Friday, April 18, 2014

Manchester - the filthy town. Plus Lorna and Sutton beat us at the quiz!!

Its sunny outside - Really bloody lovely and sunny. I know its Good Friday and usually that means its shit weather and everyone sits around eating chocolate eggs and waiting for Baby Jesus to do his stuff (Its actually fully grown Jesus at this point in the story, but whatever!!) and the rain clouds usually make it a grey and dull long weekend where kids get bored, fatter than normal (because of the eggs) and then everyone forgets just what Easter is about and watches crap TV all weekend. We all know that the Easter bunny is based on some German thing about judging your children and if they are bad then they don't get sweets. Personally we should think about Christmas and Easter and having one big holiday where a huge bunny dressed as Santa lays eggs in your bed while you sleep and then raids your cupboards eating all your food before flying off on his sleigh pulled by baby Jesus - dressed as a reindeer. Not only would it be more fun, but it would leave us a whole week in mid winter where we could actually go on holiday instead of sitting around watching shit TV waiting for the queen to magically appear and giving you her predictions for next year like some kind of soothsayer. If you want Turkey - you can have it whenever you like and if you want a tree in your house  - just put one there - you can do whatever you like - its your house - and you could put a bunny on top with Easter eggs below!! Jobs a good un!!

Anyway - I have no idea where that little concoction eminated from so I shall get on with filling you in on what the hell has been happening in the soap opera of life that revolves around myself and the sweet but slightly crazy canadian who for some apparent reason has decided to move halfway around the world just to be with me...

We ain't really done much recently. After all the celebrations of birthdays, anniversaries and having holidays in Paris and nights away in countryside hotels we have been taking it easy. There are two (or maybe three) things of note to tell you about from the last couple of weeks.......

1. Psycho LIVE!!!!!
Well, it wasn't really Psycho live - it was the movie 'Psycho', but with a live orchestra playing the music. Now Psycho is a classic movie and one that Buffy hadn't seen before. Plus with the live orchestra playing the brilliant 'wreee wreee wreee wreeee' bit where the woman gets slaughtered in the shower we had to go and see it. Plus it was on in 'The Bridgewater hall', one of the newest and best venues in Manchester. A superb concert hall and a building with perfect acoustics which just added to the haunting theme of the movie. The actual shower scene was harder to watch than normal as the violinists were scraping their bows along the strings in almost the same manner as the knife was being wielded on the screen. It was a great showing and we loved the whole evening.
Inside Bridgewater Hall

Ready to begin
   2. MOSI.
I remember as a kid going along to the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) and loving the steam engines and trains, but mainly remembering that you could see the set of coronation street in Granada studios just over a wall. Its now over 30 years since that visit and so we decided to go back and have a look around to see what has changed. The museum is actually free to enter, but you can give a donation to help pay for ongoing costs.
We were really happy to see that the museum is still going strong with a good mix of the old and the new to keep anyone amused for an hour or three.

A lot of the museum is now related to telling the story of Manchester with its roots in the cotton industry as well as looking into the wide and varied inventions and ideas that are commonplace around the world but began life in this great city.
Baby (The computer not the bloke)

'Baby' is the name of worlds first stored program computer - built in the 1940's in Manchester and the forerunner of every laptop, pc and tablet you see today. There is a working reconstruction of it in the museum and you can use it to choose words that it will then put into a poem for you...we played this little game and this is what baby came up with.....

There are old buildings that used to be mills and the original and first passenger railway station in the world which still sits where it marked the end of the line from Liverpool to Manchester.
Just below this building is a walk through tunnel that explains in great detail about how the sewer system in Manchester and the modern world has changed from tipping your shit out in the street, to using wooden pipes and all through the different systems of sewage works until modern waste management systems of today. It sounds like shit(literally) but is actually quite interesting with added 'smells' to make the kids squirm. We heard one dad explain to his kid about how the Romans (who had a fort in Manchester just a short walk from the museum) used to wipe their arses with a sponge on a stick and how the sponge was shared between everyone. The dad suggested this at home to save toilet paper. All you heard from the kids was 'Ooooooh dad, stop it that's minging!' haahaa

In the sewer...

Next was the best and most exciting bit of the museum - The steam engines.

There is a big building which houses all sorts and sizes of steam engines that were used to power mills and machines. These engines were simple in their design - Basically somewhere to boil the water which pushed a piston turning a wheel of some size. This wheel then has gears, rods and pulleys attached which when run around a factory was enough to power up lathes, drills and looms in the cotton mills. An ingenious way to get a huge factory working and one reason that the industrial revolution was able to take place.


I want one!
 I could sit for hours watching the machines turn and all the brass and metal working seamlessly to pushing and pulling the crankshafts and pistons. The noise is mesmerising and we both loved our short time in here. Outside there is also a replica of one of Robert Stephensons original steam engines. 'Planet', was originally built in 1830 and ran on the first passenger railway between Manchester and Liverpool. It could do the 30 mile journey in an hour. What an awesome bit of kit!!

Watching it pull passengers nearly 200 years after it was first built.
 If you are ever in Manchester I can highly recommend MOSI as a place to visit for a good afternoon out.

3. The last thing I wasn't to mention today is the Pub Quiz down at the Urmston. It was rammed last night as its the start of a long weekend. 18 teams took part in the quiz hosted by our mate Dave Bradley and it was a great night. We were unlucky to come 4th out of 18 and didn't win a prize - But I want to say well done to Sutton and Lorna and their team '4 hobos'. Not only did they kick our arses and take 2nd place last night - But they also had a winning ticket to take part in  'Play your cards right' at the end of the night.
Well done 4 hobos!
Unfortunately (even with the help of a certain Canadian) they didn't win any money on the cards - But I did manage to get a good couple of photos of when the cards were turned to reveal a wrong guess!! I had to post a photo of it here....

Lorna being crazy - Dave loving it and Sutton holding his head in his hands!!

We do love a good quiz night!!!

1 comment:

  1. My Wife and I have Quiz night every night before bed. I ask her the same question and usually get the same answer. Most of the time I lose but occasionally I do come second.
    Anola Man