Sunday, 10 February 2008

In my absence cricket returns

Shafiq's sons playing cricket in the park yesterday (Saturday).

Beeston Town Park last Thursday.

Beeston Town Park last Thursday from the High Road.

My bunion op went very well and the NHS staff were brilliant. I arrived at the clinic for my op on Friday just after 8am and I was home by 10.30pm. It's now Sunday afternoon and it is only really painful when I put my foot down to walk to the loo on my crutches. Last night I slept right through. The on-call Podiatrist called yesterday evening to see how I was getting on. I really appreciated that. This morning my friend Shafiq came round to see how I was getting on and told me he had emailed a couple of pictures of his sons playing cricket in the park yesterday, which I have since downloaded and used one as my top picture above.

The last three days have seen lovely clear blue skies with the sun streaming into our bedroom. When I sit up I can see across the park and watch what is happening. Otherwise I am limited to seeing the trees and hearing the voices of children playing. No doubt some of the voices I heard yesterday belonged to Shafiq's sons as they played cricket. Cricket in the park is becoming an all year thing, just like football, rugger and dunking. As soon as I am able I'm going to have a game with Shafiq and his sons.

The other two pictures I took on Thursday afternoon when I went into Beeston town centre to do some last minute shopping. I've called it 'Beeston Town Park' because it's at the eastern end of Beeston High Road. Last year the part of the park closest to the High Road was given a makeover and two modern metal sculptures were added. The one in the middle picture is to mark the contribution of Boots the chemist to Beeston, as its main factory straddles the border between Beeston and Lenton.

There is a large stone statue of someone in the middle of park, but I don't know who it is. There is a playground as well, but in the absence of shrubs and trees the park looks quite bleak — which may explain why I have never paid much attention to it despite passing by on the bus or on foot for nearly thirty years on my shopping trips to Beeston. I know it's overlooked by quite a few low-rise flats for the elderly, for whom the park must be a real joy. Perhaps there is something about the park I have yet to appreciate. I will have to find out more and report back.

57% of people receiving income support are in low-wage, permanent, employment. The minimum wage is not enough to lift workers out of poverty.

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