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Village Life

7th March 2021 @ 6:06am – by Steph Richardson
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Some days I feel I have enough energy to supply electricity to all of Audlem, but on other days I would probably just cause intermittent power failures.

Working on the principle that vigorous exercise is stimulating and should boost my energy levels on low days, I have to face the fact that like many things in my life, the hardest part is getting started. A bag of fudge should help!

I have the correct gear – see but I needed something more stimulating to occupy my mind whilst navigating my somewhat narrow walking options, mainly composed of Audlem's country lanes, to help distract me from all of life's other worrisome potholes.

So I bought myself some AirPods!


They are strange looking things. My first thought was that they looked like mini hairdryers – useful for drying out any ear wax maybe – or electric toothbrush replacement heads?

After inserting them carefully into my ears, fortunately they have L & R printed on them for idiots like me, I proudly took a photo hoping to impress my children, but all the response I got was 'you're meant to align them with your chin mum' and 'are you trying to be the coolest OAP?', not quite the encouraging feedback I was hoping for!

Wireless AirPods have become synonymous with wealth, whether real or imagined, so I quickly realised that even if I was listening to something uncool like Woman's Hour on my daily Government permitted exercise, I could pretend I was playing funky music just so people would know that I'm superior to them and 'down with the kids'!


As I march along our country roads to Hankelow at the amazing speed of 4 mph, the road sometimes hits back at me as it is full of potholes, and I often have to warn other walkers about the more serious holes. Yes, I'm finally a trip advisor!

None of us wants to have a 'Vicar of Dibley' moment and end up disappearing into a black abyss, so I always chuckle as I enter Hankelow village when I spot the 30 mph road sign. I'd like to see anyone try to drive at that speed into the village and their car survive the onslaught!

By Hankelow Pond

Last week I spotted an unusual sight as I reached Hankelow. There were three of Hankelow's more senior and respected village members in and around the village pond. Surely they couldn't be nude, wild swimming? A dip in a glacial pond in front of all those mating ducks was not my idea of fun and I swiftly averted my eyes..... just in case!

Some people see nude, wild swimming as a bonus – young men, most notably. It seems to really get their goat, the thought of older gents in the buff enjoying the sense of freedom. The sight of a naked older man, tackle swinging gaily as a St James bellringer's rope, makes them want to pluck out their own eyes. They don't seem to realise that they need to get over it. If they're lucky, one day that will be them!


I don't think that same visceral reaction applies to women, but maybe if I asked some of the younger ones they'd tell me how gross it is to see a pair of old boobs bouncing......who knows? You're not going to catch me nude swimming at any time. The River Weaver just doesn't hold that much attraction, I could end up vainly swimming for my life across the Woore road, although my iron girded swimming costume just about makes me look respectable. I also have a healthy respect for our canal now that I am aware that I may get caught up in a coriolis effect whirlpool with my turkey neck swinging from side to side uncontrollably!

On Tresco there is an amazing swimming pool that has a mini-sauna in what I can only call a cupboard. I once sat on the bench, knees pressed to the glass door, staring out at the passing holiday makers like a tragic shop-window display. I felt as if I were offering very niche services on an Amsterdam street. I was certainly hot! Never again.

Perhaps Judy could rent out her two prominent shop windows to 'ladies – or men – of the night'? Her talented display skills could be put to alternative use. Silver stars left over from Xmas could be delicately draped so as not to offend. We can then honestly say that our village has everything it needs!

Anyway, back to the Hankelow pond improvements. It turns out those three, elderly, diligent Hankelow gentlemen were clearing out and cutting back excess growth from the village pond. Normally when I come upon such sites I think that somewhere out there in some village they are missing an idiot, but no, these men were unpaid volunteers, up to their waders in pond weed, valiantly preparing their beloved village pond for the mass of visitors who will arrive as soon as Boris allows.......... they were doing a great job.

Thats what I love about villagers, their commitment, pride and passion for their local environment. Well done Ian and friends, you have made a difference and I look forward to the day when my 'mate' and I can stop and enjoy refreshments at The White Lion, before sitting on the pond benches admiring your excellent work.


A recent study has found that women who carry a little extra weight live longer than the men who mention it. No surprise there then!

Do you realise that in about 40 years, we'll have thousands of old ladies and men running around with tattoos? Not a pretty sight.

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