A Grim North

Musings from a northerner living in the deep south…

Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Horniman Aquarium

Posted by Alan on June 22, 2012

Fish

Here little fishy…

A few weeks ago, when my parents came to stay we decided to venture across the river to a museum I had read a little about: The Horniman.

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Posted in Buildings and Places, Culture, Photography | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Geek Like Me

Posted by Alan on March 12, 2011

 

Geek Like Me, originally uploaded by Alan Perryman.

On Thursday this week I went along to Geekpop, in the fabulous space of Wilton’s music hall in the East End. This was a fun celebration of all things geek – some music, some science in a part derelict, serious piece of history. (Wilton’s is being restored of course).

At the end of the event I could even indulge my love of shiny media with this very nicely packaged CD. It’s also available on spotify

You can read more about geekpop at http://geekpop.podbean.com/

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Bogle Training Part II

Posted by Alan on February 16, 2011

I am still in training for Bogle, Manchester RAG’s infamous 55 mile walk around the Manchester cityscape. I’ve decided to raise money for Lymphoedema Support Network this year after the support mum has received over the last few years.  I hope you can find some spare change to donate though my JustGiving page.

Back to the training…

This weekend I headed out to the Midlands to take in a  30 mile (48 km) training walk. This is a rather more pleasant scenic adventure than Bogle will be, or indeed, the previous training walk of 17 miles through London. From Leamington, we took to the canal and headed vaguely north to Birmingham.  The first real point of note, is Hatton flight -where the canal rises steeply.

Hatton Flight

Hatton Flight

Towards the top lock, in a pond in front of what must have once been the lock keepers cottage sits a rather nice dragonfly sculpture.

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

Further north-westwards we took a left and ventured onto the Stratford North Canal.  One of the earlier canals to be built in the UK, it shows it. The infrastructure is much more heavy – huge bridges, cuttings, embankments particularly north of Hockley Heath. It’s little wonder – apparently they spanked £300K in 1796 on just 25 miles of canal! This bit of canal is allegedly cycle free, though that didn’t stop the people who passed us … on bikes. It might surprise you to know you actually need a cycle permit! Still, it didn’t bother us too much except for the sections where they had churned up the mud.

A boating

A boating on the North Stratford Canal

Given the basic nature of the towpath, I’d guess that’s actually why cycling is prohibited on the North Stratford. It’s essentially mud. Finally by about half 4 we reached Kings Norton Junction and turned right towards Birmingham. Here the scenery became much more industrial and we realised we had to pick up the pace a little.  Despite being on National Cycle Route 5, the regular floral tributes and fading light wasn’t encouraging – so a couple of miles further up at Selly Oak we came off the canal on to the Bristol Road.

Dead boat

Forlorn, sadly unloved boat

From the canal though you do get a sense of the vast machine that is the Cadbury Bournville factory. It’s much less purple than I remember.  Perhaps the Kraft influence has kicked in already.  Some parts of the factory are still very 1930s – such as this building on the Birmingham side.

Cadbury

Corporate pride 1930s style - Cadbury, Bourneville

The last few miles up the Bristol Road were a stark contrast.  As long as I can remember I’ve known Brum to be a car city, probably reinforced by watching Brum as a small child. The Bristol Road is a fairly angry dual carriageway with lots of traffic. Thinking back to University, Manchester’s Oxford Road is also very busy – but the majority of the traffic is made up of buses, it’s much slower and seems somewhat more friendly. The relaxed studenty feel only really seemed to stretch from Selly Oak to the campus gates unlike Manchester’s curry mile and student village.  Anyway, long digression!  Final destination was The Wellington on Bennetts Hill. We even got seats, which was nice after 29.5 miles and of course the beer was excellent. A short amble towards the train home took us over the 30 mile mark. A most excellent way to spend a Saturday.

To round off – just a quick reminder. I really do plan to get all the way around this time. If you’d like to sponsor me, please do so at http://www.justgiving.com/AlanP-Bogle2011

Posted in Buildings and Places, Culture, Travelling around | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

The whisky squad

Posted by Alan on January 12, 2011

Talisker 20

Talisker 20

Last week we were lucky enough to have tickets to Whisky Squad #10, ‘Wee Speyside Beauties’. A last minute change of venue saw us in the historic venue of the cellar at Berry Bros & Rudd, Wine Merchants in St James.  The shop itself is Grade I listed, not just the frontage – the entire shop! Downstairs are the cellars – some of the 6 acres are still working cellars but some have been converted to rooms for entertaining. The format of the event was simple enough – 4 whiskies (all Berry’s own Speysides) plus a small taster of a new spirit versus and aged one, ending in a competition that brought the Talisker to the table.

As I’m still not really able to verbalise my thoughts on tastes (i.e. the Jilly Goolden/Oz Clarke thing), you’re best off reading Billy’s booze blog.

Posted in Food and Drink | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Pint potts

Posted by Alan on January 4, 2011

Pint potts, originally uploaded by Alan Perryman.

One of my adventures over the Christmas break was a pub “crawl” across the Pennines. I say crawl, well, all of the bars (bar one) were on railway stations so it wasn’t the most exercise filled crawl you could choose.

There’s more coming via East London Drinker, but as I was sorting the pictures I noticed this – in the West Riding at Dewsbury, the clock was made by a company called ‘Pint Potts’. How apt!

Posted in CAMRA, Food and Drink, Travelling around | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Wiff waff

Posted by Alan on December 22, 2010

Wiff Waff - 50p coin

Wiff Waff!

Last week the metro carried a story about girl who finds a coin from next year. This week I have three. Not really news is it?

Still, I feel blessed that the first 2012 coin I got was the ‘Wiff Waff’ design.

Wiff Waff is coming home, donchaknow?

Posted in Culture | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Snow cycling

Posted by Alan on December 4, 2010

Long Load

No cycling for me during the snow!

With the recent weather, I’ve seen loads of blog posts about cycling in the snow. I did nothing of the sort – not really because of the snow but more because I was busy at Pigs Ear 2010 and the Arcade Fire gig at the O2. However, anecdotally it seems that the snow hasn’t put the borisbikers off in town. Whilst I didn’t have any gloves I wasn’t going to fight that cold wind…

Arcade Fire was quite cool. A good show with some great music but the O2 really is so impersonal and corporate I’m not sure I’d go again. Up in level 4 most people seemed to care more about getting a pint of fizzy piss mass produced lager and a hotdog that in the band. Given how steep the banking and the distance away from the stage that’s hardly surprising. I guess I need to start paying attention to new bands again and get out to the smaller venues…and it was worth setting my expectations low beforehand – having seen Arcade Fire once before I wasn’t too fussed about actually seeing the people!

Glastonbury Sunset

Entirely gratuitous - a shot from Glastonbury 2007 whilst waiting for Arcade Fire

Lastly this week the London Assembly has produced it’s first report on the cycle hire scheme and superhighways.  Called Pedal Power, there’s some serious questions for the Mayor, as well as some general observations – cycle hire works for people as it’s inexpensive and flexible, cycle superhighways doesn’t really work for people as it’s just another bit of paint on the road. Maybe some segregation might work better? Just an idea…

Posted in Cycling, General Meh, Music | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Living on the edge

Posted by Alan on November 21, 2010

Last night we were out celebrating Emerson getting a little bit older. As I’d been out in town playing with the SLR (+fixed prime lens), I still had it with me resulting in some more unusual photos from a night out.

This is Emerson with a Pearfect Martini.

Some of the other photos in the set are by Emerson and Roosh.

Posted in Food and Drink, Photography | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Hot Chip

Posted by Alan on November 14, 2010

Hot Chip, originally uploaded by Alan Perryman.

The other good photo from the Hot Chip/LCD Soundsystem gig I managed to get. Hot Chip have certainly got better live and I do love the overt geekiness!

If you’re bored and have spotify… try One Pure Thought

My ears have almost returned to normal, not helped by Manchester RAG’s DJ on Friday night :-\

Posted in Music, Photography | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Norfolk Holiday – Day 5 – Norwich

Posted by Alan on October 10, 2010

 

Ready for home

Ready for home

 

With a 4pm train from Norwich to London we were really not in a rush.  A final full breakfast and a gentle roll down to the station put us on the 1046 out of Sheringham.  A much posher train than before –  we could even use our first class tickets! (Yes, I know. The cuts are going to suck.) The cycle stowage area was a bit strange – quite well secured, though you’d struggle to fit a really large framed bike in there and it was probably also the wheelchair space. Still, we retired to the reclining seats of first class and hoped our bikes would still be there when we got off.

 


Well secured

Well secured

 

Thankfully they were.  Arriving into Norwich around 12pm gave us a little time to explore.  Norwich seems to be quite a strange place, some cycling infrastructure but a lot of signs making sure you knew not to cycle on the pavement.  Pretty soon we got bored of being routed on the ring road, found the town square and locked up.  On Pottergate, we found a coffee shop where we picked up the middle bit of the Grauniad with an article featuring ‘the gods of science’. Next stop, The Belgian Monk for some lunch.  We had a go at al fresco dining until the weather rolled in – still the beer was excellent.

 


Beer fit for gods

Beer, fit for gods

 

From here we headed back towards the station ready for early boarding (still no reservations!) encountering some cycle rage.   Still, we made it back safely.  Getting back into London, the railway line skirts the edge of the Olympics site – an unexpected stop allowed a few photos from afar – the work is coming along nicely. It won’t be long before everything is finished – I hope!

 


Olympic Stadium

Olympic stadium

 

Posted in 2010 North Norfolk Holiday, Cycling, Food and Drink | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »