Monday, 28 December 2020

Snow ... or maybe not! Muddy walks and illuminated walks. Some consequences of Brexit!

There are newspaper reports of heavy snow causing disruption to roads and travel ”all over the country”. A friend who loves in South Manchester has been posting her delight at the fact that “la neve è arrivata” and another, in Stockport, declares that the snow is melting in her garden and that she cannot wait to see my pictures of the snow in Saddleworth. Which is very flattering about my photography skills but even the most expert at using the iPhone as a camera cannot conjure up snow photos when there is no snow. And apart from a brief flurry on Christmas Day, a flurry which failed to stick, we certainly have had no snow to speak of this winter ... yet!

Today is cold, damp and clammy cold as the cloud has descended on the area. I ran along the Donkey Line this morning, amazed and rather pleased at how relatively dry the surface of the bridle path is. The approach to the Donkey Line, in front of the ruined, burnt out mill building, remains a soggy, muddy, puddly mess but the bridle path itself is mostly fine. This is quite a relief as so many of our favourite walks are largely quagmire at the moment. 

I’ve already mentioned the paths at the top Lark Hill which have been churned up by wheeled vehicles of one kind or another. And then on Boxing Day we ventured onto what we now call the “Forest Path”, the path through a smallish wooded area just below Dobcross village. It’s a place that fills up with bluebells in the spring and where Phil has attacked some parts of the path overgrown with nettles throughout the summer and into the autumn. 


Some parts of the path were very slippery with mud, suggesting that maybe we need to leave this path alone until we’ve had some dry weather, or at least drier than we have had recently! 


In other places the path was surprisingly bare compared with the undergrowth (overgrowth?) that Phil hacked through earlier in the year.

Ignoring the weather, following the Scandinavian principle - no bad weather just bad clothes - we have continued to be out and about, snapping shots of the winter sky. 



And yesterday my daughter and some of her offspring and I did a twilight walk around Uppermill, sort of following an Advent Trail featuring the Christmas decorations. 


We were accompanied by the eldest granddaughter and her dog. At one point the youngest granddaughter, who has been decidedly, absolutely and totally determined NOT to like the dog, indeed to declare herself scared of all dogs, suddenly had a change of heart and leant forwards to say hello to the improbably named Magpie. Having broken the ice, she moved on to stroking her and then told us all, “I am not scared of dogs any more. I love Magpie. She is so soft. She is part of the family now. When the germs have gone she can visit my house.” Oh, what it is to be four years old. 

Meanwhile, Brexit deals seem to have been struck. And there are things like this going on as a result:-

“More than £100m will be spent on the post-Brexit replacement of the Erasmus exchange programme for UK students next year, it has been announced.

The Department for Education (DfE) said the Turing Scheme will provide funding for about 35,000 students to go on placements around the world from September.

The DfE said the scheme, named after Bletchley Park codebreaker Alan Turing, will cost £100m in 2021-22 but that funding for subsequent academic years will be set out in future spending reviews.

The government’s decision to end involvement in the European Union scheme has proved controversial, particularly as Boris Johnson had previously said Brexit did not threaten participation.

But the education secretary, Gavin Williamson, said: “We now have the chance to expand opportunities to study abroad and see more students from all backgrounds benefit from the experience.

“We have designed a truly international scheme which is focused on our priorities, delivers real value for money and forms an important part of our promise to level up the United Kingdom.””

Well, I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see but so far I am from from impressed. Money is being spent to create a scheme to replace a scheme we already know works fine! 

Some people are fearful of the consequences of Brexit. This is from somebody posting in Campaign to rejoin the EU:-

“I’m so scared right now.  Leaving my house to go to the shop and a man walking past jeered at me because of my Vote Remain flag in my upstairs window.  He called out to me saying that dream has been smashed but the triumphant glint in his eye and the emphasis on "smashed" while looking at my window can only mean that he intends to return later at some point and break my window.

This is where Brexshit has got us.  Honestly, they won't be happy until they have deported us all or put us in labour camps.”


Meanwhile, over in the USA they seem to have identified the person responsible for the Nashville explosion. They now believe it was a man with a paranoid mistrust of 5G technology, believing it involved organised spying by or for the government, not to mention spreading all sorts of diseases. QAnon nonsense. So perhaps he was targeting the AT and T building. 

A different kind of craziness affects the other side of things. One of the police officers, who has suffered hearing loss as a result of the blast:-

“I just see orange and then I hear a loud boom. As I’m stumbling, I just tell myself to stay on my feet and stay alive.” 

He went on to add that he believed he heard God tell him to walk away moments before the explosion. Okay! It’s rather pity his God did not warn him sooner! 

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!

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