Having missed out on my annual November outing to the Lakes, I had some modest compensation in the form of a trip out to Hazel Grove this morning.
No, of course I didn’t. It’s one thing to give up on Sounds of the Sixties on a Saturday morning, knowing that the i-Player is always there to catch up upon, but it’s an entirely different thing to hop out of bed just as the programme is about to start, and be back home before it’s even finished!
Like my recent outing to Wilmslow, I was off to Hazel Grove for a purpose rather than riotous living. Yes, it is some time since I last stopped off there, but though it’s apparently quite a nice place, and a bit of a good address, 99% of my previous visits to Hazel Grove have been passing through on the A6, on the way to or back from further and better destinations.
But hey, I’ll take any chance to visit strange parts, ok?
Nevertheless, the sole reason for hitting Hazel Grove was to collect three folding crates, offered via the Stockport Freegle network (don’t trash unwanted items, recycle them to people who can use them). And what did I want three folding storage crates for?
It’s been a good year for collecting the Eagle. So good, that I need to find something better to keep these copies in, given that I now have less 130 copies in total to find. The storage crates would be ideal: sturdy, stackable, durable.
The lady who was offering them needed them to be collected early: 9.00am if possible, 10.00 am at the latest as she had to go out. So I promised an early arrival, even though I would be traveling by bus both ways.
It was a miserable morning, grey, dreary, damp, uninviting. The meteorological equivalent of my current and long term mood, not that’s encouraging. The vagaries, a word which here means utter crapness, of the 203 worked in my favour for once, for two came close after one another, the second meaning that I didn’t have to stand around in the drizzle for long.
And there was just enough time for the paper before hopping into the 192, but when that service runs every three minutes, the likelihood of delay is correspondingly diminished. I was in Hazel Grove and collecting the crates practically bang on the dot of 9.00.
Hey, plenty of time to explore! Except that it is still grey and miserable, and Hazel Grove isn’t open yet, and all it is is the A bloody 6, so I crossed it, walked halfway towards Whaley Bridge, or so it felt, to catch a bus back. I made a careful assessment of what, if anything, I needed in Stockport, and was lucky enough to practically walk straight onto a 203 – y’see what happens when I have literally the entire day to wait for a bus – and get back home for 9.55am. As I said, five minutes before Sounds of the Sixties was due to finish.
I’ve now spent the best part of forty-five minutes sorting out my more recent purchases into order, then integrating them into my existence collection and stacking them in the storage crates, which are exactly as economical of space as I hoped they might be.
And out go the old boxes, except for the one I’ve had since the early Nineties when I first started picking old Eagles up from The Old Magazine Shop in Sheffield. And that’s where letting go of the past comes in, not that I am sentimental about these. But the two oldest boxes, the Soreen boxes with the broken handles, are old with a capital L: I have been storing comics in those for over fifty years. They are actually older than some of the Eagles they have been holding.
So that was my latest Trip Out, my Real Life Adventure. Rounded off nicely by the acquisition, via eBay, during the writing of this piece, of one more Eagle. Nicely enough, it’s the one that was published on the very day I was born, sixty-one years and one day ago.
It’s going to be easy now to drop it into its place when it arrives.