This was a far from typical past weekend, one that I feel has left a mark on me. Listfully, the weekend featured:-
A late though quiet Friday night – unwinding from a noisy week. [0 miles]
A 5:20am start on Saturday – Emma, Alex and I joined Emma’s Dad for a 2 hour walk through the Manifold Valley, as he carried out a ‘bird count’ – a voluntary undertaking for the British Trust for Ornithology. Driving to the Manifold Valley, I saw my first wild owl (a young tawny, sitting on a fence post). This made me happy. [54 miles return]
A Saturday afternoon school fete… with a difference. Canalside Primary serves a multi-racial and largely deprived part of town. Friends invited us along and so, anticipating much of the usual tombola, cake and ‘guess the name of the teddy’ pomp of such occasions, it was a breath of fresh post-industrial air to find something quite… Other. Worthy of note was the frankly bizarre ‘children’s martial arts’ (very young children invited to ‘pad up’ – gloves, body armour and head-guards – in order to batter seven bells out of each other), the food stall (especially the lentil curry) and ‘the stocks’ (children lobbing soaking wet sponges at their teachers and teachers’ assistants… a fun exercise which neatly took on the hue of a wet t-shirt contest as the afternoon wore on). [10 miles return]
A Saturday evening trip up to Lancashire for a birthday party at the Ley Inn, near Chorley. I was in a tiny minority for not being a part of any of the work-related, tennis-related or LGBT networks of the birthday boy, my old friend Franglaise. However, this ensured freeness, flightiness and mutual peculiar interest with fellow guests. It was good. [128 miles return… by 3am Sunday]
A Sunday morning trip to the Strawberry Moon festival (the likely cause of Glastonbury not selling out this year). There was music and art and making…
And temporary tattoos…
Sunday evening watching the European Championships football final, in which Spanish agility, creativity and hair gel triumphed over Germany.
Now, there’s no reason why any reader should be interested in any of the above, however, within this morass there is the seed of something rather large. One conversation this past weekend will stay with me for a very long time, and it is that that I shall make the subject of my next podcast.