Saturday, 13 July 2013

Friday 12th July 2013

CRASH!!..... BANG!!..... WALLOP!!.....

Those were probably the sort of noises that were made when the subject of this photo was created. Outside our house is a parked Renault Clio that has had a right old beating. Ziggy and I have been walking past it every day since the smash happened and as yet, no-one has moved it. The puncture on the tyre probably hasn't helped. It all happened last Friday 5th July. There was a screech of tyres..... a crunch of metal..... and a thud of something else as some moron (probably pissed) drove way too fast down our skinny little street and twatted into the front of this poor person's parked car. If you own a shite car in Didsbury, watch out! My guess is that this is some sort of 'Shite Car Protest'..... a sort of 'If your car's wank, piss off and live in Ladybarn!' kind of statement..... The locals do not appreciate anything shitter than an Audi A3, a BMW 114 or a Mini Cooper lining their smug streets from what I can see. I'm parking the Daewoo on the drive from now on, less my car takes a hiding on the road from the toffs.

Oh and if you wondered what I meant by ".....and a thud of something else....." well turns out the car also knocked over a brick bollard too. Jesus! West Didsbury is dangerous when your shit car sticks out like a sore thumb! What Next? Is someone going to try and rape my iphone 3GS cause it can't load the Gumtree App?!.... Will Ziggy get happy slapped becuase he is not a Pug?!
We carried on walking down Queenstown Road and happened across a Graffiti stencil of a monkey. There are a few of these littered around the area and I don't know what they are supposed to mean or signify. By the look on Ziggy's face, I'm not sure he knows what the hell they mean either. Just look at the contemplation on his face though. He's really trying hard to work this one out.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Thursday 11th July 2013

As you will be well aware if you read my previous post, I have suffered this week as a result of insect bites. The bastard lumps have died down considerably and the itching has subsided now, and I feel considerably more comfortable. Ziggy had his dose of flea prevention today. A hearty squeeze from a Stronghold pipette and the hairy beast is protected from all sorts of hopping beasties that lurk in long grass. I only wish they did a Stronghold pipette for humans, and maybe then I would have been protected from the winged devils in Delamere.
We walked down Circular Road today, which is up near Christie's hospital. It is home to some lovely houses, but the street sign is a complete and utter lie. Wikipedia tells me that Circular refers to the shape of a circle. tells me that Circular is akin to having the form of a circle. My common sense tells me that Circular is.... well..... a circle. Ladies and Gentleman, Circular Road is NOT a circle. No. It is a quarter of a circle at best, which by my watch makes it a Quadrant and which by reason ought to make the correct street name Quadrant Street.
We headed back from the scene of the incorrect street name crime and walked right into another shit storm. Splashed all over the side of a bus stop was an advert for a new type of Cadbury's confectionery. Now, I'm sorry, but Cadbury have crossed the frickin' line here. Cadbury's Crunchums are..... crunchy cereal bites tumbled in delicious Cadbury milk chocolate...... Yeah you heard me right, they said tumbled. However, that is not my gripe here. I'm a big fan of both the chocolate world and the cereal world, but for me, the two worlds can only collide in one way and one way only. You can put your chocolate in my cereal but DO NOT put your cereal in my chocolate!! Chocolate, when added to cereal, enhances and sweetens and makes boring, shit, dull, plain old wheat exciting. Don't you dare add your boring, shit, dull, plain old wheat to my chocolate thus tainting it with the bland stick?! Leave chocolate to be chocolate. That's all I'll say.
Homeward bound, we wandered past the Green Finch pub. It used to be called the Four in Hand, but it underwent a massive makeover and they changed it's name to the Green Finch. Why? I have no idea. It was a lifeless pub then and it's a lifeless pub now.
I quite like the little picture of the Green Finch though. Tweet tweet y'all.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Tuesday 9th July 2013

It's Tuesday morning and I have woke up, covered in insect bites. God damn you Delamere Forest! I am an itchy, scratchy and uncomfortable mess. Ziggy is itching too but not due to insect bites, no. It's due to the fact that he is of course a dog..... and dog's itch. We wander down Darley Avenue, which is home to some lovely houses, which are way off my financial spectrum. I'm surprised that low moral fibre like me and Zig are even allowed to walk down this road. Yet, walk down it we do. Here is a blurred picture of Ziggy by the gate post to Darley Avenue.
At the bottom of Darley Avenue is access to the River Mersey. Yes you heard that right, the River Mersey. It's not just a handy river for Liverpudlians dear reader! Oh no. Us honarary Mancunions are also, technically, Merseysiders.
This is easily Ziggy's favourite place in the world. Loads of grass to play in, a river to splash in, piles of horse shit to eat and lots of other dogs to chase. It also has it's perks for me too as the river meets many pubs along it's winding way. However it's 6:55 in the morning and not quite time for a beverage. Here is a shot of the river in all it's green and lush splendour.
Unfortunately for Ziggy we haven't got the time for a full on riverside wander and I have to break his little heart and drag him back up to street level. His constant tugging on the lead back towards the river suggests he is not happy about the situation, but it's tough shit Ziggy. I have to water the cucumbers and tomatoes in the greenhouse before I set off for work and that is much more important than you eating horse shit.
You may recall from one of my earlier blog posts a picture of some hideous, stone, lion statues outside someone's house? Well, on the way back home we find another horrid stone creature sitting atop the gate posts leading to some weirdo's home. Check these out. Mental.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Friday 5th July 2013

Thank fuck it's Friday. The sun is shining and a small heat-wave is apparently on the way. Well it's probably more of a warm-wave than a heat-wave, but the warm-wave is as welcome as any wave. Ziggy and I promised you a picure of the tram at Burton Road tram stop a while back and this time the camera didn't break. Ziggy really wanted to go down to the platform to get a closer look, but I politely informed him that dogs were not welcome on trams unless they were helping the blind. It's a shame really, cause Ziggy does like to travel (unlike myself). We used to get the train back to Poulton, before I inherited the Raewoo from my Grandad (RIP Grandad, hope the great pond in the sky is full of fish!). Ziggy would lie on the floor on his belly and would quite enjoy the slow, side to side wobble of the carriage as it rattled along towards home. I'd give him a bone to chew to keep him occupied and generally he behaved himself.....apart form that one time when he licked a scally bloke's ear and pulled his diamond stud out.....and that time when he ate his bone really quickly and puked it all back up again as a huge pile of humous on the train floor.....and that other time when he was sat under the table and decided to lick a young lady quite high up her leg. The young lady didn't actually act that surprised, she must have had this sort of attention before. Slag. Go and turn the head of some other dog.
Wandering down Burton Road, we came across Withington Leisure Centre. It's a lovely old building, but I have never actually been inside this place. My girlfriend has been for a swim here as they have a little swimming pool as well, but she says the pool is a bit too small. In all honesty, I don't mind a swim, but I'm not a big Gym goer. In fact, as my good friend Peter Jones can vouch, I, Ben Thorley, have never once been to a Gymnasium in my whole, entire life. It's one hell of statistic and one that I am immensely proud of. I don't like men in lycra and I think muslces look stupid. I do my workout pounding the pavements with the Zig man. Neither of us wears any Lycra.
Withington Leisure Centre was under pressure to close last year and pleasingly the council have allowed the baths to stay open after over 8,000 people signed a petition to keep it open. Perhaps I should make the effort to pay the pool a visit before the building becomes yet more unoccupied flats.
One last stop before we return to home, another one of Withington's famous, yet quite underwhelimg landmarks..... The Withington Trough! According to local sources the trough has been relocated from place to place over the years. It now resides on Copson Street and an enscripton on the stone boasts....."that ye may drink, both ye and your cattle and your beasts". There shall be no drinking here, Ziggy, as the trough is now nothing more than a badly tended plant pot. What a let down! We were both hoping for a morning guzzle of Withington's finest spring water and all we got was some weeds and soil. I'm so disappointed I might have to join a gym to perk me up.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Wednesday 3rd July 2013

In much the same way that the Hill Valley Preservation Society tried to 'Save the Clock Tower' in the film Back To The Future, so the Friends Of Lapwing Lane Arcade aim to restore the ornate, Edwardian canopy that looms above the shops on Lapwing Lane.
The Friends Of Lapwing Lane Arcade (or FOLLA for short) are aiming to raise approximately £60,000 to restore the canopy to it's former glory. Judging by the snap Ziggy and I took of it this morning, it's going to need all the help it can get. Unlike in Back To The Future, the canopy wasn't struck by lightning. I think it's just been a little unloved. Too many dogs have pissed on the struts...... Too many drunkards have lobbed stones through the glass panes and too many shit shops have peddled their wares with little success or regard for the welfare of the property they rented/owned. Consequently, it's rusty, falling to bits and probably a bit of a health and safety issue. It surely won't be long before someone loses an ear from a falling shard of glass from the roof. So dig deep everyone......quick..... and 'Help Save the Canopy!'......... Go here.....
We left the crumbling canopy ruins in fear of our ears and headed down Wilmslow Road towards Christie's Hospital. We turned down Oak Road and it was rather weird seeing a bin outside the hospital overflowing with fags. In fact it's quite possibly the most fag heavy bin I have ever come across. I wonder how many of these fag ends belonged to patients in the hospital that were being treated for cancer. Probably quite a few. Jesus.... wheel me in to sort out my cancer..... wheel me back out to have a fag....... wheel me back in again to sort out my lung cancer..... wheel me back out to have a fag..... That's a vicious circle of sorts. Each to their own.
At the bottom of Oak Road, we took Ziggy's morning walk portrait by the road sign. I think he kinda looks like he's in a band in this shot. I wonder, if Ziggy did have a band, what he would call them? Ziggy and The Missing Bollocks?..... The Tiger Prawns?..... Cats are Twats?..... send me your ideas in a comment and I'll run them past Zig and see what he likes best. He would make a great front man. 

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Tuesday 2nd July 2013

Ziggy and I set off today to find the elusive 'Withington Milestone'. I'd heard of it's existence from tales of yore and was confident that it's location was slap bang opposite the The Turnpike public house on Wilmslow Road. We meandered down Tatton Grove, which runs alongside the Red Lion pub and came across another red bloodied beast foraging in the undergrowth..... "Get back Ziggy..... this beast may be aggro"..... but it wasn't aggro. It was a graffiti stencil of a giraffe making cow noises. Ahh the thrills and spills of Withington.
We rocked up at the Turnpike pub and before our very eyes, there she stood, half hidden in the foliage....The Withington Milestone. The Withington Milestone is merely an old stone that marks the distance from it's point to the centre of town (4 miles) and Wilmslow (8.25 miles). Wow!
As the miletone sits directly outside the Turnpike pub, I guess it provides a welcome compass to the pissed-up, old blokes that fall out of the pub, pennies falling from their pockets and beer farts slipping from their wrinkly, slack bottoms. No complex map-reading needed here old boy!.... Where do you live closest to? Town? Or Wilmslow?...... who needs Sat Nav.
In hindsight, this wasn't my most interesting of finds but I consider this a site seen and a box ticked and at the very least, if I am drinking beer in the Red Lion and someone asks me how far it is to town, I can tell them it's 4 miles exactly. I generally prefer to judge distances in the time it takes to drink a can of lager. The journey from the Red Lion to Town may be 4 miles, but for me it's a 2 shicker bus ride.

We were getting pressed for time, so Ziggy and I hot-footed it back down Wilmslow Road to get a quick snap of the road sign. Ziggy even managed to raise a smile for a change.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Monday 1st July 2013

July?.... Nah. It can't be July?! Oh shit. It's July. Unbelievable.
It's Monday again and Ziggy and I are stuggling to get out of our beds to drag ourselves round the block. We manage to leave the house and happen across the following image that pretty much encapsulates a Monday morning. Deflation. The weekend is nothing but a dull ache on the brain and the body is empty (but feeling, not too surprisingly, heavier than it did before I ate all that pizza last night). Yes, Monday you are nothing more than a dangling, rubbery and lifeless balloon. I can't wait for Friday to come round again so I can pump some life back into you, you little party piece you.

We wander down Barlow Moor Road today towards Didsbury Village. It's a familiar route as my girlfriend will testify, but it's a guaranteed half an hour walk that ticks the boxes. The road is a long one and straddles Chorlton and Didsbury. I realise that the Didsbury section of the road is unique in that it is bookended by that rarity, the public toilet. Both, I may add, are closed to the public, making them just a toilet now. To be honest, I don't think you'd be too disappointed if you were bursting for the loo. These little shit-sheds must stink on the inside and have probably seen too many Saturday night sex shows in their heyday. If George Michael was Mancunion, he would have loved the walk from bog to bog along Barlow Moor Road. Relishing in the wolf whistles from passers by. On the side of the toilet is this sign. Manchester City Council wish to draw our attention to something. Ah yes. Attention: Nothing. Thanks guys. Maybe it's a coded message to George Michael?

The road signs (frustratingly) for Barlow Moor Road are too high up to get a picture of Ziggy next to them. We walk home via Wilmslow Road and across the bridge that carries the cars over the newly laid Metro track. Here a plaque informs us that the bridge was constructed in 1875 and reconstructed in 1989. Pointless information and a waste of a plaque if you ask me. It becomes apparent from this blog post that Manchester City Council don't do signs very well do they?
Ziggy has lost interest as you can tell from the picture. 

Friday, 28 June 2013

Friday 28th June 2013

It's Friday, which of course is reason to smile. However it's pissing down and a morning dog walk in the rain is not what I was in the mood for. The rain has of course, temporarily, brought back my breathing and curbed the hayfever nightmare I was suffering. Thanks rain and now fuck off.
We strolled over to the new metro stop on Burton Road, but my phone was playing up and decided to go into spaz mode for about 15 minutes, so the nice shot I got of the tram was lost in the ether. Oh well, there you have it..... a future chapter for the blog. Instead we trudged on down Burton Road until we came to Everett Road, Withington, M20. It seems like the whole street was up for sale. Rows and rows of 'For Sale' signs lined the drives. They can't give them away. If they did though, I'd be first in line.
I took one glance at Ziggy and you could tell he was pleased as punch, that he was fortunate enough to live rent free with me. I don't know how he would afford the mortgage on a kennel of his own on his poxy salary. He'd probably resort to a life of petty crime and end up in some drying out kennel for alcoholic hounds. You stay with me pal, I'll keep you on the straight and narrow. Even if your income is shit.
As we came to the final few unwanted homes on Everett Road we happened on some hideous, stone, garden ornaments that had been placed either side of someone's front door. I hope that the owners aren't thinking of selling up as there is no chance of shifting this while these hideous characters guard the entrance. I wonder what Ziggy would look like cast in stone?
 Well, that was Everett Road. We managed to squeeze in a quick shot of Ziggy by the road sign, but as you can tell from the slight blurring on his face, he was not happy to be sat in the rain. Either that or those horrid stone lions had put the willies up him.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Thursday 27th June 2013

I wrote a song called 'Grass Seeds' a few years back. It was written at the time, as a response to my suffering from Hayfever. It was, in all fairness, a pretty shite song, but I was reminded of it when going through a particularly violent sneezing session this morning. Ziggy and I set off and as soon as we were out the door I was blasting mucus from my nasal corridors at a rate of knots. One atchoo after atchoo followed until I was sweaty, dizzy and miserable. God damn you flowers! So pretty and unassuming, yet so dangerous to the sensitive tissue in my nose. Here is one of the culprits in a neighbour's garden. I was temnpted to pluck it from it's stem, stamp on it and scream "You fucking, flowery fucker! You are ruining my nose and my morning, you stupid, beautifully petalled prick!!"........ but I thought better of it and took a quick snap instead.
We carried on down Clyde Road, West Didsbury, M20 until we came to a rather old fashioned street sign and thought it best that I snap Ziggy here. This is our home street and we have lived here for over a year now. Overall, living here has been mostly kind to us and we don't really have much to complain about. Apart from:
1) The stupid German Shepherd that takes itself for a walk every morning and shits big piles of tonka truck sized, brick-red shit everywhere. German Shepherd, we know it's you and we are not happy about it. Wanker dog.
2) The ridiculously high kerbs. Not only have you meddled with the tracking on my car you are also responsible for scraping the bottom of the front of my car every time I reverse of the drive. You are probably not causing that much damage to the car, but the horrible, crunching, scream that comes from the undercarriage when I drive off the drive is enough to make me believe that you have ripped the engine from the bonnet and my heart from my chest. Stop hurting me and my car you tall bastard.
Here is Ziggy on Clyde Road:

 We continued down the aforementioned German Shepherd's favourite toilet or 'Dog-Shit Alley' as I call it, which leads us out onto Northern Grove. A nice little street, with lots of nice cars in disgusting colours. One family here has 2 new BMWs parked on their drive. One is banana-yellow and the other is poo-brown?! Who buys a brand new BMW 4x4 in bloody brown?! Too much money leads to dysentery decision making.
There is one car on this street though, which for me is a real beauty. It's got eyes like a frog and it's got three flat tyres. It clearly doesn't get to do the miles it so rightly deserves, but it's amazing..... Ladies and Gentlemen, I present and leave you with......... the Citroen DS! What a corker!

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Tuesday 25th June 2013

Ahh..... Tuesday! The sun has returned and today looks clearer and brighter. Ziggy awoke early at 5am with much bounce and verve. The little man clearly wants a little run around the park, so off we go to Marie Louise Gardens, which is situated on Palatine Road, West Didsbury, M20.

The park is a bit of a hidden gem and Ziggy and I only found it, by literally stumbling across it after a few summery beers a few years ago. It's a nice little park and some lucky sod gets to have their house slap bang in the middle of the park! Imagine that?! .......Your back garden is a park. Only horrible tramps and nasty paedophiles get to say that their back garden is a park! Here is a photo of a photo of the house from a notice board in the park. Sepia-tastic and not a tramp nor paedo in sight.
To the side of the park is a mosaic sundial, created as a community project to celebrate the return of a sqaure of land adjacent to the park lodge. It's made up of some nice bits of mosaic work. Ziggy wasn't very interested in bits of broken pot and decided instead to bolt off after a little black puppy called Lola. He steam rolled her out the way and attempted to steal the gentleman's tennis ball slinger out of his hand. This morning, Ziggy is acting out his role as "a little shit" and I politely tell him so as he goes back on the lead and is marched back to the sundial for a photograph.
 We're on the way out of the park, I'm sweating and Ziggy is panting. Well, he is trying to pant, but the big stick in his mouth is certainly an obstacle to panting. The stick is pulled from his mouth. Here we are next to the sign for Palatine Road. Cue the panting. Now hurry up Ziggy, I'm late for work.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Friday 21st June 2013

We set off late on our morning meander through the streets of West Didsbury, due in the main part to me trimming my beard and having to wash all the hairs off the sink and down the plughole. Ziggy was not to blame for our tardiness, so don't pin the blame on his hairy shoulders. Today we set off for the closest municipal park to our homestead. It's only a five minute stroll to Cavendish Road Park, which strangely enough sits on Cavendish Road. On the way, Ziggy and I happened across a rather large collection of empty beer bottles in the alley way. Someone has had an enjoyable evening! Alley ways are usually the place to find people pissing out all the beer they drank at the pub that night. I wonder if the drinkers of these bad boys drank all the beer in the alley and then wandered into the pub and pissed against the bar.
We arrived at the park in good time to see a familiar dog walker hobbling along on her crutch with her Cloud Dog (Bichon Frise) dashing here and there on the end of an extendable lead. We see her from time to time. She never says hello or anything but her dog and Ziggy exchange some sort of "G'morning" dog glance.
Don't get me wrong, Cavendish Road park is a nice park. However we have been here in the evening when all the posh dogs come out to play and poor Ziggy does get some wary looks from the posh dogs and the posh owners. I let him off to play once, and got the most disgusted look from one woman, as he hurtled across to wrestle with her miniature, diamond encrusted, dachshund. Safe to say, the dachshund and the woman both shat themselves and left the park. ASBO for Ziggy. Here is a colourful snap of the children's play area.
I couldn't get a snap of Ziggy next to the sign for Cavendish Road, as the sign was situated quite high up on the side of a house and Ziggy's climbing skills are piss poor. Instead we left the park via the Cavendish Avenue exit and here is the main man stood in the shadow of Cavendish Avenue sign.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Thursday 20th June 2013

The sun did not shine as much this morning as it did on yesterday's little AM adventure. As we happened across this advertisement for iced treats, neither Ziggy nor I felt in the mood for any of the iced treats that a summer normally brings........ a Feast..... a Solero........ a Fab........... a Chunky Choc Ice (Dad's Favourite).......... a Strawberry Mivvi (Mum's favourite).
The humble Cornetto..... the staple of any Grandparents freezer. Shoved in there as a peacemaker for rowdy, sweaty, over excited grandchildren who come to stay on a weekend. I don't think my Nana and Grandad would have survived without these ice cream dummies. Although I never did like the Mint Choc Chip Cornetto...... please.... mint?! There is only one place for mint and that's on a toothbrush. The advert claims this Cornetto to be the best Cornetto ever! The lengths they must have gone to, to improve not only the ice cream, but the soggy wafer cone?! Well done Walls......... now pass me a Twister.

We strolled down Spath Road, Didsbury M20 this morning. This was the site of my first Mancunion home. Albeit a temporary and rather unpleasant home. I lived on this road at what would appear to be an old, abandoned hall of residence. Needham Halls was it's name and if I'm honest it's a stay I would much rather forget. My abiding memories are of sleeping under my parka, eating tins of cold ravioli and praying that my mum and dad would come back quick, pick me up and get me out of this fucking shithole...... oh and pissing in the little sink by the side of my bed. Classy. Here is the pillar at the gate of building. It's been converted into a block of luxury apartments now. Bet the new residents don't piss in sinks. Shame.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Wednesday 19th June 2013

This here is the first post in my new blog.......... Look who's walking who........ It's a breezy little journal based loosely around the exploits of me and my dog Ziggy's morning strolls around the streets of wherever we might be strolling at that time. We will chronicle things we sniff/find and daydream about massive houses in Didsbury which we wished we could own, but will probably never set foot through the door, lest we be arrested for trespassing.

Today we found/sniffed this little pink, rubbery item...... no it's not a used Johnny. You don't get street shaggers in West Didsbury darling!! It's a stray Croc shoe, possibly once owned by a woman at crisis with herself. These functional, disgusting rubber slip-ons are the footwear of choice for nurses, gardeners and hipster grandmas.... Personally, I think they are revolting things.
Our next stop took us to the surroundings of Ballbrook Avenue, Withington, M20. This pretty little street is home to some very well-off people indeed. Here is Ziggy looking very well-off next the Ballbrook Avenue sign. Don't look so scared Ziggy! We 'aint gonna get mugged down here old bean!!
We did happen across a young business man who was so well-off that he could afford to have his own personal bollard installed behind his fancy BMW on his own drive! My word, on my road I can only hope that a brown wheelie bin placed behind my car can dissuade potential Daewoo thieves.
I leave you with a shot of Ballbrook Avenue in the morning glow.