Sunday, October 21, 2007


My last blogs have been quite personal tales about me digging my way out of the rut I'd found myself in and striving back towards a happy life.

Well this one isn't, it's a nice simple tale of what I did last weekend (I know it takes me a while to blog, sorry, but my new busy life is, well, busy) and a review of a gig.

I had a fantastic time. My friend Sarah was coming back to Manchester for a visit and she wanted to see this band play that none of us had ever heard of, So a group of us went out for a few drinks just to see Sarah, but no one wanted to see the band. Sarah was adamant she was going and with my new sense of adventure wanting to see an unknown band and my old sense of Gentlemanly conduct not wanting to let Sarah go off on her own, I valiantly decided to acompany her. I'm so glad I did.

The band was Puressence and despite my ignorance they are actually quite an established band who have been around for some years and have a small but very loyal fanbase. I don't know why they aren't more famous. They were fantastic.

On the down side, the stage design was terrible, the lighting was bad and someone liked the smoke machine far too much meaning that you couldn't actually see the band for some of the songs but in the most important aspect, the music, they were outstanding. I am now a fully fledged fan. During the last week I've bought nearly the full back catalogue, so thank you Sarah for a great night. I'm a convert.

I recomend you check out their myspace page, listen to their music and if you can see them live.

O.K. that's done, next time I'll go back to some floaty wierd stuff about flying on rollerblades again or something, promise.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Learning to fly... again.

About 8 months ago I put down my rollerblades. The excuse I gave myself was that the wheels were shot and completely useless. This, while technically true was not the reason. That part of me that loved to skate, among other things, was buried very deep and didn't want to see the sunlight.

Last week I ordered some very nice new racing wheels.

This weekend they arrived and were fitted.

Today I went skating. Hot damn it felt good!

This was the plan, now that I've moved to Manchester from Northwich it means getting the train to work. The Manchester train station is about 25 minutes walk from where I live. The Northwich station is about 15 minutes walk from my office. While I enjoy the walk, especially in the early morning when no-ones around and the sun's just coming up, my re-awakening sense of fun nudged my subconscious and said in conspirital tones, "you could skate that". What a fantastic idea!

So I like to start early. I normally leave the flat at about 6 am to go for the 6:30 train. This puts me at my desk before 8. While skating is faster than walking I figured, Paul, you've not been on your wheels for a while, leave at the same time, take it easy, get used to things again.

Oh it so didn't work like that.

6 am I sit on my front step, strap on my boots that feel like 2 old friends welcoming me back to the fold and I skate. I leave the square with a measured easy glide, taking care over the uneven tarmac. I gingerly try some step-overs round the corner and there it is. The wonderful flat levelled tarmac of the main road. The decidedly empty main road. Like a water-slide on a hot day it was calling me. It was irresistible. I put my mind on a back seat, spread my wings and let my body remember how to soar. I sped I swooped and I played for miles. When the cars started to appear I left the main road for the city centre and the pedestrian areas. I jumped, I laughed, I genuinely laughed out loud like a schoolchild who hasn't learned yet that this is wrong. I almost fell on some cobbles and again over a tram line and it was then that I looked at my watch. It was gone 8:15. I looked around to get my bearings, I had been far too swept up in flying to care where I had gone. I wasn't that far from the station, I turned towards the station to catch the 8:30 train.

I was a bit more confident by Northwich. It's a quieter town and I remembered it's roads in the grey depths of my wheels memory. I decided since it was already after 9 and the rush hour traffic was gone I would allow myself some music for the short skate I was determined to make directly to the office. I decided to trust to the fates, they'd been doing well so far today. Ipod on shuffle, I pressed play and waited.

I have the bestest shuffle button in the world.

The Jam - A town called Malice, hell yeah! I admit to a bit of a Billy Elliot moment and I was off. Head down, legs pumping back in the moment. Flying again. About halfway there the song ended and I was resigned t to the fact that it had been a stroke of luck. There was no way it could do it again, from 50 odd gig worth of music there was no way it could, by complete randomness, pull out another gem that would make my blood race. I would slow down, just enjoy the rest of the trip at a leisurely pace. There is a saying, "The Universe doesn't give you what you want. It gives you what you need.". 3 words,

Beastie Boys - Sabotage.

The track finished as I reached the office door.

Of course the Universe also likes to be repaid for it's gifts which is why it played the joke of turning off the isolator switch on the office shower so I got an ice cold drenching but once again, I was hot and sweaty and I had to remember "The Universe doesn't give you what you want. It gives you what you need."