Manchester City Council

Covid 3 - A Terrible Confession

16 May 2020

In my last post I said I would write about the recovery but as I'll be doing that every week for years, I can wait until next week to start. A couple of days ago I found myself pondering the sort of dystopian future portrayed in films like Blade Runner and realised how wrong they are - a lifetime of working from home and video conferencing is the real nightmare future and I'm sick of it. But there have been some benefits from lockdown.

Pretty much every day I set off on a walk from my front door, once or twice a week I take the bike instead, and I've been exploring the area within, probably no more than, a four mile radius of where I live. Now comes the confession. I'm totally ashamed about how little I know that area, how little I use it, and have discovered just how much my bit of North Manchester has to offer. I'm not a stranger to all of it. I've tramped every inch of Crumpsall hundreds of times over four decades of living here and have always been a regular visitor to places like Heaton Park and Blackley Forest.

Yet it's forty years since I last set foot in Kersal Dale even though my daughter lived for a couple of years on Vine Street, overlooking this lovely spot. I'd never before walked on Kersal Moor, though i've passed it loads of times,  which I've now discovered is only just over a mile from my door. Drinkwater Park, the Irwell Sculpture Trail, Waterdale - all mysteries to me. Been to many funerals at Blackley Crem but never walked round the fantastic grounds. I've now discovered I can walk all the way, via Bowker Vale Woods and Blackley Forest, to Alkrington Woods and Middleton along the Irk Valley, and barely touching a road. 

Even in familiar places, like Heaton Park, I've found corners I've never been to. Mind you nobody else goes to these forgotten corners either and even on (by lockdown standards) busy bank holidays I can find peace and quiet in lovely places just a couple of miles from home. This does require a bit of effort. If you live in the middle of a biggish city as I do, there isn't a country walk deliveroo to bring all of this to my door step. But the effort has been worth it, and I might even be a bit fitter and healthier as a result.

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The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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