A sunny day. All my work is in hand. Well, what’s to do…. go monkey hunting!
Actually, the escalating catalogue of monkeys has meant that I have grown out of my existing monkey file (yes, dear reader, although this is a digital catalogue, there is a paper based filing system of monkeys with detailed maps), and I was in sore need of a set of A-Z dividers and a new bigger file. Yes, I could have gone down the road to the soul-less and dispiriting version of whatever Office World is now called, but let’s face it, it’s a dispiriting experience. I much prefer Ryman – still a national chain I know, but the stationery is much better, and the staff seem to actually like working there. Trouble with our local Ryman in St John’s precinct is that you can’t park nearby, and it’s no fun humping packs of paper and card home on the bus… so I looked up another branch and saw there was one in Widnes. Ah, Widnes, I wonder if there’s any monkeys there?
My ever patient driver, Ronnie, was up for the challenge and off we set with Ronnie saying, ‘Well if you do find any it’s a lovely blue sky day to photograph them!’ I think he’s getting the monkey hunting urge.
First stop Ryman then, Widnes town centre was an interesting experience, but at least we could take a Morrison’s trolley into the shopping centre and so no humping necessary. And I have a lovely new green file, and an A to Z divider for all that postcode cataloguing.
We went on to have a lovely day, and like all the best days out it featured both fish and chips, and ice cream. Ronnie’s written his version of the day here.
In Widnes, we found the crematorium and cemetery. A lovely, peaceful place. Interesting spire on the chapel.
We had a good drive around. No monkeys. We found Victoria Park. Surely, it’s Victorian, there must be a monkey here. No. But municipal bedding planting is alive and well in Widnes. Looks like a text book example here!
We hunted in the ancient Farnworth and Appleton. We found the lovely churchyard of St Bede’s.
But, no monkeys.
So, if you’re reading this and live in the Widnes area, or know of any monkeys there, please do let me know. It was a lovely day exploring and we’d gladly return to catalogue any monkeys there.
Fortunately, I have a very determined monkey hunter Agent Jeff in Hereford – and he’s keeping my inbox regularly updated with monkeys. This is another one he’s found in Holme Lacy in Herefordshire.
Jeff found a monster of a tree nearby in the grounds of Holme Lacy – you can see it here. He returned there and found a youngster nearby in Church Road – you can see that here. Jeff said he was on his way to the tip, thinking about trees (as those of us who hunt monkeys are inclined to do), and found this young tree. It’s pretty hidden with all the planting around it.
And so although we didn’t find any monkeys today in Widnes, it didn’t matter. We still looked, and I think that the looking is big part of what’s enjoyable about monkey hunting. Looking, rather than just observing, changes how you relate to the space you find yourself in. You’re conscious and aware, and it makes days out even better.
Thank you to Agent Jeff, for providing a monkey to brighten up a bright day.