What a Performance

A galaxy of mobile phones in the audience and a supernova on the stage

Two and a half years after buying their tickets, arty intellectuals Admins 1 and 2 finally got to see Pet Shop Boys from seats perched high on a vertiginous man-made cliff which had acrophobic Admin2 pouring with cold sweat until the lights finally dimmed and the music began.Suburbia opened the set, after two and half hours spent getting through airport-strength security and waiting for the arena to fill. There was a spectacular light show, with lots of computer animations:
The PSB catalogue is so extensive (and such consistently high quality) that our guesses for the opening number were all wrong (we both favoured West End Girls, which was near the end). Happily for Admin1, Being Boring was also played. And there were great versions of It’s a Sin, Heart, Domino Dancing, and a sadly Dusty-less What Have I Done to Deserve This. They missed out Shopping, though 🙂
All in all, a splendid time was had by all…
It was our first trip out of Yorkshire for two and a half years and we found Manchester as rainy as always, and the prices at the AO Arena extraordinarily exorbitant (£5 for a litre of water FFS, and an incredible £35 for a poor quality ‘official merchandise’ T-shirt).
Admin1 is rereading Spook Street by Mick Herron. Admin2 is reading Tragedy on the Branch Line by Edward Marston; a nineteenth-century railway policeman investigates a murder and meets Prime Minister Palmerston.

In the Empty City

City Square, the would-be bustling hub of Leeds, at prime shopping time and the place is deserted apart from some trees and the Black Prince.
Admin1 is rereading Dead Lions by Mick Herron. Admin2 is reading The Dark by Emma Haughton, a juvenile mystery/romance, wasted on the locked room/powder keg setting of an Antarctic research station in winter.
Today was the warmest day this year: 23.2 °C.
The next day was cloudy and cool. We ate pork, veg and rice with the newlyweds and scored 11 on the GSQ after a lot of guesswork and bet-hedging.

Ring a Ding Ding

Congratulations to Gez and Dave on their wedding day. Rings were given, words were said and they emerged into the daylight as a Mr and Mrs. Outside the Civic Hall, crowds demonstrated in their honour.
Admin1 is reading Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard. Admin2 is reading Inspector Chopra and the Million Dollar Motor Car, a special short easy book by Vassem Khan which took about 20 minutes to read but was enjoyable anyway.

Ten Years After

It has been ten years since we started uploading annual May Day pics of the garden after whatever weather was earlier. During that time the rain and sun have waxed and waned and the tulips and bluebells have slugged it out; tulips in the ascendant this year after an April that was our fourth sunniest April ever and not so showery.
Admin1 is reading A Killing in November by Simon Mason — another unpleasant protagonist whom the author works hard to make sympathetic. Not really successful at humour, and side issues (refugees, jihadists) not explored adequately. But readable.
Admin2 is reading Companion Piece by Ali Smith, which features an imaginary female character who is A Smith.
We had the pleasure of Gez in the flesh for the first time since Mother’s Day and scored, oh dear, worst this year, 7 on the GSQ.

Dandelions Old and New

Spring is well under way with little suns everywhere evolving into ghostly moons.
Admin1 is reading The House of the Hanged Woman by Kate Ellis. Admin2 was reading Among the Ruins by Ausma Zehanet Khan (a film-maker campaigning for a political prisoner is murdered in Iran) but found it, worthy as it probably was, too depressing, intellectually challenging and boring to read late at night so has switched to The Darkest Evening by Anne Cleeves.

Easter Eggs

Magpies have built a fine nest next to our house (apparently magpies nest next to humans to keep away their crow kin) and today Admin1 sent up the drone to look for blue eggs or fluffy chicks, but they had built a roof and the tree was in leaf so no luck.
Meanwhile Admin1 had his first stab at making a Battenburg cake which turned out extremely well. A lovely meal was had by all and we scored 11 on the GSQ.
Admin1 is reading The Stone Chamber by Kate Ellis and Admin2 is reading Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howard, which was extremely implausible.

Hooray Hooray It’s a Halo Halo Day!

A sundog in the morning……and a halo in the afternoon.
Followed by buckets of rain.
Admin1 is rereading Cut Short by Leigh Russell. Admin2 is reading The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard, a gripping novel in which the perpetrator of a string of unsolved murders is reading a true-crime book written by a survivor of his depredations.

Mushroom Cloud

Ooh er! Saw this shape in the sky and couldn’t resist.
Admin1 is reading Survivor’s Guilt by Michael Wood, in which enough tears are shed to float the Titanic. An awful book, a histrionic soap opera with a terrible plot.
Admin2 is reading You Don’t Know Me by Imran Mahmood, a convincing piece of cultural appropriation from a fifty-something Pakistani barrister writing in the first-person voice of a London teenager of Nigerian descent.
Despite the clouds and rain and sudden burst of hail it was the sunniest day of the years so far: 8.449kWh

Happy Birthday Gez

It rained and snowed and hailed and sleeted today, with sunshine in between, and stayed freezing cold throughout. It might as well be spring.
Admin1 is reading A Matter of Time by Claire Askew. Admin2 is reading The Soul Breaker by Sebastian Fitzek, a weird book about an amnesiac encountering an outbreak of unconsciousness in a psychiatric clinic.