Monthly Archives: April 2014

Wednesday 30th April 2014.

Another progress pic of the Metrolink car-park. It seems to be going-on fine. (Pic taken a couple of days ago)
Pic two is of Japanese Knotweed.
This stuff is highly invasive, but, I read, edible and (probably?) highly nutritious! And it counteracts cholesterol! Yikes! Grow more of it!

Wednesday 23rd April 2014.

The Metrolink car-park job is advancing with quite a bit of steelwork up opposite Coney Green High School – what was. You never hear (or see) lockable and secure Bike Parks do you?
Last night I was shown a ‘video’ from the USA. It featured a story about a single (nb that – single!) Hogweed plant that was growing, as a feature, in a Michigan (I think) garden. It was eight to ten feet tall – by no means a ‘big’ specimen – decidedly average.
Men in space-suits came, cut it to pieces and removed every trace. That’s one, average, Hogweed plant.
Locally the Hogweeds are sprouting and are between say a foot and three feet tall already. The first picture of a Hogweed infestation was taken by the Irwell at Wellington viaduct – near the footbridge. The Hogweeds here often reach, in height, the bridge sides. Thus they’re well over twelve feet tall – maybe fifteen. Fences have been placed to keep folk off them. Stay clear of leaves and stems.
The second picture taken looking the other way from that footbridge.
From Wellington Street Hinds Lane goes back toward Radcliffe along the canal. Picture three was taken along that footpath/cycle-route. Hogweeds along there are from a foot to three feet high and this year they’re further along the path.
Picture four was taken looking at the Irwell bank near the Lattice Bridge at Warth. The Hogweeds extend literally all the way along the banks. Behind them Japanese Knotweed grows! (See my Header photograph!)
Hogweeds are growing and they’ll ‘seed’ later in the year. Stay clear of them.

Tuesday 22nd April 2014.

Apparently Bury are to introduce LED street lighting. This isn’t as ‘nice’ as it sounds as some folk hate the very bright white lighting as it keeps them awake at night.
It’s supposed to be far cheaper but so far rates bills show no signs of going down anywhere. In fact installing the lights is expensive so, as a cost-cutter, it’s a no-go job.
Sometimes, when Bury tries something new it’s actually Radcliffe that takes the hit.
I’ll wait and see.
Meanwhile the Hogweeds and Balsam are sprouting…Knotweed will be stirring…

Saturday 19th April 2014.

Cold – ish this morning but a few die-hard Radcliffe Market Traders were up and about early at their Porta-Cabin Stalls.
Well, some of them were. Me mate wasn’t there yet!
But no matter. I went walkabout and took this picture (picture 2). But where is it?
Sadly, due to ill health, another Market Trader will leave today.
Noticed, along me walkabout and not far from Radcliffe Town Centre that there are umpteen Giant Hogweed plants sprouting nicely…
…Himalayan Balsam is a few inches tall…
Needless to say, be careful near this kind of plant. Don’t touch it!

Thursday 17th April 2014.

Otters, I’ve read somewhere, are making a come-back. Giant rats are being caught all over the place. All this, on the face of it, is good news surely? Yes, it is really. Everywhere areas once activity hives during the ‘Industrial Revolution’ are being allowed to rot and return to more natural modes. Huge trees are growing through what once were brick and stone railway bridges and what were railway lines are now ‘back to nature’ cycling-routes – with a barrow of tarmac along them of course.
All this means, of course, that animal wildlife, that positively thrives in natural places, will make a come-back.
Hence more Otters. Hence well-fed rats. There are deer about. Some are big.
Naturally, when you have an abundance of wildlife as above, you attract predators. These will naturally grow to a size able to take an Otter or large rat and then, a deer.
So expect snakes and rather wild ‘cats’. Not to mention a few tiny (at first) alligators and/or crocodiles. All will thrive along our ‘back to nature’ walkways that often have primeval-style watercourses running through them…
Where will it all end?
Oh, with Brontosaurs and T-Rex definitely!

Tuesday 15th April 2014.

There’s a lot of work going-on at Radcliffe Metrolink Station. They’re making more than one (floor) levels for folk to park. Strangely I don’t think it’ll work for very long. As folk realise there’s almost double the space(s) more will arrive from every quarter and once again those in Authority will say, “We need more space(s)” and back come the builders and another level is added.
There is another aspect to all this. Currently Radcliffe is the Free Car Park for Bury. The operative word there is ‘Free’.
After all this expensive work at the Metro car-park, will it still be free? Or is there method to Metrolink madness?
Bear in mind that within 100 yards of the Metro car-park there are at least two derelict ground spaces. Each would hold, with minimum initial work, many cars…
But hey ho at least something is being done in the old town…

Sunday 13th April 2014.

Although not noticeable this morning, there are, nationally, a massive number of UK inhabitants currently wearing, for general daily attire, Hi-Viz ‘uniforms’. The number is too, rising.
There were several about, on bikes, this morning and more likely than not these will be of and from The Private Sector. Many are not. Many of the public-sector dress Hi-Viz for much of the time. (This is, from a sheer numbers/cost point-of-view, worrying to say the least!) Some ‘horsey’ Hi-Viz wear has a nifty little sign, on the back, that is mid-blue with black letters and says:- Poli…wait for it…Polite. Yep Polite. Yet seen from more than a short head away it does look ominously like…Poli…yes you get my drift. And, over the past few days I’ve actually seen this misleading sign on two horse-riders. One was locally and the other was on TV!
Personally I’m not overly keen, as a cyclist, on Hi-Viz wear. I mean, why make it easy for bus and lorry-drivers to get you?
Better to ‘blend-in’ and be invisible while the big-stuff flashes by.
Then again why mess about on a bike where the big-stuff goes? Better, if at all possible, to use the bike-routes and back-streets. It’s often the fastest way anyway.
I have noticed too, recently, vans that bear the logo: Japanese Knotweed Solutions. Yes I realise that I may be advertising freely for someone but hey, who cares. Already, at the local riverside, umpteen Giant Hogweed plants are sprouting and many normally recreational areas will be, to prevent accidental seed dispersal, off-limits to citizens…
There are areas of Japanese Knotweed, Giant Hogweed and Himalayan Balsam is everywhere in the summer months. Indeed a photograph was taken last year of all three invasive specimens together at one location! (No? Check-out me Header Image!)(And the Background is local Japanese Knotweed for good measure!)
If I were Japanese Knotweed Solutions I’d start planning my overtime right now! And of course ordering the Napalm and Flame-Thrower at the same time!
Not to mention watching this space…

Thursday 10th April 2014.

Got our ‘new’ pricing from our supplier for gas and electricity. Jointly it’ll be around £50 per week for the two. Rip-off? It seems so. And once again, although they say they’ve ‘simplified’ it, the calculations for energy are a mathematical nightmare and (seemingly) totally un-needed. And too, as ever, they want to do away with paper bills and go totally online. Much cheaper for them but for folk like customers automation isn’t always a good thing and you never benefit personally if you lower costs for the suppliers.
So, as ever, energy prices are, to most of us, just another mode of raising, albeit indirectly, tax revenue. That understood then the stupidity of the rest of it all falls into place! And the general energy price increase makes a sheer mockery of state pension rise that occurs about now.
And the state pension is now way below the eu minimum guideline for a feasible income…