A wife, mother and teacher who's always up for learning something new and meeting new friends.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

What I Did Last Week

This weeks theme in Kate Takes 5 Listography is 'what we got up to last week'

I haven't got much time so I'm sticking to pictures accompanied by a few select words.  Here goes...

1. Had a great holiday, camping with the family in Pembrokeshire.

2. Drank Stella Cidre for the first time. (Gorgeous)

3. Had fun with my family.

4. Did a little surfing. (Badly)

5. Took in some great scenery. (The Pembrokeshire Coast  has just been voted 2nd in the world, after New Zealand, for the best coastline).

Monday, 15 August 2011

My Radio Debut

 A couple of weeks ago, thanks to one of my very bestest friends, I appeared on a live radio show for the first time.

 Paul rang me at 11 am a couple of Wednesdays ago with the question 'What are you doing this afternoon?'  It was a lovely sunny day (for once) and I had just sat down in my garden with a pint of Vimto and a good book.  'Err, nothing really , why?'  I replied, wondering what he wanted.  'How would you like to be on a radio chat show this afternoon with me?' he asked.
 Now all my friends know me as chatty and talkative and they would've expected me to reply with a resounding 'Yes!' straight away.  But my talkativeness is my defense mechanism as I am actually very shy, nervous and unconfident and just tend to over compensate.   So I pondered Pauls question. 
 'Are you there? shouted Paul thinking I'd been cut off.  I paused further, then thought of that old saying 'Don't regret the things you have done, only regret the things you didn't do'. 

 I then weighed up my two options -

1. Sit in my garden for the afternoon, reading and drinking and thinking of what might have been.
2. Go on the radio show, after all, what's the worst that could happen?

'OK'. I'll do  it'. I said hesistantly, wondering what the hell I was getting myself into.
What was I getting myself into?  Well actually... a brilliant afternoon.

 Gaydio is based in Manchester near Chinatown.  On arrival we were warmly greated and offered seats in the bright, open plan office.
 We met Toby the shows host and were presented with news topics to discuss.  I panicked.  I'm not particularly up to date with news and like I said before, with my lack of confidence, I was worried  wouldn't have anything of interest to say.

Toby the Host

 Toby and Paul (who appears weekly on this show) assured me that there was nothing to worry about and that it was just like having a chat with friends.

 Then at 1pm we were on air.  The next two hours whizzed by and after initially being sacred to death I think I really got in to it.
 We discussed a variety of topics - Oldham Pride, wardrobe malfuntions and even vegan jelly sweets!

                                                 Me reading my topics sheet

Paul checking Facebook, Twitter and messages from listeners

 I hadn't realised just how much goes on in a radio show. News reports, entertainment news and the music of course.  With our 'chatty bits' in between, the time flew by and suddenly Toby was thanking us for coming on the show and it was time to go.
 I couldn't believe it.  I was just getting warmed up!
 I loved every second of it and I'm so glad I said yes.


Being asked to be on a radio show was like looking up at a giant water slide:
You're scared to death at the thought of going on it.
When you're on it it goes too fast.
When it's over, you want to do it all over again, straight away.

Sunday, 14 August 2011


This weekend saw the return of the Yanks festival in Saddleworth.  It’s the tenth anniversary of the festival, which first took place in 2001.
 You may be asking yourself why on earth Saddleworth has a Yanks celebration.  Well, it’s inspired by the filming of the wartime movie, 'Yanks', on location in Dobcross Saddleworth, back in 1978, starring a certain gorgeous young actor, Richard Gere.
(When I say filmed in Dobcross, it was only one scene but let's not get picky)

                             I've made this image extra big just because it's  a picture of Richard

Dobcross square where the scene was filmed

 Each year, locals get into the spirit of things by dressing up in 40's clothes and uniforms.  Ladies strut up and down the streets with their seamed stockings and beautiful shoes, linking arms with chaps in hats and suits.

Every year I say I'll dress up but I have still to stick to my word.

 These ladies were a little nervous about having their picture taken!
A 'Spoonful Of Sugar' my favourite cake and tea shop

Brass bands in the pub gardens play Glenn Miller music and jitterbuggers dance on the pavements.

Stalls selling tea and cakes are run by ladies in floral pinnies and headscarves.

 The main part of the celebration is the parade which passes through a number of villages.  Headed by our war veterans and representatives of local cadet groups, they are followed by a cavalcade of vintage military vehicles and marching military bands.

Yanks is a really great weekend, enjoyed by as many as 10,000 people.  Each year it grows from strength to strength and next year...
...I promise to dress appropriately!

Wordless Wednesday:Sonny

Linking up with Faith Hope and a Whole Lotta Love for Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

It's Not All Bad In London

 Mention London to anyone at the moment and all they'll think about is the riots.  However last weekend me and mine went to London, Wembley stadium to be precise, for the Community Shield.  The winners of the FA Cup - Manchester City, versus the winners of the Premiership - Manchester United.

 Dressed in pale blue, we arrived in plently of time for the match, and the sun was shining!

 We made our way to the blue side of the stadium and down to one of the local pubs for a drink.  The London Met Police do a great job of segregating the supporters to minimise trouble and there was a great atmosphere.  Sunshine, drinking and lots of singing.

 After some fish and chips we made our way back to the stadium.  Due to City's fine form this year it was the third time this year that the accountant had been to Wembley (he's a lifelong fan).  But for me it was my first time and I can honestly say it's fantastic!  A well designed structure, we got through the turnstiles, found the bar and got drinks quickly. (mmm, there's a bit of an alcohol theme developing here isn't there?)

 Once in our (very good) seats the size of the place really hits you.  Contrasting seas of red and blue, split half way through the stadium looked amazing and the noise singing from the fans on both sides was overwhelming.

 Then the match began...now I'm not a footy expert so I won't give too much detail. 
In a nutshell, we lost.

 However, it was brilliant day and me and mine had a great time.  The drive out of the area took a while due to traffic congestion and we were blissfully unaware of the riots taking place in various areas nearby (thankfully).

 So although last weekend in London was horrendous for many people, for almost 80,000 football supporters, it was a good day.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011


 There is only one thing that I can blog about this evening,  the riots which are currently taking place across England.
  I say England rather than Britain as at the moment riots are taking place in London, Birmingham, Liverpool and starting tonight, my home city of Manchester.  
  I'm particularly gutted about Manchester as it's only been 15 years since the city was bombed by terrorists.  It's since been rebuilt and has a lovely town centre now with some great shops, bars and cafes.
  I live about 25 mins drive from Manchester so am safe, but I am worried if anything starts in Oldham, although even then, we live in the hills above Oldham and so should be ok.

  The riots started in London after the death of a man who was shot by the police. A peaceful protest by his friends and family wanting answers from the police seemed to turn more sinister as gangs of youths began trashing shops and cars in the area. The family of the dead man have stated that the riots are completely unconnected to their cause and they have repeatedly appealed to local youths to stop.

  The thing is, the rioters aren't fighting for any reasonable cause, they are fighting for their own benefit. They are smashing and looting shops and stores and taking goods. Some are saying that it is because they are bored and they are fighting the government and big corporations. Not they are not! Whilst 'doing over' the big corporate shops taking jewellery, designer clothes and electrical goods, they are also looting, smashing up and setting fire to small shops, houses and cars. Even buses and their drivers have been attacked. Do these idiots not realise that they are wrecking their own communities? As if small businesses don't have enough to worry about without all this.
  Also under fire are the emergency services who are trying to help the innocents involved. Sadly it's been reported that in London, over 100 police have been injured along with 5 police dogs.

  The sick side of human nature has also been revealed this weekend as shown by the disgraceful behaviour in the following video. A young man has been injured, some lads appear and help him to his feet, what happens next is truly awful...
I  wonder what kind of life and upbringing the two offenders have had to enable them to do this to another human being. It is beyond belief. I wonder, if in the years to come if these two will ever feel any remorse?

  I'm not going to post loads of pictures of whats going on. I'm sure everyone has seen enough of them. But I wanted to include this piece of film. A very passionate woman who speaks a lot of sense.

Picture taken on Tuesday 9th August - London

 Being ever the optimist, I am hopeful that some good will eventually, come of all this negativity. Already communities and neighbours are coming together to help each other and begin to clear the debris from the streets. 

 Perhaps you have to hit rock bottom before you can begin to build again.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Listography - Top Five Kids Films

This week over at , KateTakes5
the listography is all about kids films. 

Tricky one this one as there are so many to choose from, mmm, ok here goes:

1. Toy Story

This has to be one of the greatest films ever made. When I first saw this I was amazed by the technology.  Also the story is fantastic, toys coming alive is every childs dream.

2. Wizard Of Oz

When I saw this film I fell in love with it and dreamt about going to Oz, I wanted to live in Munchkin land.  It also scared me half to death with the witch and the flying monkeys. 'I'll get you  my pretty!'  Need I say more?

3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (original version)

Another film I went to bed dreaming of, well, the chocolate river and edible daffodils anyway.  The Oompah Loompahs were cute and the soundtrack great.  Oh and drinking lemonade that made you fly...brilliant

4. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Oh to have a flying car... And I wanted to grow up to look like Truly Scrumptious wearing beautiful white dresses.  A great story and another great soundtrack.

5. The Goonies

An all time classic. Thrills, adventures, baddies chasing the kids, pirates, gold doubloons and of course, Sloth.  'Hey you guys!'

P.S Can I add some more???

Ok, ALL the Harry Potter films!  Do you think in 50 years time they will remake them?  Hopefully not, they will be classics.

Full Of Pride

This Saturday saw the seventh Oldham Pride parade and celebrations.  It was my first Oldham Pride as me and mine are often on our summer holidays at this time.

The theme this year was F.R.U.I.T - Freedom, rights, understanding, inclusion, transformation.

 The sun shone and there was such a fantastic feeling of happiness, love and fun.

Here are some images from the day.

I am blessed to have in my life, one of the organisers,  my great friend Paul.  Paul is filled with courage, compassion, talent, determination, passion. love, friendship and obviously from this picture - fun.

Paul, his partner Jason and the rest of the Oldham LGBT team worked so hard to produce a brilliant day and it was enjoyed by many.

It was the first Pride day that my Baba took part in and I was so proud of her, standing up for what she belives in and having pride in herself.

She helped out selling t-shirts and also got her face painted.

Ace Tees

The hosts for the day were Rosie Lugosi and Jonathan Mayor, two veterans of the Northern comedy circuit, Burlesque reviews and Manchester Pride. My Baba is a big fan of vampires and Twilight and Rosie was more than happy to pose for a photo with her (although she didn't have her fangs in unfortunately).

There were lots of acts on the stage - Lucy Lush, a fabulous drag queen who sang all the camp classics.

The Gay Gordons - a Scottish dance group.

 The symbol for Oldham is the owl, so naturally the Oldham Pride owl is bright pink.  This picture makes me laugh as Paul said he thought that the owl was 'too camp'!

There was an Abba tribute group and a very tall stiltwalker.

A beautiful day filled with beautiful people.

Congratulations to all the organisers.  Here's to next year!