Saturday 28 March 2009

Magnolia Countdown

Magnolia Countdown
28th March 2009

An extended Easter trip has become something of a habit for the Captain and his crew. It's a glorious time of year with those first hardy daffodils giving way to the snowy white of the Blackthorn, and then that sheen of green which adorns the hedgerows heralding the first deciduous leaves of the year.

Its a time of renewal, freshness, a year reborn. How better to celebrate than with an Easter boat trip?

My personal countdown to Easter is measured by the progression of the Magnolia tree in our front garden. I bought this plant as a frost bitten sapling which was so near death the nursery refused to accept anything more than 50p for it over 15 years ago. This particular tree has has defied the odds having had that near death experience at the outset. Initially it has to overcome the transplant following purchase, then my brother in law drove over in in his MR2, breaking one half off, and then I had to move it again to allow for a drive expansion project. Now Magnolias detest disruption ,so all credit to this specimen which has survived and thrived in spite of its maltreatment.

Even before its leaves are seared away by the first frost of Autumn, its buds are plump and ready to wait out the long winter months. Throughout March the flowers tentatively poke their noses out of their thermal overcoats, sniffing the air, ready to burst out in all their glory the moment they thing that the risk of frost has passed.

They always get it wrong of course, tempted out way too soon into their majestic display a bit like the first mini skirt of spring. I guess that Darwin would say that its the early bird that catches the admiring glances!

Well, my Magnolia is flashing her assets for all who care to glance in her direction, so that means that Easter is upon us once again and we are off. This time it's a trans Penning treck taking in both the Huddersfield Narrow and the Rochdale. The planning has been beset with uncertainty, what with the delayed decisions about Standedge Tunnel, the washed out Weir at Cooper Bridge and most recently the oil spill on the lower Peak Forest. These issues have been resolved and the appropriate bookings made with BW for the three critical stages:

Standedge, West to East - Friday 3rd April
Rochdale Summit - Wednesday 8th April
Rochdale descent into Manchester - Thursday 9th April

So, if you see Wand'ring Bark making a solitary passage to and fro over the Pennines this Easter, give us a wave.

Happy Easter.


Anonymous said...

The problem with both sign writing and plastering is that you have to live with naff results whilst you learn how to do it. You know what I mean, first wall plastered looks like life on the ocean waves, second ripples on a pond .. and number 37 is just about perfect. This is fine unless you want perfection on the first attempt as you have to live with it and look at it on a regular basis.
Based on the logical reasoning about if you want to perfect one of your areas of weakness I would take up brain surgery as you personally will not have to live with the results if it’s not so hot on the first attempt
PS The boat lives great

Andy Tidy said...

You have a point!