Sunday, December 21, 2014

Two trips to the theatre, two schools and a real life spaceman says hello! continue...

It was 23rd November when myself and Buffy took a trip to the Lowry theatre in Salford to see one of my favourite comedians - Is he a comedian? Is he a lecturer or is he just a cool bloke who tells funny stories? Well, I think he is all of these. Its Dave Gorman.
For those of you who don't know who Dave Gorman is, he is an English bloke who presents shows with a projector and powerpoint. He has travelled the world finding Googlewhacks - and other people called Dave Gorman. Basically, he is just a cool bloke..

We say through a two hour show totally absorbed in stories so ridiculous that you couldn't make it up...Like the hidden clause in the song 'If you are happy and you know it, clap your hands'. Its only on the third line that you are asked if you 'really want to show it!'. He also explained this using a graph of happiness against knowledge of wanting to show it or not. It sounds a bit mental and is!

Anyway, it was a great night out and afterwards we actually got to meet him and get a book signed. It was a bit weird as me and Dave both sported beards and plaid shirts - we could be brothers!!

Dave in stage

Haahaa no photos!

Us and Dave!!
The next week we had Bradley and Hannah, Buffy's cousin and his cousin visiting us for a couple of days. It was great to have visitors from Canada again and we really enjoyed taking them to the local pubs - where we got quite drunk - and also to open mic night, where they were looked after by Kev 'Elvis', as me and Buffy were at Old Trafford watching Man United beat Stoke. We met Brad and Hannah at the open mic later and had another great night out. We even had time to take them for a chippy before they left... although dropping my chips on the ground wasn't part of the plan - don't worry though, I managed to pick them up and eat them before they went too cold!!

Chippy dinner!!
                     Quick they're still warm!!
It was a busy few weeks - the following weekend Nikki and Matt came down from Harrogate to spend the afternoon and evening looking around the huge Manchester Christmas markets.
We got the train into town and knew straight away it was going to be a busy day - we had to queue for 20 minutes to get a ticket at the train station and finally we got into the city.

First stop was a huge German frikadelle and some lush potatoes to feed our faces. Then we got into one of the upstairs bars overlooking the melee below - thousands of people queuing and pushing past each other and through the crowds trying to get to the bars, food and other stalls.

Fun in the pub

What has he got on his head?

Crazy crowds

More weird headwear
Better headwear

In town

We did have a good afternoon, but after a couple of hours pushing through the crowds ourselves and not getting very far, we decided to get the train back to Urmston and spent the rest of the evening enjoying a nice beer and the warmth of an open fire in the Steamhouse pub. It was great to catch up with Nikki and Matt though and we all had a good weekend.

Friday night turned out to be great s well - Catherine and Andrew had invited Buffy to play on stage at an Open Mic night as my old primary school - where Catherine now works as a teacher. We didnt know what to expect, but we had a great night in my old school hall listening to a whole bunch of people sing on the same stage I did my Nativity play about 40 years ago. Buffy was obviously eth best act though and my cousin Matthew in particular enjoyed listening to her sing - she even got everyone joining in with her as she sang 'Fairytale in New York'. A gerat nihgt out!

                                                           Buffy starting her Xmas song...

                                                                    More from Buffy

A couple of days later and we headed to Urmston Grammar school. The local book shop we go to for book club once a month was hosting a talk and book signing by possibly the most popular Canadian alive. The awesome astronaut Chris Hadfield. He is the guy who sang with his guitar when he was on the International Space station. We went to the talk to listen to his stories and hoped we may get the chance to meet him and get a book signed - However, the night couldn't have been better. We arrived early to get a good seat and ran into Peter, who runs the book shop. He asked us to lend a hand and Buffy actually stood at the door 'just in case Chris Hadfield arrived'. Chris did arrive and immediately on seeing Buffy's Canadian flag t-shirt, he shook her hand and said 'Hi I'm Chris'. Buffy swooned!

Helping out!

A signed guitar

The next hour or two was great as we helped out as Chris signed hundreds of books and we carried them through to the hall where the Frances from the book shop, was selling them to the people attending the talk. We got to chat with Chris about aliens and space as he signed the books and gave an interview to the Red Cross. Then after he had done his talk, we queued with everyone else to get our book signed and Buffy got her guitar signed by him too - she swooned again. He even thanked us for helping out earlier in the evening before posing with us for a photo - definitely one for the album!! Another brilliant night out and one we wont forget in a hurry!!

Cool bloke!

After another week of work we visited the Lowry for another night at the theatre... As its Christmas there were loads of lights and decorations outside the theatre. One thing in particular was really great. A large frame about 5 metres high with strings of coloured lights hanging from it. Unusually, you were encouraged to get inside the decoration and walk around inside it. It was really a fantastic little display and we took some great photos as Buffy surrounded herself in the lights.


Great photo!!
We had a nice glass of wine before the show we came to see - 'The curious incident of the dog in the night time'. It was a fantastic show on a multi media type stage which as it says in the reviews is set inside a sterile cube divided by grid lines and housing endless hatches and trapdoors that disgorge an astonishing cornucopia of props. The stage show was fascinating as the projections and screens changed from being a plain background to houses and then subway trains. An amazing show to see live - especially when, during part of it, half the actors are fast forwarding through time as the lead actor is moving in slow motion. It sounds really strange, but was absolutely fantastic.
The awesome stage at 'The Dog in the night time'.

That brings us right up to date. Today is 22nd December and we have spent a lovely Sunday sitting around doing nothing but watching television and relaxing.Yesterday was quite busy - I had to drive to Mansfield to get fingerprints taken so that we can send them to Canada to be checked for our Canadian visa application. We had a good hangover to get over this morning too as we went out with my mate Chuck last night for a huge and delicious curry as well as a beer or two too many! Its been a busy few weeks and with Christmas just three days away its time we had some rest!

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