheeping and this is where they were all cheeping from. I quite like the picture myself even though it has nothing much about it so I decided to inflict it on you.
OK after a busy week, yes I am talking this one that has not even finished yet, I have some pictures from the weekend. Only time for one at the moment. This is a picture of the drive out of Platt Fields onto Platt Lane I think. The leaves have finally fallen and with the Rollei I have pictures of my Wife and Daughter kicking leaves at themselves and me.
Nothing on there except for people doing football exercises and playing football, I can only assume that this could be connected to Manchester City but I could be wrong. Not great weather but nice enough and I think the picture is OK, well it will do.