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Tag Archives: Manchester

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.




Lines and Lines and Lines and Lines

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Gone are the days of half term days out with the offspring involving trips to Eureka or Blackpool Pleasure Beach.  Today we followed blue dot and I took youngest child to Hadfield, the home of Royston Vasey, for a right good treat ja? While the eldest child went to Pride in Bradford with her mates. Pride for the gays, lesbians, Bi’s, Tri’s, girls who like guys who like guys who like girls; Tails, no-tails, Cis, trans, pans, flans, mans, puns, bums, femmes, fams and wingdings symbols like when Prince changed his name presumably – because there’s fuck all else to be proud of about Bradford! There’s not a day goes by when I don’t mentally beat myself up about the fact that we live here and brought our children up here.  #sorrykids

gay pride.gif

“The room is starting to spin cos of the gayness” – Talledega Nights


stay safe out there kids

The Hadfield thing was purely because the youngest daughter shares my affinity for dark and twisted humour whilst the elder one ‘doesn’t get it’.
I’d promised her some time ago that I would take her to where League of Gentlemen was filmed.  Half-term seemed as good a time as ever. It would get us both out of the house for a start and she could earn maximum points for spending time with her mama.  I’m not sure what she expected, as there’s not a lot there, which I think was rather the point when it was chosen as the location.  No Babs Cabs merry-go-round or Dr Chinnery petting zoo. But there is a good pub and a very local shop with possibly not quite official merch for sale.
It has a very friendly local shopkeeper who doesn’t mind you touching the precious things or flicking through his fannymesto of photographs.  He also told us an amusing tale of the local old folk storming the barricades at the Post Office one time during filming.  How very rude dear. Restricting access to the Post Office on pension day. How very dare you!


Literally me

We ate our lunch on a bench, had a drink in the pub, almost bought a side table in the shape of an elephant but thought the better of it, then headed back into Manchester without any sign of a nose bleed of being kidnapped by Papa Lazarou.

Trains on the way to and back from Manchester were awash with leopard print and prosecco. The Spice Girls were in town for their comeback (yet again) tour at the Etihad.  The women we saw were fairly lively already by 3pm and the gig didn’t start until 7:30pm.  My advice to any train guards working the late shift tonight would be: lock yourself in the back cab and turn off the lights.  It’s gonna be messy out there come 11pm. These birds won’t look quite as glamorous 7 hours and 3 bottles of fizz later when their spangled wedge heels are in their hand and their hair extensions hanging off as they piss in a drain behind a Greggs singing ‘Spice Up Your Life’ while their pals live stream that shit on Facebook.



You know it girls!

In fairness, I somehow managed to get shit (my own no less) on my jeans this morning and I don’t even drink prosecco! Luckily oldest fruit of my loins spotted it before I left the house. Fooooooooks Saaaaaake! No idea how I managed that. Such a classy chick.


 Ciao Ciao local MoFos.

Alles Klar?


Parenting 101 – out on a school night

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Last night, despite feeling unwell & being gruff as Kathy Beale & Phyllis Pearce after a Woodbine smoking contest, I took my eldest to Manchester to a gig. 
It was a band she had introduced me to at Boomtown  Fair in August.  ‘Dutty Moonshine’. Not sure how best to describe their music genre TBH. Electroswing/jazz/hiphop/bassy/grime, probably best covers all bases. 

After a mare of train journey there brought to you, not just by poor old Northern Fail but TransPenis (not very) Express.  Northern, in fact, was the better of the two. Not exactly running to time but far better than the upwards of 40minute delays on TP!  We abandoned ship at one point at Leeds and fought our way through the eleventy thousand people clamoring right up to the platform edge in their efforts to try and be the first aboard when a train finally did arrive. We ended up on a Northern train bound for Manchester Victoria heading back the way we had just come! FFS! But at least we were moving.

Met my sibs, who were several wines in at this stage after having been out for dinner already. Got to the venue about 45 minutes later than we’d hoped but it was fine. Got to see the support -ASkillz. Decent DJing times – and then the main event.  In the words of back in the day; “Check your bassbins I’m telling ya!”“Bass! how low can you go?”   Low, is the answer. Dirty dirty low!  Nice!  We danced and bounced and skanked with unsexy Jesus. Rho was pistol-whipped in the face by untethered dredlocks, my brother suffered a big toe injury (possibly caused by unsexy Jesus). My sister proved particularly inept at trying to hide the fact that she was buying booze for her 15-year-old niece.  I thought I might have thrown my back out during a particularly heavy bouncy sesh but it seems ok today.

It’s all a far cry from taking her to see stuff like Hi-5 or the dreaded Little Mix with her sister. Where has the time gone?  My babies aren’t babies anymore.  It doesn’t seem that long since we had to leave The Sooty Show at Scarborough Spa because she cried and said it was “too loud”. (Me & Bman were gutted – those tickets were a fiver!)  Now we’re out in Manchester on a school night getting sweaty and jumping about.

Quote of the night from my sister, on form as per, “Let’s get to the front and stroke them”. Also at the end, as we were leaving; “hold my bag” as she then ran down the street, dragging Rho with her after one of the band to get a selfie.


Good times.

Bit mutton this morning if I’m honest. Worth it though.


Just a regular Sunday being normal

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My friend wanted “a nice change to do something normal” so we drove to Manchester and paid £5 to sit in a shipping container in the pitch black whilst wearing headphones and listening to a stranger whispering at us. This was part of an immersive theatre experience called Seance .

We weren’t sure what to expect but did joke on the journey there that we might end up being shipped off to Madagascar by mistake with a giraffe, a lion, a hippo and a zebra.  This could have been an elaborate project by our respective husbands to get rid of us.  Lure them in with cheap tickets to get locked in a box in the middle of the street.


It was quite entertaining but would have been more effective had there been more people present. There were only 3 people in the box at our ‘sitting’ and that took the edge off a bit for me.  Possibly because it was a Sunday or possibly because most normal people have no desire to sit in the dark with a bunch of strangers apropos of a having their minds fucked with.


I think possibly we’ve spent too much time lurking about in dark basements and satanic mills by torchlight to get too affected by it, but I did enjoy it nonetheless.  Give it a whirl if you’re in Manchester St Anne’s Square.


How tall are you?

We then had a pleasant lunch at the Cathedral Cafe before going on a mission to Hadfield on the way home. A local village for local people. And I swear I am not making this up, as we drove into the village I saw a woman crossing the road carrying a life-size fibreglass dog under her arm, like one of those ones you see outside the post office and you put money into its head for the spastics.  (Can you say spastic these days?  Probably not considering you can’t compliment anyone in this day and age in case you get YewTreed or Weinsteined 25 years down the line – fuck me you can’t even clap in case somebody somewhere is sensitive to noise. Jazz hands you have to do now to show appreciation – jazz hands FFS!).


Not a supergeek fan or anything


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…


I went outside and everything last week

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What a social butterfly I have been! It was like all the unsociableness (it’s a word damn it!) of the past 3 months where I’ve been holed up in the house all peaked at once over one week.

Wednesday, I dropped off my girl at her first big arena gig without her mama.  I won’t lie that I felt bilious as I left her and her pal once I’d ensured they got in OK.  Compulsory photo taken outside for Instagram (and for the press in case the shit hit the fan!) Was most relieved to pick them up unscathed.

Thursday, me and the childerbeast went into Sadford to the Alhambra to see the new Addams Family Musical.  Second row seats so the youngest offspring could see her hero – Carrie Hope Fletcher as Wednesday.  Samantha Womack (Ronnie Mitchell) was Morticia and Les Dennis was Fester.  I enjoyed it more than I thought. Particularly liked the song about Death being just around the corner. LOL. Reminded me of someone I know.

Saturday I braved a train strike and went to Manchester to meet up with old raving buddies – one of whom now lives ‘int th’Egypt’, so opportunities to hook up are a rarity.  The trains were extra busy – I ended up at one point, rammed so far up against the luggage rack by a man with a bike that I feared I may require the morning after pill!  #intimate


The sun was blazing and it seemed to me that everybody over the age of 18 was drinking! So we joined them.  Ciders in the sun in Albert Square. Why not?  We then moved to Spinningfields for something to eat at Thaikhun. Very nice. Thank you very much Jess for paying. You’re a star!  Further drinks en route back to the station and I finally lurched into the house at almost 9pm!


Charlie had let his Angels go to seed a bit TBH

The following day was a long awaited, long-time planned, meet up with (most of) the Crap Posse.  Yorkshire Sculpture Park was the venue – because it was cultured and close to all of us – and FREE (if you don’t count the £8 parking charge).  My apologies to anyone who may have gone there for a quiet cultured Sunday stroll among the art work and happened across a crowd of loud, uncouth northern lummuxes whose offspring were clambering over the sculptures with scant regard for the PLEASE DO NOT CLIMB signs and making excessively loud fart noises..



This lot weren’t much better



…and as for the state of Abba these days?? (note old skool style thumb over the lens)


Cousin Taddy Fred brought his new toy – a drone – so we had fun buggering about getting these ace pics and he attracted every child under 10 for a 3 mile radius, like a techy pied piper.

Top pic from FerdyFerd

Top pic from FerdyFerd


I want this in my home

Plans were made to meet up again sooner rather than later.  All in all an ace weekend.

Next Saturday is another Most Haunted Experience trip to Fort Paull in Hull with my ghostbusting buddy.  (If I’m still alive after first full week back at work)  At the moment though,  drinking the poisoned Kool-Aid seems like a great escape idea!

Providing I don’t succumb, It will be live-streamed on Most Haunted Experience Live on Youtube and Facebook from about 11pm.  Check it out.  See if you can see us and drop me a text if you can.


Ciao bellas