Thursday, December 23, 2004

Introducing Camp Reindeer

As a token nod to Christmas gaiety Camp Reindeer* has come out of hiding and into the lounge.

He earned his name from his glittery, fluffy, shiny-scarved nature, but I can’t help feeling it has unfortunate overtones of Guantanamo Bay.

*thanks to David, Sally and my team mates!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

We really must...

I don’t normally do New Year’s Resolutions, but maybe I should make a Christmas one?

Maybe I should commit to a 50% reduction in cards I write next year, that contain the phrase "we really must catch up in the coming year!"?

Of course the small print should make it clear that the reduction should be achieved in ‘real terms’ by improved performance in meeting up with friends through the year, rather than a reduction in cards written etc.

Mind you, in order to measure my success or otherwise, I’d obviously have to start a record of who I said what to this year.

That way spreadsheets lie.

Resolution abandoned.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Christmas Cards

I’m frantically trying to finish off the last of the Christmas cards and once again cursing myself for leaving it so late.

Of course one can perhaps be too organised in these matters. The other weekend I was stunned by the precision operation being run by my sister-in-law. The process had it’s own spreadsheet, with a full record of who they had sent cards to and who had sent cards to them stretching back over the past few years. It even recorded whether or not newsletters had been sent/received.

This data was the cue for decisions re who to send what. Frankly with the addition of a few algorithms the whole process could have been completely automated.

Maybe I have an irrational distrust of these Christmas newletters. It just seems so impersonal, strained and all too often so self-congratulatory. Very few seem to come off well, though I do have the soft spot for friends of mine who bring humour to the proceedings. A particular favourite from a few years ago started: “Five of the facts in this newsletter are complete fabrications…can you spot which ones?”.

So I won’t be doing a newsletter this year or any time soon.

I blog so I don’t have to.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Merchants and Unfortunate Events

The problem with splitting up with someone that you had so much in common with, is that all your favourite things have become tainted with memories. So where do you go to escape and take your mind off things?

This week the answer to that conundrum has been films. DVDs aplenty and two trips with Sarah to the cinema.

First off was The Merchant of Venice. A difficult Shakespeare play for the modern reader, but this film stays true to the original whilst also facing up to the issues of anti-Semitism relating to the character Shylock. Rather than brush over the ‘problems’, this adaptation faces up to them head on and skilfully adds simple snap shots that provide added perspectives and so question the most repugnant elements of the tale. All this it manages without undermining the strength of the original tale and the work as a whole. A fantastic film – well worth a viewing for Pacino's performance alone.

Lemony Snicket’s – A Series of Unfortunate Events, on the other hand, turns out not to be as good as you kind of hope it would be. Somehow it just doesn’t quite come to life and for the adult viewer is rather obvious and predictable. Jim Carrey excels as the evil Count Olaf, but it’s not enough to completely win me over.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Looks like we made it to the end...

It seems so ridiculous that when two people get on so well and are compatible in so many ways, you still can’t seem to sort out the baggage and issues that come with.

Still it seems that this is where we are.

Life sucks big time right now

Saturday, December 11, 2004


After the traumas of yesterday, a day with the family at my Aunt’s in Suffolk is just what I need. She lives in a unique and well one has to say quirky house in a small village.

Her occupation is the study of wildlife generally and deer in particular. Accordingly the main part of her 2.5 acres is made up of padocks for rescue deer (and their descendants) and presently 2 guest rare breed sheep (each the size of a small pony!).

When I was young and before my Uncle died so tragically, we’d spend weeks here helping out. In those days there were also chickens, ferrets, geese, ducks many more deer and my personal favourite Wilhelm the donkey.

For a kid growing up in the suburbs of London, this was a magical kingdom of strange attics and wild outdoors. My brother and I would help erect sheds, creosote donkey shelters, grind carrots, mend fences, cut back reed beds, collect eggs, swim in the river and above all spend hours exploring.

This is the first time my niece and nephew have visited. Like us they are growing up in a London suburb and whilst they number of animals may be somewhat reduced I see through their eyes that the wonder of this strange place lives on.

Friday, December 10, 2004

The Day From Hell

When you pay year on year for emergency vehicle breakdown cover, it’s reasonable to expect that should you ever breakdown (as I did at midnight last night) a simple call to a phone number should be all that is needed to get help dispatched.

What you don’t need is to be greeted with the information that according to the computer your policy expired in 2003, despite the fact that you know you have renewed it twice since.

Eventually they agree to send someone out, provided I underwrite the fee on a credit card. Having just come from a gig I don’t however have one on me; fortunately Stewart comes to the rescue. Not the ideal way to cap off a difficult evening with some fairly serious post-gig heart-to-heart discussions.

One jump-start later however, I’m finally on my way (the long way around the M60 to try and charge up the battery). When I get in, I dig out the paper work and there sure enough are my renewal docs.

Fortunately I’m on leave today to get the burglar alarm serviced and then set off around lunch time down to Suffolk for a family weekend. Accordingly after just a few hours sleep I’m up ready for the service person to call and whilst I wait I get on to the insurers about the breakdown cover. It transpires that the system has one digit wrong on my registration number, but why the policy number didn’t do the trick remains a mystery. I await the manager’s call back…

I spend the rest of the morning getting the alarm serviced, packing a bag, wrapping presents and ringing around trying to find a garage who has the new car battery I need in stock.

By noon, still not having heard back from the breakdown people, I head over to Rusholme and pick up a new battery for the car (at least one thing goes right today!).

Sat in the reception area I go to check my mobile to see if the breakdown people have rung yet. That would be the phone that I’m sure I put in my bag before heading out. That would be the phone that is clearly not now in my bag. Or the car.

I get home and tear the house up searching. I ring and ring, but nothing.

I exasperated beyond belief I give up and call Orange to get it barred. Fortunately I have insurance so they will send a new phone out in the morning (not ideal as I’ve got a long drive ahead – let’s hope the new battery solves the problem eh?). However to get a new phone ordered, I first need a Lost Property Number from the police.

After about 15 mins I eventually get through to the police, who take a message and tell me someone will ring me back in a few minutes.

Half an hour later, nothing. I spend a further 10 mins getting back through to them to be told I have to come in, in person to complete the form. Why this can’t be done over the phone is a mystery as is why they couldn’t tell me this 40 minutes ago!

I give in and head out to the car (praying it will start). At this point it occurs to me that the one place I haven’t ‘tracked-back’ is my garage. I nearly don’t bother, but figure for completeness… I open the door and… sure enough, there on the cold wet floor is my phone. Cold and somewhat scratched, but working (well apart from being barred!).

Jubilant I ring Orange back who very efficiently check my security codes and set the process in place to remove the barr.

I try to ring the police to tell them I won’t now be coming in, but after another 10 mins trying to get through I give up and with the time now approaching 4.30pm I eventually head off to Suffolk.

I never want a day like that again.

Thursday, December 09, 2004


photos to follow...

I suppose if you’re going to steal 80% of your stage-act from Ian Brown, then it’s only reasonable that you dedicate at least one song to the man when playing his home town. Of course it could be argued that the Ian Brown crucifixion pose owes a rather impressive and lofty namecheck itself.

The influences permeate the music as much as the style of performance and were Kasabian to go down the road of name-checking every artist whose influence can be seen clearly in their work, then we could be in for a long night. The music is hugely derivative, but with songs of the quality of those on their first album, this is instantly forgivable.

This is clearly a band on the way up and the faith and backing of the record company can perhaps be measured by the sheer extravagance of the lighting rigs. The stage is expertly lit from pretty much every imaginable angle and the backdrop is a series of impressive rigs from top to toe – all used to full effect.

Initially this adds to the impact of the occasion, but as the night wears on the brilliance of the lighting starts to overshadow the performance somewhat.

Sadly Stewart’s work commitments prevent us from attending the rather tempting aftershow party being DJed by Mani.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Amazing what you find on t'internet

Hit number one when you uk google donner kebab.

None of which is inspiring me to break my vow of abstinence... What you've never had, you'll never miss.

Trying to be nice...

Today I was late leaving the office and by the time I’ve called in at Toys R Us to pick up the last of the Christmas presents for my niece and nephew (spent far too much as ever!), it’s nearly 9pm. Sitting in the car park waiting for the windows to de-ice, I phone Stewart who by the sound of his recent texts is having an even more stressful work time than me.

Unsurprisingly he’s still in the office and he fills me in on the nightmares that have unfolded at his work. He sounds so miserable. It’s a horrible situation, he’s stressed beyond belief and feels he has to work every waking hour he can for the foreseeable future preparing for meetings with lawyers and so forth. Tonight he’ll work until gone 11pm and tomorrow he’ll leave work at 9pm come to the gig with me and then go back to work.

I tell him that this is ridiculous and he’ll make himself ill working like this. His response is that this is his job, his responsibility. I argue back that this is BS, he’s not employed to work 14hr days, day on day on day, jeopardise his health and have no personal life. I also try to get him to see that however personal it feels, this person is taking legal action against the organisation, not him.

As ever I feel my words fall on deaf ears.

I head wearily home and the thought of cooking is too much, so I pop into Paradise for a lovely chicken shish kebab (grilled meat, salad, fresh bread – it’s almost healthy!). I’m worried about Stewart who not only won’t have paused from working since first thing, but in typical fashion will not have eaten a thing. So, on the spur of the moment I decide to try and cheer him up by dropping off his favourite donner (ugh!) kebab at his office for him. Meals on wheels if you like.

Taking kebabs to Rusholme feels a bit like taking coals to Newcastle. Worryingly when I get to his office the building looks ominously closed up and dark. You see this is why I don’t do spontaneous!

There’s no answer from his work line or his mobile and so I leave a message and start to head home (trying to ignore the demon of distrust in my head that says "working late eh?"). I haven’t gone more than 200 yards when he calls back very clearly from a train.

As it turns out, it seems my earlier phone call has proved the catalyst for him saying "f**k it" and rushing to catch the earlier train home.

Boy do I feel stupid now!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Monday, December 06, 2004


As feared the council had told M that they would be unable to take any measures to prevent the ‘neighbour from hell’ having access to the building, until such time as there was a successful prosecution etc.

Given that the guy was still coming and going at all hours (never staying long enough for the police to catch up with him) this is hardly a satisfactory situation. M and her other neighbours feel decidedly unsafe. M is back on the rehousing list, but is determined not to let him win and intimidate her. At time’s like this I remember what a tough cookie she is, I guess compared to torture and murder this is small fry. I also had to laugh when she related her surprise when the police ask whether or not she would be prepared to give evidence – particularly in light of his family already having been around to harass her. However, if the toerag was hoping he’d picked on someone who would be too intimidated to fight for justice, he so chose the person with the wrong back story!

However the problem of him still having access to the building remains. Our one hope, is that given he is just out of prison, he’s probably on licence and so if/when the police catch up with him, he’s likely to be straight back into custody.

Once again though, M shows her true colours. Not content to sit back, she organises a petition from all the neighbours in the 2 sets of flats and one way or another his flat is now boarded up and appears the council have found a way to speed things up.

You so wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of M - a force to be reckoned with!


The subject for tonight’s book group is Herman Hesse’s Steppenwolf.

Sadly I had simply not had the time to get more than halfway through; this was more than some and less than others in the group, only two of our number having reached the end.

The consensus was that this was largely due to this being a book that demands one’s complete focus; not one to attempt after a long days work in an attempt to complete it by a deadline. Steppenwolf is an intense, at times profound read and is unwaveringly earnest. Which is not to say that it is not accomplished of deeply interesting, it is certainly both, but one has to work at it.

Accordingly it sparked some fascinating conversations tonight about the nature of identity, how to live and the pursuit of spiritual goals, but there was general agreement that this was not a book that one derives direct pleasure in the reading of. In contrast to works such as Kafka’s Metamorphosis, Camus’ The Outsider or even some of Hesse’s other titles such as Siddhartha, this is a dry and overly earnest examination of its weighty themes and consequently something of a disappointment.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Reality Shows Up

I know it won’t be a popular opinion, but I like Janet Street-Porter (here's some of the reasons!) and I’m sorry to see her voted off I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here (yeah I watch it – so sue me!).

Paul Burrell had risen slightly in my opinions, and one has to admit he’s value for money in a Bush Tucker Trial, but his rather transparent manipulation of the memory of Princess Diana in his final night plea for votes, sends him way back down the respect list.

Yeah I know, I should get a life...

Trouble is 'real' reality, as opposed to that in the shows, is often so unappealing. Half-eleven at night and my mobile rings. M tells me that she was broken into again today. They took virtually everything including what she had managed to replace from last time. This is increasingly bizarre – I mean who steals a loo-brush?

The answer may it seems have been uncovered rather close to home as the police apparently recovered 90% of her stuff from a neighbouring flat (the resident having in the process done a bunk out the back window).

He’s still at large, but M doesn’t think he’ll be back.

If it was him, it would certainly explain how the perpetrator has both times, known she was out and got past the communal front entry security. M thinks the council will negate his pass key in the morning.

As Stewart and I talk afterwards though we share the fear that the council will have to follow standard eviction proceedings, which could I guess mean waiting for a conviction. What happens in the meantime is anyone’s guess.

I don’t want to worry M unduly, but at the same time, I want her to be safe.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

So in the good books!

The ear is still a bit painful in cold weather, so I opt for a day at home.

Stewart heads over to mine mid-morning, armed (of his own accord!) with a bunch of flowers, some scrummy pain au chocolat, bacon and a fresh loaf.

As I tend to the flowers, not a bad first effort from a man who has never, ever purchased flowers before (S: "I don’t see the point in flowers, they just die...", L: "sweetheart, giving isn’t about you!"), he does all the cooking and as we settle down to a brunch of warm pastry and bacon sarnies, he produces the piece de resistance: a copy of Monsters Inc, which he knows I haven’t seen. Apparently he even listens to me!

It’s the perfect film for a lazy day and the short pre-film For the Birds is hilarious - definitely gives Boundin' a run for it's money.

A blissful way to spend the day and there doesn’t even appear to be an ulterior motive...

Friday, December 03, 2004

Yeah, but no, but yeah...

My energy and finance levels aren’t fit for a big night out, so Jo and I settle for a curry at the Punjab (where else).

Jo persuades me to join the gang in getting tickets for Little Britain.

I don’t know how she managed it really; I’d already decided against when the first wave of dates came out for November 05. It seems crazy buying tickets (which aren’t cheap) so far in advance.

So many risks: will I still find them funny in a year’s time, will I still be friends with the people I’m buying tickets with, will I still be living in this city/country etc. I find it way too hard to think sensibly that far ahead.

It seems however that sufficient numbers of people either don’t share my reservations or else have overcome them as the first wave of dates have sold out. The new dates that Jo is referring to are in February 06!

How did I get talked into saying yes?

Thursday, December 02, 2004

A Better World?

In the foreword to The Rough Guide to a Better World (and How You Can Make a Difference), Bob Geldof states:

"I said back in the 80s that to die of want in a world of surplus was not only intellectually absurd but equally morally repulsive. That still pertains. We will always have those doing better than others. That’s normal and good for them. What we don’t always have to have is rules, language, laws, treaties and ideas with inbuilt bias towards our successful selves to their cost. That’s not right and it need not be so. The cost of our success must not be misery of others. Indeed it has been shown over and over that it is clearly to our benefit to have healthy, free, educated partners."
That seems to sum it up quite nicely.

For your free copy of the booklet, head to your local post-office, or if like me that’s easier said than done, you can get an electronic copy on-line here. It’s good stuff.

I’m quite impressed that the Department for International Development has funded this. It may not be a searing indictment of government policy, but it doesn’t entirely pull the political punch either.

This could be the second thing this week to restore a little bit of my faith in the Blair government (and trust me it’s way down right now). If nothing else it makes me realise how much worse a Howard adminstration would undoubtedly be.

The second thing? Well, I may not want babies myself (indeed if I’m honest I probably may not want anyone to have babies!), but accepting that some people do (and it is I accept, kind of necessary for the prolongation of the human race, though whether that in itself is a good idea is a whole other matter!), I certainly think we need to make it possible for people to do so properly and as a society ensure that people aren’t discriminated against in the workplace as a result.

So three cheers for Gordon Brown’s proposal to up maternity leave and improve child friendly polices. It’s a start at least.

Of course it’ll still be a long while before employers really get their heads around being family friendly as my male colleague currently trying to negotiate a move to part-time work to accommodate child care is finding out. Attitudes like “you can’t have a client facing role” seem so intransigent – especially when your primary client is far ahead in this game and a good proportion of their staff work part-time themselves. It’s funny but somehow we seem to be able to manage the concept that Susan doesn’t work Friday and Fred only works 10am – 3pm.

It’s not rocket science…

Tuesday, November 30, 2004


Over the past few years we’ve seen a plethora of new multiplex cinemas opening in Manchester. This was no doubt the cause of the final demise of the Odeon the other month and the reason why CineCity in Withington has never reopened.

Even some of the multiplexes themselves are struggling. The Arena 7 closed after an inauspicious season or two and if you can manage to find the AMC multiplex in the Great Northern complex (signs guys, signs!), you’ll be lucky to find more than a few people sharing your theatre with you.

Our closest cinema, Showcase at Bellevue, was one of the first multiplexes in Manchester and for years was a thriving concern. Nowadays the staff almost invariably outnumber the customers and business is clearly not good. Presumably in an effort to address this, they are currently offering any film, at any time, for £3.50 (which would seem at least to be a slightly more productive attempt to turn things around than the recent policy of cutting costs by not putting the heating on in the week!).

With the bargain prices in mind, you’d think that they might at least pull a reasonable crowd for what has turned out to be the biggest Disney film of all time. However despite being derided by my companions when I enter my bid of 11 in the now customary ‘how many other people will be in the screen’ stakes, I’m once again win with the nearest bid. Overestimating by 2…

Whilst there is a certain advantage to having a cinema on your doorstep that is never sold-out even for major releases, I fear the current level of business is not sustainable. It would be a shame if it had to close; both on a personal convenience level and in terms of losing yet another employer from the area.

Anyway laying these concerns to one side, The Incredibles is yet another Pixar triumph: beautiful animation, subtle humour and fantastic characterisations. The characters of Elastigirl and Edna the Fashion Designer are particularly superbly voiced and rendered.

Stewart had already seen it on Saturday with Tor, but was more than up for a repeat viewing. Phil and I both enjoyed it, but sadly it left Sarah cold.

I suspect you probably have to be in the right mood for this kind of film (not one that results from a day involving a bad headache and having to fire an architect!). Frankly Sarah was lost before the end of the short prelim animation, Bounded, which involves a dancing lamb receiving life advice from a bounding jackalope (you probably have to see it – but it is fantastic!).

Probably worth the £3.50 all on its own!

Monday, November 29, 2004


Many moons ago, our little clique of friends used to spend every Sunday in Generation X recovering from the night before.

Along with the papers and comfort food (Ciabatta melts, salad and curly fries…mmmmm…), the recovery process was aided by a certain elixir of life called Indigo.

Made by the people who bring you Vimto, it was a bit like Purdeys or Red Bull, only far less sickly and much more drinkable. I have no idea what Wolfberry is, but it seems to do the trick!

Although you used to occasionally find Indigo in supermarkets (for that home stock of morning-after curatives), it disappeared both from Gen X and retailers some years ago. This was, in my opinion, a sad and retrogressive step for civilisation.

Even so, I should probably feel ashamed at the level of excitement that swept over me when I stumbled across a little discovery in a local grocer’s the other day.

I’d popped in to the shop on the way round to check in Phil and Sarah’s house, so I could pick up some basic provisions to pop in their fridge ready for their return from holidays. It’s a pretty nondescript shop, the sort that charges over the odds for fare which is invariably of low quality and short dated, the kind of place you use late at night when everywhere else is closed, not exactly a palace of promise. But even in the most humble of places little gems may be found and there staring out from the chiller cabinet was a name I knew of old.

New packaging, but the same precious golden nectar. With a little bit of searching on the net it appears it has indeed been relaunched. Even better news for me personally, it is now caffeine free (I'll accept the reduction in recuperative benefits in exchange for less risk of inducing a migraine!).

Hopefully this time the brand will do better and survive longer in the marketplace.

But just in case, I bought the shop's entire stock...

Sunday, November 28, 2004


After a second night of virtually no sleep and constant searing pain, I have to accept that the ear infection is definitely back.

I had hoped to hold out until Monday to get to my GPs, but with my temperature rising and the pain now so excruciating that even the mega-strong painkillers (left over from last time) aren’t working, it’s time to go to the out of hours service at the MRI.

After an hour wait amongst screaming babies, I at last get seen and have to convince the doctor that the root cause of the rather spectacular swelling that is now spread halfway across my face, is honestly due to my ear. Predictably I’m now back on antibiotic ear drops and tablets and praying that they work fast. I wish they could figure out whats causing these repeat infections, so they could be avoided in the first place.

As my pain levels rise and fall between painkiller doses I go from coping to sobbing on a two hourly basis.

By timing it right, I manage to escape for a quick curry with Stewart, but start to fade fast as we wait for the bill. With Stewart still coughing and spluttering through the remains of his killer cold/flu bug (which I have fortunately avoided), we really are the picture of health.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

State of Independence

I spent this afternoon with M round at her new flat, which she won’t now be moving into today.

They’ve made a right mess and have even stolen the internal doors, the basic tools she had acquired over the months and even trashed half the kitchen cupboards and work surfaces whilst removing the appliances.

We do what we can whilst there, but we really need to wait until the council do their stuff.

Hopefully the promised new front door for the flat, will be made of something slightly better than the current plywood affair. It’s not hard to see how having somehow got through the communal front door, they were able to simply force the entire lock out M’s flat’s door.

On a positive note the guy in the flat opposite was really friendly, offering us brews (had to translate that expression for M!) whilst we worked, expressing his sympathy and telling us that the council had at least been round to measure up the flat door. It turns out his flat was similarly stripped a while ago, whilst he was away serving a term at her Majesty’s pleasure...

The bit that made me saddest of all about this whole thing, was when M confided that she had planned to invite myself, Phil and Sarah around to help her with the flat and then surprise us by having it all done herself and serving us up a meal instead. This was clearly going to be a huge step of independence for her, a clear moving on in the terms of our relationships. The bastards have stripped her of this as well.

Luckily it takes considerably more than this to break the spirit of someone like M and already the upset has turned to anger and a determination to fight on regardless.

For now though, she’s back to doing it with borrowed tools for a while longer.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Beyond F***muppetry

You don’t mind if I rant do you?

Heck would you be reading this Blog if you didn’t like reading the occasional rant?

My friend M having at long last got life on track (quick summary: imprisoned twice, tortured, members of family murdered, fled for life leaving behind wealthy background, family, friends and all that she loved, arrived in England, but after a month was made destitute due to a combination of despicable government policy and solicitor’s incompetence, eventually got minimal benefits reinstated pending judicial review, lived in a shithole in a street with only 3 houses not burnt out/boarded up, had initial application for asylum rejected, spent next 6 months in state of despair, had appeal granted (evidence overwhelming!), got made homeless again, system couldn’t cope with bizarre situation re NAS benefits and couldn’t work how to get her sorted in main benefits system, spent best part of a year dossing on people’s floors, just started college course whilst holding down a job, eventually got a council flat, moved in basic furniture, appliances and kitchenware (a combination of gifts and saving up to buy second-hand items), decorated, was just about to move in...), went to the new flat today ahead of moving in tomorrow, only to find it has been broken into and completely gutted. They even stole the cutlery.

So, can I just say to the utter toerags who did this – I suspect you haven’t given a moments thought to the effect on the person you have made a victim of all this. I guess you don’t give a toss, that you have made someone who has travelled half the world looking for safety, unable to sleep in her own bed. Hell, thanks to you bastards, she hasn’t even got a bed anymore!

I’m sure if I met you I’d realise you have problems of your own, that you too are sacred human beings, but right now all I can see is my friends pain and right now I’m so, so angry!

Oh and on a personal/selfish note – I so didn’t need to spend this weekend DIYing a flat to try and make it more secure!

You utter, utter bastards.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004


Many thanks again to Caroline for pointing me in the direction of Site Meter, through which I can gather all kinds of cunning information about how people find this blog, how long they stay and how often they visit (who are these 22 people excluding myself that visit this blog on an average day?).

The only downside is that the wonders and the magic of some of Pab’s Internet ESP have now been de-mystified.

In compensation however, one of the most fascinating elements is being able to see the search terms that led people to your door, so bizarre were some that I’ve recently started keeping a record of the more interesting ones:

  • Foodchain on hedgehogs

  • clockwork nun

  • new hey brickworks, rochdale

  • webcam babbacombe

  • the white stipes gondry (Netherlands)

  • imitate art gallery uk levenshulme

  • RE

  • "lines of desire" footpaths

  • polyphonic spree baileys

  • photos of fire in BT tunnel under M@nchester

  • five step exploding heart touch (Japan)

  • falling "garden gnomes" "music video"

  • cherry picked mental health oldham

  • screen mate fairy

  • "ulcers on your throat"

  • warrington scallies

  • inspirational poster spoof pretension

  • "roof garden" paris "before sunset"

  • "we will mend it" +"mouse organ"

  • gondry white stipes lego

  • scary stories from withington

  • cdoa swedish band hives

  • F***muppet
Is this a fair representation of the tosh I’ve been wibbling on about since starting this blog? Were any of these searchers really looking for me?

Outside of the more bizarre, the most common searches seem to involve people trying to find the Nawaab restaurant in Levenshulme. Maybe I should tell the proprietors?

The scariest referral of all though, was from, where someone searched on: L1z Friday and I came out as the number 1 result.

Obviously enquiring minds require knowledge as to whether I’m so popular on other days of the week, so here are the current google scores:
  • Monday – 2

  • Tuesday – 1

  • Wednesday – 4

  • Thursday – 1

  • Friday – 6

  • Staurday – 2

  • Sunday – 4
Obviously I’ve been slipping on my attention to Fridays.

ETA: switched variations of spelling to reduce this!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The Ops Pub Quiz - more bread related stuff

Oh and by the way, it seems I was right about John Montagu and the origins of the sandwich...

Bow down and worship at the feet of the almighty queen of trivia!

Now if only we could find a more positive use for the headful of 80's song lyrics, TV theme tunes and names of bread stuff inventors etc that I seem to carry around with me...

Monday, November 22, 2004

Ops Weekend

I was looking for something to re-ignite my passion for the Greenbelt festival and luckily at this weekend’s Ops Weekend, despite being so aware of various absent friends, I think I found it. Or at the very least, a part of something, hopefully the start of something.

The feelings I shared the other day are still there, but I'm feeling decidedly more positive and engaged than I was.

BTW thanks to everyone who commented or contacted me after my mini-rant the other day - I had no idea how many people read this blog - your kind words mean so much! I still feel a need to fall in love with the festival all over again, but after this weekend I kind of think that that is at least possible, maybe even probable.

Let's hope so anyway - after all I wouldn't want to be the cause of Jude vommitting now would I?

Anyway back to the weekend:

Getting away to Dalesbridge on the western edge of the Yorkshire Dales, was just bliss. It was an intensive time and quite emotional in many ways, but so good. So very, very good.

We worked, we talked, we reviewed, we planned, we imagined, we drank, we laughed and somewhere in the midst of all this I saw a flash of the thing I love, the thing that motivates me to work ridiculously hard to ensure that thing thrives.

It’s hard to put into words, but there is something so special about this group of people and the festival as a whole. A vibe, a feeling, a light, a dream, a daringness, a heart, a warmth, an ache to let the other in.

Then again these feelings could just be a result of the vodka and Baileys that I consumed (I’m blaming George!).

"Greenbelt Ops – drinking our way to successful planning!"

After all what other explanation could there be for us all agreeing that the festival needed to be more of a bagel and less of a baguette? It all seemed to make sense at the time...

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Edge of Reason

I suppose it isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of a film, if the best I can say, is that it’s "not as bad as Wimbledon".

Bridget Jones – The Edge of Reason, is not a great film, it’s not even a good film, but it’s not a completely bad film either (I’d possibly have enjoyed it more if it was). There are moments that entertain and the performances of the lead characters are generally engaging.

However that doesn’t really compensate for an appallingly thin plot and scenes that regularly don’t convince. Do we believe the passion that Bridget supposedly inspires in others? Do we think someone facing 10-15 years in a Thai jail would set up song and dance sessions with the other inmates? Does the Rebecca character subplot add anything to the whole thing? Have we ever seen a village in Britain that looks like that in the snow (which incidentally manages to fall in perfect white fluffiness on cue every New Year)?

By the time we reach the closing scene, I just want to vomit. Still I suppose that that’s one rung up the ladder from the feelings of suicide that overtook Sarah and I in Wimbledon.

Thing is Sarah, Rachel and I knew it was going to be cack before we went, which poses the question: why do we find it funny to watch bad films?

Showcase was also unerringly busy. We generally take a sweepstake on how many other people there will be in our screen – usually you’re safe with single digits, tonight however we are joined by probably nigh on 200 others.

It’s surely a bit sad that it’s a film like this that inspires people to make an exceptional visit to the movies, isn’t it?

Or maybe they, like us, are actually also all there for the irony factor...

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Five go to Turton

The Greenbelt machine is really starting to crank up again; today I head up to Edgeworth to meet up with the other 4 Ops Managers.

A few assorted friends join us for lunch at the Rose and Crown, before the 5 of us head back to Martin’s in Turton to get down to business.

It’s pretty intensive, but I’m struck once again by how much trust and respect I have for these guys. It’s is just so good to spend time with them. Just to be with them makes me feel so much more positive about the whole Greenbelt thing.

Well comparatively anyway.

It also helps me understand a little better, where some of my negative emotion about the festival is coming from. I know one person reading this will choose to take the full responsibility for this (and no doubt apologise…again!), but that just isn’t a correct reflection of things. The fact is I was feeling pretty disconnected and worn down, even going into the weekend, by Sunday I was in floods of tears and Monday…well Monday was Monday.

I don’t know why I was feeling so disconnected from the festival. Maybe because I find it increasingly hard to truly stop work on site, even when time allows, and tune in to an event or space.

I don’t know what I can do to address that one.

Today did however help me understand far better why I was feeling so ground down, by stuff pre-festival.

I won’t go into the details, but when you’re slogging your guts out, doing crazy hours trying to pull something together, it’s hard to overestimate the demotivational effect of feeling undermined and of feeling that you’re having to dismantle unnecessary obstacle after obstacle just to get things to work. Even if this is happening in a fairly unintentional if maybe careless manner and even if generally the majority of those around you are at the complete opposite end of the spectrum, the feeling of “this is hard enough without…” can become a mantra of deep frustration.

It becomes even more destructive when you feel you have to keep a positive, sunny face on it all for the sake of the team of people who are also slogging their guts out around you. Becoming the buffer between the detractors/obstructers and your team can be exhausting.

I don’t have any clear idea how to fix this one, but I know I need to. I love the festival enough for that to carry me through one year of feeling like this, but I think a second year might put the nails in the coffin.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Chand Raat

After a full day slogging through Greenbelt work at the computer, a night out with Jo to catch up on here holiday in South Africa is just what I need.

I must confess that tonight would be the first time however that I have checked the moon before deciding between curry and cinema.

It’s kind of important though because this year there seems to be more than the usual confusion about when Ramadhan ends and when Eid falls.

It all depends on Chand Raat (new moon), but early evening inspections of the night sky prove inconclusive and the internet is not any great help. Jo and I decide to chance it. If we go reasonably early we stand a chance of parking in Rusholme anyway and if the Eid celebrations do commence tonight, well the spectacle and celebration will likely compensate for the gridlocked traffic.

As I head past Longsight market my suspicions are confirmed and the Chand Raat night time market is in full swing, I regret not having known about it in advance as I have no time to stop and have a wander round now.

Parking in Rusholme proves problematic (especially for Jo), but we enjoy a meal in the Punjab, watching out the window as the celebrations (and police presence) build through the course of the evening.

With Diwali falling so close to Eid this year, the celebrations are doubled and even the Punjab is in full festive mood. The service suffers rather as the waiters spend most of the night hanging out the doorway, but the smiles on everyone’s faces more than compensates.

As I head back to my car (the side street I’ve parked on has now been cordoned off – oh joy!), the atmosphere is infectious.

I have to circumnavigate around half of South Manchester to get home, but it’s hard to mind. I suspect the celebrations will be in even fuller swing tomorrow night, but I don’t think I’ll be braving the traffic jams to see.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Lacking in motivation

Tonight’s plans for a meal out got cancelled last minute, which on the plus side should give me the opportunity to do some long overdue Greenbelt work and get an early night.

Unfortunately as it works out the former one again makes the latter intention invalid. Why is it that when you want to get something done quickly everything seems to conspire against you?

However hopefully the 1.30am finish was worth it as I at last manage to get the Venue Managers’ Feedback Survey out.

Last year I used one of those free on-line questionnaire programmes, but they seem to have restricted the free service even more this year. On balance I decide that reprogramming a survey every year and having it available for only 10 days from launch make this option somewhat unsustainable. An Access programme would be perfect, but I know that not everyone has that software. Maybe one day we’ll get something on the GB website, but in the meantime a Excel form will have to suffice. It isn’t pretty, it may not even work properly (definite lack of testing occurred!), but it should enable them to return some sort of feedback and most importantly of all - it’s done!

Regrettable however, by leaving it so late I don’t have the option of involving Ben and Dave in the creation process. Instead I settle for using last year’s questions with Dave’s suggested questions that he came up with at the festival added on. Not really very neat and concise and lacking in consultation with these guys, but needs must.

I feel a huge sene of relief, if not satisfaction, as I hit send on the email. Of course I haven’t really thought about how to handle the responses as they come in...

The bigger question is why I’m feeling so low and unmotivated re Greenbelt stuff since the festival. Why have I left so many emails parked and unanswered etc? I know some of the answers, but I need to work it through more.

Sadly the yearly planning process won’t wait for me to do my hibernation act any longer. Maybe if I’m lucky the next two weekends will provide the needed stimulus to reawaken my enthusiasm.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Bad Santa

Bad Santa isn’t the film to go to if you’re hoping for a feel good, sentimental, seasonal schmultz-fest. Or indeed if you’re a member of the ‘moral-majority’ that we keep hearing about of late (there’s probably one or two too many butt-f***ing jokes for your liking…).

On the other hand, if you feel that you could appreciate Billy Bob Thornton's take on a hard-living, misanthropic, department store santa and his criminal activities, then this might just be the film for you.

"You know, I think I've turned a corner...I beat the shit out of some kids today. But it was for a purpose. It made me feel good about myself. It was like I did something constructive with my life or something, I dunno, like I accomplished something."

Some great acting, excellent lines and a basic concept that's strong enough to carry the joke through the full length of the film, make this a movie well worth watching (but not with the kids!). In fact had the makers had the guts to cut the very last scene, it might very well have been the perfect antidote to fatuous yule-tide jollity.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds

It’s hard to describe the dancing style of Nick Cave, John Cleese crossed with Bono is probably the closest I can manage. Certainly the strange, uncomfortable, jabbing shapes, set at acute angles to the world are in keeping with the musical fayre he and the Bad Seeds offer up.

The first hour of the set concentrates on the latest double album Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus and the second hour on a right mixture from the back catalogue. Darkness and twisted evil are the dish of the day and lyrics of death and murder are punched out with great force. Set amongst this backdrop however are dropped the occasional glimpses of redemption and light, with classics like Into My Arms leaving the audience in a tangible state of awe.

Even so, I wouldn’t have picked Nick Cave as a likely candidate to have to abandon a song due to laughing, but after three attempts to get past the first few lines of the second verse of The Lyre of Orpheus he gives up gracefully. We love him all the more as a result!

The evening wraps up with classics such as The Weeping Song, Stagger Lee and Mercy Seat – Nick Cave doing what he does best. Even Phil and Sarah seem to be buzzing by the time the house lights come up.

True class.

Saturday, November 06, 2004


Once in a while even this city girl needs to get away, so last night Stewart and I head over to Conwy for a night away at The Castle Hotel.

After the largest breakfast I have ever partaken in, we wander round town and enjoy the sea air down on the quay.

The rain starts to let up a little so we take Sarah up on her suggestion of trying to find what she claims is one of the finest crazy golf courses in the world, perched on the top of the Great Orme overlooking Llandudno.

Ordinarily the Great Orme is a massive landmark that dominates the surrounding landscape. That however would be on days when the visibility is greater than 5 metres!

We find our way up eventually though and enjoy spectacular views in all directions of up to 3 metres…

We ring Sarah to get better directions for the golf course, her description of between the two buildings, would to be honest be more helpful if you could see both at the same time.

Undeterred we track it down, but our plans are foiled by some rather large padlocks. Enquiries in the deserted café get us no further. Instead we enjoy having free run of the deserted hilltop, with Stewart taking full advantage of the deserted adventure playground.

Somehow reading the papers and dozing seem all the more enjoyable for being swathed in scarves sat in a car in a cold misty car park on the top of a hill in Wales. For whatever reason it seems to be working in terms of the stress relief and even the traffic jams on the way home fail to raise the blood pressure and by the time I get back to Longsight I’m totally chilled.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Ladies who Lunch

A rare and much needed day off today. Unfortunately my plans for a long lie are somewhat scuppered by one of Stewart's cats repeatedly flinging itself at the bedroom door in (occasionally successful) attempts to gain entry and the fact it appears to be national phone/text L1z day.

By the time the postman rings on the doorbell with a parcel from Amazon I give up on the idea of sleep altogether. Having managed to get the second cat into the house and both fed (see how nice I can be when I try – I didn’t even go for the ground glass option...) I head home for a quick shower, before meeting S for lunch at Dukes 92.

Sat on the sofas overlooking the canal and watching the day go by, we decide we could get very used to the ladies of leisure thing. No doubt we would eventually become bored, but we’d be prepared to give it a good shot.

Thursday, November 04, 2004


It’s been a rather stressful week, which coupled with the toothache hasn’t exactly left me in the mood for a gig tonight. However there is probably only one band in the world that could cheer me up and luckily enough it’s them that we have tickets for tonight. Ladies and Gentlemen, The Polyphonic Spree.

The stage at the Academy 2 is far too small (it makes the stage we had for them at Greenbelt look spacious!) as a result it takes a good 2 minutes for the all to weave their way through the kit etc into their places and at times the front line kindly ducks down to allow the audience and the rest of the group make visual contact!

Nothing however can hold back the exuberance and the packed venue is soon bouncing up and down and being swept along with the sheer joy of it all.

The set is a triumph, with fantastic rearrangements bringing new life to the songs from the two albums. To be fair though they are clearly preaching largely to the already converted, which may prove a frustration to them, but selfishly makes the atmosphere even more electric.

Suitably enough they return for their encore through the back door of the venue, snaking their way through the adoring crowd and up onto the stage (ironically this seems to work better then the earlier attempt to enter from the wings!).

All too soon it’s over though and we wend our way home, tired, but quite a bit happier.

A great night, but I don't think Tony should worry too much...

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The Wisdom of Anbesol

It seems to me that adults can be divided into three clear groups:

  1. Those who never got their wisdom teeth

  2. Those who got their wisdom teeth and suffer untold pain every now and again due to the fact that the average mouth clearly doesn’t have the space to accommodate these extra nashers

  3. Those who got fed up with being in category two, so went through extreme pain having them removed and spent two or three weeks doing hamster impressions and taking their nutrients through a straw, in order to sneak in undetected into category one

Now I’ve not met anyone in category one that suffers any noticeable disadvantage due to not having these additional teeth and I’ve not met anyone whose wisdom teeth came through without any problem whatsoever; so what, I ask is the point?

Obviously however, I’m having to type this question as my ability to speak coherently is currently hampered a little by a swollen gum and dull, throbbing ache in the rear of my mouth.

Ah well mustn’t complain. I’ll end with the only geek joke I know (which I’ll dedicate to King Geek Pab and Tera-Geek Shaun): there are 10 types of people in the world, those that understand binary and those that don’t.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Jitterbug Perfume

Tonight at the book group we discussed Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins.

I’d not read anything by him before but love the film Even Cowgirls Get the Blues that is adapted from one of his other novels.

I didn’t have time to finish Jitterbug Perfume, but definitely due to lack of time rather than any lack of interest or enthusiasm. It seems my impressions to date were in line with the majority of the group who enjoyed its boisterous energy and flights of fancy.

A couple of people were more ambivalent about it, struggling with the whole lack of structure and conventional form that is eschewed by the fantasy genre. This led to a fascinating discussion about how and why some people can ‘go with the flow’ and let a book take them where it wants, whereas others struggle with the lack of rules and control.

It seems that these feelings transfer into other areas of the arts as well, with the same division between those who love abstract and expressionist paintings and those who prefer works that follow more conventional rules.

Personally I love being able to escape my everyday world of control, logic and form into art that takes you out of this to new unimagined places. Letting go is a definite pleasure when led by the skilled and safe chaperon of the talented author or painter.

However if a novel is going to dispense with the ‘inconvenience’ of reality, then something more is surely demanded of it as a result. If your plot and characters are unrestricted, then personal I want to see poetry and beauty in the places your imagination takes me…and through that beauty a truth of its on emerges.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

High Hopes

Hope of the States at Manchester Academy last night were truly amazing and well deserving of the switch to the larger venue. It felt like watching a band on the cusp of something big.

I love the album, but live the impact is even more intense – a vast landscape of sound, layers upon layer...

From the off, our ears were bombarded with forceful, driven, sweeps and swoops of harmonic, powerful, sound. This is a band that knows where they want to take you and don’t ask twice.

The accompanying visuals projected behind the band were preoccupied with post WWII America and associated military imagery. Although a little ‘sixth form art project’ in execution at times, the content was powerful and seemed to resonate rather unnervingly with current times.

The only thing I can see holding them back, is that this is a sound that works best as an album or live set. The Lost Riots contains only a couple of tracks that show signs of having the potential to be the sort of single they’ll need if they’re going to really get the message out there with the second album. That said, judging by the way the audience joined in with Enemies/Friends they may not be too far off.

Come on, people,
Keep your friends close,
Your enemies won’t matter in
the end

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Hidden Shallows

Still feeling a bit ropey this morning, but I make it into town to get a haircut and do some shopping.

On my way to Marks and Spencer’s Foodhall I see that the common pro-Palestinian group have been ‘joined’ by a pro-Israeli opposition group. Each huddle of about 100 people are facing each other off. Separated by a line of police officers they are shouting and waving placards and flags at each other (the pro-Israeli’s having also co-opted various other national flags including the union flag and the stars and stripes).

The police are also conducting a major filming and photography campaign. Nothing like feeling that you have the freedom to peaceful protest is there?

I talk briefly to someone from each ‘side’; both so firmly entrenched that, as ever, the hopelessness of the situation seems insurmountable.

So what do I do after 20 minutes of discourse, observation and reflection on the sad state of the world?

Well I do boycott M&S foodhall in favour of Tescos, but other than that? I basically go shoe shopping of course.

Sometimes I worry how well I do shallow.

And hey, it’s not like I really needed another pair of trainers is it?

Friday, October 29, 2004

Ops Curry

With people at work going off for a week each with the latest bug to be doing the rounds, I should be grateful, that after 24 hrs in bed aching from head to toe, I seem to have fought it off (hurrah for duvets, orange juice and echinacea!).

All the same it’s an act of will to make it to the Greenbelt North West Ops Team curry night at the Punjab tonight (well where else was I going to book?).

It’s so great to see everyone, but after about 3 hours or so, the surge of adrenalin begins to fail me and I’m flagging fast. Sarah looks at me and with her usual perception says, “Home?” and I nod gratefully.

For once Phil is doing the driving as they have a hire car for the weekend. I’m very grateful to just be able to collapse in the back and not have to drive. I just about make it to bed before my energy gives out completely.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

More Mutants

So I was in Toys R Us looking for a birthday present for someone, when I found this:

Basically it's a horse, dressed up in giraffe clothing. But why?

However this was not even the most worrying toy on the shelves. Take this for example:

Clearly a monkey right?

But then as you look closer...





What is going on in the world of soft toy manufacture? I think we need to introduce dope testing...

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Latest Addition

Well I'm not quite sure I like the tone of his first post, but that notwithstanding I'm delighted to welcome Stuart to the Blogging community.

Surely there should be some sort of commission scheme for when we sign up new recruits?

Oh and can I just clarify, this is Stuart who many of you will know as Greenbelt's Traffic Stewarding Manager not Stewart who is...well let's just leave that definition for now shall we?

Monday, October 25, 2004

Franz and The Kills

What a way to start the week – Franz Ferdinand rocked the Apollo!

It’s interesting to see how they have developed as a live act over the past year; they now seem very comfortable wearing the headliner mantle.

They played the entire album, a couple of B-sides and two new tracks. Not the longest set in the world, but the pace barely let up the whole time. That said, the mosh pit was one of the ‘politest’ I’ve witnessed in a long while; not that this should be taken as a sign of audience appreciation, the adoration and sheer enjoyment was written across every face.

Quite a marked difference from the earlier mass reaction to the second support, The Kills. They weren’t terrible, but they weren’t great either. The audience was decidedly unimpressed.

Wandering vaguely around the stage and flicking ones long black hair (however impressive a mane one has), doesn’t really constitute a stage show. Similarly chemistry between a duo is one thing, but at times it felt they were purely performing for each other and by the time we reached their closing number the only thing I wanted to shout was "get a room!".

Stewart however betrayed his Goth past by disagreeing with me on all this. To him (and apparently about 3 other members of the audience) they were fantastic and "really dark and evil". I suggest that maybe I should give them some benefit of the doubt as the sound mix seems pretty dire, but I’m informed that it’s actually how it is on the album.

Hmmmm... well I’ll not be rushing out to buy that then…

Sunday, October 24, 2004

UK Music Hall of Fame

Ok so I had more like 13 possibles on my list, but it did include all 10 of those that made the 70's shortlist.

On the basis of this I feel I should be invited to be on the panel for this next year. Well it would beat proper work wouldn't it?

I know Caroline will be distraught that old raspy throat Rod Stewart didn't make the grade, but it's fine by me.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Another night at The Duck

Another night at the Strawbury Duck, this time for Sarah’s birthday celebrations.

I do feel just a little bit stupid carrying Sarah’s present up on the train. Still she assures me it is what she wants most.

It was actually very hard to find a pump action water canon in October. Toys R Us in a spectacular piece of business practice had some in the stock room, but couldn’t sell one to me because they weren’t currently "on-sale". Of course having to explain to the assistant what ‘sort’ I needed and for what purpose, was a little embarrassing: "errrr...something with a good strong, long distance jet – she wants to shoot cats when they try and ambush birds on her feeding table".

Luckily the Toys R Us website is far more helpful (and less judgemental!).

Sarah seems pleased with the choice anyway. It comes complete with fabric ‘target’ patches that lose their image when they get wet. So now we just need to find a diplomatic way of asking her neighbours to attach these patches to their cats before they let them out in future.

Slightly less successful is Stewart’s present for Sarah and Sarah and Phil’s present for Stewart. Remember what I was saying about the need for a moratorium on personal shopping leading up to one’s birthday?

Let’s just hope HMV and Waterstones do returns eh?

Friday, October 22, 2004

Yeah, I know.

How good is the new series of Little Britain?

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Should it be this difficult?

The Nutsford Vale meeting tonight leaves me frustrated.

Whilst we’ve won a further two grants, in one case we’ll only get about two-thirds of the total amount applied. Bearing in mind the funding in question is for providing lockable barriers and chicanes to try and prevent the use of trail bikes on the land, it seems to me to be a little short-sighted to just secure two-thirds of the perimeter.

The local councillor present explains the reasoning behind their decision, which I won’t bore you with, but is all about petty differences and ward politics and does nothing to improve my view of local government.

It’s depressing news too on the much larger issue of the transfer of the management of the Nutsford Vale land. There have been plans mooted for the past 3 or 4 years that management would be transferred to the Forestry Commission’s Red Rose Forest organisation. Apparently however, Nutsford Vale just missed out on the first round of this and there is no information re timing for a second phase.

Whilst, I have grave concerns about the suitability of the Forestry Commission in managing sites in deprived urban areas (don’t get me started on the swathes of hawthorns etc they planted on the land the other year – muggers paradise!), it would at least mean someone was managing the land. This surely would be an improvement on the current neglect by the city council and Greater Manchester Waste who own roughly half the land each.

However, it seems we will continue in this ridiculous limbo for another few years yet. As a community group we are blocked from doing any significant improvements (eg putting in shale paths even!) as it might prejudice future plans, but year on year the proposed transfer of management is deferred.

It’s a constant uphill struggle that is so very tiring. If I weren’t so committed to the belief that the Longsight, Levenshulme and Gorton areas need and deserve this resource fully realised, I would throw in the towel.