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BSBs and fear of fear

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I went to Manchester to see the Back Street Boys on Monday night. I’d like to say I was reliving my youth, but in honesty, I was a bit old for the BSB when they came out – already being around 21, I was a bit old for boy bands. Also, with it being the early 90s there’s a fair chance that I was very busy jumping around off my swede to hard house or jungle anyway.

This is what happens when you work part-time. You see things on Daytime TV and just happen to be up and not in work when tickets go on sale – next thing you know – you’re off to see The Back Street Boys and have to get a ‘Best of’ CD off ebay for Christmas so you can have a fair idea of some of their tracks other than the one about ‘Am I sexual’.

Met up with old raving buddy for a good catch up over dinner at Wahaca where we enjoyed some Mexican street food and almost broke the tech left on our table in order to rate our food (but not pay for it- no amount of punching buttons will let you do that apparently). Left feeling that our hunger was sated but our knowledge of the IT world was sorely lacking.  Dinosaur times!





My kids


There were several hundred people in attendance at the gig who had a much clearer understanding of who they were going to see than we did. I had a vague awareness that there were five of them and one was called Kevin.  I was right! But not the one I thought it was.  We did actually know more than one track but despite needing to leave a bit early in order to ensure we got our trains home, we refused to leave until they did the one about ‘Am I sexual’  Was well worth going just for the resulting shaky phone footage of said tune with quality karaoke style singing in the background from myself.

I particularly like the way I look Pete Burns on this pic.




My friend’s first time at the arena and about my 3rd visit since all that horrors of 2 years ago. This time though we left through THAT bit. It made me feel very uncomfortable indeed. The old hackles were right up.  I’d already spent a bit of reflective time stood looking at the little memorial area in Victoria Station while I’d been waiting for my friend earlier on.  Can’t help but think of my two girlies. Already going out to gigs themselves without me.
You can’t wrap them up in cotton wool and you have to let them go out and do fun stuff without fear, but bloody hell. Not knowing how to operate an app on a gadget in a restaurant is one kind of fear at my age, but I honestly think that having teenagers is scarier than when they were babies.


There are a lot of messed up scary ass people out there -this is why the dead don’t scare me on all these ghosthunting adventures. It’s the living that frighten me more.

I do like to think that there is more good in the world than bad though, but it’s always the bad shit that dominates the news. 

Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves.



Anybody got a bockle oran joooose?

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Last weekend of the holidays gone.

Mate and I attended a Seriously Strange conference in Manchester on Saturday. Essentially a series of lectures on everything from people who think they’re werewolves and vampires; a talk about haunted Chester, and alternative approaches to how people deal with bereavement. There was also a showing of the new Borley Rectory (boily rectum) film.
We met a man who claimed to have been a friend of Reece Shearsmith of the League of Gentlemen. He told a tale of rescuing him from a hotel room with a missing door handle.  He said if we tweeted Reece to say we were with him then we’d get backstage.  We did. But funnily enough got no reply.  Possibly because said guy may have been a Number One Fan. Annie Wilkes style or like that chap on Alan Partridge.

So that was weird.

Also, accidentally wearing matching Shirley Ghostman quote tee shirts to the convention and then realizing at lunch that you were strolling down Canal Street in them.


Mate covered hers up while I brazened it out (but quickened my step) for fear that the locals might think we were some kind of ‘Pray the Gay Away’, religious zealots and push us into the canal.


We ducked out of the conference early to get across Manc to our hotel so we could get changed and get a bite to eat before meeting my Fam at the arena for the ‘League of Gentlemen Live’.  Cue me flapping over pal’s salad not arriving in time as I worried we’d be late to meet my Pops and I’d be excluded from the circle of trust – like on ‘Meet the Fockers’.

As it goes we all arrived at the same time.   Been what seems a long time waiting for this show. I bought the tickets for the fam for Christmas and birthdays.  It didn’t disappoint.  My cheeks ached from laughing from start to finish. And we seemed to be sitting 2 seats away from Paul Young of ‘Wherever I lay my hat’ fame.  You decide from this google pic Vs our surreptitious snapshot, taken while pretending to take a pic of my sister.


We were also inches away from a resurrected Pauline as she ran down the aisle high fiving people whilst shouting “MORNING JOBSEEKERS!”. We are also all now wives of Papa Lazarou because we raised our left hands in the air (this forms a legally binding nuptial contract apparently).


I am your wife now Dave. I promise I won’t pee in your sink

Great night all round.


Where’s Pops?


The next day we sought salvation in Manchester Cathedral following the bee trail and hoping to see the spectre of the supposed ‘fanny’ who haunts the knave. Because who doesn’t want a haunted fanny right?

We happened across a photo shoot and like the mature 40something-year-olds we are, kept trying to photobomb the pictures by lurking in the background and walking past.  I saw the photographer deleting quite a few snaps on his camera. I suspect that they may have looked a bit like this.


Photoshop credits to Allie B


Photoshop credits to Allie B


On the way home we went to look at Strangeways (as you do) and got a bit overexcited when we saw the visitor’s centre – shouting “GIFT SHOP!” and immediately seeking to park the car. But it quickly dawned on us that it was where the prison visitors have to check in and stuff their phones up their arse and hide ketamine in their hair etc and not somewhere we could stock up on HMP bookmarks and tea towels for Christmas gifts.




And now it’s time to return to work this week but not as we know it.


No policy reading, break time duty, value chanting, behaviour pyramid building, time out chair negotiating for me.  (No decent wages, pension or sickness pay either – but hey ho!)

Alles Clar. It’ll be reet. Arbeit macht frei and all that.

It’s fine. Everything’s fine.





We’re off to never-never land

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Been a while.  Sorry. I’ve been very busy training to better myself. 
I spent half-term week travelling to Skipton every day, having to get up earlier than I would on a work day. A 40 minute train journey then a 20 minute walk (very nice, along the canal thank you) to a hotel, where I spent the day, every day with 9 strangers, training to be a bona-fide swimming instructor.  In the morning – death by Powerpoint trying to train my brain to remember lots of stuff about human anatomy, numbers of vertebrae and different swim strokes, techniques & density of different types of water etc.  In the afternoon – poolside or in the water, trying not to annoy the hotel residents as we tested our teaching styles on each other under the eagle eye of our tutor.

There was laughter, lots of eye-rolling, some tears and panics. Lots of cups of lukewarm tea and coffee.  An impromptu science lesson on how leaving a pasty in front of the window in the weak October sunlight will not, in fact, cook it  (don’t ask). And I have a new adopted 17 year old daughter and two new 16 year old swim teaching colleagues who have, between them, changed my view on the general uselessness of teenagers today.

Despite the distraction of being assessed on Friday by not one, not two, but three other tutors (one of whom was indecently attractive), we all passed!  I can now pluck casualties from the water and teach anyone to swim (not just in a school setting).  Bring it on (and way to go me!)

Knackering week – but well worth it.


On Saturday I went to see Metallica with my brother. Yeah you heard me – Metallica!  I won’t lie, despite liking some of their old stuff, I wasn’t sure I could deal with 2 hours of them live.  But I could and I did.  It was an amazing show. We loved it!  They even did a quick rendition of ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ and some Joy Division as a bit of an homage to Manchester.


Top night!  Well worth it.

Lovely Sunday morning spent with the Fam at my sister’s, celebrating my mum’s birthday and then back to Sadford ready to get back to the grindstone.

Only 7 weeks until we break up again.

Not that I’m counting…