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- It was my birthday on Sunday. I was treated to a lovely weekend by Emma and my girls. A weekend of cycling, amazing food, wine drinking, and scandi noir.
- Then, on Tuesday morning, I got an alarming text message meant for my mum from dad saying he was in hospital. OK, but a flare up of a condition he has. It sounded serious, so I jumped in the car and went to Manchester for the first time in two years.
- It wigged me out a little as so much has changed but hasn’t in that little town in the North West of England. I’m sure you get the same feeling when you visit your home town. Memories of childhood mixed with change. Everything seemed smaller.
- I got my hair cut whilst I was there at the town’s newest Turkish barber. My dad had gone and said he had his nose hair waxed, along with ear hair burnt out. All that would’ve been new to me and I was somewhat dreading the barber just going at it without asking me.
- He didn’t wax my nose. Or set fire to my ears. Phew.
- I distracted myself with some cycling with my brother on the day my dad was thankfully discharged. We headed into the Peak District hills. First, up Blaze Hill, just outside Bollington before heading up Pym Chair. We saw the cloud and rain band heading in from the South. When the rain came it was biblical. About an inch in fifteen minutes. The roads became torrents of run-off mixed with cow shit and gravel. The temperature dropped to 5C (in May!).
- Sometimes my brother and I – having grown up together with two years between us – can be the source of sibling rivalry. We push ourselves outside of our comfort zones. But there, huddled in the alcove of a chapel doorway, shivering, soaked to skin, we very quickly persuaded each other to just go home. It didn’t take much. We’d cycled for 5k. All uphill. It was a cold and wet descent back into Bollington. Annoyingly into dry roads and warm sunshine.
- I’m back home now looking forward to a weekend in the garden for some much needed tlc. The weeds outnumber the other plants by about 3 to 1. I’m also going to have a close look at that wall I plan on repointing.