Tag Archives: Edgeley

RIP PC Gareth Francis

20 Jan

Read the full story

A policeman was murdered in Stockport last night.  PC Gareth Francis was on his way home from a night out with friends when he was attacked on Castle Street, Edgeley.  He died in hospital.  Two men have been arrested.

We shop on Castle Street all the time.  It is just up the road from my church.  I have been on it at night, on an evening out with friends.

I was desperate to leave South Africa in 1996 because of the violence.  We heard many terrible stories while we lived there, and witnessed violence ourselves, upon occasion.  I always thought it could happen to one of us while we lived there.

I never expected it to happen so close to home, here in the UK.  We have a lot of petty crime but we feel safe walking the streets.

It is dreadful to think of that young man, a man who was valuable in his community, who made a difference, being killed as he walked home.

Such a tragic waste.


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.

Air Head

20 Jan

Something daft after all my anxiety – my latest conversation with the Hub:

Hub: I’ll have to pop up to Edgeley; I need some Aeros.

Me:    Aeros?

Hub: Yes, for the fish.

Me:    You can’t feed chocolate to the fish!

Hub: Not Aeros, you wally.  Air.  Hose.

If The Tree’s Not Full, You’re Doing It Wrong

31 Dec

I decorate the tree using the above principle. I believe in moderation in everything except Christmas and Maltesers. Speaking of which, I still have seven of my nine boxes & bags left and it’s been five days; I’d better get myself to the doctor.

Here are a few of our tree decorations. We buy at least one new one every year. That was Tory Boy’s first question when he arrived home on Christmas Eve: ‘Where’s the new decoration?’

The mirrored bell you see below is the first decoration TB ever bought me, from St Matthew’s Christmas Fair, here in Edgeley about ten years ago.


This is a decoration from the White House, from 1995. It comes in its own specially marked box. The White House issues new ones each year for the public to buy, though this one was a gift from the Hub via eBay. It is a solid piece.

The candy cane is also from America, one of a box of ten sent by one of the Hub’s chat room friends. They are about ten years old, those that are left. We never took them out of their plastic wrappers but they are getting a bit soft now. Don’t think we are mean to our children: we can buy them here in the pound shop. We just appreciated Brenda’s kindness and didn’t have the heart to eat them



The white stocking was made by Spud in reception (kindergarten); the Christmas sock is one of a mis-matched pair given to me by my Mother-in-law when we brought her and the Hub’s Dad out to South Africa one Christmas. I think the funny basket rat thing held mini Easter eggs once; I bought it on a boot sale because I liked it so much. The glass bauble to the right is part of an expensive set of ten that the Hub got for a knock-down price on eBay. Each ball contains a different Christmas figure. They have their own specially designed wooden crate with an acetate showing which bauble goes where.

This is our most precious decoration.  The Hub bought it for his parents in 1970 and it went on the top of their tree every year until they died.  It went on the top of our tree after that until about five years ago, when Tory Boy bought us a new angel with his pocket money.  I forgot to take a close-up of his angel but if you look at my earlier posts you will see it.
The tatty silver and gold balls were once shiny and new gold balls, part of a set of six we bought for our first Christmas tree, twenty-five years ago.  These are the only two left.  The pink fairy was handmade by me under Flo’s tutelage; I also have a reindeer and a Christmas tree, all made from dolly pegs.  I also made the cross stitch snowman.



My friend Elone often buys me Christmas decorations when she goes on her travels; this one of Sponge Bob came from Disneyland.  I also have one of Mickey Mouse and a blue glass teardrop from Kusadasi which is my favourite of all she has bought me, mostly because I love saying ‘Kusadasi’.  The dog is an old Christmas tag made of foam.  The Hub bought a set for my presents one year, and I like them so much I use them as decorations.


The red and gold box top right first held a ring that the Hub bought me and hid on the tree long ago.  The gold bell next to it was our first top-of-the-tree decoration when we married in 1985.  The cloth bell came from a little shop in Jo’burg on Louis Botha Avenue in the early years of our marriage.  The shop sold all homemade/hand-made things, including cakes and clothes and Christmas decorations. 


Homemade and hand-made decorations are my favourite, but I love them all.  I overload the tree because I am seriously sentimental at times and when I decorate the tree, I’m bringing out happy memories.  Who wouldn’t want a treeful of those?

Joy Deficient

9 Dec

Outrage in my house this morning – in a list of best Christmas movies, The Muppet Christmas Carol came only twenty-third.  I don’t know what muppet compiled the list, but Tory Boy, Spud and I are greviously insulted that the best version EVER of A Christmas Carol came so low on the list.  The Hubrooge thought it came too high, of course; but his opinion has never counted in our house and it’s not going to start now.

I say that TB and Spud were outraged, but I haven’t actually had a chance to tell them yet.  But I will, and they’ll be furious.  We watched it just this weekend, when TB was home.  It’s one of our family traditions in the run up to Christmas.  We confine the Hub to his room while we singalong to One More Sleep ‘Til Christmas, Scrooge and the rest.  How can he not love a song that boasts the line ‘No cheeses for us meeces’?

I was at a carol concert the other night at St Matthew’s in Edgeley.  Stockport Silver Band played.   I don’t know why they are called that because their instruments were all brass.

The band leader’s granddaughter was in the pews: no more than two, I would say, but she boogied like a professional party people person.  Her bouncing backside to Joy To The World was a joy to behold.  She was the only child there, sadly, but she didn’t let that stop her having fun.  When she got bored she took all the pew prayer stools, laid them in a neat row down the main aisle, and modelled on her own miniature catwalk.  The band leader advised us to be grateful: at his last concert he had called her to him and she burst into tears and cried for two solid hours.  She was the cutest little thing.

I don’t think any of the adults were bored: when we weren’t singing along to the band or adoring the band’s mascot, we set up our own Mexican wave.  The vicar had said we would stand for the first and last carols but someone in the front pew misunderstood and rose for the second; the pew behind rose because the first had, then the third followed the second, the fourth followed the third, and so on.  Then we did it in reverse because someone at the back hissed that we were not supposed to be standing for that carol. 

It’s all very English, you know: no-one wants to be the one person not to conform so we all do what the person in front does – imagine the embarrassment if you were the only person sitting, no matter what the vicar said.  You’d have to leave the church so no-one would know you made a very English faux pas.

I Lost My Littlest Potato

27 Nov

I had a scary couple of hours yesterday, thinking I’d misplaced my youngest child. 

Picture the scene: a dark and icy night.  Greedy Christmas shoppers intent on ignoring the married mother of two in her lonely pound shop/post office corner vigil.  A grumpy husband.  A lost teenager.

Spud finishes school at ten-to-four and gets home at five, having taken two buses.  One bus stops in Stockport town centre.  We were in the town centre around that time, so I sent a text to ask if he wanted a lift home.  Ever polite, the answer was no thanks (he’s polite but he might as well have stabbed me through the heart with that capital N he didn’t use).

We were in the pound shop at  four-twenty when my phone went and it was Spud, who did want a lift after all.  The line was terrible but I told him we were at the pound shop near the post office and I thought he had heard me.  He hadn’t.  We waited forty minutes outside the shop and he was a no-show.  I made the Hub wait in the car because he’d already used up that day’s good hour, plus, he could see all the way up the road to the bus station on the horizon, and would see him coming.  The Hub had come out without his phone so we had a little code going: he would put on the car lights when Spud appeared, like something out of a gangster movie; especially with me keeping watch on the corner above him.

Once I had become a human icicle and the Hub had been in and out of the car several times to fume at me (he was mad at Spud but I was closer), we decided Spud must have misread ‘stkprt’ for ‘edgly’ (no capitals for me either but that’s because I can’t use my phone properly: a lack of ability rather than a lack of will) and drove up to our next-most-used shopping centre.  Stockport is not so big that you can’t walk around it in twenty minutes and he had been missing for twice that.

I’d better explain at this point that mobile phones are absolutely bloody useless in a crisis, particularly if Spud’s is faulty, mine has no credit and the Hub’s was lying at home soaking up the central heating and sipping a tequila.  I sent increasingly panicky texts to Spud, as well as repeated calls.  He couldn’t answer because his phone switched off every time he tried.  He managed to ring me at one point and my first question was ‘Where are you?’  If he had only said where he was instead of ‘Looking for you,’ he wouldn’t have been cut off at ‘I’m near – ‘.  That was around four-forty and he kept radio silence from then on.

The Hub and I drove to Edgeley at about five and he drove around the outside while I ran around the inside, but there was no sign of our kidnapped baby.  We drove home, just in case Spud had the good sense to get the bus back.  He wasn’t there, so I stayed while the Hub went back to Stockport.  He traipsed around the town in a kitchen triangle manoeuvre (sink-stove-fridge/pound shop-pound shop-pound shop) but no joy.  He came home again; I forget why because by this time I had my boy lying in a dark Stockport corner, stabbed for his mobile phone (ha!  muggers!  see what you get for your pains!  a phone that doesn’t work).  By this time Spud had been missing for ninety minutes and could have caught at least two buses home; I was wondering if I ought to tidy up for the police; the Hub came in; we discussed our next move; he left; the door went minutes later, and there they both were.  The Hub had seen him coming from the bus stop.  Turns out one bus hadn’t come at all and the next was late; but of course, he couldn’t tell us.

After a choking hug from me, the inevitable humdinger of an argument broke out, with me yelling at the Hub yelling at Spud yelling at both of us.  One plate of egg & chips and a stiff mug of tea later, and harmony was restored.

Something I have never done is lose one of my children.  I stick to the adage, keep your enemies close and your children closer.  That’s it, I’m afraid: until Spud gets a new phone he’s going to be home schooled.  No more anxiety, and I’ll save on the bus fare.

From The News Desk

8 Aug

Two bits of news from my area:

One of my friends narrowly missed being part of an armed robbery yesterday (as a victim, I hasten to add; not a perpetrator).  She had just left Home Bargains in Edgeley when it happened.  She was loading her car at the time and fled the scene as soon as she realised what was happening.  I wonder if she remembered to collect her £1 from the shopping trolley?

The second bit of news means the couple who live just up the road from me will be able to spend their £11.2million lottery win in the sort of shops that don’t have armed robberies.   I know now that we will definitely never win it: with them probably buying their ticket in Morrisons like us, and my good friend Elone who won as part of a syndicate some years back (and very kindly sharing her good fortune by buying me the new oven I desperately needed and giving me the dining suite I desperately wanted), we have no chance.  I also know a friend of a friend from not far from here who won.  It’s kind of like being splashed by the oil from your neighbour’s well: you wish them well but, well, you wish the oil had been under your land.  But silver linings and all that: think of the pestering letters they’re going to get from people begging for help in paying off their credit card debts…where’s my pen?


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