Friday, 23 March 2012


I called at the Wigan and Leigh Hospice today for a chat with Julie, the Community Support Officer and Edwin, the Communications and PR Officer. As I arrived the lady at reception said "I know you. Our sons played football together when they were 6 yrs old." I did recognise her but just couldn't remember her name even though it was there on a massive badge pinned to her blouse. Thankfully, she had to ask my name which made me feel better and we shared a few memories of good times long ago. The lads played at the brilliant Wigan Juniors FC which, I think, at one time, was the largest football club in the country or some other staggering statistic. They played for the Angles who played against the Jutes and the Danes and Saxons etc., in a six-a-side competition. If more lads turned up they just formed another team. When they were big lads, ie, 7yrs old, they became Falcons or Eagles or some other bird of prey. Happy days indeed.

I have been to the Hospice a number of times now and have always found the atmosphere to be uplifting and positive. This was no exception. The chat went well and photographs were taken in the sunshine in the car park. I think there may be a newspaper article in the pipeline which is a little bit embarrassing but will obviously be worthwhile if it boosts the income of this very worthy cause.

As I rode back towards home I noticed my front rack had come loose which is very dangerous because it could end up in the spokes so I took it steady and called at ML cycles which was fortunately en route. It was sorted in no time and I got home in one piece. The weather was beautiful and after a drink and a bite to eat I set off towards Standish. My phone rang as I reached the top of the hill and I stopped to answer it, mainly because I was hardly moving anyway. I was a bit abrupt because I thought it was a timewaster, wasting my time. It turned out to be Nigel very kindly reminding me that it was Thursday and inviting me out for a the usual drink. I apologised for my sharpness, which he hadn't noticed, and accepted the invitation gratefully. I ended up doing about 20 miles in all, sitting up, taking it easy and enjoying the scenery. Lots of lambs about which is always nice to see.

The evening session went well despite there only being two of us out. We weren't making much progress with the pork scratchings which seemed to multiply as we nibbled away. What a fantasy that would be? It was tough but we got through them in the end.

I was stuck for time today so just did 11 miles or so at a quickish pace with no bags on. That's it now until Monday when I meet up with George again and we head North for the four day epic camping trip.

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