Monday, July 11, 2022


A long time ago, before Thom and pre covid 19 I booked tickets to see Pearl Jam in Hyde park. After several re-scheduallings Kath and I finally got the change to go to the gig. Pearl Jam produced one of my favourite albums and I have always wanted to see them live.

Nina and Bruce stepped in to take care of Thom overnight, so Kath and I could have a free time at the gig. We took the train and checked into the Pullman Hotel in St Pancras in time for lunch. We ate in the restaurant which was super cool but with a price tag to match. Overall I couldn’t recommend it for the food, but not bad for a cocktail in style.

After lunch and a quick change we headed out to Hyde Park to British summer time event. We arrived in time to grab a beer and catch Jonny Marr. The event was sponsored by American Express and they had a special setup where we picked up a free water bottle and tote. The weather was amazing, really sunny and warm, so the water was a good touch.

Next up was Stereophonics, they were the first band I saw live way back in 1999. They were really good and I enjoyed it very much.

We had a posh had a posh hamburger and celebrated being child free and out on a night out for the first time in months with a bottle of Mo√ęt. Kath also queued up and bought me a tour t shirt, very cool. Next up it was time for the main event. The set was amazing all my favourites and great banter. It must have been hot on the Great Oak stage with the full sun beaming in, I bet that they were glad when the sun set. 

There were times during the set where I was back to being a teenager listening to ten again, or Vs. It felt really good.

The tube was super busy on the return, we were lucky to get on. When were arrived back at the hotel from the 11 floor we had the most amazing view over the city. 

We woke up early the next day so checked out and got the train back to Wilmslow. We took Bruce and Nina out for lunch to thank them for looking after Thom. He seemed in great spirits. I think he had enjoyed seeing Connie too. 

Saturday, July 02, 2022

Running up that hill

Me stood next to the rotary dryer holding a 1.8kg hammerSometimes it's possible to do something in a sustainable way that also saves you money. While recovering from Covid, Kath and I have been thinking about some ways to save money. One thing we thought of was to use the dryer less and line dry our clothes outside. Since we had Thom the washing pile has ballooned in size so we are doing more washing and drying. Given the recent good weather we thought that we could save quite a bit of electricity by drying the clothes in the sun. The energy saving trust estimates a £35 / year saving (though given the current high energy costs maybe more). We ended up choosing a Brabantia folding rotary dryer. Kath found a great deal on Amazon which came with the ground spike, cover and peg bag.

To fit the ground spike I ended up buying a 1.8kg hammer as my smaller nail hammer wasn't heavy enough to get it into the ground. Even with the heavy version it took a good deal of hammering to get the spike flush in the ground so that the mover would go over the top. 


Covid 19 lateral flow tests showing positive results
Covid 19 lateral flow tests showing positive results
After managing to avoid it for a long time Kath and I finally got caught out by Covid-19. On Wednesday morning Kath she was feeling ill so she did a Covid Test. She gets the tests for free as she tests for work. So she did a test and it was positive as was mine and Thom's.

Thankfully (probably thanks to the Vaccines) it hasn't been to bad so far just felt very tired with a cough and head cold.

It did unfortunately mean I had to cancel a work trip to London and work from home this week.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

We could be strangers

Arrived home after spending a lovely week in Pembroke South Wales. We rented a cottage about a mile from Pembroke Village. It was an air bnb on a Farm we were really impressed.

Pembroke is a lovely small town complete with a Castle which we had a tour around. They have a huge map of castles in Wales on what was once a tennis court! 

Rhino at Folly Farm
There was so much to explore, we went to a different beach each day. Plus managed to find an excellent Farm/Zoo experience. Thom saw a Rhino for the first time and was enchanted. 

Tenby was our favourite day trip, we ended up going twice we enjoyed it so much. I had been there before in my youth but only had very vague recollection of the trips. Very impressed with South Wales seemed much more friendly and clean than the North. Really amazing beaches too.

We were really lucky with the weather mostly clear and sunny perfect really was a wonderful family get away.

Enjoying beach life

Pembroke Castle

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Hold my hand

Last night headed to see the Top Gun Maverick. We had been awaiting the arrival of the film for years, much delayed thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic we were excited to see Tom Cruise jet off once again.

We had decided to view it at the Light Cinema in Stockport. I met up with Ian to catch the train to Stockport only to find it had been cancelled. We ended up taking a taxi meeting up with Dan and Berger at the Swan with Two necks opposite the Red Rock complex. 

I haven't been in the Swan for many years maybe even a decade, it hasn't changed much with the wood panelling and anachronistic Smoke Room. Enjoyed a pint there before heading in the the Light.

I enjoyed the film, it was similar to the New Star Wars or Star Trek films been made to mirror the scenes and characters of the original in a way to keep old fans happy but have some new younger cast brought in. Interestingly as the film goes on the planes get older. Starting out with the experimental Jet to the F18, F14 ended the film with Cruise piloting a WW2 era prop plane. The cinematography was amazing, not a complete cgi lots of live action cameras strapped in cockpits and on the wing tips. It certainly was entertaining and well worth catching on the big screen.

On the way home another train was cancelled so we had to catch the very last train, after spending the day with Thom and in the Garden I was ready for bed. Think I am missing Cruises ability to still perform at the highest level in spite of his age.

Paramount have a twitter tool to generate you Top Gun Callsign, mine was rocket!

Everything's electric

Pre Race

Last Sunday was the Great Manchester Run. I had entered the 10KM so we headed out to Manchester on the train in the morning. I was in the White Wave starting 11:47 so had plenty of time. The trains were packed with runners and with city fans heading into town early to soak up the atmosphere pre game.

I had done the Great run a few times before, its a great event with loads of support on the course. The event started as part of the Manchester commonwealth games. I read that it's the third biggest participation event in the UK beaten in numbers only by the London Marathon and Great North Run.

While I was running Kath took Thom to relax in the peace garden. These are now part of the recently redeveloped Lincoln Square. At the moment its a slightly weird space with lots of new butemupty shop units. However the Lincoln statue now has more space to and the Peace gardens are back after being moved from St Peters square to make room for the second city crossing.

Waiting to start

I always found it slightly weird that there is a statue of Lincoln here, seems slightly incongruous to have an American president in a British city, Manchester supported the Yankee states and their desire to end slavery even though the blockade on the confederate states hurt the economy of Manchester.

I must admit that I had not done a huge amount of training for the run so I was pleased to come in just under the 1 hour mark. Far from my personal best it was still a great effort and I really enjoyed the run.

After meeting with Kath we headed for some much needed food then hopped on the train back home. Fortunately the train home was much quieter.

Post race in Lincoln Square
If you fancy doing the Great Run Manchester use this link to get £10 off your entry.

Sunday, May 01, 2022


Thom playing with the water table
This weekend I am looking after Thom while Kath is working. Yesterday, I took him to my parents on the bike in the morning then spent the afternoon playing with the water table. Ive also taken him to the park on the swings which seems to be one of the favourite things at the moment.

Last weekend we journey to Wales to meet up with Kath's friend Jenny and her daughter. Her parents have a lovely cottage in the valleys. It was really nice to see the children interacting and we ended up getting Thom a writing tablet.

Thom on the Swings

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Bunsen burner


I took Thom to nursery on my bike for the first time this morning. Even managed to load up some more nappies and wipes. It was a little bit cold, so I put his big coat and a hat on underneath the helmet. He was still a bit sleepy at this point but I think he enjoyed it at least as much as he would have in the car.

I bought he Thule child seat which I can remove (apart from the frame mount) when not transporting Thom. Pretty impressed with it so far and its a breeze to cycle with the electric assistance of the X3.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

The head that tried to strangle itself

COP26 is currently going on up in Glasgow, so far we have more delegates from the fossil fuel industry than anyone else. Lot of mention of the electric car future, no enough mention of active transport. To try and do my bit I have been walking to pick up Thomas from nursery. Only a small act but 2.5MK there and back but saves something, plus I often walk past a line of cars waiting to park.

I have ordered a child seat for my X3 which is going to arrive tomorrow so should be able to pick him up on the bike which should be fun. Though he looks a bit like a goomba from super Mario with the helmet on.