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So Follow Me Follow

Way Down To The Hollow
And Let Us All Wallow
In Glorious Mud

Well Womad this year soon was christened womud for good reason. A lot of water and clay mixed together soon is a gloopy mess. It was it's usual good mix of music, food, talks and art but with fewer workshops as the stages they should have used were flooded out and deemed unsafe.
Still lots to see and do, including a bonus gig by the Blind Boys of Alabama supported by local school children on the thursday night before the festival officially started.

Here are some photos

Thursday -
Friday -
Saturday -
Sunday -

And yes my boots did end up looking like that. I'm hoping that when cleaned up they can be repaired as the outer sole unit came clean off!
Thing is I think I must have been walking round for about five or six hours on the saturday night with the boot like that thinking "this boot doesn't feel right"
An emergency welly run had to be done (many thanks to MC for that smiley - cuddle) and a pair of size 11 boots were found. Only about 1.5 to 2 sizes too small then, still better than nothing.

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Latest reply: Aug 3, 2007

In An English Country Garden

Sometimes you wish you did a few more things spontaneously. Deciding which day to take off on the basis of the weather forecast, rather than booking a day off some months ahead because you'll save money on event tickets. So instead of going to Tatton park for the RHS flower show in the glorious sunshine on the thursday, you're stuck with going on the friday when the weather is forecast to be wet, very wet.
At least it was forecast and so we were armed with waterproofs, boots and wellies ready to brave the elements. It also meant that the show probably wasn't as crowded as it might have been.
As the worst weather was going to be in the afternoon we took a wander round as much of the outside sections before heading under canvas to look in the marquees. So down through the big flowerbed displays, past a large chineese dragon, regal peacocks, dolphins, horses, treacle railways, a market stall, a roundhead and cavalier, even Wallace and Grommet all made from flowers and plants. A brief look at some of the many stalls and some of the small back to back show gardens and we were back to the entrance we came in by. Deciding to head round the large show gardens, most are in the middle of the site we went round again, enjoying some of the ideas presented and thinking that in at least one garden the best bit was hidden at the back (a formal garden with a rectangular pool in the centre, at the back partially hidden behind a couple of walls were some turf dolphins). Others of the show gardens we weren't inspired by but some looked great - the princes trust garden looked much better than the pictures we'd seen on tv and the suttons seeds formal garden where everything was edible looked fantastic - why aren't our plants looking that good?
Deciding to head for some cover to sit down and have lunch we eventually found some space in a tent and ate the brief picnic we took (rather than buy a picnic there) - some nice couscous salad and a cake bought at the local bakery on the way. We did see people who looked like they'd gone to town with their picnics, lots of sandwiches and salads and bottles of wine being consumed. Back into the fray and we headed into the floral marquee. A huge huge tent with people selling flowers and plants of all shapes sizes and colours. Some of the displays were a marvel to look at from gaudy looking chrysanthemums and gladioli to recreations of cottage gardens and the exotic and other worldly looking carnivorous and air plants. Then across the short space into the Country Living marquee selling all sorts of goods designed to meet the needs of the cheshire set and those that wish they were part of it. There was some very fine looking stuff in there but most it wasn't our sort of style. Down one end of the marquee though is where the fine food and drinks stalls are, that was more like it! The last of the marquees we had a good look round was the national plant societies marquee. Here there were national plant collection holders, representatives of the national allotment society and landlife wildflower groups, bonsai and cactus societies and even the representatives from the highly competetive world of gooseberry growing and showing the Cheshire Gooseberry Project.
Deciding to head out into the rain once more we had a quick look at some of the things we had missed out on earlier. It was during this time we found what was probably one of the best gardens in the show, one of a set of small back to back gardens sponsored by AstraZenica Alderley Park. The central feature of the garden was a large wooden arbor built from tree and branches all covered in moss and lichens and under the arbor in a cobbled area were seats carved from the root of a fallen tree. Around that space was an are fully planted looking like the plants had been there for a long time rather than the week or so for the show.
Then it was back to the car to sort ourselves out for the journey home, a change of dry and clean clothes taken along so we didn't have to be in wet and muddy stuff all day. Purchases stowed away and the start of the slow drive off site and on towards home.

So what did we buy, plants mainly it is a flower/garden show after all. Some ornamental grasses, some ragged robin (bothe the normal pink and a white variety) and eryngium and a chilli pepper. Some seeds more ornamental grass and a packet of delphinium seed - I will get some delphiniums from seed! - as well as some edible munchy seed mixes. A bottle of wine (dry damson - very dry it is too).
Is it worth going again of course, you can't control the weather but you can plan for it and we had done so it was just annoying, not life threatening (as it was for other parts of the country on friday) and it's the only RHS show that is put on anywhere near where we live.

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Latest reply: Jul 23, 2007

Friday Night Is Music Night

Another day another gig smiley - winkeye
Friday was the first night of the 10th Lift Global Music Festival.
Ten years, not bad for a volunteer organisation in a small town on the fringes of a big city.
So what did we get for the tenth birthday bash. First up was local jazz/funk fusion types the Woodbank Street Band. Nice friendly world ranging sounds that worked well as a warm up to the main act who were Shooglenifty. Introduced as a band that has been considered many times but has always been decided to be expensive to book. Well this year they're very expensive but finally have been booked.
Shooglenifty are long time stalwats of the modern 'acid croft' fusion of traditional scottish music with world and club beats. Launched into their set of tunes designed to get you dancing, or at least tapping your foot and nodding your head. After a while there wasn't anyone dancing so there were several exhortations for people to get to their feet. As the night warmed up more and more people were up on the dnace floor enjoying themselves. By the finish almost everyone was dancing and the band looked like they had a good time.

This year there was a new innovation for the Lift festival, a licensed bar. Normally for gigs at the town hall it has been a case of bring your own. This year a mobile bar had been set up from one of the local pubs so we were able to buy real ale (and other drinks) to slake our thirst with.

All in all a good night out and we'll wait to see who they have next year for the next festival.

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Latest reply: Jul 9, 2007

A Night at the Opera

It's not something we do very often. Go to the theatre to see a show, let alone an opera but this was different, very different. The show we went to see was Monkey, Journey To The West a chinese circus opera, part of the first Manchester International Festival. Developed by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlet the people behind the cartoon band Gorilaz and with Chen Shi-Zeng they retold the ancient tale of the monkey king and his journey to enlightenment.
If you're after knowing the whole story including all the spiritual and pholosophical aspects of it then you're in the wrong place. This owes more to the tv series Monkey from the 80s so if you want two action packed hours of song, dance and acrobatics then come along.
All the singing is in mandarin with english lyrics displayed below the stage area. There are acrobatic fight scenes, acrobatic dances, more fight scenes, contortionists bending thenselves in places that shouldn't be bent, people and gods flying through the air (and of course fighting) animated sequences, acrobats dancing while wound up in hanging silks, stick and sword weilding and ending up with a sequence of plate spinning acrobats on a grand scale.
In the end of course the Monkey King atains enlightenment, Tripitaka returns from India with the sacred budhist texts and Pigsy and Sandy earn redemption from their earlier sins and everyone leaves the theatre smiling having enjoyed themselves.

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Latest reply: Jul 2, 2007

Visiting Hours

So time for another trip to the hospital. Only a few months since the last one. I think it's because the doctor wanted to see if changing part of my regime makes a difference.
Last time he suggested upping the basal done by a couple of units each shot (I use Detemir twice a day at morning and teatime). I think this has been working well for the most part till recently. Over the last week I've been getting high numbers on waking - between 10.5 and 13.5 mostly. One morning I woke much about 5am feeling funny went and tested and I was 2.8 Not a good number. So as I seemed to have been waking around that time for a while I wondered if my teatime basal shot was too much. I've dropped the dose back down to 16 units and for the last couple of days I've been getting good numbers (below 10 and today below 8 smiley - smiley). Lets hope I can keep it up. At least the doctor agreed it seems to be what's going on (dawn phenomenon/Somogyi effect) and what I'm doing isthe right way to try and tackle it.
As for the other bits and pieces the nurse could find any blood in me smiley - yikes so someone else had a go and got some My weight has gone up a couple of kilos and my BP was up to 140/96
The doctor thought that I should be seen about the BP as it seems to have been going up for a while (when I get it done at the gp surgery it seems fine). So I've been refered for 24 hour BP monitoring, now to wait for that appointment. Of course I should lose some weight and do more excersise which would help all my numbers. Other than that it's come back in 8 months time - feb 08 - and we'll see you again then.

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Latest reply: Jun 26, 2007

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