Friday, 17 November 2017

More Manchester Construction Work, November 2017

 Manchester continues to grow upwards. Here are a few new inclusions to the city's skyline...

...Starting with Angel Gardens near the CIS buildings.

Further along Great Ancoats Street we find what I am assuming is this Mulberry development...

...Or it may be this one a block down.

Actually, it seems this Oxid building is this development.

Towards Piccadilly, we find the soon-to-be-demolished Mecure Hotel.

Finally, here's the groundwork being laid foroffice tower development  125 Deansgate

Thursday, 16 November 2017

#tbt Beermats: Week 6

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Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Half Way There: A Rap Verse about a Troubled Footballer

If you're doing NaBloPoMo, come on say yeah
I'm not Bon Jovi but we're half way there
When taking on the challenge, one of my fears
Was not planning forward and and running out of ideas
It hasn't happened; there's a few in reserve,
But I won't divulge, gonna keep them preserved
But while we're on it, dunno if you missed it,
Trevor Sinclair is still being a dipstick 
While he's embroiled in this drink drive palava
He's probably forgotten that time in Baa Bar
At the height of his career back in two thousand and three
Where he pretty much literally bumped into me
Tripped over my foot, and thought it was my fault
Thought that I'd pranked him just to be spiteful
He leaned over me and gave me a slap
Obviously thought that I was aiming for a scrap
But why would I bother? He was twice my size!
It wasn't long before the doormen took him outside.
I went to the papers, who talked to the bar,
but 'cause they wouldn't comment the story didn't go far.
I see he's forty four, from the site in front of me,
And that right now, he's still held in custody.
We don't know whether he'll be sentenced or not,
But you know what they say about leopards and their spots.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Touch Typing Record Breaker AT LAST

Right back at the start of July, I blogged about returning to touch typing to try and up my speed. I'd managed 40.9 wpm previously, then after a quick bash on Mavis Beacon, I hit 43.0 wpm. It was my plan, that either at home or at work as part of my training, I'd beat that.

In both locations, though, I couldn't seem to log into the program. I downloaded it a few times, but it wouldn't work. I tried Klavaro again, another free package that I'd had some success with before. At work and at home, though, I couldn't get that working either. I put the typing on the back burner and hammered a few other blogging projects instead.

In a recent 1-1 in work, my new line manager and I agreed we'd look around for something else. She found BBC Dance Mat, a free typing tutor aimed at primary school age kids.

It's very bright, colourful and musical, with animated characters guiding you through the keys, but the underlying teaching is effective. I spent an hour each work day over the last couple of weeks working through the games and levels. The lessons get progressively more difficult, and include the full range of keys and letters. They come to a close before you can develop to a decent adult standard, though, so you don't quite get the full benefit that you might from Klavaro or Mavis Beacon. But it's free, so you can't complain.

By the time I'd finished the last level, I'd hit 47 wpm. If it works for me, it will for you!

Monday, 13 November 2017

Which Manchester Club Nights Died on their Arses This Month?

Gluttony is an emotional escape, a signal that something is eating us.
-Peter de Vries, American writer

Tell me about it, Peter. I'm back up to 82.6kg, after dipping to 79 some time between now and the 5th. I've been too busy to properly get into being a pisshead, but I assure you I'm working on it: I'm currently polishing off the remnant of an old Wild Turkey bottle as I write this. So obviously, I'm imagining I'm Hunter S Thompson Reincarnate.

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In other news:

I've passed the 1300 follower mark on Twitter

Meetup has redesigned: viewing and uploading events is a little simpler and more straightforward, although the homepage remains reliably identical. Unfortunately embed links are no longer supported in the new design according to the site's Twitter.

Deansgate bar The Red Door, starting place for a few meetups, appears to have shut. A friend mentioned the venue looked closed during peak hours, and their Facebook and Twitter accounts have disappeared. Oh well, it was a bit too 'Bob's Country Bunker' for me.

And this week? I was going to upload a meetup for Inked, a new night at Impossible on Peter St, but they haven't updated their social media since Halloween. It doesn't look like it runs any more. It did go up against LIV's hugely popular Thursday night slot, Socialite, a tough act to follow.

Taboo also seems to have folded- no updates on Facebook or Twitter, no response to my Facebook message. Oh well. I thought Taboo was a lot better in Tiger Tiger, and their replacement Playground night is just as good.

No weekend meetups of my own planned yet. I should put something in as I usually pull whenever I have a haircut. And as of Saturday, I've been rocking the Rose Namajunas look. Keep your eyes on Manchester Cool Bars. They're headed to History, a new swanky club. I may be putting something up very soon too...

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Dirty Martini Opens to the Public

Manchester Cool Bars dropped back into Dirty Martini on Peter St for their official public launch on Friday. The gorgeous new cocktail bar, on the corner of Peter St and Deansgate, opened their doors with dance, house and RnB music accompanied by live sax. The additional 2 floors were also open, revealing a little more of the venue than the previous night.

Nice atmosphere, tasty-looking cocktails, a cloakroom and impressive glass walls looking out onto the two intersecting roads make this an attractive new venue. I was driving (again) but will try out that cocktail menu soon...

Saturday, 11 November 2017

PR Request Re Male Mental Health and Financial Difficulties- Please Pass On

Hi! I'm wondering if any of my blog readers might be able to help with an inquiry I've come across. Nicola Bond from the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute contacted support group Andy's Man Club recently. The institute is a 'charity established by Martin Lewis to research and tackle the links between financial difficulties and mental health problems.'

Nicola is hoping to 'reach men with experience of mental health problems, a group whose views are crucial to our research, but whose experiences we hear less often.'

If this is something to which you feel you could contribute, please email

If you know anyone who may be able to share their experiences for a good cause, please pass this info onto them.

Friday, 10 November 2017

We blagged our way into the Dirty Martini launch

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New cocktail bar Dirty Martini opens their Manchester branch to the public tonight, and Manchester Cool Bars is going!

The launch took place last night, and me and a couple of friends decided to try and get in. We only had guestlist organised for the Friday, but as we were polite and dressed well and claimed to have spoken to someone, the clipboard guy allowed us through.

The DJ blended up contemporary RnB with old skool house and garage, a unique mix helping the bar to stand out from the rest of the Peter St establishments.

It turns out singer Will Young was there!

I didn't recognise anyone in the bar, although it's possible that the VIP people may have been earlier on. And I'd know, I hammer Twitter looking for whichever reality TV star was in the club at the same time as me.

I was driving but I had a tiny sip of a friend's Chocolate Martini. Incredible.

I think I'll not drive tonight, and see what the rest of the cocktails are like!

Thursday, 9 November 2017

#tbt Beermats: Week 5

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Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Manchester Construction Work, November 2017

Like an hour's sitting of Sim City, Manchester is a constantly-evolving cosmopolis. Visit one week and the skyline will look totally different to the next, or last. In another ten years, from a distance, it may resemble the skyline from the opening scene of RoboCop (Dallas, Texas, as it happens).

For that reason, I waited until after I'd exhausted the car boot sale at Bowlers to head into the city while the sun was up and practice a bit of photography. I'm not pretending I'm thing special with a camera- I just wanted to capture parts of Manchester before they sit in their completed state.

This is Owen Street, a new skyscraper cluster near Deansgate Locks.

No.1 Spinningfields, office block under construction on the site that once housed The Lawn Club.


Side issue, but VIVA looks shocking from the outside in the light of day.

Circle Square, the contradictory development on the former site of the BBC building on Oxford Road, is taking shape:

And onto John Dalton St we find a gap in the buildings perfect for office block Bradley's Court.

Dusk falls, and Great Ancoats St isn't the most illuminated place, although with new constructions comes a new image- I expect one of safety an homeliness. I'm guessing this block is the new Mulberry development.

I'll hopefully be exploring some interiors later this week, including a new Deansgate bar and some joints in The Northern Quarter.

A New, strange, tubular construction rises out of Cross St near Victoria Station.


Deansgate's Milton Hall, Home to clubs The Milton Club and History, undergoes some adjustments:


New flats rise between the Deansgate-Castlefield tram stop and the Hacienda Apartments.

Finally, cocktail bar Dirty Martini, a day before the wrap came off.