In a month when I turned semi-pro in the online world, receiving a modest fee for a presentation to a local arts group about blogging, I then spent the following month writing nothing. Reasons and excuses are legion and although I had many ideas and started to put together some interesting thoughts about various topics, I committed none to the screen.
This lack of effort continued into April. I felt like I was back in the Lower Sixth of North Manchester Grammar School in 1970 with the History master asking about the non-appearance of my A level essay on “The unification of Italy”: “Just polishing it off Sir !” was the most frequently used delaying tactic.
I am not sure whether I can hear cries of relief or sighs of disappointment at this point. As Lewis Carroll’s poem from Alice through the Looking glass says:
“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”
In my case, the following many things or potential blog posts were started but not finished:
I wanted to write about Marple Arts Group, an interesting local society that meets monthly throughout the darker months to entertain the members and their guests with a variety of lectures, presentations and events all with an Arts theme. The members are all
older people but with sharp minds eager for stimulation and interaction. This group, almost an anachronism, was founded in the austere Forties but should be cherished. I fear they may need to find some younger members to keep going.
Tesco embarked on a series of adverts to say how sorry they were about ruining our lives by selling us horsemeat, destroying our dairy farms and how they were go to do things differently from now on. These adverts were simple blocks of text in plain English but typographically broken up to look like Shakespearean sonnets or stanzas of a romantic poem. I started but did not finish a lampoon based on a Keats Ode:
Much have I pushed a trolley down aisles so cold
And many horse meat lasagnes and chicken kievs seen
Round many super markets have I been
Which bards in fealty to Tesco hold.
I could have written a review of a meal at The Inn at Whitewell in the Forest of Bowland but didn’t. As YS is to marry this year in August, we will be seeing a lot of this place over the coming months. Fantastic food, a unique ambience and location. I started restaurant reviews of Romiley’s Platform One and The Italian, a full review of Libbys, Marple Bridge is long overdue and the lunch we enjoyed at Jamie’s Italian, in Manchester at Christmas remains in draft.
The Budget came and went echoing a change in our personal circumstances leading to some overdue frugality. Welcome to austerity Mellor! With a little focus it is surprising how economies can be made. Say goodbye to Sky and hello to Humax, maximise the freebies on the bank account and stop double paying for the AA and annual travel insurance.
We finally consigned our Bramhall house to the past, this year set new records as the coldest spring since 1962 and everywhere was brown. Snow still blocked roads in Derbyshire in April.
Margaret Thatcher died which produced great swathes of media coverage which accurately caught the mood . There can be few people, at least those who were actually adults during the Thatcher years, who did not find themselves spending time reflecting on the effect those years had on all our lives. In death opinion polarised as strongly as it did in life.
I was fascinated by the Channel 4 series on Harpurhey, People like Us, set in the area of North Manchester that I grew up in. It began by causing outrage as the locals and the politicians reacted strongly to the apparent negative stereotype. But as the series progressed each episode changed my thinking. There were things to admire about some of the people of this blighted place who showed a lot of courage in difficult surroundings.
In football, I missed the chance to comment on United’s stroll to a twentieth title, the German demolition of the Spanish glamour teams In the Champions League and the unusual diet of Uruguyans.
Perhaps some or all of these will find their way on to the blog in the future. But for now, I need to overhaul the header iamge with something more springlike.