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.