Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Anglican Drivings.

Half way up the pass.

Half way up looking the other way.

Coming down the other side.

Yesterday I had to go to a hamlet near Holmfirth for a meeting. Holmfirth is to the east of Manchester, over the Pennines, the great range of hills which runs alongside the city, right down into Cheshire and derbyshire to the south. One can either take the M62 which goes from Prestwich, where I live, to a point parallel with Holmfirth and then drop down through the mill towns, itself a fascinating journey for the height of the motorway which cuts through and over saddleworth moor like a knife through butter. The other way is to go to Ashton and hack out east, down and down to the bottom of the pennines and then climb up the precipitous Woodhead Pass, a small and oft-closed road which scales the Pennines remarkably steeply and quickly, taking you to the top, past the low government buildings (this is where they keep the aliens) and then there is a dramatic slide down into the valley at the bottom of which is the Holm river and Holmfirth. The ten foot high poles on either side of the road look out of place, especially when you see that the tops alone have reflective strips on them until you realise that snow falls so quickly and so deep here that there are times when only the tops of the poles are visible.

When I came back and reached the bottom of the pass, I saw a sign pointing to Penistone, home of the Penistone Picture Palace. This reached the national papers for the first time in it's long life a couple of years ago when a man from Penistone scripted a film for Disney. He had an agreement that the UK premiere would be held in the tiny Penistone Picture Palace. Alas, on the day of the premiere there was no film reel. Infuriated, he telephoned the Disney distribution wing who claimed that they had received no emails, either from himself or the head office. Presumably they had been too busy keeping Walt frozen, thought our brave hero, but no, Disney has an email filter which had routinely deleted any email mentioning the Penistone Picture House before delivery because the filter deemed it to have a rude word contained in the message. Now I know that Disney have a reputation to maintain, but are their staff going to cower at the word 'Penis' in an email? What would they do if Alan Ginsberg wrote to them? Anyway, the Penistone Picture Palace is still in operation and so are Disney, with their modesty intact, so there we are, a happy ending I suppose.

And the meeting? Oh, very well, thank you. And I enjoyed fish and chips by the river in Holmfirth beforehand as well. And a small treacle tart and a can of dandelion and burdock from a cake shop.