Garbage… but it’s history

One day I was walking down the well trodden street that leads from my place to the park, when I spotted it. It lay there, on the ground, as if it had been there for days or weeks–but it hadn’t. It wasn’t there the day before.

I took a picture of it, because that’s what I do, you know, and also, my brother is a huge Lord of the Rings fan. Later that day, I sent the pic to him.

He joked that it was such a waste throwing it away. I, of course, remarked that littering never ceases to irritate me, considering there are bins nearby.

Then I looked at my pic closer. The cup has an Odeon cinema logo but, as Paul pointed out, the movies were out two decades ago. I thought it might have been an advert for some other type of media, a video game perhaps, as there’s the new series on Amazon Prime set in Middle Earth, so I thought “The Ultimate Quest” referred to something else of this universe (I don’t keep up with LOTR stuff, not one of my fandoms). But no, the image on the cup is definitely related to the last film of the trilogy, The Return of the King. But that was released in 2003. Also Paul was able to notice that the Pepsi logo is old. I never know what the Pepsi logo looks like, I buy Coca-Cola.

So, what is a nineteen-year-old cup doing on the pavement? And how come someone kept a paper cup from a cinema for nineteen years in the first place? It’s quite well preserved, albeit squashed. On one side it had marks from a bike, but that bike would have run over it once it was already on the street. It seemed to me someone was doing a big clear-out. But if they were doing a big clear-out, wouldn’t they have put the cup in the binbag with the rest of the rubbish?

WHAT IS THIS MYSTERY, I NEED ANSWERS!

The next day I walked that street again (I always do, since I go to the park most days) and the cup was still there. The location of the cup is near the point where a wall of one house meets the backyard of another house. The backyard has recently been filled with old, broken furniture. I think I might have cracked it.

There’s obviously some renovating going on in one of the houses and the cup must have got stuck somewhere in the furniture. As the furniture was being dumped to the backyard, the cup, being much lighter, landed further away.

I also wonder if the cinema goer kept the cup because they were a fan of LOTR. I can imagine a kid, perhaps twelve or thirteen years old making it part of their little LOTR collection. Maybe their parent/s couldn’t afford to buy them any merchandise. So they cherished the cinema cup with the image of the film, because it was the only thing they had.

Later, when they grew up and started earning their own money, they would buy whatever else they wanted. The family moved out and the cinema cup was left behind, long forgotten.

Until the renovators came.

What a relic. Might not be worth much, but it’s history.

Roses on the Beach

Pic is from my trip to Crosby in June.

Something very gothic romance about it.

I think of a young man in 19th century, perhaps a newly qualified lawyer with good prospects, coming to Liverpool to meet the woman he loves, who is to arrive on a ship from America. He buys a bouquet of roses, of course, for roses are her favourite flowers. The ship docks, the passengers disembark, but his beloved is not among them. Heartbroken, the young lawyer suspects she fell in love with another man. He dumps the flowers on the sandy beach and swears never to love again. To escape his disappointment, he leaves for an expedition to West Africa, where he meets his death.

The young lady, his beloved, has in truth not fallen in love with anyone else. She never boarded the ship. Her best friend has had an accident and the young lady rushed to be by her side, as this friend was like a sister to her. She wrote a letter to the young lawyer, explaining she would make the voyage as soon as her friend recovered. How was she to know the young man never read her letter, for he had left before he could have received it?

When she finally arrives to England, she hears of her young man’s death in West Africa and cries many a tear. She vows never to love again, converts to Catholicism and becomes a nun.

Luckily, there’s another version of this story, where the young lawyer has a sister, who tells him he’s being an idiot and that he should trust his beloved–if she was not on the ship, there was probably a good reason and no doubt soon some news would come. Which it does. He reads the letter and it makes him love his beloved even more. “Isn’t she just the best, look how she cares about her friend!” he gushes to his sister. The sister wears her biggest told-you-so face.

Some weeks later, the lovely lady at last arrives on another ship, he waits for her with a fresh bouquet of roses. They get married and live happily ever after.

A Murder Mystery. In Pictures.

You are invited to Heaton Hall, the country seat of Lord Ballingdon, for a weekend of good old fashioned fun.

The house is imposing and painted cheerful yellow.

After dinner, the host informs his guests he prepared a fun murder mystery game. It kicks off the next morning.

And so the next morning, after breakfast–rich, delicious full English–Lord Ballingdon gives his instructions.

You are to find the dead body.

It is no easy task. The grounds are vast and the body could be anywhere.

But that doesn’t discourage you. Let’s start!

Careful it gets steep!

You think the body might have rolled down this hill. But there’s nothing at the bottom.

Ooh look, a bench! Not very comfortable sitting on that stone. You reckon the victim must have sat here at some point, before they were killed.

Careful now!

Were they pushed off the ha-ha? If so, the murderer must have moved the body because it is not here.

You check under the ferns for clues. Nothing here.

Aaah, look, a folly. You bet that’s where the body was hidden.

The folly is locked. You peer through the windows, but the only thing you see is a broken electric heater.

It occurs to you that the body might actually be inside the house. Your host never said it was on the grounds.

Hmmm, your host… This is the first time you’ve been invited to Lord Ballingdon’s party. You’ve heard of him a lot, of course, everyone gushes how entertaining he is, people leave his gatherings with smiles on their faces. And he’s so charming! “He’s the biggest prankster I’ve ever met,” says your cousin, and coming from him, it means something. Your cousin has been playing pranks on people since he was eight.

Prankster. Of course!

You got it. Murder? Here’s the murder:

Lord Ballingdon bursts into booming laughter. You win the game.


Pictures are from Heaton Park in Manchester. The house is indeed called Heaton Hall, but it is not a seat of any lord, as it belongs to the city council. Lord Ballingdon is a fictional character. No murder mystery games take place at Heaton Park, however the place does share initials with the great Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, so make of it what you will.

Photographs curling in the heat

Well, I’m pleased to report that both me and my cat Pepper got through it unscathed.

By which I mean the extreme heat the UK experienced on Monday and Tuesday; that’s 18th and 19th July 2022. Tuesday the temperature reached 39°C here in Manchester, in some places it went to over 40°C, for the first time in history.

The photos I have hung on a string of lights started curling.

I contemplated going into the office on Tuesday, as it has air-con, but then I decided to stick with working from home, as I was worried about Pepper and wanted to keep an eye on her, besides, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to even get into the office–the tram lines might have started melting or something. Pepper stayed in my bedroom for the whole day, I kept checking on her every now and then and each time she gave me a look that said: “why you make me suffer like this?” like it was my fault. Cats…

As for me, I was more stressed about the thought of the heatwave than the actual heatwave. In the end, the trick was a wet towel on my head.

What a relief today’s very pleasant 21°C was!

But I’m afraid we’re in for heatwaves and extreme weather like this for the foreseeable future…


I thought this would fit this week’s Weekly Posts Wednesday Challenge – Extreme.