Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Take a trip to Accordion Land.

Today's stroll took us past one of the many un-used shops in Northenden Village. If my memory serves me well this little outlet used to be known as 'Bar Mono'. I have never seen it open, but it seems that recently work has begun in earnest to make something of this empty dwelling. The 'Bar Mono' sign has been taken down to reveal the shops former guise as 'Accordion Land'. Crikey. I've heard an accordion once and it wasn't pleasant, so to think of a whole land of accordions makes my ears begin to bleed. Surely there was never a big enough demand for an 'Accordion Land'? It would have been best suited to just running the business on a smaller scale in your back garden as 'Accordion Shed' or 'Accordion Wendy House'.
From 'Accordion Land' we walked towards the river and towards what Ziggy and I have deemed 'The Biggest Shame in Northenden'. With these lovely summer days stretching out into the night, the attraction of drinking beer in the sun is an ever nagging urge. As we live so close to the river and spend a considerable amount of time walking Ziggy down there, we do often get that parched feeling that can only be suppressed by a nice pint of Guinness. Wouldn't it be lovely to have a nice, big, drinking establishment sitting on the river so that dog walkers, canoe drivers, wild garlic pickers and other folk may quench their thirst in the glow of the early evening sun? As a business idea, you'd have thought that this was a fail-safe notion. However it appears that someone already had the idea and it didn't work out. How in holy hell is the 'The Tatton Arms Tavern' a closed, wreckage of a pub?! It just doesn't make sense. It should be the jewel in Northenden's drunken, lopsided crown!! Yet here it stands, alone and abandoned. The hangover has long gone and you can no longer even smell the stale beer on the lip of it's welcoming door step. Tragic.
Wiping a tear we head for home. On a bus stop I spy a popular advert for a clothes company called 'Pretty Little Thing'. I've seen the poster on a bus stop in Altrincham outside work. On that occasion a chap (who shan't be named, but he works in the same building as me and I know his daughter, 'cos she used to work with me and I had a mate who went out with her) had wandered over to the poster and retorted "Ooooo I'd like to see my wife/girlfriend squeezed into one of these...." He was of course referring to the bright, neon 'bralet' that the model in the picture was squeezed into which made her look like some sort of 'Mummified Lollipop Lady'. At least he'd be able to see her when the lights go out, glowing like a belisha beacon. Here is a picture of Ziggy next to her legs. Shit shoes lady.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Kebabs that come back to haunt you.

Ziggy and I woke up to a beautiful morning and set off down Longley Lane towards one of our favourite ginnels at the bottom of Elmfield Avenue. Like all dog lovers, we do love a good ginnel!
Just after the ginnel lurks a stone freak of massive proportions. A true beast of the garden. When the mornings get darker and colder, the chilling stare of this chap will surely put the willies up me on a regular basis. Here he is peering through the long grass:

A truly gruesome man in his blood red shorts. I'm sure he keeps the intruders away and the slugs at bay.
I wandered along as Ziggy scuttled, doing his customary, morning urine dance and we turned for the village. Northenden is well endowed in the Takeaway department. It also has one too many defunct Takeaway units too, with their neon signs missing letters and letter boxes crammed with junk mail.  A sign of a Takeaway from yesteryear hovers overhead.
I wonder what Cinders Grill used to turn out? Anything special apart from the usual Kebabs, Pizzas and Burgers? Judging by the sign, probably not. This led me to thoughts of favourite all time Takeaways that are sadly no longer with us. Greasy, late night loved ones who dripped through our abdomens and slipped away. One night stands with Donner and her frilly, sodden, paper frock. My personal favourites were Monsoon's on Oxford Road. Everyone claimed it was rotten, but my tin-lined belly was never threatened. I once had three donner kebabs from Monsoons' in one 24 hour period. Halcyon days. Shan's in Fallowfield, another lost loved one. Mr Shan was a lovely bloke and the pissed up kebab fans were allowed to line the walls of his shop with Basquiat-esque scrawls of giant, people-eating, burger buns.
On the home stretch, I had promised to take Ziggy past one of his favourite Northenden buildings; The Haunted House of Royal Green Road.
The house, as far as I can tell, is still inhabited as the car that parks on the drive regularly moves, so someone must be visiting.  With it's smashed front bedroom window, this place really could do with a visit from Laurence Llewelyn Bowen. Cripes the ghosts must be cold in the winter in that bedroom. Here is a picture of Ziggy in front of the house shaking in his paws. 

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

The Loneliness Of A Swingball Playset.

Summer is kind of upon us. Wring out the rain from your underpants and part the black clouds and you can almost feel the ethereal glow of the sun. It's there somewhere anyway and it brings with it a whole host of activities and events. There's wrestling in beer gardens, all clothed in St. Georges flags, smoke pouring from billions of disposable BBQs, pale and stumpy legs tottering everywhere like Butcher's Choice sausages on drugs and to top it all every kid is armed with a Super Soaker. Yes, when it comes to a little bit of good weather, there really is nothing more paramount on a little person's brain then some hardcore, H2O violence. Apart from the obvious consequences being soaking-wet neighbours and drowned cats, these militant splash fests leave one of yesteryears summer activities rotting in it's wake. No I'm not talking about Scatch or the Aerobie. I am of course referring to Swingball. On today's morning stroll, Ziggy and I happened across this lonely and unloved article, set up in a neighbour's drive. It's all ready for a game! Sat in the middle of the drive panting like the family dog, just waiting to have it's rackets stroked and swung. However, just like the family dog, good ol' unfashionable Mr Swingball won't be played with this summer. He'll just sit in the drive and hinder Dad from parking his car there for 2 months before returning to the back of the garage, with his ball on a string bobbing in a crusty tin of creosote.

This week sees the anniversary of the Normandy Landings on 6th June 1944. On our walk through Northenden Village, Ziggy and I paid our respects by the cenotaph.

Wandering back home we happened across some sort of graffiti type tag. It reads 'W/shawe One Time'. I have no idea what this means, but I like the scary skull.