Lion&Sloth Zeitgeist 2015

2015, you were a hard but full year. How about a countdown for nostalgia’s sake?

Balcony view

10 Resolutions & Results

  1. Go to Jupiter Artland – I loved Jupiter Artland! I blogged in July about my visit there, and am looking forward to going again next year.
  2. Go to Steptoe’s yard – Had wanted to check out this junk yard near Montrose for ages and finally stopped by on my Mommy & Me roadtrip up the East coast of Scotland. Is it as good as Sam Burn’s yard, for the distance? Not so sure, but definitely one thing off my Scotland bucket list.
  3. Go trampolining – One of the first ‘goals’ ticked off my list last year! Trampolining at Ryze was so much fun. So glad we didn’t break our backs though…
  4. See a murmuration (of starlings) – Ahhh… the murmuration. We attempted to drive down to Gretna Green in early November as that’s when/where they…murmur? But we only made it to Moffat. SO STORMY! Try again this year?
  5. Invest more time in writing – I made some good progress on this c/o winning the New Writers Award. It inspired me & S to take a pre-Cove Park writing trip to Lismore (which turned out to be a failed writing trip! Good practice though for being ‘off-grid’ for a week). Then when I went to Cove Park (thanks again Scottish Book Trust!) I was more productive in that one week than I usually am in a whole year of writing. More trips like this needed in the future.
    I still volunteer at the newly-refurbed reopened SPL and this is amazing for my writing – access to books, and opportunities to attend and help at events. Inspirational!
  6. Buy a bike & try to cycle to work – Semi-fail. Bought a bike off gumtree! It’s very, very cute. I rode it to work and home once… and then didn’t ever again. Will make an effort to break it in this year!
  7. Finish more (craft) projects – Total fail. I made a pillow cover but didn’t make a dent in my many half-started projects…
  8. Do more animal-related activities – Total success! A small portion of my animal-related activities included:
    Royal. Highland. Show.
    – Paparazzi’ing the fox visitor in our garden
    – My chickens chickening… We upgraded their coop! We gave them chicken baths =( I took a Chicken MOOC which was lots of fun!
    – I saw a free amazing hawk show (during Innovative Learning Week)
    – There were lots of great animals at Cove Park (birds, highland cow, sheep)
    – Murmuration: fail – but remember the starlings in Dublin oh boy!
    – Dublin Zoo!
    – Scottish Owl Centre
    – Kelpies! okay they’re mythological and we just saw statues of them but still!
  9. Eat fruit/veg from our gardenResult! Can’t believe the bounty we gathered from our tiny garden. So proud!
  10. ‘Become Aiko Greig’ (ie. change my name/life admin!) – Well. I made a start on the naturalisation paperwork ages ago, but I just posted it off yesterday… So not quite ‘done’ but looking forward to holding a shiny new UK passport soon hopefully! I have changed my name on everything else – US passport, driver’s license, all the cards – this is the last thing!

This was far too many ‘goals’ for a year though… I won’t be doing anything so wild again anytime soon.


9 Best Books / Songs:

Top of the pops from my ‘Recently Read’ and ‘Soundtrack’ last year included:

  1. Years & Years – King (stellar gig at Liquid Room early in the year. Pleased to say I wasn’t the oldest one there!)
  2. Shura – Touch or 2shy (so gutted to miss the Glasgow gig. It was meant to be in September but then got postponed to December and I just couldn’t manage it in the end…)
  3. Jamie XX – Loud Places (ft Romy) (Excellent live in Glasgow with pals. I wish Romy had come on though! The XX forever.)
  4. Oh Wonder – Midnight Moon (I am obsessed with this band…)
  5. Ryan Van Winkle – The Good Dark (Everyone should buy this!)
  6. Mark Doty – Theories & Apparitions (am now reading anything else I can get my hands on by Mark Doty!)
  7. Kate Tempest – Brand New Ancients (saw her at Bongo Club too, but I think I prefer the word on the page. Amazing talent!)
  8. Ernest Cline – Armada (audiobook read by Wil Wheaton was AMAZING!)
  9. Andy Weir – The Martian (audiobook was great!)

Honorable mentions: Norman MacCaig’s Many Days, John Burnside’s All One Breath, Vanbot’s Perfect Storm album! Basically everything from Parklife…

In true zeitgeist fashion, can’t leave off these ace 2015 mashups:

IMG_8259


8 New Goals

  1. Travel – Japan, Portugal, Scotland staycations?, bike tours? Adventure awaits!
  2. Visit an island a year, forever onwards! – [Okay maybe this is more like 1a…] Scottish islands will be easiest; we went to Lismore this year, and Skye, for example… but I’ll count international islands for the sake of goal-success!
  3. Go to the Secret Herb Garden. Keep recommending this place to people but haven’t been. Shameful!
  4. See a red squirrel!
  5. Life Level-ups: home improvement edition – There are so many little things that need fixed/done at the house but I’ve put them off. Not anymore!
  6. Etsy empire – I didn’t manage my craft goals at all in2015. So this has to be the year, with ultimatum of getting rid of my craft supplies if I don’t use them. I will build my craft empire!
  7. Writing trip away – Cove Park was an amazingly productive time for me, as hard as it was to be away from home/handsome S for a week. I need to make time for Aiko-time this year. Perhaps I can tie this in to meetings with my mentor (thanks Scottish Book Trust!) which start imminently.
  8. Be more friendly/take emotional risks – I think I used to let people ‘in’ more but maybe/especially since moving to Scotland I’ve adopted a real #nonewfriends mentality which is … hindering my personal & emotional success. This year, I’ll try to be better at making friends! (And cultivating the friendships I already have.) Be brave, Aiko!

 


7 Eat, Drink…

  1. IMG_1006Stortebacker germany bakery – Saturday morning german pretzels have been a major game-changer in the Greig household.
  2. Anstruther chippy w/pals. <3
  3. Omelettes w/eggs & veggie from our garden!
  4. 12 Triangles donuts – Especially during the festival when they had a pop-up with BrewLab mere moments away from my office! *swoon*
  5. Crema caravan – Creme brulee food truck! Seriously.
  6. Maki & Ramen – Little ramen shop near my work. So good!
  7. Burgers are so 2015! Highlights included: BURGER. and the new-to-Edinburgh Bread Meats Bread. Also, 2015 = year of the diner milkshake: TriBeca, Bread meats Bread… so much dairy.

Honorable mention: Writers Tears whiskey we found in Ireland, was perfect for sharing at my writers retreat! Illegal Jack’s reopened!! And how could I possibly miss off all the amazing food in Paris, Dublin and Manchester?


6 ..& Be Merries!

  1. Weddings: Congrats to Cousin Jenni & Eddie! And to Cara & Greg who got married on Inchcolm island!
  2. Births & Birthdays: Lots of little 1st b’day parties. V cute. Amazing cakes. Deafening noise. Also Congrats to E-Chao & Lisa for their BB CC! Too cute.
  3. Boardgames: week-long Agricola matches with my beloved! Also, completing an ultra-relaxing Totoro puzzle. <3 And starting to get into Galaxy Trucker!
  4. Karaoke: This free-hour at Supercube point card has been burning a hole in my wallet for ages. Went loads at the start of the year then fizzled out… Prodigal karaoke 2016!
  5. Cinema: We saw lots of great films this year, including new Star Wars. But top experience was probably late night showing of It Follows in Dublin… so freaky!
  6. Escape games: 2015 was the year of Escape games I think! We started the year off escaping with friends, then aced a prison-themed escape room in Manchester. Recently S & I completed a new diamond heist themed escape game so fast we earned a free pass to try another escape room! Love it.

Honorable mentions: I saw a super blood moon, a solar eclipse, a streaker at a Scotland football match, the demolition of Cockenzie power station, snow in March!

 


5 Adventures

  1. Roadtrips – Last year I went back to California twice. Once for my friends E&L’s wondrous wedding! And another time to help my mom pack up our house & all my childhood relics before she began her nomad life of retirement. I miss her lots these days, and it was so great to bring her over here this year for some much needed Mommy & Me time, including multiple Scotland roadtrips, just the two of us. (Plus we stayed in a castle!)
  2. Paris – While my mom was visiting, we opted to tick something off her bucket list in the way of a trip to Mont Saint Michel, this magnificent castle island outside of Paris. I’d never been to France before, so the whole trip was wonderful!
  3. Dublin – Lovely cheeky long-weekend with handsome S to Dublin. My first time to Ireland so I did lots of touristy things! Lots of good food and drink recs in my blog post.
  4. Manchester – Second year of pals-trip to Manchester for Parklife music festival and because we are old farts, we just went to the music festival for one day, and then spent a few more days painting Manchester red. I ate LOADS (cake mostly), drank too much, and did lots of great things.
  5. Lismore – S found an amazing Airbnb on a small Scottish island and booked it for my xmas present last year. It was meant to be a practice writing retreat (in advance of Cove Park) but my laptop crashed and instead of writing on paper, we just watched DVDs, went for walks, drank beers and stoked the woodburner for a week. Pure bliss.

Honorable mentions: We walked to Cramond a couple times for soft serve in the sunniest summer in ages. We got Nardini’s ice cream in Largs. We got coffee & cakes (& ice cream!) in North Berwick. Most of my adventures seem to be dessert-led….

 


4 Successes

  1. New WritersNew Writers Award – Winning this in January was a huge boon and encouragement for my writing, productivity, and making new writerly friends! I loved the Cove Park retreat and look forward to making room like this for (solitary, dedicated) writing time in the future.
  2. Publications – So grateful to the following publications for featuring my work this year: The Sunday TimesDactylInk Sweat & Tears!
  3. Shortlists – One of my poems was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize! From the Prize Administrator “Whilst you have not won one of the top thirteen prizes in the Bridport Prize competition I am writing to let you know that your poem – What the Bone Weary Know – was shortlisted. We had over 7,000 poetry entries this year, and 200 were shortlisted.” Pretty pleased about that!
    Jupiter Artland also recently got in touch to say one of my poems, Earth-Moon-Earth, was shortlisted for the writing competition they ran a few months ago!
  4. CIM Marketing – Completed my Professional Certificate in Marketing earlier this year, partially funded by my work, which is amazing! Just the first of four year-long courses towards becoming a ‘Marketer’ but pleased I was able to do it.

Honorable mention: Won MVP from my basketball team! <3 And didn’t get injured this season.


3 Failures

  • Projects/time management – So many things I want to do, but like most people, it’s hard to prioritize and find time for everything alongside my many hobbies, full-time job, and (what) social life. I didn’t manage the xmas card this year, or  make a dent in many of the major projects I’d wanted to complete last year. Instead I dabbled so much (CIM course, refereeing course, chicken-keeping MOOC). I need to weigh up where I’m placing my time and be more ruthless and less lazy.
  • Exercise/health/fitness – I started the year out jogging home from work, then bought my cute bike and rode that to work and back once… My basketball team is doing great. But I really want to invest more effort into diligent exercise and feel I could have done more this year to take better care of myself (emotionally/physically). Should I try paleo again? Get that zombie jogging app? 30 day yoga? What works for me? What can I stick with?
  • Copious rejections – I don’t have the heart to admit how many magazines/competitions I was rejected from in 2015, but the ratio of acceptance to rejection was pretty staggering… I’m pacing myself though, and only sending out as much as I can bear to be rejected from. Here’s hoping for improvement in 2016!

‘Honorable’ mention: Reading in public is not my forte. I get so nervous and feel terrible before readings. I don’t enjoy being on stage, don’t feel ‘present’, and don’t get any sense of relief/satisfaction after I’ve finished. Essentially, there is no positive for me of reading publicly; it is just something that I must do (it seems) if I want to be a marketable poet. I felt so pleased with myself for accepting (however anxiously!) Lindsay MacGregor’s invitation to read at Platform Poetry. The audience was welcoming and kind. I read for 20mins, didn’t faint and afterwards people told me how much they enjoyed the reading. It was a real boost for my confidence! A couple weeks later, I went to a Performance and Presentation Training in advance of the New Writer’s Award showcase (below!) and had the wind knocked out my sails by Alex Gillon, the voice coach and tutor at the event. It will take some time to repair my foundations. But I can confidently say, I still hate reading in public. I wonder if this will ever change…


2 Forthcoming Readings

Please mark your calendars and if you’re in the area, please come along for the following!:

  • 21 January: Jupiter Artland’s Inspired to Write competition reading
  • 28 January: New Writers Award showcase. Tickets here!

 


1 Big News!

The most exciting/life-changing news of 2015 for me is that I am (at long last) pregnant! New arrival expected in April 2016. Obvs watch this space! Haven’t made a big deal of it online as super paranoid and private, but everything going smoothly so far. *fingers crossed*

 

readingSophie Hannah – Pessimism for Beginners
Caitriona O’Reilly – Geis
Jee Leong Koh – Steep Tea
Karen McCarthy Woolf – An Aviary of Small Birds

Audiobook’d Karl Schroeder’s Lockstep, Mindy Kaling’s Why Not Me, and now listening to Xenocide (Orson Scott Card, Ender series) on the bus as I couldn’t make it to the end in book-form…

soundtrack

Transviolet – Girls Your Age
AronChupa – I’m an Albatraoz
Grimes  – Kill v Maim

Another year, another notch. Hope the next one’s a belter!

IMG_2318

Feeling nostalgic?

How does our garden grow?

IMG_5884
My gardeners helping with the tilling.

Brace yourself, this post is about gardening and is probably tl;dr unless you’re my mom (hi mom!). My general updates below, if you scroll super fast!

One of my goals for the year was:

9. Eat fruit/veg from our garden (aka successfully grow something in our garden!)

How did we fare, you ask?

Resounding success!

I have total homesteader aspirations, if my #urbanchickens are anything to go by. It would be a definite life-dream for me to move to the country and live off the land. Spending my days with animals and trying to make things grow.

BUT I’m starting small and not very good at growing anyhow (last year’s indoor garlic crop is proof of this). My mom is such a green thumb, so I’d been hoping some of her talents might be hereditary… She also came to inspect my efforts in June so that likely helped as well.

IMG_7668
Winnie in front of the two raised beds.

Planting

IMG_6168
Seed potatoes going in!

We built 2 raised beds and put them out in the ‘allotment corner’ of the garden. In these, we planted:

  • Mange tout / Spinach / Runner beans / Nasturtiums (to keep the slugs away!)
  • Potatoes / Tomatoes

I filled a bunch of grow-bags with more potatoes as we had so many extras.

We also got gifted a bunch of fruit plants from S’s folks so I set up barrels and planted out:

  • Blueberries, Raspberries, Gooseberries.

I planted a cherry tree in the front garden. We did all this around May time and hoped for the best!

I had also dug in some garlic cloves in November or so just between some of the flowers in the flowerbeds.

Tending & Waiting

IMG_7984
Tomato seedlings flourishing in the windowsill

Basically, I didn’t water anything and just let Scotland’s natural rainfall do its thing. I mean, this is probably why nothing I’ve ever grown in the past has ever grown (again, the indoor garlic).

However I later learned that this is an existing technique! Dryland Farming is used in areas where there isn’t much rainfall and farmers must make due with minimal precipitation. I ‘practiced’ my own version – except we get LOADS of rain in Scotland so everything basically grew itself. Score!

I did try to grow the tomato seedlings inside the house but then wasn’t sure when to plant them outside, how big they should be, etc. I just winged everything…

Harvest!

We planted in May-ish, and things actually started growing in mid-June! The spinach came up pretty quick and we had lots of tasty salads for a few weeks. Then the mange tout came in (still going strong!) so we have been having everything-with-beans. I planted some of the baby tomato seedlings outside at this point as it was pretty warm. Some blew over in the wind but the ones that survived grew really thick!

IMG_8989
Spinach haul!
IMG_1945
Tomato ombre!

In August we plucked the first set of potatoes from the raised beds, and I planted out more tomatoes where the potatoes had been. These are doing okay now actually! Hopefully some grow before it’s winter… Oh my goodness did we get a lot of potatoes. Weeks worth of potatoes. We have eaten SO MUCH MASH. Handsome S also learned to make his own potato pancakes with leftover mash which are ace!

The gooseberries also did very well! They came in nice and thick with lots of fruit on all the branches! I should have picked them when I noticed them – pretty and green and sour as anything! – but googled and found that if you left them on the branches they turned dark purple! S had never heard of this, but I thought I’d give it a shot. However, I must have revealed too much to the birds (mine or the local ones) as the bush was totally stripped the next time I checked it. Gutting!

Later in August, we also started picking blueberries and tomatoes, ate loads more mange tout, dumped another grow-bag worth of potatoes to eat.

blueberries

The last weekend in August, I decided to uproot the garlic – really nervous after last year’s failure. The stems of the ones I could see were yellowed and dry (perfect indication of harvest time!), however the chickens had used the area for dustbathing on multiple occasions so I feared the worst. Boy was I pleasantly surprised to find 9 pretty good sized garlic bulbs in there! I planted about 13 cloves so not a bad haul at all! They’re hanging to cure in the garage at the moment.

garlic

IMG_1006
Some yummy omelettes with our hens’ eggs, and our garden mangetout & garlic (plus mushrooms, cheese & bacon… aw yum)

The runner beans didn’t grow at all. My mom came to visit in July and even planted a second lot of seeds in the hopes they might fare better in warmer temperature, but nothing! We’ll not be doing beans next year I don’t think…

The raspberries didn’t grow either… I put them in a raised bed but think they didn’t get enough sun.

The cherry tree grew a cherry but it blew away in the wind. Have high hopes for it for next year!

So very pleased to report that I have totally ticked off my goal of growing and eating! Not sure if I can really give it all up to live off the land (#starvationwinter) but looking forward to trying new things next year! We’ve bought a lemon tree (for indoors), and are looking forward to trying corn!

General update

  • So glad the festival is over. My birthday too! WHEW. Been aggressively busy with work and life; feeling so exhausted. Low ebb!
  • Basketball’s started up again which is great. Exercise is key I think. Our team’s looking pretty lean this year though as 3 of our girls are having babies imminently. Good luck mama-Kats!
  • As you likely know, I pretty much dislike nothing more than reading in public. So if you fancy watching someone suffer, or you want to see something you’ll likely never see again – catch me at Platform Poetry at Ladybank station reading in October!
  • I stopped running home during the festival as the city was so swarming, but will hopefully get back into this soon. Fingers crossed for not too much rain this month.
  • Also just found out I passed my last module for the Marketing qualification I was taking – so pleased to say I now have a CIM Professional Certificate in Marketing! Thanks to my work for supporting me!
  • I saw the Cockenzie Power Station get blown up! And I also saw a SUPER BLOOD MOON. Both were fantastic.

Looking forward to…

  • Applying for UK citizenship (slow and steady!)  as I’ve now got my new US passport back.
  • Long-weekend in November – will we see a murmuration?
  • Less than 100 days now until Christmas (dun-dun-DUN!), with S’s family who are stellar and will be lots of fun. =)
  • Cheeky Euro trip next year and Japan trip next spring?

readingSam Riviere – Kim Kardashian’s Marriage
Jack Underwood – Happiness
Ilsa Bick – Ashes (Bk1)

Audiobook’d Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman. Even Reese Witherspoon’s smooth southern reading couldn’t hold my attention. Sorry Harper Lee!
Also Alan Partridge’s ‘I, Partridge’ was FANTASTIC, especially as read by Alan Partridge. Had to stop myself from bursting out laughing on the bus a number of times.
Finished Catch 22… old-school and didn’t hold my attention but feel like a requisite for the canon?
The best thing I listened to though was Ernest Cline’s Armada! Get this book, people! Audiobook was read by Wil Wheaton as well.

soundtrack

XYLØ – Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Lauv – The Other
Odesza – Say my name (feat. Zyra)
Micky blue – Champaign Reign

 

Roll on, October! Indian summer?

Manchester & Parklife

FullSizeRender

Talk about #laterblog, but Parklife in June was amazing!

This is the second time I’ve been. Last year my pals and I went down by train and made a weekend of it, but this year we just went for the Sunday (when all our fav bands were playing) and hung around Manchester for a few days after. Maybe I’m getting old, losing my cool hipster edge. Maybe I’ve just figured out how to power-game music festivals. Who can be sure?!

Parklife

Brace yourself for a blogroll of awesome bands that I saw on Sunday at Parklife, in no particular order the order in which I saw them:

Tei Shi

I don’t know why she was on so early – Tei Shi was amazing! Our pal Gav was meant to come but couldn’t at the last minute and he would have totally rocked this with me. Instead our pal Moff caught up with Tei Shi later and got an epic selfie with her for us! #jealouswoon


TCTS

Manchester bands obvs got mad hype at Parklife. But TCTS are pretty amazing, imho. Get it in your ears!


BadBadNotGood

Moff wanted to see them. They were on Collonade stage which was basically across a street, but SUCH a cool ambiance there! Tree-covered and everyone very relaxed, shall we say. Lots of.. relaxed.. people. The music was okay but too jazzy/instrumental for me compared to the other stuff. Probably perfect for you listening from the comforts of your home now!


Tourist

Another excellent set.


Chet Faker

*swoon*


Jess Glynne

Jess Glynne was on the main stage. (Route 94 was also there, in another stage.) I only saw Jess Glynne in passing as the crowd was IMMENSE. She’s great.


Todd Terje & the Olsens

The best song ever. Todd Terje is amazing. The tent was shaking. Fans were loving it. We got to the front and threw many shapes.

We would have stayed for HudMo on next after Terje but we have seen HudMo many many times in our hometown so made our way on to…


Baauer

Baauer was AWESOME last year and didn’t disappoint this year. That said, anyone on LuckyMe = much <3 from me and my pals.

This year, we saw him from the big hill overlooking the Ram Jam stage. Needless to say everyone went nuts at Harlem Shake. Trap for days.


Blonde

AMAZING! The tent was absolutely heaving, people pouring out on all sides. Blonde was fantastic!!


Jessie Ware

Jessie Ware was also mainstage. Heard the above song in passing while I was hustling to…


FKA Twigs

I had to go on my own; my pals were way not into it. I went up to the front and basically another fan beat me to it, asking the security guard the question we were all dying to know: Is Robert Pattinson backstage *squee*?

(There were also a ridiculous number of security guards right up front by the stage for this show which makes me think something must happen/must have happened to necessitate so much security?)


Duke Dumont

We were at Duke Dumont for the headliner, last thing of the night. Well worth it! Last year we finished with Caribou, who was also headlining this year. Difficult choices to be made. But Duke Dumont was FANTASTIC.


Pics for proof:

Basically the ‘Sounds of the Near Future’ stage was our home for most of the day. I ate a burrito. And my boots got covered in port-o-loo ‘mud’ as all the toilets everywhere became a morass of.. mysteries as the night wore on. I also brought my own toilet paper BECAUSE I AM A GROWN UP WOMAN.

Other Manchester Highlights

Top Eats

  1. Gorrilla – A Manchester institution for us. Dangerously close to our flat… Beers and pecan pie. Everyone else ate real food but only God can judge me.
  2. Northteapower – We went here last year. Definitely still the best place for a coffee. I had an epic french toast with bacon in it. Set me up just right for Parklife!
  3. Fig + sparrow – Breakfast yums! Round the corner from NorthTeaPower, this cute little cafe stroke giftshop has lots of cute mugs, tea towels, trinkets etc. I could have filled my suitcase!
  4. The Pacific (George St) – We fancied a dim sum meal in Manchester’s Chinatown. This one ranked highly and didn’t disappoint! I still think it’s probably best to go to a ‘real’ Chinese restaurant like this one with a Chinese person, but they were gentle with us. So tasty.
  5. Changos Burrito Bar – Omnomnom. Tasty burritos (a la our hometown Illegal Jack’s!). I really liked all the swish branding work though, cute stickers with different geometric animals for each type of meat, cute packs of tortilla chips, etc. Big luchador-y art on the walls.
  6. Home sweet home – Massive cakes! Too big! First thing in the morning on our last day in Manchester, I set out (while everyone else was hungover) to buy ALL THE CAKES from this shop. I probably bought too many. I had to stop midway home to rest, so cake-laden.
  7. Chippy from Leo’s Fish Bar –  The best chippy of my life (ie. perfect combination of delicious + timing). I’m salivating with nostalgia.
  8. Samsi Japanese – We went here last year for a bento to go before our train home. This year we stopped for a full meal. So tasty, legit Japanese food. They have a Japanese food market downstairs too. Wandered along and sat for a bit in Sackville Gardens nearby.
  9. Pita Pit – Why is this good, I don’t know. But it was definitely cheap = requirement #1. Served its purpose, before our train ride home.

& Drinks

  1. Sinclair’s Oyster bar – Sinclair’s was easily the best place we found in all of Manchester. Very cheap Sam Smith beers and basically nothing else. Not even a website! Tom’s round, easily the cheapest round of the night… We played card games in a small annex of seats inside.
  2. Common bar (twt) – Hip place with excellent beers. Open very late. We came here after Oasthouse, what a relief.
  3. The Oast house – Maybe too many suits for my taste but good beer selection! Cougar central.
  4. Thirsty scholar – Random sticky-floor pub we found near to our flat. Got the job done though!
  5. The Temple (of Convenience) – We passed this place a number of times before mustering up the courage to go in. It looks like a public toilet – basically because it is a renovated victorian public toilet…. Really cool dive bar though, great music, just enough seats. Felt like a great place to meet people (if I was even remotely social).

&Activities!

  1. The Escape Room – This is a legit Escape room! So good! We did the jailbreak themed room. They handcuffed us three together and we had (as normal) an hour to get out. We managed it in good time, obviously. But really cool room set-up! There were jail cell bars within the actual room. Well impressed, Escape Room!
  2. Dogbowl – Killing some time before Moff headed home, we stopped in here (across from our flat, and next door to Gorrilla – really great area!). A round of bowling and some beers!
  3. Plus we went to the cinema. This cinema is definitely haunted. Good arcades though!

IMG_8259

Manchester was a laugh! My belly is full and my ears are happy. See you next year, Parklife!