Pensioner Potter

For the young at heart

Tucker has kindly sent us this sweeping cloudy, slightly broody image, taken on elevated ground, of which one should feel he knows, but, alas, the grey cells have betrayed him once again. Where will it all end, if not in a long, narrow box without handles?

Stumbling on a well furnished pixie tree while out on an early, sunny Sunday walk, when all was clear, bright, and stillness.

Here’s a strange and moving image. One remember’s it lashed it down and a tempest brewed. Where was it now?

It all seems such a long time ago: remember the floods and people having to leave their homes because the dam was ready to burst its bank at Whaley Bridge? They thought it was catastrophic. If they had had the foresight just to see what was around the corner, they may have left things as they were and prepared for the approaching monster virus.

1 April 2020: Out Pottering.

The roads may seem extra quiet these days which is understandable in these troublesome times, but there's always room for a chancer; like a mouse sniffing for some cheese while the cat's having a nap on a close-by chair, although the chancer we're referring to is much larger than life. Well, perhaps speaking metaphorically, as he appears rather puny in the flesh. Not that that would deter him from doing outrageous things on a whim- he'll probably go out with a bang. However, when needed, he'd go out and snap some piccies for the website, to which we're most grateful to Tucker.

Months ago this would have felt surreal, when in life it's certainly not.

Appropriately named Bottoms Reservoir. And the sign of the times here is a truism.

Here’s another view of the Lane in the opposite direction... taken a couple of months ago.

30 March 2020: Once a Potter...

I came across this felled tree the other day while out on my last walk before the weekend and taken just off Pennington Lane on Gawsworth Road. The dead branch from the trunk reminds me of an image of the head and long neck of an Egyptian funerary figure. Not as elaborate for sure, but still compelling.

29 March 2020: Pottering Sunday.

Oh, No ! Not thee Elephant Stone again. Actually, he looking in good shape, maybe a little flaky here and there but that's understand with people breathing all over it and pissing on its arse in the shadows.

27 March 2020: Pottering Allotted.

Margo living the good life but somehow lost her head and feeling cross with herself. Tap image and all will be revealed.

Can we smell something burning? Could that possibly be John hiding under the tray and feeling the heat? Probably not, though Margo does appear to be slightly coy about the whole affair.

26 March 2020: Pottering where one can.

Tucker making most of the lovely weather, mingling with the daffodils and, hopefully, walking alone.

So, here we are in the back garden mixing it with the canny girls, who were thinking it was treat-time but were most disappointed when some food wasn't in the offering. We may be grounded round here but we do make the most of things: now, which one of these cunning three isn't laying at the moment?

OK, let's look at this fuddle logically: if the bird had appeared unwell, emancipated, and at the point to keel over. Then it would rightly be presumed the bird wasn't, or couldn't, do it's duty while in such a dreadful state. However, to the eye, these three fine specimens are in rude health and given the opportunity would eat you out of house and home. So, the problem may lie elsewhere in the aves propensity.
Well, the plumpest one we have here is Daisy and she can boss others like no other can to get her way. Yet the others, Ruby and Pearl are sleeker, energetically superior, suggesting eagerness for fecundity. Ah, Eurika! We may have cracked the conundrum.
An analogy in human terms would be a past king above his subjects: he grew fat while the serfs toiled the land allowing him to gorge on the fruits of labour. So, is it the Guillotine for our Daisy, or a good roasting on a spit?

And here is Woody amongst the trees with the Elephant Stone in the background. Rock-solid and nowhere to go.That’s not Woody We’re referring to here you understand. God forbid! What’s the world coming to?

24 March 2020: Tuesday's Self- Potterings. 

Tucker appearing self-satisfied with his morning's run.

A lonesome heron adhering strictly to the rules while keeping a beady eye on Tucker.

Woody sweating a little on While Nancy. It’s all downhill from here if he takes the right path.

Here we are on Danes Moss. New floorings to replace many of the rotting wooden ones. Not so many days ago the mud made it almost impassable. Now it’s keep one’s distance while two Old contretemps discuss past achievements.

19 March, 2020: Thursday'sPotter.

Hello, there my little friend. I have this sinking feeling and nowhere to go but downward. So a little help would be much appreciated if you could lend me a helping hand. Now don't be alarmed if I grab you unawares as it's in my nature to do such things. Now, why are sobbing like that? Can't you see I'm from humble stock and wouldn't hurt a fly unless I was hungry enough? What was that? Why have I got such a large nose? Well, all the better to sniff-out some prey, and the reason why I have such large teeth in this bony skull of mine is that they're all ready and salivating, waiting to devour you!

Jacko perfectly describes the underfoot conditions.

Taylor’s about to take flight from the mud, while Shoey’s waiting for the all-clear.

More of the same, when will it all end?

It’s time for a regrouping, which could suggest they’re lost.

Ok, then: which one of you stole my thunder?

A Lawrentian Mudfest – from Long Edge Lane, Staffordshire, 2km South of The Cloud Social distancing – The Potters seem to be developing a pattern for social distancing to counter the coronavirus.
Seven cars arrive, only eight Potters on the run. No après Potter café Rendez-Vous. A fine mild dry day, but the mud was afoot very soon. Squelchy oozing brown muck and sheep trodden, rain-sodden pasture underfoot, or mainly over afoot, the whole way it seemed (see photos). We set off south-eastwards and made a loop between the village of Biddulph Moor and our starting point just north of Long Edge Farm.
After slodging our way around the route that Mike “my name is Mud” Lawrence had carefully planned for us, we didn’t have the energy for tea and cake, regardless of the social distancing policy.

Nicely over 1¾ hours and I reckon we could take ¼ hour off that in nice dry summer conditions. I look forward to that, but the training effect of tackling in the full Glastonbury in today’s conditions must have been considerable. I fell into a deep coma after lunch. Many thanks to Mike and to everyone for making it a cheerful jolly outing. I wonder what mighty mudfest Mike has planned for 2 April?


17 March 2020: Tuesday's Potter Walk.

Hallo Hallo Hallo: What do we have in here? Said the two intrepid nosey parkers as if out on a mid-week stroll. Tap the image to reveal Pete’s head.

Now, where is this commemoration stone situated? We haven’t a clue but one suspects there’ll be a smart Alec out there who’ll tell us whom carved the stone also.

An impressive LogLoo someone carved with pride: but, where is this little gem some may inquire?

12 March 2020: Thursday's Potter.

A worms eye view of creatures from another planet?

Jude and Dot separated by a wavering birch tree. A lonely tree in need of some love and affection. One feel's the girls are pre-occupied to notice nature's calling?

A bracing wind calls the shots in exposed conditions like these. It's good to see Kav's wearing suitable attire.

This must be one of those initiation ceremonies where a sacrifice is needed for the good of the people. Perhaps to ward off a Corona virus?

13 runners assembled on Spuley Lane for what proved to be a bracingly bright morning's exercise. As was the intention, Turbo P and Mike L moved off before the main group with the expectation of us catching them up. The initial climb went left via Berristall Dale/Berristall Hall and we met the front runners en route. Then up to the 20-acre field at the top. Andrew’s Knob could be seen to the right towards Bakestonedale Moor.
After crossing the Pott road in a different direction than usual we took the left to "beavers” ( this name for the downhill was created by the WNB’S (White Nancy Boys off-road biking group) reasons remain obscure. We shall leave “lesbians” downhill for another time. The climb passed a capped disused mine shaft to the right then reached a very arty mineshaft cap, installed by the Bridgend Centre as part of the Nostalgia Trail.
An opportunity here for the Tucker photoshoot. Several cairns were noticed in this vicinity allegedly created by a local “gate vaulting and “wild swimming” fell runner. Then right onto the ridge where the wind picked up but with glorious views over the escarpment to the left. Eventually, we passed through a newly installed gate and filled in “bottle mine” and headed out towards Bowstones with Sponds Hill to the right, this tempted some corner-cutting. An official right turn a fair way along took us past SpondsHill “Mirador” on the gritstone trail. The wind was biting along here, to say the least, and the poor sheep were taking the brunt of it. But, once off the top, heading down towards Further Harrop the wind lessened. Then, a quick left, right, and that short, steep, pesky climb brought the group up to Harrop Fold Farm with the finish now almost insight, which brought on thoughts of tea and cakes. So, with an easy contour along the side of Billinge Hill, we were onto Hedge Row. Then the last section was only down past the now-defunct Cheshire Hunt Inn (ex Quiet Woman) and to where it all began.
Our activity time was probably just right and I think someone may have clocked the distance and height?

The Farm Made Tea room was pleasant as usual with its slick service.

Onon, till next time.


10 March 2020: Tuesday's Potter.

Standing by the Armada Beacon. A place to reflect on a bygone age

How strange? A film crew filming some scene at Alderley Edge. Cables, cabins, cars, and mud appeared to have the upper hand.

It had rained solidly for 12 hours. It was still raining. The skies were dark and grey. But was that a slight easing in the drizzle? Was it actually going to stop? I ventured out along flooded roads to Slade Lane. Amazingly seven other people were daft enough to rock up. Desperately trying to think of a route that did not include too many flooded fields, we set out along Hocker Lane, weaving between deep puddles.
The fields over to Artists lane and Whitebarn were sodden but that was nothing compared with the path leading to the Edge. It was a relief and pleasure to reach dry land in Woodbrook Road and on the Edge proper.

Here we paused briefly to enjoy features such as the Armada beacon and a fascinating old stone circle that I had previously overlooked. A deviation had to be made to avoid the filming of a science fiction drama for Sky TV. But we eventually arrived at Adders Moss and recrossed the main road to access Finlow Hill and the path back to the cars.
The party returned home via a session in Henry's Cafe in Prestbury. Muddy kit was then thrown into the washing machine and fell shoes were cleaned ready for the next excursion into our green and soggy countryside.

Peter Nolan.

5th Match 2020: Thursday's Potter.

Are we witnessing a Mad Hatters tea party?

Surely, the weight must have been playing on their mind? At least Grant appears sure footed... and cocky with it.

Stranger than fiction? Love hangs centre stage... they've all gone to pots.

A peep into the innards of the Chappell Centre.

A hostile local greeted us at the hamlet known as Ackers Crossing (although now it is an underpass) and he threatened unpleasantness. Undaunted we ran away - off down the canal and left him stewing, and the mood improved as we shunned the cultural wonders of Moreton Hall, retrieving Pete from a solitary experience, and carried on to view Ramsdell Hall (1760, Grade II building) and admired the railings recently painted to show support for Newcastle United and the Toon Army in general.  
A kind gentleman from the Tea Pot Hall then showed us how to use the pedestrian swing bridge to traverse Britain's newest Canal – a great photo opportunity and no one fell in or got injured.

Leaving the waterway we slogged over some muddy and surprisingly dry fields to the foot of the mighty Mow Cop. We then connected with the Gritstone Trail and ascended the steep pathways passing the first Primitive Methodist Church in England, to storm the Castle (1754, Randle Wilbraham I) for more photos, where Dave regaled us with tales of injuries sustained on the strenuous Mow Cop Hill Race.

Onward to the Old Man of Mow where the temperature dropped somewhat, past Pettengel Towers before we descended through the woods back to Ackers Crossing enjoying views across the Cheshire Plain.

The same stroppy bloke was still fuming at the end of our run – perhaps we should bring beta-blockers for him on our next jaunt from here.

The lovely ladies of the Chappel Centre provided fine refreshments and even brought out extra free biscuits and a posy of daffodils for Pete!

We are truly blessed.