Tag Archives: Alexandra Park

Weekly Photo Challenge: Water

30 May


Alexandra Park was given to the district of Edgeley by the Sykes family.  We can walk, fish (with a licence and so long as we throw them all back), go on the swings, picnic, play games.  It’s a nice park.

Every Tuesday afternoon, a bunch of old men gather on one side of the reservoir to sail boats and ignore passersby.

Why is that an interesting thing to do?  Same with remote control cars: why not drive the real thing?

I just don’t get it.

Hole-Hearted Approval

15 Mar
Pothole, corner of Short & Neron Streets, Carr...

Image via Wikipedia

We take our dogs to Alexandra Park a couple of times a week.  It’s a twelve-minute walk from our house but all uphill, so the Hub can’t manage it.  To get to the park we have to drive down Dale Street.  A sewer collapsed and there has been a hole in the road, protected by a plastic barrier, since January (this is not a photo of the same hole; but it does prove to me that utility companies are the same the world over: uninterested).  It’s an access road, gets quite busy, and traffic status is ‘horrendous’ because of the hole, instead of the normal ‘horrible.’

We are quite fed up with it, but not nearly as much as one of the Dale Street residents: when we were there last week, there was a home-made sign up over the hole:

For Sale: 7 Week Old Pothole.  Contact United Utilities.  Open To Offers.

Next thing we know, there’s a picture of resident, hole and sign in the Stockport Express, and an apology from United Utilities, who promised to have their contractors begin repairs within the week.

A free press is a wonderful thing, especially when coupled with a man with a sense of humour.

Tales From Mother Goose

7 Aug

I like geese.  We have geese at Alexandra Park and they will take bread from your hands and hiss if they think you are ignoring them.  I thought I’d share some interesting facts:

  • they always fly in a ‘V’ formation; it gives them 71% more flying range (I wonder how scientists measured that?)
  • all the geese in the flock go off on holiday together; no matter how weak or old they are, no-one is left behind; they fly at the back, where it’s easiest 
  • if a bird becomes too weak to fly, a couple of the others will accompany it to land and stay with it until it dies  or recovers.  How wonderful is that?  here’s a haiku to celebrate:


Geese guard a stricken
comrade until it dies or
flies again – how neece.

  • they mate till death do them part and might be widowed for years before choosing another mate
  • they home, which reminds me that I’ve been meaning to tell you about the Hub’s Granddad Herbert, who raced pigeons as a hobby, carefully feeding and breeding and cherishing them and then, once their useful life was at an end, eating them

  • each formation has a lead goose who sets the pace; when it tires, it falls back and another goose takes the lead
  • they honk to encourage each other to keep going, a bit like the Hub’s wife when he’s tired of stroking her hair
  • lost geese or those who’ve stayed behind to help a poorly pal are welcomed into passing formations as members of the family

  •  they make great guard dogs (warning: this video contains excessive melodrama):


Harry Potter Must Be A Soccer Fan

27 Jul

Check out my poem Electoral Math, South African-Style, published today in the ezine Streetcake.  It’s a magazine for experimental writing.  The poem is called Electoral Math in my SA collection but I added the last bit when I submitted it, to give it context.


I have my niece and nephew staying for two weeks.  They are adorable children (I have to say that because their parents read this).  Whenever they visit we go for lots of long walks.  They arrived on Saturday and so far we have been to Alexandra Park, Bonar Park and Hollywood Park; coming up are Abney Hall Park, Gorsey Bank Park and Reggie the Roller Skating Dog at Stockport Art Gallery.  The appeal of these Stockport attractions are two-fold: they are free and they tire everyone out, including Toby.

I’m a great believer in exposing children to fresh air.  Even wet air, which is what we had yesterday: constant rain.  It’s nothing new; if we didn’t go out when it rained we’d all be as pale as the aliens in Signs, and just as cranky.  It rains a lot here in Stockport, aka Greater Manchester – hence, Manchester Cotton, for which we are famous, and all because of the rain.  Soft rain, of course, or we’d be famous for Manchester Starched Linen instead.

The problem with taking children out in the rain is not that they dislike it, but that they object to wearing coats.  The rellie kids, being well brought up, didn’t argue; but Spud, being mine, argued and complained the whole way about having to wear a cagoule, pausing only when we collected a spare child from his house (spare child being in possession of a football and Spud ensuring he didn’t leave without it). 

When we hit the park, the first thing Spud spied was a girl he knew, which increased his outrage: ‘See.  This is exactly why I didn’t want to wear one.’  I didn’t say it but it occurred to me that the girl wouldn’t have noticed the cagoule, being too busy being unimpressed with seeing him in the park with his mother and his eight-year old girl cousin.

I trundled around the park with Tobes while the kids played football in their t-shirts.  Can you tell me why I insisted they all wear coats as we walked but allowed them to be coverless as they ran around?  It’s not as if football has rain-repelling magical properties, is it?

After an hour or so, Bobo decided enough was enough.  He parked his soaked and skinny carcass on the ground and refused to sniff another soggy leaf.  He was shivering from the wet & cold and demanded to be picked up and cuddled, making pathetic noises that I interpreted as, ‘I wanna go hoooooome.’  So we did, to hot showers and pyjamas.  No-one was the worse for not wearing a jacket the whole time.

I never took off my coat and guess what?  I have had a sore throat and headache since we got home.  Maybe football is magical, after all.


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