More knitting news

How the time has flown!

The last post about knitting and knitters was way back in January. Since then, the group has continued to flourish with attendances of around 10 to 12  most weeks. The weather has been very kind this year and Knitting Friends in the Park was indeed an appropriate name for the group with as many as seven sessions spent enjoyably knitting and nattering in beautiful sunshine.

The group celebrated its third birthday on 22nd August with a ‘bring and share’ lunch in the pavilion. It was a little bit like an Annual General meeting with the ‘boss lady’ giving a short but heartfelt thank you to everyone for their attendance and donations. The money raised so far (in the three years) is a whopping £1335.78! The third project is going to be something in the pavilion – probably an adjustment to one of the windows to allow daylight in. Unfortunately all the windows have been obscured, for security and practicality, and there’s no view to the outside. But, there might be way to open one of them up.

Knitting projects have been varied, with a variety of garments, accessories and toys making their appearance.

This little chap was made by Sheila:

Shaun the sheep IMG_20140124_101651

and whatever the group gets for him will be added to the donation pot.

This amazing crocheted blanket was made by Jane for her daughter to take to Uni:

Jane's blanket IMG_20140829_104606

something that will remind the lovely Lydia of home and her mum’s love.

And then there’s been Kathy’s project of hats for the Open Arms Village in Kenya.

Kathy with hats IMG_20140801_121110

It’s quite amazing how generous knitters can be, especially when it’s something for children. Kathy mentioned the project to a few friends and neighbours, as well to the Knitting Friends. In just a few weeks, a fabulous total of 252 hats, 20 jumpers and quite a few cardi’s were made and given to charity volunteers to take to Kenya.

Another charity ‘event’ was the Macmillan Coffee Morning organised by the Knitting Friends on 26th September.

Macmillan 2014 IMG_20141009_220915The knitters managed to knit, crochet, bake, make tea, coffee, sell cakes and generally have a good time while raising £153.20 for a very worthy cause.

There is a lot more that could be written about but, actually, if you’re able to, come along one day to meet the group and find out what they get up to.

You’ll have an ideal opportunity on 31st October when the Knitting Friends will be holding an Open Day. There will be an exhibition of items knitted and crocheted as well as a few bits and pieces for sale. Drop in between 10 and 12 for a chat and some refreshments.

Celebrating fungi!

Today is UK Fungus Day! Yay!

The British Mycological Society, which interestingly is based locally in Manchester, in association with academics, the OU and others, is holding events this week-end. Read more about it here.  The nearest event to us is in Denton, organised by Tameside Greenspace, starting at 1pm, and it’s free. They’re calling it ‘The Good, The Bad & The Ugly’ and it’s being held at the bottom of Cemetery Road in Denton M34 6ER. No need to book, you can just turn up.

Now, I like fungi and usually see a few in our park, but this year hasn’t been very good for specimens yet. I saw this little group last year:

fungus 1 IMG_20131021_154956

Maybe you’ll have more luck :)

The Savoy Cinema on Heaton Moor Road is a well-loved but sadly, increasingly dilapidated, local landmark. One of the last two privately owned cinemas in Stockport, it has a special place in all our hearts.

There’s many a fond memory lurking in those bucket seats – the special treat as a young child, illicit teenage dates, escapes from domestic chores, sleeping through films with grandchildren – if only those seats could speak……

Regular cinema-goers continue going to the Savoy because they want to support this local business. We turn a blind eye to the orange 70’s upholstery – this is no imitation of retro style, it’s the genuine article complete with cigarette burns in the velour and redundant ashtrays between seats. But the seats are comfortable and the price of tickets much less than you’d pay at the nearest multiplexes. And the best thing is that it’s local, within walking distance for many Heatonians.

Every so often we hear of the owner’s intention to sell the cinema. There has been talk of changing it into a large pub or maybe even housing. Now, it seems that it is again being offered for sale. But, this time a group of local business people and residents have got together and come up with a fabulous proposal to buy the building and change it into a cinema and arts centre. Sounds brilliant!

Read more details about the proposals for the Savoy Arts Centre here  – I would encourage you to sign the petition and offer your support – this could be a wonderful community space for us all.

The big snail count

snails IMG_20130816_083726-1


A nationwide survey has just started which aims to raise awareness of the link between mollusc activity and the risk of lungworm, Angiostrongylus vasorum,  in dogs. If you live in the UK, you can take part by doing a timed count of slugs and snails in your garden or local park, and uploading your results to facebook, instagram or twitter (Jungle for pets). There are even prizes for the best photos.

Lungworm is a small parasite that can infect dogs, foxes and sometimes badgers, with fatal results. When ingested, the parasite works its way around the host’s body ending up in the heart. If left untreated, the host’s health will deteriorate quite rapidly and can result in death.

Dogs become infected after eating slugs or snails carrying the lungworm larvae. The lungworm in the dog travels through the dog’s body and is excreted in the dog’s faeces. Slugs and snails eat the dog faeces and ingest the lungworm, and so the cycle continues……

Evidence from the Royal Veterinary College shows the lungworm parasite has spread across the UK from its traditional habitat in the south of England and Wales, and is now widespread in central England, also reaching northern regions and Scotland.

If your dog is determined to eat slugs and snails, there isn’t much you can do to stop him but if you are worried about lungworm, your vet can advise you about preventative products. You can try to prevent accidental ingestion of slugs and snails by putting your dog’s garden toys away at night, regularly and often cleaning your dog’s outdoor water bowl, and clearing dog faeces away. There is more information about lungworm here on Bayer plc’s ‘Be Lungworm Aware’ web site and also on YouTube, here.


Visit from Mr Bush

Heaton Moor Park is proud to announce,  even boast, that Mr Bush has arrived and intends to stay awhile.

No, not George W  or George H W but another Bush, who I do believe also goes by the name of George.

Mr Bush introduced himself on Saturday during the work day. He was made most welcome by the Friends; Sally, in particular, took a shine to him and helped him to settle in. He will be staying in the park for some time and hopes to bring a smile to the faces of all who see him.

Mr Bush IMG_20140914_091941


If you pass by, say hello.

rubbish ideas?

Catherine’s recent contribution about the two-way refuse bin reminded me of the Keep Britain Tidy  Love Where You Live Campaign which introduced talking bins in parts of London, Liverpool and Warrington in 2011/2012, winning an award for creativity and effectiveness. The bins in the capital were temporary and  toured around the UK returning for the Olympic Games  but there were plans to have them installed permanently, if successful.

We have an ongoing problem with litter in Heaton Moor Park, which is hard to believe because most of the time the park looks very tidy. But, if it wasn’t for a certain litter fairy and her helpers and also Andy the park person (apologies to Andy for not knowing his job title!), the place would be a real tip. For some unknown reason, many people find it impossible to put their refuse in the ample number of bins provided; rubbish strewn on the grass and around benches is a common occurrence.

My own feeling is that if we educate the young park users to use the bins, they will soon get into the habit of doing so and this will be something they will carry on doing for life. It might already be too late to influence the teenagers and adults but a novelty might just work for them too.

I would love to see some talking bins in the park. I can see children pestering their parents to take them to the park to ‘feed’ the bins just to listen to them talk back. It would be such a good way of teaching them about the environment.

Have a look at a You tube video of one of the talking bins here – wouldn’t it be great to have one of these in our park?

It does seem to be an idea that’s catching on.  Chaddesden Park in Derby installed a couple of bins in 2013; read more about them here. And in North Shields, there are talking solar powered recycling bins.


 Some more thoughts on recycling from Catherine:

Strays (2)

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com


The park may be blighted, particularly on sunny days, with plastic bottles, pizza boxes and gouts of discarded fried chicken, but it is rare to see a stray dog there.   Happily, the dogs in the park are usually well-nourished, in good spirits and even trendily dressed.  However, other parts of the world are not so lucky, and this has given rise to one of the most interesting recycling initiatives I have heard of for some time. 

The city of Istanbul has a major problem with free roaming dogs, and cats.  This is a harrowing, well-known and well-documented problem.  However, the resourceful and compassionate staff of a Turkish company, Pugedon,   has designed a feeding station which will dispense food to hungry dogs, or cats, if a recyclable plastic bottle is inserted.    The machine, invented by Engin Girgin, has containers for water, into which surplus water from bottles can be poured, and it will deposit a portion of dog food into an accessible tray when a bottle is placed inside a special receptacle.  There is no government funding for this; the cost of the dog food is recouped from the recycling of the bottles.  The machine runs off solar power and so does not consume expensive electricity or fuel.  The food can safely be consumed by stray cats.

Several other countries have expressed interest and the machines are now being exported from Turkey.

Even the Daily Mail approves, with an article on this recycling initiative here.  

I find this story immensely uplifting.  There is some good in all this great surfeit of shoddy which we throw away.  Walt Whitman talked of “sweet things coming from corruptions” and the “distilling of exquisite winds from infused fetor.”  This machine recycles and feeds hungry animals.  Bravo Istanbul:  Çok iyi yapılır!


Sounds like a brilliant idea!



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