Wednesday, March 31, 2004

“Got any Spares?”

Dan is the man.

Specifically, Dan is the man with spare tickets for Mozza’s homecoming gig at Manchester MEN Arena in May.

Accordingly, Stewart and I are now the proud owners of said tickets and are made up!

I’d resisted when the tickets first went on sale because a) they are not cheap and b) I pretty much detest gigs in large arenas.

I have no will power though and the combination of Franz Ferdinand supporting and that pathetic sense of not wanting to ‘miss-out’ was too much to withstand.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Somewhere else entirely

One of the nice things about Blogs is that it provides an easy means of finding out what friends in other parts of the world are up to.

Pab’s Blog is a case in point. For the past week he’s been on leave, walking various parts of the country. I’m deeply jealous, I’d love to be out of the office and up in the lakes.

Still it’s nice to see photos of where Pab’s got to, they provide a lovely texture to his site and work well with his beautifully written snapshots of life.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Fire down below

A fire in Manchester this morning, has resulted in 130,000 houses losing their telephone connections. More importantly of course, it also meant it took me nearly an hour to drive 4 miles, due to the chaos!

According to the report the fire occurred in a tunnel used by BT, and firefighters had to descend 30m and then traverse 150m to get to the blaze.

People I’ve spoken to today have been surprised to hear of tunnels this deep under Manchester.

I know from a former colleague that there is an unknown world down there. Nuclear fall out shelters, the lot.

Who knows what goes on beneath our feet?

Possible these guys. There's some amazing photo's here and here.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

It's tomorrow in Guam...

The weekend ended with friends round at mine for a DVD and pizza. It may have been the fact that we caught the end of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on TV as we went to start the DVD, or it may have been the liberal amounts of vodka and rum doing the rounds, but either way we weren’t really in the right mood for Solaris.

Thirty minutes in, the supplier of said DVD, voiced all our thoughts, with the simple phrase “Let’s face it, this is crap!”.

After that it was open season and Mr Clooney didn’t stand a chance.

The remainder of the evening was summarised in the moment that Sarah, in the process of changing the hour on her mobile, announced “It’s tomorrow in Guam.”.

It was downhill from there.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Curry night

After another long day, I headed out with friends for a curry. As ever we automatically headed for the Punjab restaurant in Rusholme. I guess you could call us regulars… or maybe even tenants.

Let’s put it this way, they know what we want without us having to order!

The other week we actually decided to go somewhere different and tried out the Nawaab, just down the road from us in Levenshulme. The Nawaab restaurant on Rochdale Road in Manchester and the one in Bradford are both excellent, so we were hopeful.

The new venue at Levenshulme is a different style set-up. It’s a massive affair, situated in a refurbished old art-deco style Bingo Hall, that I think may even have been a cinema originally. The downstairs space runs as a buffet with as much as you can eat for a set price. Our verdict was definitely that this resulted in quantity over quality. Stilll it seems to be popular – it was packed to the gunnels on a mid-week night.

Anyway…it was back to the Punjab last night and the food was fantastic. When you’re knackered it’s great to go out with friends with whom you’re totally comfortable, to a place that feels a bit like a second home. Bliss.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Scott's Emulsion

My throat is killing me. I've been fighting off this throat infection for weeks now.

For now though I'm surviving on Strepsils.

My mother tells me her mother used to force-feed her Scott's Emulsion. Why my Nan was making her drink paint was unclear, but as ever Google is our friend.

It appears that although "Generation after generation, mothers have trusted the goodness of Scott's Emulsion", it too has sucumbed to a huge multinational. Such are the times we live in...

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

The Wheely Bin Fairy

Bin day today. For the last few months they’ve taken to collecting from our street at around 6.30am (I don’t need an alarm clock on Tuesdays!). At any rate it means that of late I’ve been able to bring the bin (aka handy fence jumping aid for local house-breakers!) back into the back garden before I leave for work.

Today they were obviously running late. However when I eventually made it home tonight I found my bin neatly stowed by the back gate (rather than halfway down the close where the bin guys usually leave it).

I know who did this; it used to happen all the time when they used to do the collection later in the morning. It’ll be my neighbour Marjorie. She must be late sixties/early seventies, but she’s not the sort to let the years get in her way.

I caught her in the act once when I was working from home. I thanked her, but she just seemed embarrassed and muttered that she knew I wouldn’t want it left out as it is a rather obvious sign that no one is at home. She’s bang on.

What blows me away is the quiet and unassuming nature with which she does this act of thoughtful kindness.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Bunking Off

After a very stressful day at work (don’t ask…no really), I realised I didn’t have the time or energy to make it to Book Group. I’ll have to wait to find out what the others made of A Child in Time by Ian McEwan. To be honest I hadn’t got far into it myself due to time pressures. McEwan is one of my favourite authors so it will definitely go on the “to be finished at some point” pile. No time now if I’m going to get through the next book in time for our next meet…

So instead tonight I’ll be catching up on some emails and getting the Greenbelt Venue Manager spreadsheet updated to send to Ben.

The soundtrack to my evening comprises Flaming Lip’s Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots and Goldfrapp’s Black Cherry. I’m feeling less stressed already.

Oh and Stuart texted to say the T'Shirt is too small...

Sunday, March 21, 2004

The Milkman of Human Kindness

A well needed quiet weekend was rounded off with a trip to The Lowry Centre to see Billy Bragg.

I wouldn’t consider myself a fan as such, but having caught him live for the first time last summer I was impressed. Impressed enough to shell out to see him again anyway.

Included in our hotch-potch group of friends and friends of friends, was my neighbour Peter. Now this is what you call a real fan. I think he has the entire back-catalogue (most of which has managed to make it across the road to my house at one time or other in the last year – all together now “that’s when good neighbours become…”).

It was a grand old gig, despite its rather too polite setting (my last visit to this venue had been to see King Lear!). Value for money too as he was on stage for about 2 hours. We certainly came away entertained and happy; even Stuart, who after some wrangling had eventually managed to persuade the merchandise stall guy to swap the giant size XXL Tshirt he had just bought, for a size down.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

An Inauspicious Start

So... this is it then, the start of my personal blog.

I've previously been a seasonal blogger. Capturing some thoughts in the months running up to the Greenbelt Festival.

This is something different though. Something that will evolve as and when I have time, not tied to a theme and with no idea of it's audience (if any).

It will no doubt meander as my mind does. I have no idea where it will lead us, but if you want to tag along for the ride, just Reach Out and Touch the Screen.