Thursday, February 25, 2010

Da spring is sprung

Okay then, here we go again, I hope. This post harks back to the 11th February, a Thursday. I remember it well. That night I knew that we were holding a PCC Meeting at Church and, for my sins, I'm Secretary of the PCC as well as the other things that I do. So I really fancied a walk. I knew that the PCC Meeting would be a long one and I also knew that it was going to be cold. Our Church is about 800 years old and it gets cold on a cold winter's night. So the thought of a walk was great. However, I was still suffering with the twisted knee and twisted ankle that I had done the other week.

Then there was my doggie, Jasper. I mean, look at this little face, how can you say "NO" to a walk with him.

By the way, this picture arises from the teacher at my Evening School class in Digital Imaging suggesting that I get in closer to my subject. I think this is a lovely picture of a very wayward dog, but then I'm biased.

So, anyway,  I needed a fairly short walk, and a fairly level walk. It was my lovely wife who suggested Manor Park. That was a good idea. Manor Park is in our local town, Glossop, a couple of miles away from where I live. Actually, it's not in Glossop, but rather in Old Glossop which is just outside the modern town of Glossop itself.  I'm not going to pretend to know the history of the park really well, because I don't. However,  up until the early part of the 20th Century the park that now is formed a part of the manorial holdings of the Howard Family, who are the Dukes of Norfolk. The Norfolk family are the ones who feature throughout British History as one of the central families. To this day the Duke of Norfolk is the Hereditary Lord Marshall of England. I think that means that he organises state events like Royal Weddings, Funerals and such, but anyway that is getting away from the story.

In the early part of the 20th Century the, then, Duke must have given up on Glossop and left. I must look it up in a local history book. However, in leaving, he gave away parts of his estate to the people of Glossop, and part of his gardens became Manor Park. Interestingly, (well it's interesting to me, you can still see bits of stonework, arches and lintels and that sort of thing in the garden walls of quite ordinary houses.) There is no Manor House, though, or at least none that I can see, and I have no idea what happened to it. Maybe what happened to the House is why he left. Or maybe he just gave up on killing grouse.

So Jasper and I were dropped off near the entrance to the park and enjoyed a very pleasant hour wandering about among the frozen puddles and frozen plant beds. But it was a lovely day, the sun was shining, there was no wind, it was very pleasant indeed. And here is the first herald of Spring that I have seen in Glossopdale. We were just walking up a path almost smothered in bushes when there, almost at my feet, we saw some snowdrops.


I don't doubt that this is nothing special to anybody else who reads this, you've probably had snowdrops out since December and are now into the full bloom of roses, but we are quite high up here in Glossopdale and we often realise that our plants and flowers are weeks behind other places. This was a real fillip to me. makes me think that Spring is really only a little way away. Despite the fact that it snowed quite heavily the day before yesterday, it didn't stick.
We wandered on, don't worry, Jasper avoided trampling the snowdrops into the ground by dint of the fact that I kept him on a short lead until we got away from them. He was very much more interested in the ducks and geese that were having fun on the duck pond. Here is one who kept on having great fun splashing water all over every other duck.

Jasper wanted to chase, Oh how he wanted to chase, but I am a right meanie.

Then we walked up the back of the park. The ground rises quite steeply at the back of the park, and I got a picture of a rather grand set of steps that come from nowhere and go nowhere either, but clearly, once upon a time things were different.

Then we walked home. Looking back on it, though, it was a lovely walk that we both enjoyed. Jasper and I have long conversations on these walks of ours. I must admit that they do tend to be rather one sided and I think this may be the reason why I am shunned by all the right thinking people of Glossopdale, but who cares. I am fed up of winter. I've had winter up to the back teeth and now I want Spring and the promise of better days to come.

We have booked our holiday, we are off to Ireland in June. Life is good, I hope.

By the way, I must just add my thanks to Ann for the lovely comment that you left. It is really nice to know that anyone but me reads this. Not that it really matters as I write this for the fun of it, not because of who may, but probably won't, read it. My knee is feeling better and better every day following last week's surgery. I have a follow up appointment to remove the stitches or whatever, next week, then I can get back to the regimen of walking. Just in time for spring.

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