Category Archives: Manchester

My Home city in the NW of England

A busy weekend with friends

We’ve had a busy weekend with friends who have been up visiting from London.

Helen (an old school fried of Michele’s) and Brian arrived late on Friday evening after a long drive from Horsham in West Sussex. Michele had cooked a welcoming winter meal for our guests of Chicken and Vegitable Bake, all as requested by Helen. Helen and Brian had this served to them last time they called up and liked it so much that it had been requested once again.

Friday evening was spent drinking beer/wine and chatting  as it had been a while since we had last seen the pair of them.

Saturday morning was a little bit rushed as Michele had organised a treat for Helen and herself that had been brought forward by a couple of hours. So it was off into Manchester. I dropped the girls off just off Peter Street by the Free Trade Hall now the Radisson Hotel. The treat Michele had arranged was for the two of them to have their nails done at The Midland Hotel. The Midland Hotel was not Michele’s first choice but the Radisson Hotel was unable to undertake the nails on the saturday.

While the girls were pampering themselves Brian and i went to the National Football Museum at the Urbis Centre.There are some very interesting exhibits in the museum. The one that i think stood out most of all was the presentation on disasters at football games and how the change was made to all seater stadia, especially after the Fire disaster at Bradford City FC, where 56 people perished.

Following our visit to the museum Brian & I called into Sinclair’s Oyster Bar for a cheeky pint before catching the girls up outside of the Pandora store in Manchester Arndale.

We then spent the afternoon mooching about the city, stopping off for lunch and then grabbing a couple of extra cheeky beers.

The evening was spent at home where we had a hearty Chinese take-away all washed down with plenty of beer.

Michele made us all sit through the X Factor before Brian and i got chance to catch up with Match of the Day.

Sunday was a lazy day which started off with a full cooked English breakfast. Brian and Helen left shortly after lunchtime with a 4+ hour drive home, but guess what Michele forgot to give Helen the pies she’d been storing in the freezer for her! Oh well Helen I suppose i’ll have to eat them 😉

A busy week in the office using Revit – AGAIN!

This past week has been a busy one in the office as we’ve been inundated with schemes to produce for all side of the business. Yes we’ve been working for both Social Infrastructure & Property.

JP was swamped with Education Funding Agency work, CM was away on annual leave & as usual we had no support from our colleagues down South! 🙁

I was asked to put my existing workload on the back-burner & take a Property Team scheme on for JP. It wasn’t a difficult job but rather than use AutoCAD we elected to undertake the design in Revit. Revit enabled us to quickly shift the furniture layout around as well as provide an existing, demolition & proposed layouts very easily. Only wished we’d been given the Revit Families training, but we’ve still got to get approval off work for that! We had to space plan an office fit out for a 125 seat office with a mixture of 4 and 6 person desks. There was also a requirement to provide 4 number 6 person ‘touch-down’ desks. In the end all was completed on time & sent to our Quantity Surveyors to price up. We even managed time to create two options. Then it was back to playing catch-up on my core work for the Manchester Education Team with some Development Plans that needed creating. I was also able to clear a planning application for a remodelling of a teachers staff room that required new windows and a door adding.

The week ended with a couple of pints at a new bar which had opened on Station Approach Manchester called Piccadilly Tap.

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There was quite a turn-out for a Friday lunchtime pint as there was 8 of us from the office who had decided it was definitely needed. So we split ourselves into 2 groups of four to make the cost of buying a round more appealing.

Piccadilly Tap, Manchester 2015

We are still trying to get our CAD drawing sheets created too, its been over 3 weeks now since we re-branded the company to our parent companies name and we are still waiting for the title sheets to be produced. Its getting quite embarrassing but I can safely say no one is waiting for me to create them as someone else (who shall remain nameless) has taken it on to undertake. Its not just the AutoCAD ones that we are waiting for its the Revit one too.

More the same this coming week I expect.

The weekend was much more fun, Michele and I went off to Warrington looking for new cars as our current deal which ends in May 2016. Michele fancies a Mitsubishi ASX crossover, but after having a look I’m not so sure. It looks slightly bigger than the Nissan Quashai that we used to have and I’m not too sure if I want a car that big again. Some debate to go though. Then we did a spot of shopping in Warrington, new work shirts and trousers. Following this we called at Bents Garden Centre near Leigh as they’ve had a new refurbishment undertaken and it looked quite smart inside. Maybe another trip is due before the Christmas period kicks in.

Saturday evening was spent with our friends Warren and Dawn as they’d offered us tea after we called in for a coffee. Dawn made a nice Chilli con Carne which was washed down with a couple of bottles of ‘Old Speckled Hen‘. Dawn had been in work all day and even though we’d not seen them all for a couple of weeks we called it a night just after 21:00 so Dawn could settle down and rest.

Sunday (today) was a rest day, i did a little bit of practice with Revit to keep the skill up as I’d noticed that because I’d not used it for a couple of weeks I’d lost the edge. We called over the road to Michele’s parents to see how they were and they both seemed happy.

I’ve had a chat with my daughter Sam tonight who has been telling me what she’s been planning for the coming weeks with a trip to Sheffield and also Nottingham. She was also explaining that her husband (Matt) and her have set a new business up called ‘Sammy and Matt – business builder and mentors‘. How they manage to find the time in their busy life I don’t know but good luck to them both. If you don’t try you’ll never succeed.

Lewis and Drew have both been busy with work too this week as I’ve not seen or heard from them both either. Oh the catering trade and the hours they put in.

Michele, Josh and I have been at the 6th Form Opening Evening this week looking for options for Josh to do after his GCSE’s in May/June 2016. He wants to do Business Studies at A Level and in his own words become an Entrepreneur. Maybe we should buy him this book?

I’ll wrap up now as Homeland (season 5) is due on Channel 4 tonight and it’s my turn to make the lunch for tomorrow.

Birthday celebrations weekend – part two

Well after the double birthday celebrations last weekend it was the 2nd of my brother Rob’s 50th birthday celebrations this weekend, This time a night out in Manchester with his friends.

Rob & Sarah had kindly invited Michele & I to join them on a night out with their friends (Steve, Helen, Wayne, Lindsey, Keith, Jo, Mark, Natalie & Steve). The evening started out with pre-meal drinks at Alchemist, Spinningfields, before we were all ff for a Greek Meze at Bouzouki by Night.

The meal was booked for 20:00hrs so we started to meet in The Alchemist from 18:00hrs. A great meeting point which is lively and popular. The team behind the bar were doing their best to serve two customers at a time, but if you want a quick drink (pint or wine) forget it as the team behind the bar are busy making cocktails. All that said it takes just a little longer to get served but the showmanship from the team is worth the watch. Michele was the only one drinking cocktails but as she was driving they were non-alcoholic. She was calling them mocktails and yes she was impressed with them too & at £4 each that was reasonably priced too.

Then it was a short hop across town to Bouzouki by Night, but as most of the girls had heels on it was a taxi ride. This too was slow due to the amount of roadworks that are currently being undertaken in Manchester City Centre.

If you’ve never been to Bouzouki by Night before your in for a treat, its a small restaurant that holds about 160. With everybody crammed in you start to get served your Greek Meze food, about 15 dishes in total each. The food is adequate for the average person & gets served at your table in a steady stream from your waiters. Drinks are simple, either beer, wine etc with a reasonable price for a round of drinks about £25 for 6 adults.

Once the food has been eaten the entertainment starts with the waiters performing simple Greek dances, this then gets followed up by them dragging members of the audience out to join them. As the place is full of Hen Do’s and people celebrating their birthdays it was usually the person celebrating that gets dragged up. In our case it was my brother Rob who was dragged up. Yo can see his dance here on FaceBook. After the Greek dancing the disco started. The dance floor is about 2m x 2m & there was no way all 160 people were going to get on it but they tried. The choice of music helped as it was a ‘floor fillers’ type album. Michele and I left at 01:00hrs, meanwhile Rob and his mates were there until the death at 02:00hrs.

Sunday took a while to get the body moving but we had the excuse of the late night on Saturday.

I caught up with the Manchester United FC verse Liverpool FC derby match which was a 17:30hrs kick-off on the Saturday night, but because we were out with Rob i had to record it. The first 45 minutes were not from the Manchester United v Liverpool classics but it was OK to watch, however neither team actually troubled each other. The second half though was a different story with 4 goals being scored. 3 from Manchester United & only one in reply from Liverpool.

United’s first goal came from a free-kick on the left hand side of the penalty area, Schweinsteiger dragged his marker further into the box which left a huge gap for the ball to be played into for Blind to place the ball in the back of the net. 1-0 United. The second goal game as Herrera drove into the penalty area only to be brought down by a clumsy challenge. PENALTY – Herrera to take it 2-0 to United. Liverpool managed t get a goal back with a fantastic acrobatic kick from Benteke. 2-1. David DeGea who had recently signed his new contract at United pulled off a couple of Television saves before United’s new signing Anthony Martial scored a fantastic goal on his début to make the final score 3-1 to United. The TV pundits gave ‘Man of the Match’ to Daley Blind but I thought Bastian Schweinsteiger was the key man with a strong performance in midfield.

We even had time to catch up with my cousin Julie and her partner Joe all the way out in Chicago, we spent just over two weeks out in Chicago with her in 2014 and have already planned our return trip for May 2016 to help Julie and Joe celebrate their up and coming wedding.