Monday, August 31, 2009

Lake District II

Playlist
Love Revue - Love Revue
Julian Velard – The Planeteer
Innerpartysystem - Innerpartysystem
The Olympic Symphonium – More in Sorrow Than in Anger
The Stills – Without Feathers
The Violet Archers – Sunshine at Night
Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid
Del Amitri – A Hatful of Rain
Mockingbird, Wish Me Luck – Days Come and Go
Ghost in Mirrors – Ryder’s Dismount
The Present – The Way We Are

Happy birthday to me old mum - 79 today!

A superb breakfast from Mr Cottage in the Woods, ex of the Savoy – Buck Rarebit with poached egg and panchetta...

Out and into the rain, we drove to the Slate Mine at Honister, passing various cute roadside sheep on the way...



...and enjoyed a very informative underground tour...









To a nearby tearoom for warming coffee/hot chocolate and scone/toasted tea cake..



Back over the hill through the rain...



...to Cockermouth and the Lakeland Sheep & Wool Centre for a show involving nineteen different breeds of sheep, three breeds of sheepdog, two cows and some geese...



Again very entertaining and informative – and the added bonus of keeping us out of the rain...

We stopped in at the Wildlife Centre on the way home to see the Ospreys but, unfortunately, they flew off on Saturday...

This statue remained however...



Back home for a rest and some dry socks before driving to the bottom of the hill to The Royal Oak in Braithewaite for a very tasty fish, chips and mushy peas dinner each along with a couple of drinks...



We watched some of the evening’s match between Newcastle and Leicester but it wasn’t the greatest...

Back up the hill through the rain for some end of day CD listening/TV watching...

Highlight of the Day : The mine and the sheep...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Lake District I

Playlist
Grand Theft Bus – Made Upwards
Portico – First Neighbours
Drakes Hotel – Sparks That March
Blue Roses – Blue Roses
People in Planes – Beyond the Horizon
Rheostatics – Best of
The Divine Comedy – Victory for the Comic Muse
The New Odds - Cheerleader
The Whitest Boy Alive - Rules

Woke at 6:30 and listened to some CDs Рup after 8 and packed and checked out around 10 Рbreakfast at Café Nero...



We got a little lost trying to leave Manchester but eventually found our way, stopping at Chorley for fuel...

Cofee and muffins at Kendal...



...as the Lake District rain started...

Drove on through Windermere and Ambleside to Keswick – it being a bank holiday, the traffic was horrendous...







A supermarket sandwich comprised lunch before we drove out of Keswick and up the hill to our next venue, The Cottage in the Woods...



We dropped our luggage in our room and took a walk along to the nearby wildlife centre through the pouring rain...



Anne was glum re the weather and the fact that Hearts could only draw 2-2 with newly promoted St Johnstone, the opponents equalising from a free kick in stoppage time...

In the evening we drove to nearby Cockermouth and enjoyed a drink at The Black Bull followed by a curry at The Taste of India...





Back at the bar in the cottage, the owner gave us a bottle of Rioja on the house to make up for the fact that we could hear the kitchen extraction system in our room while she was serving dinner in her restaurant...



A tasty nightcap...

Disappointingly though, the forecast was for more unrelenting rain tomorrow...

Highlight of the Day : The cottage in the woods...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Manchester II

Playlist
The Uglysuit – The Uglysuit
Kleerup – Kleerup
EG – Adventure man
Loney Dear – Dear John

Up around 6:30 and I left Anne sleeping and took a walk around Picadilly...









...listening to a couple of the new CDs on the trusty CD Walkman...

Back to the hotel and back to bed, more tired than I’d thought...

We were both up and out again around 9:30 and we walked down past the Town Hall...



...to the Deans Gate, where preparations were underway for today’s Manchester Pride Parade...

Breakfast at a branch of “Eat” – I am off full English and opted for yoghurt and granola with a tasty hot chocolate...



To the Manchester Gallery...



...where, amongst other things...







Brian Eno had an entry in the exhibition “What Are You Like” – based on the Victorian parlour game where you list some of your favourite items under various categories, along with your pet hate...



Then, down to Canal Street to swap our Pride Day Tickets for wristbands and back to Picadilly to wait for Macclesfield Craig and his girlfriend, Gail, during which time, an angry wasp stung Anne on the arm – but she staved off the pain and soldiered on...

Craig availed me of some further new music – some of his current favourites - including Bon Iver, Sweet Billy Pilgrim, The Panics and Band of Horses...



We set off for “The Village” with Craig and Gail around 1pm and, whilst enjoying some Strawberry cider...



...we browsed around the stalls – some of which were peddling elements of what might be termed “the perverse”...

But I found it all very entertaining...

On to the aptly named Princess Street for the parade, which took over an hour to pass by...








Then we found ourselves in a club dancing at 4 in the afternoon – as I bought some drinks in the adjoining bar, I noted Queen of the South had beaten Ayr Utd 1-0 to go joint top of the league...

More drinks out in the street followed before we left the village in search of food and found an excellent Chinese Buffet venue which satisfied our hunger...

On the way back to the Village, we stopped in at the Fab Club – a sci-fi/comic book themed bar with a full size Dalek on display...



Then, to The Circus Tavern which has the smallest bar in Europe...







By the time we re-entered The Village it was jam packed...



...so we made our way to the relatively peaceful Sackville Gardens with its statue to Alan Turing and enjoyed more of the tasty Strawberry Cider...



The stage was initially occupied by a DJ playing some tasty sounds, then a couple of hours of Stand Up ensued – one of the acts was one of those we’d seen last night in the upstairs room of a bar with an audience of fewer than 20 people – now she was playing to several hundred revellers in a park...

All too soon the time came for Craig and Gail to catch the train home and so we made our farewells just as the heavens opened yet again...

Another great day...

Highlight of the Day : Meeting up with Craig and Gail...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Manchester I

Playlist
Bryan Ferry & Roxy Music – Street Life
Various – Manchester CD Purchases

Up just after 7 and packed and breakfasted and away by 9:20...

Drove through a horrendous rainstorm to arrive in a sunny Manchester at 11...

Luckily, we were able to check in straight away rather than waiting until the advertised time of 3 pm...

We dumped the bags and immediately set out for the shops...

Vinyl Exchange on Oldham Street was my target and, as was the case during my visit here in June for the Pet Shop Boys, I partook of a goodly number of £1 and 50p promo copies of CDs by people I’d mostly never heard of...



28 CDs for £19.50 – if I’d actually wanted these and bought them on Amazon, it would have set me back £240 (ok, this doesn’t justify adding over 20 hours of music to the collection in which I had little or no initial interest other than that they were ludicrously cheap)...

A quick visit to FOPP provided the opportunity to purchase an expanded 2CD set of early Uriah Heep material (I already have the original 1CD version) for a further £3...

In Clas Ohlberg I bought three new pairs of reading glasses for a paltry £3.99 – amazing...



And, in Boots, a new pair of hair clippers (yes I do have some hair) was also purchased...

Met up with Anne over the way from the Arndale Centre...



...at the two old pubs which were moved along the street around 100 metres brick by brick to make way for the Centre...

Outside, the Manchester early afternoon swung from warm and sunny to a further rainstorm bouncing off the streets...



I must now refer to our lunch venue as “Now That’s What I Call A Pie” as the pie, mash, veg and half a bottle of Cab Sauv left me stuffed and steaming with no need whatsoever to eat again today post 2pm...

Sun and rain alternated as we made our way "home"...







Back at the hotel, I sampled the first track of each of the Vinyl Exchange purchases, proclaiming all but one to be “not bad”, with a couple even having the potential for an “excellent”...



This is how I stave off buyer’s regret...

Later, we struggled to find the venue for a Stand Up evening, Tib Lane being miles away from Tib Street, but we were eventually successful and enjoyed a good few beers at The Townhall Tavern along with eight Stand Ups at “Show Us You’re Funny”...

Then the short walk home to our hotel...

An excellent day...

Highlight of the Day : Vinyl Exchange....and the Pie