Monday, 21 February 2011

Hare & Hounds (3)

Oh, the pubs are coming thick and fast now, aren't they?!

This is the Hare and Hounds in Uppermill.
The photo is from Craig H1's flickr set - more pictures of his Saddleworth Pubs here.

After a long, happy and muddy ramble yesterday I popped in here for a well earned pint.

Many people have a perception that Saddleworth is bleak. Much of this, I think, is rooted in history - some VERY BAD THINGS happened here in the 1960s. And Saddleworth Moor does present a rather forbidding aspect if only ever seen from the motorway.

But if you get off the motorway and get out of your car and go for a walk, it is a lovely area. High craggy hills, green valleys, woods, streams (like this), Yorkshire villages, impressive examples of Victorian engineering (and this) - and some jolly fine little pubs. And all of that only 20 minutes by train from Manchester Victoria.

Speaking of which. Despite what we saw on Corrie on Friday night, and despite Leanne Battersby's best attempts, you cannot catch a train from Victoria to London. Never could, never will. Especially not from that platform - the best she could have managed from there would have been, err, right back to Saddleworth.

So that worked out well, didn't it?

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Hare & Hounds (2)

This one was an unexpected (and delightful!) bonus. I've not been here since early October and at that time it had closed down.

This is the Hare & Hounds at Bower Fold in Stalybridge - and Hurrah! it is open again.

Once again the photo is from Google Streetview. It didn't look like this last night - it was dark (okay, there was a full moon) and there were a lot of happy FC fans outside. Nice little pub, isn't it?

What was I doing in Stalybridge last night? No, I have taken up midnight rambling. We were playing a home game at Bower Fold against Chasetown.

And we won! 4-2!
With only ten men.
And, my god, those ten men played well!

What an all-round excellent evening that turned out to be!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

A Day to Celebrate!

Today is the Chinese New Year, and this year it's the Year of the Rabbit. Woohoo!

Or if, like me, you grew up somewhere with a substantial Vietnamese population, you will know it as the Year of the Cat.

Here is a lovely painting of some cats on their way to a party.

This is from Look at Vietnam - click the link for more happy cat paintings.

A long time ago I was told (by a Vietnamese person, so it must be true) that being an agricultural nation, the Vietnamese don't like rabbits (they eat the crops) but they do like cats (the farmer's friend, they eat rats and mice) - hence Year of the Cat, not Rabbit.

Something like the Australians, who for similar reasons have an Easter Bilby instead of an Easter Bunny.

Don't know what a Bilby looks like? Here he is:

How cute is that?!

Cats, Rabbits, Bilbies. They're all good.
And on that mellow note, here's Al Stewart to sing you into the New Year.

Happy New Year everyone!