Sunday, 22 February 2015

Sunday with Harry Potter

A second trip to the Harry Potter Studios for Jamie and Megan -
first time for Ben, Al and I -

And yes - it was A*MAZ*ING!

The sets - the costumes - the props -
so much infomation to take in -
I'm sure we will have to go back!

Of course  - after the tour
{and the shopping - oh the shopping}
it was a LONG drive home -
back to school tomorrow!

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Stratford Saturday

We went away for the end of half term - taking Meg's Jamie with us.
We arrived in Stratford at lunchtime -
spent the afternoon shopping and visiting Shakespeare's birthplace
{Ben had never been before - he was very interested until he had a freak out about the wooden floors - "They're over 100 years old - they could collapse any moment!"}

The kids stayed in the hotel
{as usual Premier Inn Waterside}
while  Al and I went to the theatre to see the extraordinary "Oppenheimer"

We realised it was the first time we had been to the Swan since 1989
{I was expecting Megan!}

And what a production to reintroduce us to the theatre - 
covering Oppie's life during the Manhattan project - 
Physics and Philosophy inequal measure.

It's transferring to London in a couple of weeks - well worth a watch.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Blue Planet

Al managed to squash two days work into a day and a half -
so had had a free afternoon to spend with us {and Jamie}

We had planned to go to Chester zoo -
but the weather was horrible -
so instead we went to Ben's choice - Blue Planet

Ben was so very good - he really took his time and was fascinated with the exhibits

Afterwards we ate at TGI Fridays by Cheshire Oaks -
which was lovely -
especially the puddings!


Wednesday, 18 February 2015

The first Wales trip of the year...

.... we popped out to Llandudno to check on the caravan
{and pay the fees for the year - ouch}

Then it was coffee at Waterstones and the beach!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Weekends in February

Mostly going to the movies
Shaun the Sheep - just brilliant!
Kingsman - very silly - and so much fun
Jupiter Ascending - sci-fi daftness -  echoes of Dune - looked amazing
Watching birds at Gauntlet
A lovely "Not Valentines Evening" at Richard and Fiona's with Jude
{with Church and school work on Sundays}
And now...... HALF TERM!

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Elbow at the Apollo - Four Days Like This

So - Elbow again.
Not a huge stadium gig this time - 
 instead a mere 3500 at the Manchester Apollo

The night before Al was mid work crisis - 
not sure if he was going to get away in time for us to get there for the doors at seven.
So we abandoned plans to go with Kathie and Iain 
and she dropped off our tickets on Friday lunchtime.

In the end - Al's crisis was unsolvable in the day -
and we made it to Manchester in time to get a good place in the queue
and a quick hustle at doors meant we had a place at the front.
But Iain and Kathie were still at home -
having decided that if  we couldn't get there early -
they wouldn't try for a good position.
What a mess - If only I'd thought to text as we'd run out of home.

We saw the support act from the front row-
but when Kathie texted to say they were in the buildling,
and that she could barely see the stage - 
well - we weren't going to stay put.

The music is the music - 
front row or straining to see from the back - with friends is best.

And oh - the music.

The last time we saw Elbow I left the gig on a complete high - 
two days later Jonathan broke the news he had cancer -
a week after that Gill's ascites suddenly developed along with the dreadful realization that her time was going to be so much shorter than we had hoped.

This time - from the opening song - This Blue World - I was just in pieces. 
Tears flowed - before Al could squeeze through the crowd to hold me
 I was comforted by a very lovely {and somewhat drunken} man
{to depend on the kindness of strangers}

Songs from albums old and new - 
all performed with the usual Guy Garvey brilliance -
the lighting  was exquisite -
the atmosphere charged -
I cried and sang and danced.....

And at the end -
Not One Day to send us out on a joyous high into the night
{the uplifting sing along came in the middle of the set}

But instead - My Sad Captains  - 

Oh the tears and the love -
leaving me absolutely spent -
{and today full of a headache which refuses to go}

But what a perfect waste of time.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Start Over

We greeted the New Year knowing that Gill didn't have long left to live.
We knew that January would yet again be a month dominated by a death -
and so it proved to be.

Gill's funeral and memorial service was on Wednesday -
and of course we are still so very sad.

This week there have been some tough situations at school -
and immediately I think of phoning Gill - 
of telling her everything -
and of hearing all her news in return.

I miss those long, long phone calls so much.
And now we are in February -
the wind is still chill -
the ground is frozen -
I feel like the year is starting again.


{Sunday afternoon at Wigg Island}