Monday, July 23, 2007


Festival at The Edge which began on Friday was so deluged the Sunday bit was cancelled. However, I drank beer which more than made up for the disappointment.

I'd like to say I drank beer to compensate for the poor weather but why tell a lie, I drank beer because it was there. And such beer! The beer tent was organised by CAMRA (the campaign for real ale) and there were approximately 30 or 40 different beers, ales and stouts with exotic names too. For instance a pint of Old Gussett is a positive start to any evening, followed of course by a gill of Worker's Mange to be then chased below with a shot of Damp Merkin. Behind the bar were burly men who knew a thing or two about beer, the brewery, name of thebrewer, the particular condition of his weeping skin complaint and why his wife sued for divorce. Yes, real ale can tell a story though it's important not to lose a sense of perspective, it's important not to overstretch, it's important (unless one has simply stopped caring) to avoid drinks named Evacuated Colon and Surge because you never really know what's coming. Believe me, it's best to stay away from them. So I safely remained with the middle range beers drinking pint after pint of Minor Complaint, Enraged Anus and Throb. It was a good night from what I remember though strangely I was unable to sit down for the whole of Saturday. Sigh.

On Sunday In Manchester it was...

briefly sunny. Huzzah!

The UK weather continues, on the whole, to be shit. Lots of floods and worry and misery. However, I spent the weekend, well, Friday and Saturday (Sunday was rained off) at FATE (The Festival at The Edge) in darkest Shropshire where I drank loads of beer and listened to some first class storytelling on the basis that FATE is a storytelling festival. Absolutely wonderful experience and I didn't mind the rain. In fact, being under canvas and listening the rain pitter patter, actually it was more like a heavy train passing, did not phase me one jot. Beer can be a wonderful soporific.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The River Mersey...

on Saturday. Note how grey it is, so grey even photoshop couldn't improve matters. Pah!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Athough I was happy a couple...

of weeks ago this rain is now getting me down. I've become seasonally affected, that is to say, I am SAD.

The Eastern Med is enjoying record temperatures whereas we in Western Europe are mired in bloody miserable rain and dullness.

Headline: Atlantic seaboard of Europe mired in miserable rain and dullness. Dan Flynn, a resident of Manchester spoke for most Western Europeans when he said, "We're mired in miserable rain and dullness."

And another thing, why is the Eastern Med stealing our sun ration? And why are we currently receiving more than our fair share of rain? And will the weather turn before I go camping this weekend at The Festival at the Edge, in Shropshire? And shall I take my wellies? And shall I take a hat, or a brolly or maybe both? I know I won't need a boat because the festival is up on an edge. Wenlock Edge is an escarpment which to me always sounds a risky place to hang around. I read somewhere about people plunging from escarpments, as if escarpments are places to be plunged from, then again it might have been peasants plunging from battlements so what do I know? Either way this coming weekend I intend to not plunge from anything.

And that's exactly how it should be.

The photo is of the River Mersey at Jackson's Boat in Chorlton yesterday.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Piranhas suffer from nerves...

shock. Honest. All that guff about piranhas being the type of fish that would eat it's own mother, and it's mother's mother, and anyone elses mother turns out to be not true. In reality it seems the piranha is a fairly cuddly type, in fact the sort one might invite to babysit should they become neighbours. And all this pack stuff? Well solitude makes 'em anxious so naturally they're drawn to groups. And the teeth thing? A piranha spokesfish interviewed by Associated Press was quoted as saying, "We think this latest research might be a turning point. Yes, yes we know about the eyes and the teeth and the blood and the gore and the evisceration but you know, we're really just guys. Hey, some of us even have families. What's that Julian? Oh sorry, yes, some of us even had families."

Quite touching really.