Sunday, 26 April 2015

Saturday Night Out Indie Clint Boon Style

On a high from my boss night out (forgive use of the word 'boss'; I am Scouse). 

So, despite being dead old, 34 I'm hardly the age bracket to give solid advice on Manchester night life... but that aside I know what I like.  I donned my clubbing shorts, massive heels, had a few wines getting ready and headed off to meet my indie pal Kel... here we are all glam.

Indie Buddies 
So met up with Kel in the wonderful establishment that is Wetherspoons Piccadilly; erm... no comment.. but when the barman barked at me "It'll have to be plastic".. I was confused and responded "A Pinot would be nice"..... what he meant on football days they use plastic glasswear (read into that what you will)...

Anyhow, a few cheap wines later, we headed off to Corbieres; we always have a swift one here, I feel like it's a secret cave like pub not everybody knows about and they play decent tunes (think it's runs a jukebox?). 

From here, we realised we were too early for South (11:15 start... 'tis very late for us mothers that have been up with the kids since 6am like), so had another drink in a dreadful bar I won't name and shame... but it was truly grim, the wine was shit, the music crap, the lighting dreadful, and worse the doormen thought they had sense of humour. 

So nicely pissed, but not massively we head to South; we've been going years.  The doormen are genuinely nice lads, although, on searching my bag (might be the Scouse thing again); he tried to confiscate a hidden away packet of Munchies (you'll find no pills or booze on me copper... only confectionery).  Doorman handed the choc back over (I'd have knocked him clean out otherwise); but nice bants you know; I tried it on that I was student... he laughed and said "Errr no".  But we had flyers so was only a fiver in (not sure how much it would have been otherwise).

On opening the place started to fill up quickly enough.  We got the drinks in; it has to be Red-Stripe, no other party in my life would I EVER drink canned lager, but in South I do, and I quite like it!  There was Clint in his Ellesse trackie, looking cool as ever, rocking the same haircut... only a bit greyer (no bad thing); looked him up on Wiki and he's not that young; 55... he could be me dad!

Who knew Jamaicans made beer?

I've not been for a bit to South, reckon about 6 months, last time we went Clint was away; it was still a top night, but we only go to Clint Boon's Disco because it's Clint Boon's indie disco!  Before that time, it was probably 6 months again before (don't get out a lot me on a Saturday, usually it's a tenner M&S meal and snuggling up browsing Netflix).   But this time it seemed different, brilliant as ever, but less 'Boon Army' shouty... you know, still loads of interaction with Clint; he clearly welcomes that.  Not sure anyhow.

So, tunes were old school as they always are, all your indie anthems; James, the Roses, Smiths, the Chameleons, Oasis (no Joy Division I noticed last night). I've got these tunes at home of course, I could play them loud in my garden every week and have a wonderful time, but Clint plays them with class and genius (not just playing anthem after anthem).  Mixing them with newer dance and even older dance classics.  I literally danced for 4 hours (if you'd seen my shoes you'd be impressed); when you look up at Clint, bless him he's enthusiastic for the music and that infectious.  That's the beauty of South, it's got a real honestly about it. Everybody is on that dance floor loving the music, hardly any snarlers (sorry if this is Scouse term); and for a couple of hours you feel part of something.

It takes you back, to a time when you LOVED music and it was a massive part of your life and weekends.  2 am onwards the music got a bit 'Buster ride on time', I thought I'd chance a cheeky request, I flashed my phone up at Clint on the decks.

I was proper chuffed when he played it a couple of minutes later; also he thanked me for my top musical guidance with a smacker..... know loads about music me... (I'll just hide my Les Mis CD).

So there I am, 34 2:30 in the morning listening to tunes from 15 years ago, I was taken back to my Liverpool clubbing days of the State and 051 (it wasn't all about Cream).

So top night at South, If I had the energy and youth (and was out looking for a fella) I'd go every week.   I might step it up though and go again next month for my birthday.... I'll have a think of a birthday request to ask for.

A bit worse for wear

xx Emma-Lou

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Health Anxiety....

So generally I'm a bit dramatic, I do jump to conclusions, worry about things before they happen!  You know fly off the handle and have a good old moan at the slightest thing; without knowing the whole story.  Mostly this happens when I see a ridiculous Facebook status...

So this trait in my make up; comes through most when I'm worried about my health,  I definitely suffer with health anxiety, see I'm even over dramatising this, I think in days gone by, I'd be called a hypochondriac.  But the slightest thing can get me in a right woe!  A cold lingering on, can make me question my immune system, and have me worrying and fretting. 

It seems that once I get a worry in my mind, items on my newsfeed jump out at me and fuel my worry.  Like I was having usual hormonal aches in my boobs, this coincided with Anne Kirkbride passing away from a short illness of breast cancer.  I panicked for about about a week and went to my GP for no reason at all, except I was a bit 'anxious'.  I'm lucky with my doctors; they do squeeze you in, the receptionists must have an ear for the 'desperately in need of reassurance'.   So, she said "this happens 10 or so days before your period, I'd recommend taking evening primrose oil" (I did btw and this eradicated the problem).  

It does get stressy for me though, after being run down with a cold for a couple of weeks, the type of viral thing that everyone at work picks up and shares between you for a few months, I found a tiny little lump in my groin, typically this was on a Friday evening (it had to be didn't it), I worried and fretted and couldn't leave the lump alone, a lot of the time in my blind panic prodding and poking I couldn't find the tiny lump... but of course, made myself sore with all the pressing.  It consumed me for a full weekend, I burst in to tears when bathing the kids on the Sunday night... I was thinking who'd bath them in my demise  (I quickly pulled the shower curtain to, you know don't want the kids to see I'm a bit mental). 

8am, on the Monday after getting the engaged tone 57 times, a GP called me back, "Okay it seems like nothing to worry about, but I can hear that you're 'anxious'... so come in at 10:20".  Bless the GP at my practice, I was only there a minute, he felt round a bit and said, "yup you've been off colour and your glands are a tiny bit swollen". 

At the minute I've got this bad back, it's driving me mad, I know I've probably pulled it lugging our Willow in and out the car (he's a big lad at four years old), sitting at a desk doesn't help.  It's when I sit it hurts the most.  Well it's on my mind pretty much all the time, even when I'm not in particular pain, I'm wondering about it.  I've been to the docs a few times, got prescribed some painkillers that sent my tummy off (so that opened up another can of worms for me).  I really try to tone all this down, mindfulness practice helps, I can even feel calm for some hours, then checking FB before bed, I come across Taylor Swift news that her mum has cancer (no details given... I wonder if it started with backache).  I'm dreadful really, making it all about me!  

But I do need to give up with it, I'm back at the docs this week (I made the appt weeks ago on the off chance my backache didn't improve).  I'm sure I'll get the reassurance I crave.  One of my other panics is that the docs will have me down as a  demic (they must have my records marked by now), and one time I really will have something wrong with me, but like the boy who cried wolf... they'll ignore real symptoms and send me away with advice to take vitamin B6. 

I'm going to really engage with my mindfulness programme... because I have to get over this, the stress brings about physical symptoms, headaches, aches and pains, sleep problems... and then that feeds into the health anxieties.... I'm making light of it, but it's no fun, it's hell at times.

Also no, google or internet for medical advice... I've diagnosed myself certain death time and time over.   Red wine in the evenings help too I found... (that's self-help at it's best). 

xx Emma-Lou 

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Take control; Use Your Vote!!!

So, 7th May is looming, what's going to happen?  A change in government?  A new coalition?  If you follow my twitter, my political alliance is clear (mostly anybody other than Cameron!), but I won't go on here about the distaste I have for the Tory shower we have in power at the moment.

I try not to get into political arguments in real life, there's no point, I'm not confident enough in my knowledge, I like to argue my case with strong evidence and get scared when people start on about deficit cutting and all that propaganda.  Once I admit to reading the Guardian (only at weekends)... people dismiss me as a dim-witted leftie anyways.

But, as I often say, I support fairness, equality, welfare, AND this will surprise you... I'm happy to pay tax, I'd without quibble pay more.  IF the system of taxation was fair and just, yes, I'd put my hand up in the air, I'll pay more.  I enjoy the giving and taking of society.  I love that my library is free, I love the kids school is local authority run and free.  Doctors, nurses, firefighters... without question are valuable services and can be called upon... for free!  I feel reassured (well perhaps not over the last five years) that if we fell on our uppers, we'd have welfare funds available to help and support us through tough times.  I'm proud to live in a country that looks after people who are unable to work through disability or illness.  I'm a massive support of the NHS, gosh have you seen Breaking Bad, if there was no NHS... we'd all have to turn into meth dealers to pay for our operations.  Controversially, I support immigration, I do, I'd rather live in a country that people flee to than flee from (this line isn't mine btw, but can't recall where I picked it up).

What concerns me though, is people seem not bothered, I know people who don't vote, saying things like "pah they're all the same that lot".... Living in a democratic country is an amazing liberty, and liberty is what it is, we take it for granted, that we have a say, we as people can make a difference.  We really need to gen up, align ourselves and vote! 

Even those who vote for that ridiculous Forage, respect for them getting out to the polling station!   It was great to hear that in the Scottish Referendum of last year 80plus% of folk cared enough to vote!    I'm campaigning for people to vote, I'm not going to pin my colour to the mast, I just want people to care enough....

xx Emma-Lou

PS I'm for Ed... he's of a decent sort... x

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Avalanche Do, Manchester

It seems I'm a serious blogger these days, I got invited to a real event and everything; the re-launch of the new menu at Avalanche in Manchester.  I was slightly miffed not to have been papped outside... "OMG it's Emma-Lou, you know her from her amazing blog".  No red carpet or that either... but I am new at this... so maybe next time?

Says in B&W, officially a blogger!

Avalanche though is the type of place you might spot a real celeb, the approach outside the restaurant is really flash looking, you can tell looking in; it's a smart place to eat.

Anyhow I was chuffed to bits to go along, mostly because, I've not been well, feeling down in the dumps and needed a nice trip out.  Was able to take a plus one... so obvs left husband at home and took my bessie.

My steadfast plus one

We met in Town for a little beer and then headed to restaurant, it's a good central location.  Booth St, near Town Hall (on next corner to Croma).  It used to be Lime Bar; many moons ago, I used to go quite a bit for drinks and nights out.  We've had a few Christmas parties downstairs too, which were always well turned out and a good do' (from memory just drinks and canapĂ© type of trays going round).

From my 2009 FB 'high-jacking the coffee machine in Lime Bar oh dear'
When we arrived the staff at the reception point, took our names and laughed at my silly jokes, all very convivial.  The young lads milling round taking coats and organising wine were gorgeous and real charming, not like in an insincere, smarmy way, but nice and ingratiating.
We were seen to our table; as another point, the waiting staff were great to set out a table for five, setting aside an extra place.   All very nice, starter arrived, bruschetta and camembert and all lovely other stuff.  So nicely presented, if I was a proper blogger I would have taken pictures... but I lose my photo-taking urges when faced with foodstuff, I don't want to a. risk it going cold and b. somebody nicking it!
Main platters arrived, again beautifully presented and tasty tasty.  We had one of the vegetarian types at our table, and she was given a separate veggie lasagne, I lusted after it so much, I bagged myself a taste, really nice, really well served, not just plain old veggie lasagne, no idea how they got aubergine to taste so good.
Now, as much as I like starters and mains... really I'm a pudding girl and to my DELIGHT, my favourite showed up!  TIRAMISU gosh I love it.  Without blowing ones own trumpet, aided by Gordon Ramsey's work Gordon Ramsey's Tiramisu (I use tia maria instead of masarla).  NOBODY in the world makes a tiramisu as good as mine, the effort from Avalanche... was a good second.... Obv they'd never top mine, but was so good, I got a second portion.. told ya I love the stuff.
The wine supplier did a round of the tables, in the past this has freaked me out a bit, but not so here.  He was great, and the enthusiasm he showed for sharing knowledge of wine and working with Avalanche was endearing. My pal who knows a bit about wine (well more than me.... I like Aldi Merlot.. that's my knowledge... I like what I like!). She talked of a favourite red of hers; and yay, a bottle of montepulciano rocked up (and even to my wine pallet was very nice).
As I say this was one of my first blogger events, and I was a little nervous (until glass of wine number 3), but you know what it was great, really great, I met loads of people, as ever, always the case with me, I was there till the end.  Another note of good service, a taxi was ordered and I was escorted outside to a waiting cab.
Food, wine, layout, live music all great, brilliant.  But Avalanche's real selling point is service, and this is hard to nail, but they do.  I'm not sure of numbers, but they pulled off 100 covers with little fuss and sincere service.
The re-launch of their new menu should create a real buzz, I'd defo go back (on like condition they roll out a red carpet)! 
xx Emma-Lou

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Moaning about her moaning about being stuck in and moaning....

I've not been well for a few days, I feel better this weekend but still not 'right'... If ever I am 'right' of course (some would argue).

So, I'm up and about, shopping at Morrisons, picking up kids birthday pressies from Argos, I've hoovered upstairs, I'm not like dead ill.  But I could do with sitting down and resting a bit.  Heading back from a quick family visit; the kids in the back hint strongly that they'd like to go the park for a bit... to make matters worse, that girl of mine, as we're at lights, spots her mate safety-helmeted up in fine fettle riding towards the park.

Usually, I would take them, I really would, I like going, we go swimming, library, ice cream parlour, baby visiting, shopping trips into town, coffee, national trust outings, lunches out, family visiting, miniature train riding; we do it all.  Our weekends are non-stop dropping off/picking up... sleep overs, buying and wrapping kids party presents (looking for the bloody sellotape), going to these parties, helping at these parties.  And I don't usually moan... I really like the busyness of our life; I'm lucky my two go to bed handy and me and him get down time together most evenings.

So why do I feel so guilty... it'd only take half-hour... but it's cold and my lower back aches.... I've just got him to pump her wheel.... why?   I'm not taking her... but she's moaning about being cooped up all day, I might take her out as he baths the lad after tea... just for 15 minutes round the block!

Two things, having kids... a. ruins your weekends and b. makes you feel guilty!

xx Emma-Lou

Friday, 20 March 2015

Book Review: Brass by Helen Walsh [contains spoilers]

My very first book review:    Brass by Helen Walsh

Image result for brass by helen walsh
Great artwork if a bit saucy! 
I was put onto this book by a pal at work, she recommended it "you'll get it being Scouse and won't be offended by the swearing and depravity"!

She was right on the one score, what I enjoyed most about the book was the dialect, set in a time of my youth in Liverpool. I could slip back and could hear the young lads I used to know acting all the big 'I am' talking rubbish mostly.... "kinel girl, what ya going on with yerself for"  "see ya at Sevvie at six bells" "come 'ead"... but my absolute favourite and I was 'made-up' (that's my own Scouse to add in); was when Sean called Millie a "meff"... BRILLIANT!

Millie, I just didn't get on with her, sure yes, her Ma left suddenly when she was finishing her A Levels, hard times and all that (my heart bleeds), but really, she was heading to the State at 13 making a nuisance of herself long before the big 'tragedy' (of her Ma leaving).  Jamie summed her up, and this is probably my take too. Jamie seemed bright, he read big literature, why you wonder didn't he go to University?  Because like loads of local kids born in rough areas (and this isn't just Toxteth, my opinion is Toxteth is the nicer of the rougher areas), there simply wasn't opportunity, going to school, getting your GCSEs, staying on for A Levels, for lads like Jamie, it wasn't the done thing.  Peer pressure to bunk off, mess round, not be bothered is easy to fall in with, when all your mates are doing the same.  So Jamie resented Millie's opportunity big time, she was wasting it, she didn't apply herself, because she wanted to rough it for a bit, he exasperated "at the end of the day what's she trying to prove". 

The seedy element was hard to read, when she contracted gonorrhoea, I was glad to be honest, might settle her down a bit.  Is it a myth that hookers/brass/prostitutes/tarts enjoy their sexual encounters..... erm... you'd think so.  This is the bit got me thinking Millie was mentally unwell, she thought she was the bo**ocks, in every aspect of her life... she knew it all, had all the skills, this delusion of grandeur is common with people who lose reach of real life, perhaps it was the drug and alcohol misuse?  Or it could be she's completely well and just a bit of a kn*b!  

The part I found troubling to read; the rape of a child in the club toilet and that's what it was; rape. It was glossed over.  The girl was 14, she NEVER consented, she was in no fit state, Millie had blood on her hands (literally not metaphorically), it was not consensual. Millie herself doubted herself but brushed it off  'Nah she will have loved it... silly cow getting herself in that state it was what she deserved'. After the violation, then to take a photograph.  This is sick.  Millie should have been called to question about this.  She did not deserve a happy ending.

So, I did like the book?  The content, in parts yes, mentally mapping out old haunts in Liverpool; for me a little trip down memory lane (and hating the studes)...  the portrayal of Jamie and co could have been told in a gentler way.  Perhaps lose the child rape and I'd be okay with it!  Oh and one too many uses of the C word, I don't mind, I'm not easily offended, but overuse loses impact (iykwim).

I read 'Brass' has been likened and compared to Irvine Welsh's 'Trainspotting'.  Nope not in the same league, 'Trainspotting' stands alone, this does not level up (by far).  

3 stars.... in fact 4 stars for the amazing Scouseness of it! Come 'ead la!  

xx Emma-Lou

(I had to check the spelling of 'gonorrhoea', hope the hub doesn't get a fright if he checks the history)

Brew anybody...

This week I've learnt two things about myself!

Coffee doesn't agree with me!  I wish I'd have realised sooner as over the last ten years or so I've probably drunk 5-10 cups a day.  It gives me headaches and causes tummy problems (I'll spare ya the details!).

Green tea isn't so bad when you only dunk the bag in quick quick, anymore than a moment and it turns bitter!  I've always left the bag in (like I do with other herbal types) and I've almost bawked.

So will reverse my beverage of choice, thing is I really love my three coffees in the morning, and I've got a lovely travel coffee mug, which just doesn't suit the green tea...

This is the only decent thing I've ever won on a tombola!

I might have to start putting gin in it... or maybe I could bin the coffee mug and get a hip flask... yeah one of those would do me!

Enjoy your morning brew, my advice is, there always has to be biscuits....

Emma-Lou xx