May began with a trip to North Street to take in the Hit The North Street Art Festival, getting photos of the pieces of artwork as they were created, and then the finished artwork.
The following weekend, I treated myself to a trip to Scotland, spending most my time in Edinburgh, getting photos of Street Art (of course) and walking up Arthur’s Seat and going for a stroll in Colinton.
It would have been rude not to go to a football match, Livingston v St Johnstone being my match of choice before a day trip to Glasgow saw me get more Street Art photos and visit Cathkin Park, an abandoned football stadium.
Towards the end of the month, it was all about Friday nights, first of all winning a ticket to see Ulster v Sharks.
Then, the last Friday of the month, I went to see Queen (well, half of Queen, but it was still so good) at The Odyssey.
The first weekend of March 2022 saw me visit Carrick to see Linfield win a rearranged game, then the following morning, head up Cavehill.
Then the rest of the month was Linfield matches, against Ballymena United, Crusaders, Dungannon Swifts and Warrenpoint Town.
With the match against Warrenpoint Town being a lunchtime kick-off and the weather being nice, I decided to head to Warrenpoint Beach for some photos. I also headed to Carlingford, but I didn’t get any photos there though.
The month ended with my first Northern Ireland match in over two years, the friendly at home to Hungary.
2022 began with a trip to Dungannon on New Year’s Day to see Linfield win 6-1 at Stangmore Park.
On the Bank Holiday Monday that followed, I could have had a lie-in, but I decided to head up Cavehill instead.
I then visited a new football stadium for the first time, very exciting, going to see Harland and Wolff Welders take on Annagh United at Blanchflower Park, which had opened a few months earlier, this was my first chance to visit this ground.
The rest of the month, was Linfield matches, against Larne, Ballymena United, Glenavon, Cliftonville and Coleraine.
Having really got into hillwalks during Lockdown, I now intend to attempt one everywhere I go.
I had been to Manchester many times, but I had never attempted one when visiting the city. It was time to remedy that.
In Manchester for three days, I had planned on going up on the Thursday morning, but dull skies and rain put an end to those plans. I needed the weather to be dry for this trip.
It didn’t look like that was going to happen as I got up on Friday morning.
As I went for a stroll around Manchester, the sun burst out, so I thought why not?
Unfortunately, the train from Manchester to Mossley is only once an hour. Not ideal.
Especially as I faffed about wandering around Oxford Road and missed the 10.55am training, meaning I had to wait until 11.55am until the next train.
My flight home was 8.15pm, so I still had plenty of time to work with.
Don’t worry about me, I had a copy of Metro to occupy me.
I wish we had Metro in Northern Ireland. I just love Rush Hour Crush.
Can people walk into Pret without getting horny?
So, where is Mossley?
Just twenty minutes from Manchester, sandwiched inbetween Manchester and Huddersfield.
I did my research beforehand in terms of directions.
Go past the football ground, then look for a pub called The Billy Goat.
I headed upwards from Mossley Train Station, then saw signage for the football ground, followed it.
Hartshead Pike isn’t the most signposted place in the world, I took a bit of a hunch to go up one street, and by fluke I found The Billy Goat.
The starting point for Hartshead Pike is in the Car Park of this pub.
Getting to the top isn’t particularly demanding, around half an hour.
Just walk up, turn left at the field, walk across a field, then turn right onto a road until you pass a white house and there you are.
When you get there, you get some spectacular views of Northern England, and it leads into more pathways such as Oldham Way.
It was definitely worth making the effort, an enjoyable trek.
As I had mentioned previously, I have been to Manchester so many times, it can be a bit samey, so it’s always good to try something different.
There are still plenty of more walks in Greater Manchester, so hit me up with suggestions.
I was beginning to regret missing the 10.55am train, or even being even more prepared and taking a gamble on good weather and getting the 9.55am train.
Even though I still had plenty of time before my flight, I would have loved to have had more time to explore to other walking routes when I reached Hartshead Pike.
I would definitely go back up if the opportunity presented itself when having some spare time on a trip to Old Trafford.
On the way down, I managed to slip when taking a photo, mastering the Down Dog position, and even managing to take a video of myself.
I did delete it, destroying the evidence. And no, I won’t be posting it here.
With Manchester to Mossley being a once an hour service, it was unsurprising that the return journey was only once an hour.
I walked into Mossley Train Station to see how long to wait until the next train to Manchester, there was a drunk woman, who was so drunk, she thought she worked for Network Rail and started giving me timetable and platform information. Very helpful.
It turned out I had over half an hour to kill, so I headed to The Gillery for a lite bite.
I’m not planning on becoming a Pub Reviewer, but I give this a thumbs up.
Just as I give Hartshead Pike a thumbs up, even if there is a sense of regret that I didn’t have time to explore more of it.