BREEDING BEEF…Forget about supply chain disruption in a global pandemic – Gary Halman, planning principal at Avison Young, has his food security situation covered. Manchester-based Halman invested in acquiring a herd of pedigree Aberdeen Angus cattle during lockdown and has been spending his free time on the farm near his home looking after them. The herd of glossy beasts includes 16 cows, one bull and eight calves, which Halman even helped to deliver. As 2020 hobbies go it beats making banana bread, Thing told Halman, who, honouring us with his first face-to-face meeting in the city centre since March, admitted: “There was quite a bit of that going on too.”
Regrettably, it may be some time before he and his family (and any eager property industry carnivores out there) can enjoy a tasty homegrown steak – the process of rearing organic, grass-fed beef cattle is “almost as slow as planning”, Halman laments. That is really saying something. Might have to return to the baking, Gary.
HELMET…There was uproar when Chris Boardman, Greater Manchester’s walking and cycling commissioner, appeared on television riding his bike without a helmet. On the surface, it looked as though he’d dropped an almighty clanger in leaving his head protection at home, but apparently the humble helmet is not all it’s cracked up to be.
In response to criticism from parents up and down the country, who had been forced to fish their kids’ helmets out of the bin after the youngsters caught a glimpse of Boardman pulling wheelies without any consideration for his noggin, the three-time Tour de France stage winner stood by his decision to go helmetless.
He cited the stance of cycling charity Cycling UK which opposes the use of helmets while riding your bike. “There are serious doubts about the effectiveness of helmets. They are and can only be designed to withstand minor knocks and falls”, the charity said, adding that helmet laws have not been shown to reduce serious head injuries. The process of unpicking this unlikely turn of events is a real head-scratcher for the safety-conscious among us, unless you’re wearing a helmet of course.
SUNDERLAND…The North West has welcomed a newcomer into its midst. Fed up of the windchill blasting off the North Sea, Sunderland has decided it has had enough of the North East and is going to try its luck in the North West, just south of Carlisle, according to an interesting graphic on Sky News. The process of relocating a whole town is likely to present some challenges for residents, not least having to learn a completely new language.
NOT SO POISON-IVY…Plans for the latest The Ivy restaurant, to be created within the former Bank of Liverpool building on Water Street, are moving forward after an application to install the brand’s recognisable signage was approved by Liverpool City Council. Plans to convert the building, most recently used as the Il Palazzo office building into a restaurant, were lodged in June with MgMa Studio as the architect. The Ivy, which has 15 of its 33 English branches in London, is looking to expand its North West offering beyond its site in Spinningfields, Manchester.
HALF MARATHON MAN...Andrew Western, leader of Trafford Council, put us all to shame on Wednesday morning by getting up and running a half marathon before many of us had even had our breakfast. It is impressive that a man whose job it is to run a council even has time to spend just over two hours of his day pounding the pavements of Sale and its environs in search of a PB. This week, Western pulled the plug on plans to build a new stadium for Sale Sharks following objections from the public, and one can only assume the return of his early morning runs are an attempt to get himself fit enough to out-run any irate Sharks fans who might decide to chase him through the streets of Trafford and grill him on the future of their team.
FLIPPING HECK…Simon O’Brien, cycling and walking ambassador for Liverpool City Region and former Brookside star, is to return to the screen for an upcoming property show that lands somewhere in between Homes Under the Hammer and Grand Designs. The Great House Giveaway, to be broadcast on Channel 4, will see pairs of contestants given a loan from the show’s sponsor, Cheadle-based lender Together, to buy a house at auction, do it up and try to make a profit. Any money they make, they get to keep. Let the flipping commence!