Two silly old sods go walking

This last Friday my old friend John and I went walking – after a fashion. The plan was to hike along Frogatt Edge, but John selfishly claimed to have agonising arthritis and so we busied ourselves going to the Imperial War Museum in Salford and then wandered the centre of Manchester like two demented old bodies with Alzheimers.

Shall we resume our country walks? We both hope so, but even before today we’d devised plan B. I joke that we shall have to start checking places out for wheelchair access and that he shouldn’t rely on me to change his batteries. Not for a long while we hope, but it may come to that. We intend to spend our occasional days out together (every two months or so) as long as we’re spared.

We have an astonishing capacity for getting lost. On the one occasion we didn’t get lost, we managed to lose Milo the Dog. On the last walk I bemoaned that we didn’t have a compass with us. Later I discovered we had two: one in my bag and one in my map case.

Could we get lost in Manchester? You bettcha! We were chatting and laughing so much on seeing each other again, that after we’d been on the tram from Victoria for five minutes, we had no idea where we were. A tolerant old biddy of eighty put us straight. I suggested we take a look at Mr. Thomas’s Chop House for lunch. “It’s in Deansgate,” I said with the utter confidence of the terminally ignorant. We spent half an hour pounding up and down the street to no avail. However Fortune favours the daft and by chance, in a side street, we discovered the Rising Sun, where a landlady who is evidently proud of her business served us with good food and real ale. Later we stumbled across Mr. Thomas’s Chop House in Cross Street.

As for the Imperial War Museum, it was excellent. Its take on war is at the level of individuals. The artefacts are attributed to real people and this makes them very moving. My eyes prickle. I’ve becomes sentimental about that, as about so much else including my friendship with John.

But, Lord, we have become such a pair of silly old beggars that it begins to feel like wisdom. On the other hand, we are so ridiculous that it probably isn’t. Just a couple of old geezers having innocent fun.

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