Monthly Archives: May 2015

Sunday 31st May 2015.

Rainy cold and windy this morning with few out and about. But being sunless meant a photo’ looking back along the viaduct at Bury. Normally morning sun makes doing this impossible.
An old grey building, just visible, is the now defunct Bury Police Station. (I think it’s defunct)
It’s hard to realise that tomorrow is the beginning of ‘flaming’ June!
Yesterday, early, James Martin the chef-cum-car writer, spent much of the morning cooking a massive T-Bone and umpteen side-dishes of eggs, mushrooms and other vegetables. The chefs – there were four people tinkering with a barrage of hobs and ovens – eventually made the meal which must have cost a full week’s Old Age Pension in ingredients, gas and lecky. Not to mention the calories. And even then the meat was only half cooked. Mind you, they’d not get much TV-Time out of a pensioner ‘cooking’ a Pot Noodle would they?
On the subject of food it’s usually the green skin, on a cucumber, that plays havoc with an ageing stomach. Trim it off. (And always remove the polythene shrink-wrap!)

Saturday 30th May 2015.

A dry run this morning and, while out, a check on a known Giant Hogweed patch at Warth. As expected it’s coming along nicely with the banking well covered in the newly sprouting weeds. Behind that banking (and apparently oblivious) is a well-known, TV advertised, very trendy … Garden Centre/Home Furnishing/Posh Coffee-House, store … So if you buy a potted-plant from there and you get a strange, very large growth in the same pot …
Near the Hogweeds were clumps of Red Campion, a native weed/wild-flower. Strangely I find it far more interesting on this, the outside, of that garden-centre fence.
In the same vein our old ‘wildlife’ pond is, after many years, finally ‘trendy’. Folk are having them constructed not to look at but to swim in, with naturally filtering plants and shingle rather than smooth clean tiles. Nice, but even now, in May, almost Flaming June, it’s bloody freezing outside and a month or so ago all that frog-spawn was really slippery. Dragon-fly larvae too. And beetles. Newts. Slimy algae. Water, in a garden, isn’t all plain-sailing …
A raw carrot? Yep. Good cheap food if you’re on an Old Age Pension! And Giant Hogweed is related to it! How’s that for aggressive food!

Friday 29th May 2015.

Drizzly rain early-on but an out and about walk a bit later. Dry now but it’s on the windy side.
Watched episodes of the new Castle series (Wednesdays) – episode two was last Wednesday – and it’s still well-up to scratch. This time it’s Castle himself who has problems with (possibly) his past which he can’t remember. The NYPD (or NPYD! as Castle once shouted to scare a bunch of crims in an earlier episode) always seems well staffed with umpteen officers. I wonder how a UK version would pan out? It’s not often you see a copper lately is it?
Apparently there’s a new James Bond book out. This one harks back to ‘the sixties’ and features Pussy Galore once again. In the movie versions the original Pussy Galore (in Goldfinger) was played by Honor Blackman who made TV history as Cathy Gale in the (original) Avengers with Patrick Macnee as Steed. Then all this ‘spy’ stuff was new and original. It’s all a bit dated nowadays. The new book is written by the writer that writes Midsomer Murders. Strangely that rather soapy programme sends me to sleep. As did a Superman movie pre-recorded and watched today. At least you can FF the adverts!

Thursday 28th May 2015.

Windy and cold this morning which isn’t all bad when you’re out and about on two wheels. Strangely the worst thing is getting too hot – a breeze prevents this.
I’m still intrigued by that £12,000.00p plus car-insurance premium that that 89 year-old OAP was quoted. It’s (seemingly) ridiculous I know but surely running a car isn’t that vital, is it? If it is our ‘Recipe’ page may be a great help in saving vast amounts of cash normally spent ruining perfectly good food by cooking it! Not to mention the cost of gas, lecky and pans. (Mind you, I’d still prefer that £12,000.00p in my bank account rather than some insurer’s.)

Wednesday 27th May 2015.

A bit on the dull side early-on but while out and about some heavyweight lifting-gear was spotted by the railway repair yards.
Further on the local wild-life was out and about too …
I see that rabbit most mornings – same spot.
While there – on top of the viaduct – it’s not too difficult to hang by your heels from the viaduct wall and get a pic of the Hogweed patch thirty feet below.
Yeah right!
Other working ‘blog-sites’ are visited. Strangely ‘owners’ ever moan about running costs yet have adverts and donation facilities at the ‘sites. This site, and another similar (WordPress), run in a basic way, cost about £1 a week for web-space hosting – with a reliable server. Expensive? No. Being online saves me (an OAP) far more than a pound a week so the extravagance of a website or two virtually ( 🙂 ) pays for itself.
Having a ‘site (or two) means you’ve got to get out and about a bit in order to provide some unique (not nicked from anywhere else!) content, which keeps you fit – especially if your works-transport is an old bike.
Who cares?!
But if you are one and fancy a ‘site for twelve months – get in touch… (and get a bike fast!)
There is, in today’s MSM (Mail Online) the story of en OAP (he’s 89) being quoted over £12,000.00p for a year’s car insurance. Okay, he’s old and maybe a bit dodgy in a car. But over £12,000.00p? Is it worth it at all?
Memory brings back the words of famous billionaire ‘investor’ Warren Buffet who was asked, “How do you get that initial bankroll with which to start serious £ investing?” His answer was:
“Start an insurance company.”
QED eh?
And just think of the website and bike he could get instead!
QED again.

Tuesday 26th May 2015.

Quiet and fine this morning (school hols!) and the greenery around the river Irwell at Wellington Street is really blooming. Sadly much of it is of invasive, toxic plant life!
So take care if walking or cycling the green and pleasant areas.
In pic two that very young Hogweed leaf is bigger than the back wheel (700c/27″) of me bike – just visible in photo’. J. Knotweed is proving prolific in those areas – tons of it!
As mentioned it’s school holidays and the roads locally were very sparsely trafficked – very few, if any, massive 4Wd’s about – so great for getting out and about.
Watched an old(ish) Super Hero film last night on TV, the one where Captain America and Co. fight it out with a time-warp of huge mechanical Aliens. The night before watched Tom Cruise battle it out against some really nasty and fast-moving non-mechanical Aliens. In both films the Aliens were finally routed and Earth saved. Natch all Super Hero’s stay well clear of Giant Hogweed – well, why risk your reputation?!
Apparently Greater Manchester is becoming something of an Online Mail-Order Hub of major proportions – far more concentrated and active than say London. Perhaps the (business?) cost of a five minute walk to a Post Office is more appealing to Northerners than a £5,000.00p yearly commuter’s rail ticket!
For established businesses in that line cost-effective bike panniers help with the bulk of things.

Monday 25th May 2015.

Dull and very quiet on this bank holiday Monday. At least it was dry for getting out and about and, unexpectedly, while o and a, a nice clump of (reddish?) greenery was noticed along the main-drag footpath.
In this and nearby areas there are several such outcrops (Japanese Knotweed). Himalayan Balsam gets everywhere – noticed it along the Daisyfield Greenway – but so far no Hogweed along there, well, last year there was one plant growing where the river Irwell passes-by several feet below. Plenty of J. Knotweed up there too.
Watched the latest episode of Home Fires last night. It’s only a soap but the myriad plots are building-up nicely for some real fire-works later. What did that wife put into her bullying husband’s tea? And already there’s been an untimely death – accidental but war-related all the same. Francesca and Samantha work well!

Sunday 24th May 2015.

Drizzly rain this morning (so far) and so a pic from a walk around last night. Out and about shortly if the drizzle eases off.
Missed the Song Contest.
One or two .org websites are asking for (free!?) pictures and locations of any invasive/toxic plant species that folk find growing around the place. If you want pictures and locations of anything the best way to get them is to get off your butt … etc. Mind you, that’s very expensive and too much like work isn’t it? Anyway, one ‘site names three invasive plants as the main ones: Giant Hogweed, Himalayan Balsam and Japanese Knotweed. It cleared-up weather-wise so while out and about a quick-pic of all three of those evil invaders growing happily together was (quite easily) taken – pic two today.
While there a few more pics were taken; one of a duck below a forest wall of Giant Hogweed; a veritable sea of newly sprouting Himalayan Balsam and various other shots that you definitely won’t see at Chelsea Flower Show!
Most of the Hogweed pics here feature plants about that are about six-foot spread and up to six-feet in height so far. They’ll easily reach ten feet (or more) when they go to seed.
Surprising what you can see in a Public Park isn’t it?

Saturday 23rd May 2015.

Dry but dull again this morning and apparently cygnets are now down to five from (possibly) ten. Other hatchlings include Coot, Moorhen, Ducks and Geese. Himalayan Balsam is sprouting and will grow fast for the next few weeks/months.
‘Dad’s Army’.
Wheel-nut count is eighteen.
It’ll soon be Jurassic Park time again and normally these films are interesting. Can’t help feeling that the latest will be just another ‘Monster Movie’ judging by the bits and bats of ‘teasers’ so far released. There are now as well umpteen ‘video’s’ of various dino’s at Youtube with pretty good graphics for those interested in dino’s rather than noisy, flashing films. But hey ho the new film will probably be another block-buster.
Meanwhile in Oz a six-foot tall Kangaroo is terrorizing folk! Mmm – perhaps a spin-off?
As the weather folk predicted the sun came out this affy …
Like the ‘white trees’.

Friday 22nd May 2015.

Overcast and rainy this morning with a pic from a few days ago.
In the MSM there’s news of a bomb being found near the Britain’s Got Talent studio’s – enough said!
There’s been an earthquake in Kent – is it?
And a (cash-strapped?) council somewhere in the UK has painted a Duck Lane on a canal tow-path.
Such is the UK!
There is, on Twitter, a website link to a nature website that’s collecting info’ on plants that grow wild. They’re interested in (amongst others) Himalayan Balsam, Giant Hogweed, Japanese Knotweed etc. and you can, via the ‘site, report infestations – supported by relevant photographs – and pin-point them on a map … mmm, do I have the time?! There’s acres of the stuff locally! Last year the River Irwell banks on the outskirts of Close Park supported (imo) the most prolific Hogweed infestations with Himalayan Balsam literally everywhere. Along the Irwell there were outcrops of Japanese Knotweed again, literally everywhere.
The wild plant spotted and photographed yesterday isn’t Himalayan Balsam (it’s a bit early yet) it’s Red Campion – a natural UK wildflower as far as I can learn from the ‘net.
Hogweeds are about two feet tall as yet – they will reach, along parts of the local Nature Trail, over fifteen feet!
Pic two today shows Hogweeds as of a few days ago at the footbridge by the Wellington Street Viaduct. To the left of here, below the Viaduct, there will be large outcrops of Japanese Knotweed and Giant Hogweed along the river banks.