Feline Fashions. 27th June

Bollington Embankment to Tilly Trees (Braddocks Bridge 19)

Geraghty Zoom this morning. Topics covered were tadpoles, caterpillars, Thomas’s PHD and hot composting was touched upon, but strangely enough nobody was interested in what we could add to their bins! It was good to see everyone as ever.

Conversation also turned to the five step road map for theatre and live music to be able to return which the Government announced on Thursday evening. This has to have been written on the back of a beer mat and would have served much better purpose if it had been left in a pub! There has been no mention of extra money for the sector to help it wait in the dark and no dates of when the stages might be able to be implemented, so the entertainment sector still balances on the edge of a knife with zero support.

The first two stages of the road map are already allowed. Whoopee! Oh hang on, ‘physically distanced rehearsal and training with no audiences; and physically distanced performances for broadcast and recording purposes,’ well that has been happening for the last three months anyway!!

I could go on, but instead I’d like to share a few things that are or will be happening in the arts.

Sir Ian McKellan

Next Monday rehearsals for Hamlet at the Theatre Royal Windsor will start, this was a production postponed from the summer season. It will star Sir Ian McKellan in the lead role. Production dates are still to be confirmed once Government guidance on how and when the theatre can reopen safely are announced. Who knows how long they will be rehearsing for, good job Bill Kenwright, the producer, has a bit of money behind him.

A unique performance has been created by Chippy Theatre and Oxford University, taking an irreverent long view on plagues and pandemics. This is streaming for free on line at Contagion Cabaret.

This autumn Derby Theatre will be creating a series of journeys around the theatre, Ghost Light. It will be available for one household or small bubble at a time. Production dates still to be confirmed once Government guidance gives the go ahead.

ENO are launching Drive and Live. In September the company will be performing in the grounds of Alexandra Palace to an audience in their own cars. La Boheme and The Magic Flute have been adapted into shorter versions and will have suitably spaced singers and musicians.

Then there are our friends at Animated Objects Theatre Company in Scarborough. This weekend should have been Armed Forces Weekend. They had been working on various projects with the community. But for obvious reasons the weekend has been cancelled. Despite this their Young Peoples Red Arrows, inspired by the RAF aerobatic team, gathered on Scarborough beach on Friday in formation with rainbow vapour trails. Scroll down this page to see how they made the Red Arrows.

Clarence MIll

Mick headed off to the Co-op with his mask at the ready to top up on a few fresh supplies and our Saturday newspaper. He would have visited the butchers too but storm clouds were rumbling overhead. Sadly he’d left a loaf of bread and had to return later in between rain showers to collect it.

Mid afternoon we decided to move on a touch, to give the birds a break from Tilly. So we pushed off, passing Clarence Mill. Yesterday the old work boat NB Prince had been moored opposite on bollards but in the evening the Bollington Wharf crew brought Butty Beetlejuice, towed by one of their dayboats and Prince was returned to the wharf. We wonder if the bollards were put in when this end of the embankment was worked on earlier this year.

New concrete and stone banks

Last October the canal was closed here and dewatered due to leakage. An 80 meter section of the canal bed was relined and 66 meters of wash wall rebuilt. The stretch was reopened ten days before lockdown was implemented. Then the towpath reopened only three weeks ago and very smart it looks too.

Bloomin brambles

The offside vegetation in the bridge holes is doing nothing for our cabin sides. I’m considering getting our shears out and standing in the well deck at each bridge and trimming what I can as we go through, the brambles have taken over somewhat.

Thin or just skewed?

Sugar Lane Bridge adds a whole new angle to the Macc bridges. It is built on a skew which adds extra curves to it’s structure, quite an optical illusion as you pass through.

Worth the walk for the views

Then looking back behind us I waited for the glimpse of White Nancy standing high above Bollington. I’d wanted to have a walk up there, but being a fare weather walker today it hadn’t seemed that appealing. But plenty of people were up there enjoying the views. Instead from down on the cut we caught the occasional glimpse through the high hedge towards Manchester.

Just a small section of what we could see through the trees

Between Barton’s Bridge 22 and Hibberts Brow Bridge 21 we were taken aback by a pink haze. On the offside behind the trees, the hill was a mass of tall pink flowering plants. Was it Rosebay Willowherb? No the hill was covered with foxgloves. We’re used to seeing them singly or on clumps but on mass, blimey! Just like a carpet of bluebells, only pink and a lot taller. More and more kept coming into view. Sadly my photos don’t do them justice.

When we reached the stone fence posts we knew it was time to pull over. Further on and we’d be close to a road, here would do for Tilly as it did in 2016. But before the doors could be opened there was something I had to do.

She gave me all the usual rules, ‘Blah blah blady blah, 2 hours blah blah!’ Then was about to open the door, when She stopped. I was picked up and put on the sofa, just what was going on and using up my precious shore leave?

Out with the old

Oh NO!!! She was undoing my collar, this could only mean one thing! But three months hasn’t passed yet!! How DARE She, especially when She’d just given me the Blah blah rules! My legs shrank and I managed to escape, She wasn’t being quite as forceful as usual though.

The cat proof cupboard was opened, had she moved the horrid neck cooling, evaporating, squeezy, up your nose, bleurgh stuff? No!!

My best side

Out came a new cat tag collar. My old one was just that, old! Recently it has taken to stretching just a little bit too much and getting caught around my arm when squeezing through small gaps. This has necessitated returning early so She could sort it for me. The new one is a touch in your face (not mine as I can’t see it when it’s round my neck) as it’s bright red with fishes on it. She tried it on me for size, expecting to have to loosen it, but I am a slender feline and it fitted just right at it’s tightest. But She had to take it off again as it required my cat tag adding to it so that shore leave would be permitted.

Showing off my collar

The new bell was checked to make sure I would sound like me, and it did. With the fish blowing bubbles upwards my new cat tag collar was popped back around my neck and the back doors opened up.

A close up, showing the fish

My apologies that there are only a few decent photos of my new collar, I posed for a couple, but my time was limited as there were trees to climb!


0 locks, 1.99 miles, 9 zooming, 1 newspaper, 1 chicken, 1 wobbly head, 2 outsides, 1 white nancy, 45835432526 foxgloves, 1 good sounding bell, 1 red collar, 1 photo shoot abandoned due to trees, 4742 trees, 1 vat of chilli.


4 thoughts on “Feline Fashions. 27th June

  1. Dave (Scouts)

    I’m suprised that they stay on as long. Smudge seems to lose hers regularly usually needs a new one every couple of months.

    1. pipandmick Post author

      In Tilly’s first year she managed to remove collars within half an hour of being put in one, but we persevered and now they are second nature to her. It’s been funny when she’s returned to the boat this last week with her arm through her collar. She’d make a beeline straight to me and point her shoulder at me, ‘look Mum!’ I think over the last four years she’s got through a collar a year, maybe her tree climbing and fence squeezing is more practised than Smudges.

  2. christine geraghty

    good to see the theatre innovations. And those foxgloves are lovely I have seen them like that in Finland but not here. I could do with someof that green vegetation which is attacking you for our compost bin!

    1. pipandmick Post author

      Not sure a jiffy bag would contain the thorns sufficiently to pop in the post to you. The foxgloves were spectacular.

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