Saturday, 6 May 2017

The Who

One night hubby and I were chatting about our bucket list of musicians we'd like to see and he mentioned The Who. I knew they were on at the Echo Arena and so we decided to go.

Now picking seats at a concert can be tricky. The seats at the back of an arena mean you watch it mostly on a big screen. Anything past the first ten rows on the floor level (unless it's standing only) means you end up standing anyway as those nearer the stage do. What you have to do is work out what blocks offer the best view and then hope for the best. The Echo Arena is not one of those who let you choose your own seats online.

So having bought seats in the right block we turned up halfway through the support act (plumber problems - don't ask!) who weren't my cup of tea but seemed to go down well. The photo below doesn't do the view justice.

As it was the first time either of us had seen them live we weren't sure what to expect. What we got was the loudest concert we'd ever been to and we've seen Springsteen! Pete Townsend is still amazing and once he'd done his first windmill he was off. Roger Daltrey's voice isn't as powerful as it once was but that's not surprising considering his age and what he's been through. 

The concert was billed as them playing the "Tommy" album live. Roger, however, had other ideas. Yes they would play songs from Tommy but he decided to play some new songs as many of their classics as they could fit in. As Roger said they have a large back catalogue to get through.

I'm really pleased we went, especially as I probably wouldn't have normally chosen to see them. Now I'd love to see them again.

Viceroy's House

A bit late with this but a few weeks ago we saw Viceroy's House. 

I knew a little about the subject matter in a general way but not much of the detail. I found the film fascinating as it was made showing all sides of the story both good and bad.
As ever, with any topic like this, it is the way humans treat other humans that shocks. Because someone has a different faith to someone else it was cause to kill and maim. Sadly today the human race is no different.

What I also found very interesting was the way Mountbatten was treated by the British Government of the time.

It's a film I would watch again as I'm sure I could learn something new that I missed first time.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Checkatrade Trophy

One of my oldest friends, and mother of my gad daughter, is an Oxford United fan. For the past two seasons Oxford have reached the final of the Football League Trophy, which is currently known as the Checkatrade Trophy, at Wembley and my friend has kindly invited us to the game.

This year the final was against Coventry City who are languishing at the bottom of League One. Looking at the difference in teams we thought Oxford would have a decent chance of winning.

Unfortunately for Oxford they played below par whilst Coventry raised their game in front of around 43,000 of their fans. Coventry scored early and then defended well while counter attacking and were good value for their 2:1 win. Oxford didn't score until the 75th minute and only really got into the game then.

The Coventry fans used the game as a chance to protest against their owners and several times the chant of "Stand up if your owner's shit" rang out with virtually all Coventry fans on their feet. I have to admit it was tempting for me to join them but it would have looked a bit odd in the middle of the Oxford fans. I was standing up in spirit though!

All in all it was a good day out and I enjoyed catching up with my friends. I have promised not to go next season if Oxford are in the final again - assuming this trophy exists.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

British Gymnastics

Last year it was announced that the British Gymnastics Championships would be held at the Echo Arena in Liverpool. Having watched Gymnastics on TV and enjoyed it we thought we would watch it live.

When I bought the tickets I went for the upper tier as we wanted to see everything that was going on. We ended up near the uneven bars and the floor with the high bar a bit further away.

Although neither Max Whitlock or Nile Wilson were competing both were there to give support to the other competitors - much to the delight of several thousand children who screamed and clapped when they were announced. However Claudia Fragapane & Ellie Downie were for the women along with James Hall for the men.

Claudia's floor routine was fabulous and it was easy to see how being on Strictly Come Dancing had given her the confidence to be more expressive. Ellie Downie's routine was also very good. The strength and power of the men is something that doesn't really come over on the TV.


The only downside to the afternoon was not being able to watch everything at once and that is a minor complaint. It's like being at an athletics meeting when there is so much going on that you can't take it all in. However I would go again as I very much enjoyed watching both the current and future British stars.

Sunday, 25 September 2016


Saturday 24 September 2016 I went to Anfield to watch Liverpool play Hull City. I should have gone with my husband but he was called out by his work so I went on my own.

Luckily it was a decent game (Liverpool won 5-1) but, more importantly for me, it gave me something to think about other than the continual negative thoughts I have.

I've blogged previously about my on/off battle with depression and I'm at a point where I haven't gone fully into a depressive state but the low moods are becoming more frequent and staying for longer. This could go one of two ways and it's a waiting game to see which wins.

I know some people will think well we all get low moods and it's true. Whenever I an in a "normal" state of mind I have low points. But these are short lived and there is normally a reason why. Now I can go from being ok to having this cloud hang over me which makes life feel meaningless. I don't want to talk to anyone unless I really have to. I don't want to do anything except find something to obliterate the negative thoughts. I have no wish to communicate in any way even to people who know me well and understand I have these spells. 

I hate feeling like this. I want to feel as if I have things to look forward to or to achieve. Instead I get out of bed every day, get dressed and go to work and pretend to be normal. I realise that there are people out there who don't manage that and I have been there but currently I can. So every day that I manage to do this is another day when depression hasn't fully struck. It could be the last day or it may not be. I won't know until the day my brain says I can't cope any longer and I stay in bed instead of getting out of it. Today wasn't that day.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Bridge of Spies

When I was 12 I remember hearing about an American called Gary Powell being killed in an air crash. The news reports mentioned that he had been shot down over the old USSR back in the 60s but I didn't take much more notice.

Earlier this year we saw a trailer for Bridge of Spies which is set during the Cold War in the 60s and thought it looked interesting. We decided to see it and discovered it was the story behind how Gary Powell got back to the States.

Tom Hanks plays a lawyer given the task of defending Rudolf Abel, brilliantly played by Mark Rylance, on charges of spying for the USSR. What I hadn't known was that Gary Powell was swapped for Abel Rudolf and this film is that story. 

I found it a fascinating and enjoyable film. Tom Hanks gives his usual reliable performance while Mark Rylance is wonderfully understated. The story is complex enough to keep your interest while not being too pro American. Definitely one I'd watch again.

Saturday, 25 April 2015


A while ago now I bought "Birdsong" by Sebastian Faulkes and added it to my pile of books to read. I picked it up and started to read the introduction written by the author but struggled and so put it back.

Other books were read and Birdsong made it's way to the top of the pile again. So, giving it another chance, I started it again but skipped the introduction. I'm glad I did. 

Like most people, I think, I know a bit about the First World War. I know it was a hard, attritional war fought in awful conditions that almost wiped out a generation of men. This book follows one soldier from his life before the war until the war ends.

At times the descriptions of warfare and how the men suffered are horrific. The detail is superb (I've just finished itching!) and the storyline compelling. Once I started I found it difficult to put down. 
It is very much a human story. I felt sympathy for not just the main character but those who helped fill out the story. The annoying characters are just that but are there for a reason and not just for the sake of it.

This book has gone into my "keep" pile and will be read again.