Thursday, 23 November 2017

#tbt Beermats: Week 7

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Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Plan for tonight (Sessional Haiku)

Straight home from working
I'll double drop sertraline
and The Arran Malt

A sample bottle
I got for Christmas one time

Dressing sharp tonight
Although nothing too fancy
Bailey's Hot Chocolate

Manchester Markets
Pork sandwiches, alcohol
And chocolate fruit treats

We're starting nearby
in the Slug and Lettuce bar
then wandering round.

Party time later
will be in Voodoo

Wednesday night clubbing
Birdcage student night, can't wait
So please get involved!

Expect a writeup
later in the week, Friday
Anyway, must go

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

What happens if I skip breakfast?

If I don't look like thisin a month I'll give up and go full-on 'Mr Creosote.'

We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Right? I certainly struggle without it. Or do I? Sometimes, on my days off work, I get up and go to the gym on an empty stomach. I do okay, and eat when I get home.

But on a standard work day, the idea of not having breakfast horrifies me. It sounds like a lot of hard work. But a few weeks ago I came across an advert on Youtube that changed my mind. As it was an advert I can't actually link to it, but it was a video from the very knowledgeable Thomas DeLauer. In it he discussed how, when we are asleep, our bodies are breaking down the food in our stomachs. When we wake up, our bodies go into fat-burning mode, and that's when we start to lose weight- unless, of course, you dump a load of breakfast food on top of it. Then your body goes straight back to burning the carbs in your stomach.

If we 'break our fast' in the early afternoon, we'll burn off reserve fat for hours beforehand while we go about our morning.

DeLauer explains a lot more than I ever could, so check him out. What I'll be doing is skipping breakfast for the next month, and actually 'breaking my fast' at 12:30.

I currently weigh 83.3kg. I'd like to be 10kg down from that please. I'd also like to beat a few PBs in the gym. Let's see how that goes.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Party Party Party

ALRIGHT! Just before advent starts and we all go into social hibernation, There's a few events planned that YOU can get involved with.

Wednesday night: Manchester Cool Bars heads to Voodoo at The Birdcage, a good party that fills up every term-time week and offers some decent drinks deals and a young, good-looking crowd. Me and one other mate are definites so far.

Friday night: Cool Bars heads back into town to a place with a very different vibe: Proof at Panacea. Great RnB, a stunning venue, gorgeous people and probably a celebrity sighting if you keep your eyes peeled.

Sunday: I'm at Writers Connect in Nexus, offering feedback to other writers. If you fancy giving it a shot, Come down to the Northern Quarter cafe, 1pm. For this I'm sacrificing the Bisping fight in UFC, so it'd better be good!

Oh, and in theme with Excess Month, I downed the remnants of a bottle of Wild Turkey... then found another bottle on offer in Tesco. And I've started it already. Oh, and ALSO, I met the gorgeous Jemma Lucy from Ex on the Beach / Celebrity Big Brother on Wednesday in Kettlebell Kitchen. Forgot to ask for a pic so you'll have to take my word for it!

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Awful Scene Outside History

There are two roads into History nightclub on Longworth St- Camp St and St John St. Last night, 3am, on the latter, I saw a man punching woman a in a car.

The guy was huge- sat in the driver's seat next to her. She was screaming for help, but I wasn't going to get my face punched in, thanks. I was on my own. I went straight to the doormen outside History. They told me that the two of them had been 'fighting' in the club, and that he had been thrown out. She'd been advised to stay in the club, but she left with him. Now that they were outside, the doormen couldn't do anything.

After a few other people complained, the doormen eventually intervened. I left the scene looking for the police- I suppose I should have rang 999, and I'm embarrassed that I didn't. I walked up to Peter St, just around the corner from the club, where there are a handful of other bars and usually a few police vans waiting for something to happen. The police were nowhere to be found.

I went back to History and the car, the man and the woman had already gone.

I had been out looking for stories for the blog, hoping to photograph a few things, but I wasn't wasting time with a camera when someone was in trouble. I'm disappointed that the door staff were reluctant to help- regardless of club policy, they should have a conscience.

Also, I'm not one for victim-blaming, but if you're given an opportunity to be kept safe from a violent man and you don't take it, and you end up getting punched, you have part- PART- of the blame.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Cottonopolis Turns 2!

Manchester Northern Quarter bar Cottonopolis threw a second birthday bash on Thursday. Cocktails and canapés galore (the latter was free), good funk music and chilled out people came together to make a great party atmosphere.

DJs Will Tramp, Oldboy, and Andy Smith (formerly of Portishead fame) kept people dancing. A healthy flow of cocktails and prosecco accompanied this.

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If you're trying a few Northern Quarter bars is well worth dropping into Cottonopolis on Newton St.

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!