Friday, 14 August 2015

The Tour of Parks

Well, the first draft of my dissertation was completed on Monday, and sent out to the brave men and women* willing to give it a read over before I settle in to do the final edits. That said, I needed to take a few days to distance myself from the draft, so that when I do sit down to write the final product, I'm coming back to it with fresh eyes. I decided to do a few smaller adventures. On Tuesday, I thought I'd stick close to home and explore a bit of Manchester that I hadn't really experienced - plus, it was really nice outside, and I just wanted to be in the out of doors to soak up the rare sunshine. So, I slathered on the sunscreen, and made my way passed the Curry Mile. First point of adventure: Platt Fields Park.

Now, I'd been to this park once before, but it was dark, and a fake body was blazing on one massive fire. Now, before I really get into this, I must state that I have yet to fully acclimatize to the spacial discrepancy (is that even the correct term?) of UK maps versus those I'm used to from Canada. What I mean by this, is back home, I generally look at a map, and need a nap, because everything is massive there, and it takes time to get from Point A to Point B. When I look at a map of something within Manchester, I tend to have the same reaction. So, when I showed up at Platt Fields Park, and looked at the map, I thought to myself Great! I can spend a few hours here wandering around in this massive park! Maybe half an hour later, I'd walked the perimeter of the park and seems a few of the nifty little features of it.

Park map.
One of the entrances to the park
Platt Fields Park is home to the Costume Museum.
Holy Trinity Plant Church - currently undergoing some restoration work.
The 'boating lake'... Now contaminated with unhealthy amounts of algae.
A Canada Goose... yeah, I know...
Lots of Canada Geese!
One of the coolest spots in this park can be found in the less-than-stellar labyrinth. I say this, because I had no idea I was in it, until I read the sign telling me I was in the middle of it! Anyway, in part of it, there is a series of mosaic pieces, known as the Peace Mosaics. This was a project between a local artist and some elementary school children. While I may not be such a fan of children, I do love how they think! Below are some of the images they created within the project, and they're pretty powerful! So much hope for the future when I see things like this!

The Peace Mosaics in Platt Fields Park
See that pathway behind the creepy-isn tree there?
Yeah...that's the labyrinth pathway!
On the 'outskirts' of the labyrinth

The skateboard/BMX park.

Your 'Where's Waldo' task for the day - can you spot the green parrot?
And yes, you read that correctly...
Shakespeare Gardens
The park was actually quite nice. However, on a Tuesday morning, it's filled with potty-mouthed middle aged men, may not have been the greatest place to plunk myself down and take in some rays while watching the Canada Geese explore the contaminated 'lake.' I decided to move on.

Next, I crossed the road, and began the trek to Birchfields Park. Okay, so trek is a bit of a stretch, but it was a nice road in between Platt Fields and Birchfields Park to stroll along. There wasn't much traffic, so i just took my time and wandered. I eventually came upon an entrance to the park, that was slightly sketchy. To be fair, it had started to cloud over, and there was a highly intoxicated couple having a very public argument about what, I cannot tell you. So, I entered an moved in the opposite direction.

The park itself was quite lovely. They have a few running trails, which I might talk my running buddies into using in the coming and final weeks of our time in Manchester. For some reason, this one felt much bigger than Platt Fields, even though it was definitely smaller. Here I found a squirrel, and yes, got overly distracted watching him run around!

One of the entrances to the park.
Slightly reminds me of one of my faves back home - Shubie Park!
Inside the park.

I soon left Birchfield park and began the walk back to my flat. I took a different way back, and got to see another part of Manchester. It's really interesting to see how the architecture of the houses changes, often quite quickly from street to street. However, highlight of this adventure, was not found in either park, but along the roadside near my flat - poppies (I think...)!

Not part of the park, but found along the walk home.

-the Orange Canadian

*Not making light of military service peeps.

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