Sunday, July 09, 2017

Foo fighters

Thursday in Gdynia, we awoke late head still buzzing from the Radiohead set, setting out to grab breakfast from Trafik we ate lazily and anticipated seeing the Foo Fighters later today.

Feeling quite tired we had a lazy afternoon, taking the funicular to Kamienna Góra. There is a great view out of the city and out to the sea.

We headed out to the festival in time to watch the start of Jimmy eat world at the tent stage, before heading to the main stage to catch the Kills, then back to the tent stage to catch a bit of MIA. I can't say I enjoyed MIA it seemed to me she turned up the base to cover the fact she couldn't sing. We left before she made her announcement that she had deleted her twitter account. All before Foo Fighters.

Foo fighters were incredible, this is the forth time I have seen them and they never disappoint. We managed to get a lot further forward than at Radiohead. Their set was really nice with fan favorites including the Pretender and Monkey wrench. Dave Grohl even did a solo from their new album with the Kills front women Alison Mossheart. Titled 'La Dee Da' Grol and Mossheart shared the mike to sing the chorus.

 Grohl gave it everything but by the last couple of songs his voice was going, he joked that Radiohead had played a 6 hour set but he didn't have time for that!

Gdynia Plaża Orłowo & Radiohead

Orlow cliffs
Another glorious day in Gdynia, we eat breakfast in Traffik working our way through their festival menu. We deicided to head for the beach for a walk before the start of the festival in the afternoon. So we took an Uber to Plaża Orłow. Once there we took a walk along the cliffs, rounding back through the forest. Followed by a short stroll across the pier.

Festival selfie
After a cold beer and sit at the Pizzeria it was time to get back to Gdynia so we could head out to Open'er! The festival ran a bus services from the station in Gdynia direct to the festival. It was busy but well organised with plenty of buses so we didn't have to wait for too long. Arriving at the festival entrance there was a short walk past the camping area to the main festival area. 

We headed past the main stage to the tent stage to watch Michael Kwianuka, after hearing some of his songs in big little lies its was quite nice. Then we had a bite to eat and a beer before James Blake then Radiohead on the main stage.

Radiohead were amazing there set covered pretty much all their albums with favourites like Paranoid Android, Lucky, Nude and an amazing encore ending on my personal favourite Street Spirit.

I was scared getting back from the festival would be awful thanks to the large number of people queuing for the buses, but actually they organised everything really well so we only had to wait about 15 minutes to get onto a bus.

Arriving in Gdnyia

Its been a whirlwind since we arrived back from the Opener festival in Gdnyia Poland last Sunday (2nd July 2017).

Arrival, tall ships and great weather

Dar Młodzieży

Thanks to the flights we arrived in Gdyina a few days early for opener. Taking an early morning flight from Manchester to Gdansk then a short train ride we were in Gdynia in time for lunch. We checked into the Hotel Mercure Gdynia, a 70s era concrete pile. There were plenty of follow festival goers checking in, indeed there was some deal for the VIP holders. Then headed out to eat lunch at Pyra bar. A potato themed place that did great potato babka.

We then spent the afternoon enjoying the good weather, and a few beers around Gyndia.

Tuesday we ate a fantastic breakfast  at Trafik. They were doing some festival specials which were very tasty, so tasty we ended uop returning nearly every day for a post festival breakfast / brunch.

After breakfast we headed to the pier and had a wonder around the aquarium. This was quite good, most of the sections had dual language descriptions so that I could understand what I was looking at.

They was also some big sections on the dangers of ocean pollution.

After the Aqurium we had a wonder around the ORP Błyskawica a second world war era destroyer originally build in the UK for the Polish navy. It saw service in the war then was used by the Polish navy during the Soviet era. It is the oldest preserved destroyer in the world, and provider a fascinating time spent wondering around.

Open'er Festival bands
We went to pick up our festival bands, a day early but it avoided the large queues that appeared later in the week. We got our from the train station not realiseing that there was an open'er festival station right outside the hotel. Indeed there was an open stage for the festival where bands were playing for free in the city.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Live forever

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair
- Charles Dickens (A Tale of two cities)

What a time we are having, from the grief of the Manchester bombing to a concert of defiance and refusal to give in to terror. Kath and I spent the evening watching Ariana Grande One Manchester concert. Even with last nights London terror attacks the concert was very well done showing a spirit of defiance. The highlight for me was watching Liam Gallagher singing live forever with Chris Martin. It was also amazing to watch the people enjoying themselves not letting terrorists dictate the terms to us.

On Saturday Kath and I had a BBQ / housewarming. The whole gang came round, including Dannys' new significant other the lovely Kate.  I also got a chance to meet some of Kaths colleges from Chester which was really nice. Patrick and Rhiannon were lovely it was great that they made the trip.

I spent most of my time grilling various meat and non meat alternatives on the bbq, while enjoyed a few tins of becks veir. The weather report predicted rain so Ian lent us his gazebo, but we managed to get sun most of the day with only a short shower.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Don't look back in anger

Start of the Great Manchester Run
Yesterday I took part in the Great Manchester Run 2017. The first time they ran a half marathon. After the bombing at the Manchester Arena earlier in the week I wasn't sure what the atmosphere would be like.

I need not have worried, what an amazing community we live in. The half marathon started at 9am, there were already people lining the route to cheer the runners on. Before setting of we had a minutes silence followed by them playing Oasis dont look back in anger. It was a poignant moment. The run itself took us past both the City of Manchester and Old Trafford Stadiums. It was quite strange to run over the Mancunian way.

After the run I headed to St Anne's square to pay my respects and look at the tributes laid there. It was simply incredible, a sea of flowers, balloons messages, its was humbling to see.

My final time was 1:58:38 which was a little slower than I hoped for, my legs got really tired around the 12 mile mark. That didn't detract from what was an amazing day.

In the evening we had a visit from Esther and Kimberly, they had come to Manchester for a spot of shopping. Kimberly is planning to buy a house in south shields, it looks like a good buy we hope that she get it.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Coco missing

On Thursday morning Coco decided that the new house wasn't for her. We think that she went out of an open window. The house has been very quiet ever since, I miss having the company around the house. Coco used to keep me company while Kath was working in Poland, her presence made the house feel much less empty.

The only sighting since she left were on Thursday evening, nothing since then. We have spoken to neighbours and walked around the estate but not see her. My only hope is that somebody finds her and take her to the vet, she is microchipped so they should be able to return her to us.

Monday, May 22, 2017

We got the power

Coco enjoying the view

A week after moving in most of our possessions are still in boxes. After a huge amount of work we have a decent bedroom, a functioning kitchen and a clean bathroom.

I also managed to clean the bathroom and get the heating up and running (with a little help from Phil the plumber).

Coco spent the week being terrified, she cowered in her carrier the first day, then found a  hiding place underneath the kitchen cabinets. She has started to calm down as the house becomes less chaotic.

I have a lawn for the first time since living with my parents. It was quite fun to give it a mow, whether I'll still enjoy the moving when I have to do it every week is another question!

One of the main jobs was sorting out the kitchen, this mostly meant deep cleaning it, and getting new appliances. It was designed for built in appliances but we modified the cabinets to allow us to have free-standing ones. These are cheaper and in my opinion better.

Last night we had Bruce, Nina Connie Ian and Helen round for dinner. Kath prepared some sushi, with katsu curried  chicken and aubergine. I did some "small" jobs including changing over the loo seat which I stupidly proclaimed would take ten minutes. Some hour and a half later I was hacksawing off the bolts which had rusted solid.
Fixed kickboards

Connie enjoyed running around the garden and having a sit on my reclining chair. After all the hours spent cleaning and making the place normal it was great to have people round and enjoy ourselves. Though Ian did accuse me of giving him too much wine!


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Leaving LA

Removal van
Last night was our last night at Neston Way. Yesterday we watched all our stuff being boxed, today it was time to move. I say that we watched them getting boxed, actually my mother oversaw the removal men while Kath and I went round to clean and paint as much of the house as we could while it was empty. I listened to Father John Mistys' album leaving LA on repeat while I painted, it had just the right vibe for brushwork.

I went to the house early so that I could paint the walls before the new appliances arrived. They were due between 10am-2pm. Our appliances order from AO arrived at 12. Unfortunately several catastrophes happened. The fridge had a mark so had to be sent back for replacement. Then whilst wheeling in the washing machine the lady driver got her arm trapped between the doorframe and the washing machine. She didn't break it but it was very painful. This delayed the installation so that the removal van arrived before they finished.

They finished unloading by around 4.30pm, and we unpacked as much as we can. Mostly just the kitchen for now. I guess the movers though that we had too much kitchen stuff as one of the boxes was labelled "never ending kitchen items"!

Coco was terrified during the move, she refused to come out of her cat carrier for hours, cowering at the back. When she did come out she found other places to hide away. Hopefully she will get use to the new place soon.

I am now sat in bed with my Macbook, using mobile broadband as we don't have a landline connection as yet. It is a little bit flaky but better than nothing for the time being. Most of our possessions are still in boxes, including our electric toothbrushes. Fortunately we found an old electric with some spare head Kath saved for travel use. I feel very tired and it i
s back to work tomorrow.

Friday, May 12, 2017


Today is the day, after months we should be completing on the purchase of our new place in Wilmslow. It is the first time Kath and I have bought a house together, the current place I bought a year before we met. Its going to be a busy weekend of moving, and a LAN party tomorrow!

Earlier this week Kath's friend Mike joined us for a couple of days. She had to do an exam so Mike and I headed out into Manchester. He is into football so we went to Old Trafford to have a tour of the ground.
After the tour we headed into the city centre, had a walk from the town hall, past St Anne's Square to the triangle and a well deserved couple of beers in the Old Wellington. Then into the Arndale to get a gift for his Wife Karolina.
It was a gorgeous day in Manchester the sun was shining (no really!), we even got a little bit of a sun tan sat outside the Old Wellington.

Taking train home we manage to find time to fit in another beer at the Railway in Handforth. Before a changing and heading to meet Kath for dinner at the Bulls Head. Her exam seemed to have gone well, she came straight from the station so had her overnight bag which a local Shih Tzu took a liking too, sniffing the bag.

I hope that he enjoyed our brief tour of the city, I had to work on Wednesday so went to bed after dinner. Mike and Kath spend a few more hours having drinks and reminiscing.