Geoffrey Shryhane’s Wigan World

Geoffrey Shryhane
Geoffrey Shryhane
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WHEN it comes to council meetings, it seems history is repeating itself.

I might also venture to say that nothing changes. At last week’s monthly meeting of Wigan Council, the usual scenes of political chaos were played out. Some say it is almost as entertaining as a Wigan Little Theatre farce.

And in the end, police were called and Coun Gareth Fairhurst was escorted from the chamber. “Come quietly, sir.”

What was so devastatingly serious that the long arm of the law had to be called?

Had fights broken out? Were minute books being used as missiles? Had community singing broken out.

Alas no.

It happened because Coun Fairhurst was ... TWEETING.

I make no comment, other than to say that in my days reporting Wigan Council, the business was conducted with some decorum. But let me mention the weekly uproars at Ashton Council in the 70s.

The police were called to uphold the law several times, after a very verbally active Coun Reg Jones refused to “keep to standing orders”. I can see him now being marched from the council chamber, still protesting.

It was all good fun and made for great stories. As it does now – but Ashton can always boast: “We got the police first.”

WIGAN artist Theodore Major used to describe painting as “a battle”. He said it was damned hard work. Draining. A never-ending challenge.

Well today I’m on about another battle – with nature.

All I ever wanted was a window box. As it is the garden here at No 5 is large and formal. And after the winter rest, it demands attention.

And let’s face it, if ignored, nature would reclaim this patch within a year. Ultimately it’s hers you see.

Nature has no taste for man-made flower beds, big pots of red tulips, contained areas of daffodils and little conifers in fancy green pots.

The garden is almost a full-time job in itself. Come spring, I have this inner need to get out there are wage war on weeds, moss in the lawn, shrubs that have grown too big and see to the grass.

Just now, the patio where the old greenhouse stood, taken down before it fell down, is blazing with a couple of fiery coloured tulips, all in pots and, give it a fortnight, all will be dead.

So that means tulips out and annuals in.

And then there’s the watering – every night, a task that takes a good 15 minutes. An hour and a half a week. Heavy work.

The lawns need mowing once a week. Just how boring is that?

It’s all worth it (I think). Sitting back with a cuppa and admiring the fact that, for now, I’ve kept Mother Nature at bay.

Sometimes, I see a garden – once beautiful - which nature has taken back. Circumstances must have changed. Sickness has jumped into a life, making gardening impossible.

That’s a fact I consider with a feeling of fear.