My brother is a hairy man
But I am a smooth man
Jacob, Esau, Monty Python. Where does all this come from? Peering backwards in time into my psyche I think I was pondering the fact that Cheshire is a smooth county, but other counties are hilly. If you set out from Alsager on a bike, with the aim of going uphill, you have two choices: Head towards Mow Cop, or head towards Talke Pits.
You guys are the pits of the world.
If you are old enough to remember that quote, you are of my generation. John McEnroe was the brat of Wimbledon and the media agonised over the meaning of the pits of the world. Armpits? You can not be serious.
Anyway, heading out of Alsager I went up, up, up and I wasn’t on Mow Cop, so I must have been on the way to Talke Pits. At the highest point I found this:
A water reservoir of the Staffordshire Potteries Water Board. No doubt this no longer exists as a public body and has been sold off to a foreign company or a multinational. But no matter how low the ownership goes, the reservoir itself is at the highest point for miles around.
This looks like a piece of squareist abstract art, or like a Motte and Bailey built by a particularly finicky tribe, but is in fact a simple water tank.
By jumping the fence I attained a state of nirvana – the highest you can get – looking out over the plains to the other high point, Mow Cop:
I have to admit that having cycled to both, Mow Cop is the tougher ride.
The positive side of getting to the highest point for miles around is that you have downhill all the way home.
Now, dear reader, ask yourself this: Do you know who supplies your water? Do you know what dam or river it comes from? What company brings it to you? Was your water fresh from last week’s rain or has it languished for a million years in an underground aquifer? Should you know these things?