A trip to dat der London Part II (Pet Shop Boys)

So Saturday morning and time to chill after being a tourist on Friday. The original London plan was for me and the missus to dive in and out for one night to see The Pet Shop Boys live at The Royal Opera House. We headed off down to Claire’s cousins new flat in Tottenham and we then headed to local park (Lordship Park) where there was a small outdoor paddling pool and some swings to keep the kids amused. In the distance was Broadwater Farm where I remember a police officer Keith Blakelock was killed in 1985. I don’t know what it is like today but I wasn’t going to venture there. That said it’s most probably Tottenham’s version of Toxteth and we all know how a name can stick in the consciousness of the public despite it being over 30 years ago. The weather was lovely in London and the afternoon was spent in the garden pre loading on Desperados before me and the missus headed into London for some beers at London prices. Thrown in a BBQ as well and it was the perfect set up. I banged my Adidas disco trabs on and we headed off on the tube minus the kids (Thanks for looking after them Lynne) and we arrived in Covent Garden to have a few beers namely in The Marquess of Anglesey, The Covent Garden, The Nags Head and finally in the White Lion. I switched off the price of ale after my first bottle of Desperados was £5.50, fucking London prices that. We spotted the beautiful Royal Opera House on Bow Street (Thats with one house £70 please) So having checked before there was no dress code (Didn’t wanna rock up fully adidased to get knocked back) we entered the very posh Royal Opera House and had a lovely Aspall’s Suffolk Cider and some very deluxe salt and vinegar crisps and we spotted a floating bar which despite having a few I soon worked out !!

Royal Opera House floating bar

So we got chatting to some fellow “Pet Heads” and we headed up the stairs to our seats. We entered the splendid viewing area being on the third level and were kindly escorted to our standing position. With just a bar in front to lean on it dawned on me why the tickets were just £25. But there were only three rows in front of us seating and we had a cracking view and room to dance, much better than paying another £40 to sit in one of there three rows in front.

Royal Opera House London Pet Shop Boys

This was the last night of a four night residency and it was Saturday night. I had got the vibe that there were a lot of serious international “Pet Heads” in tonight and that could only add to the atmosphere. So the lights dimmed and the beats of “Inner Sanctum” kicked in and we were off. It was a cracking gig full of old and new tracks. Highlights being a lovely mellow version of ‘Love Comes Quickly” and a reworked more modern version of ‘Left To My Own Devices” Such is the back catalogue of The Pet Shop boys they can leave out number ones and top ten hits. The boys even had a band at one point and were joined for the last few tracks and encore by numerous bouncing inflatable people. Just over two hours later and that was that and with a sweat on from all the dancing we headed out into the warm London evening for a few more beers. Not quite the same level as Glastonbury 2010 but deffo the second best Pet Shop Boys convert I have been to. Would love to go the tour next year but I didn’t speck any standing spaces at any of the venues and just could not sit down at one of their gigs especially after fluking our boss standing spaces in the Opera House and for just 25 notes a pop. So for all the “Pet Heads” the setlist is below.

  1. Inner Sanctum
  2. West End Girls
  3. The Pop Kids
  4. In the Night
  5. Burn
  6. Love Is a Bourgeois Construct
  7. New York City Boy
  8. Se A Vida É (That’s The Way Life Is)
  9. Twenty-something
  10. Love Comes Quickly
  11. Love Etc.
  12. The Dictator Decides
  13. Inside a Dream
  14. Winner
  15. Home and Dry
  16. The Enigma
  17. Vocal
  18. The Sodom and Gomorrah Show
  19. It’s a Sin
  20. Left to My Own Devices
  21. Go West.

Encore:

  1. Domino Dancing
  2.  Always on My Mind
  3. The Pop Kids (Outro)

Pet Shop Boys Inner Sanctum at The Royal Opera House.

So we got out handy and had a pint by the Opera House and I broke my Apple Pay virginity when ordering the ale. We had an amble back past Covent Garden and headed towards Leicester Square and had one last drink outside watching the crazy world of Leicester Square go past. Time to get the tube home. Did you know there are many types of tube line depending on how they were made and what level they are at and also quite a few ghost stations that have closed down (Very interesting dat der tube history) There were a few people asleep on the tube and one girl was leaning on Mrs Fay having dozed off after a few. There must be thousands of people a week who are put to sleep by the tubes hypnotic rhythm and end up not making their stop after falling asleep pissed.

Whilst looking at the Bow Street sign I thought hmmmmm a monopoly board pub crawl. There are only several parts of this available to buy on the Kindle already. I think I might take Mrs Fay down to London again with just us two to have a crack at the Monopoly pub crawl. So we fell in just before 12 having not fallen asleep on the very interesting and historic tube and also not taking the young lady who was asleep on Mrs Fay with us. One last pint of Tyskie in the house and off to bed for another very sweaty night sleep with Mrs Fay.

Sunday morning and I went for a nice hours walk around North London on my own and noted some very strange random objects of litter /  fly tipping but some nice green spaces as well. I headed to my London Home and I had a brunch which soaked up the night before ale and it was time to leave dat der London and the tube and train home. A lovely weekend of tourism in London and taking The Pet Shop Boys in. Many thanks to Claire’s aunty who put us up and to the in laws back in Liverpool who looked after our two dogs. Cracking place to dive in and out of London but could I fuck live there.

Peace

Fay x x x x x x x x

A trip to dat der London and new look blog

So Thursday evening an after recovering from a few (11) drinks on Tuesday for my 13th wedding anniversary to Mrs Fay it was time to head off to dat der London with the family for a long weekend. Originally just a quick one night in and out for me and Mrs Fay to go and see The Pet Shop Boys at the Royal Opera House we decided to make a trip of it and take the sprogs with us as well. So we boarded the train to London and just three hours later we were in Claire’s aunty’s house who was kindly putting us up. The joy with getting the train was I could hit M&S food in Lime Street for some tea and grab some grog for a few ciders on the train. Being back in London reminded me with my all time boring fascination that being the London Tube. Already the proud owner of a history of the tube book and having made Mrs Fay watch a fly on the wall TV thing a few years back I am now a proud owner of my very own Oyster card. Though I would actually prefer that people sold the tickets to me and who knows it might be driverless trains by the next time I get down to London. So the first “sticky” night in London was spent with a few cans of Tyskie bought from the local shop. it was then the nightmare of the trip appeared. I had to sleep with Mrs Fay in a bed that wasn’t out own super king size effort. This was a small double at best and with the added pain of just one double duvet (Me and Mrs Fay both have our own single duvets at home. Its the future, trust me) So we spent a very close night together with the three kids on an arrangement of mattresses on the floor it was a scouse version of The Waltons !

So Friday was designated tourist day and after prizing myself off Mrs Fay, no no not that we were just stuck together due to the stifling heat of London. So we headed off on the tube towards Madame Tussauds (Apostrophe no longer used grammar Nazi’s)  Have I ever told you how interesting the tube is ? Thankfully we had pre booked tickets as the queues were crazy and there is some serious dosh being raked in from this gaff ! So first up entertainment and the kids were straight over to Mr & Mrs West AKA Kenny West and Kim Kardashian. I think that is the happiest I have ever seen Kenny West and the most clothes I have seen Kardashian have on.

Kanye West & Kim Kardashian at Madame Tussauds

I will have to be honest after walking past Russell Brand I was thinking well after you have seen one waxwork you have seen them all. Fashion was up next and the kids enjoyed that and soon we were in Sport, Entertainment and world figures. Next to the Muhammed Ali were some scales to tell you what boxing weight you would be. On I got and it said “One at a time please” Only joking though it did have me comfortably as a super heavyweight. Well that camera bag I had did have loads of gear in ?

DSC09773

Next up the royals and despite temptation I did not behead them (There were more unsavoury characters later on to be worth my Tussauds lifetime ban) and the family had a group photo with the parasites.

The Royal family at MadameTussauds

Me well I took time to reflect on that tragic period when the whole of the country when fucking bizarre and had a pose with England’s rose and I am still fully to get over the events as a well after she died I got a rare as rocking horse shit Saturday off working for Ladbrokes due to her funeral. Promptly went to Garlands and came home and my house had been broken into. Even when the royals gave me something in one hand in the other hand I was losing all my electrical gear.

Princess Diana at Madame Tussauds

Just one last set of wax dummies left before Tussauds takes a different direction and dummies being the operative word though I think an acceptable use of the c-bomb and cunts could be used. The cunt on the right will soon be melted into birthday candles as Darth May will be created.

Boris Johnson and David Cameron at Madame Tussauds

Next up a queue and eventually into a Sherlock Holmes section with some actors taking you on a small story through different rooms. Don’t really so Sherlock so it went over my head that bit. Super hero’s next and then into the 4d cinema. Now this was very good with a cracking 3d superhero visual story and the 4th dimension being various effects via the chair you were in and stuff firing from the chair in front of you. Finally having paid an extra £3 it was into the star wars section and it was good for us nerds and some interaction things to do as well as middle sprig Charlotte battled Darth Vader. “I am your father, errrr no I thought my old man was Jabba The Hutt according to the boxing scales”

Star Wars at Madam Tussauds

So having got stung for a BB8 cuddly toy on the way out (Tip to my kids ask for anything Star Wars related and it increases your chance of getting anything by about 250%) It was time to do some London Shopping. This mainly involved me standing outside various shops as my hard earned money was spent. The lowlight was standing outside Lush for 25 mins “But daddy its got three floors” to which I should have said “I know a car park with 10 floors but I wouldn’t make you stand outside for 25 mins as I looked around the extra floors” So I watched the Oxford Street world pass by. Lush is an amazing shop. Like the old Bisto advert it lures females in. Two ladies (Around 60) were virtually past the shop when they got a whiff of them Lush Products and quickly done a 180 turn and walked in the shop coming out 5 mins later with a big smile and a small bag each which I assume held some kind of bath bomb bollocks in them. If I was 18 I would go to town smelling like a Lush shop. You would be a pure fanny magnet !! So we got the tube home. Did I ever tell you the interesting story that one of the early tube lines as well as the traditional marble signs which make the name of the station on each platform also has a different colour marble so that the many people who could read knew which stop to get off ? Interesting that tube yer know.

So Friday night spent having some beers with the in-laws and I have waffled on so much that the second part of our London Trip will make another blog. Stay tuned tube fans. Oh and Tussauds well worth a visit if you pre book and get a time slot to avoid the queues.

Also as we enter the 8th year of the blog its time for another new look.

Peace

Fay x x x x x x x x

The battle for the Speedo’s

So last week my Nike fuelband would not charge and whilst Nike are great at supplying what will now be my 4th fuelband as a replacement I was aiming for a full year reaching my points target but on the 255th day the band broke and I have lost the heart to continue with the new one whilst inevitably waiting for it to break again. So I needed a new gadget to try and help me drop a few pounds to get into my holiday Speedo’s in just three weeks time. After much consideration (My god how many fitness watches and bands are there on the market now) I went for the Garmin Vivoactive HR. After being an early adopter of the Apple Watch but ditching it after finding I still had to lug my phone around on jogs and bike rides this Garmin has built in GPS so just the watch needed and if I want any choons the old iPod shuffle. So Sunday marked the first full week of activity and whilst not really cutting down much on food and booze I did manage to walk 24.2 miles, run 6 miles, ride my bike for 19.2 miles and play an hours footy so thats not a bad start but with three weeks to get into the aforementioned holiday Speedo’s its gonna be touch and go at this rate. Next step is to cut the grog and booze down which isn’t easy as I glance to my left and see a pint of Koppaberg, a biscuit Boost and a pack of Steak McCoys.

More crazy goings on this week in France and Turkey and I watched both events unfold on the TV and for more near the knuckle coverage Twitter does the business. The “Terror” in France has got to such levels that I don’t feel terrorised by it. If at the end of the day some nut job is gonna drive a lorry at you there is not much you can do and I can’t spend my life looking at every lorry as a terrorist weapon. Friday night I was watching the scenes unfold in Turkey and feared the worst. Sky let their guard down and showed some live shootings on a bridge in Istanbul (One I am sure I have walked over during that memorable champions league trip) Expecting to wake up to a bloodbath in the morning the coup was unsuccessful and “normal” service was resumed. I reckon we need to go back to the 1990’s everybody on Gary Ablett’s and nowhere near as much shit back then if I recall and lots of people hugging each other asking “Whats yer name, where yer from and what have you had?”

The school year draws to an end (Boooooooooo) and I have 3 kids yet Mrs Fay has bough 9 boxes of chocolates for end of term. Either there are too many teachers or Mrs Fay is scoffing them or its a conspiracy by Milk Tray. Those dam too long summer holidays with kids bored after just a few days off and the weather being shite. Roll on September and sprog number three will start infants. An emotional time as I will admit there will be tears in my eyes as the elation of no kids in the house all day Monday to Friday finally hits home. No tears shed this week either as she had a graduation at nursery ?

My youngest graduated from nursery today. Can anybody explain why ? Is it a small thank you from the place for all the fees they have received ? Is it so they can make money from the “graduation” pictures ? I am very confused by it all. I didn’t even go to my proper graduation ha ha.

Yours Sincerely

Meldrew Fay Bsc Human Geography.

Any thats this weeks musings and I leave you with a holiday snap from Cyprus last year.

Speedo's

 

No it’s not really me. As if I would be seen dead in a pair of Speedo’s that are black. Purple all the way for me baby !

Peace

Fay x x x x x x x x

 

 

The ADP Riot tour at The Florrie

Cue Iconic theme tune.

Hello and welcome to The South Bank Show with me Melvin Bragg. On tonight show we visit The Florence Institute which is holding an exhibition of James Cauty’s The Aftermath Dislocation Principle (ADP) Riot Tour. First up and The Florence Institute known locally as “The Florrie” is a building that is a fine example of late Victorian architecture with delicate use of terracotta, and originally it had splendid interiors, from the great hall to the top lit gym to the library. The Florence Institute was officially opened as a boys club in 1890, four years after the opening of a similar establishment, the Gordon Working Lads Institute in Kirkdale on the other side of the city. However it was the first building in Britain to be specifically constructed as a boys’ youth club. Towards the end of the 1980s, at the depths of the economic slump for Liverpool the funding dried up for the Institute and in 1987 it was sold and its management and the building eventually fell to the Duchy of Lancaster, which is the private property portfolio of the British monarch. The building fell into disrepair and suffered from vandalism and the natural elements. This was compounded when in 1999 there was a major fire which destroyed the roof. In September 2006 campaigners applied for the Grade II listed status of the building to be upgraded to Grade II* which would signify that the building is of exceptional historical interest. In January 2012, the restored building finally re-emerges from the scaffolding and boarding that has hidden the work since it started.

Now onto the ADP Riot Tour which the Florrie was hosting. Housed in a 40ft shipping container The ADP is a monumental post-riot landscape in miniature. This dystopian model village is set somewhere in Bedfordshire, where only the police and media teams remain in an otherwise deserted, wrecked and dislocated land – all in 1:87 scale and viewed through peep holes in the side of the container. OK I can’t go on anymore I am more Billy Bragg than Melvin Bragg. It was tuesday night and I was picking the eldest up from gymnastics on Park Road when I remembered about the ADP Riot tour. It came to my attention as a fan of The KLF and one half James (Jimmy) Cauty was the man behind this piece of artwork. So I told Elizabeth (11) and Charlotte (8) that I was taking them to see a piece of art. I could see their little faces and them thinking oh hang on dads going on one again. When i told them it was a giant container their faces looked even more confused and they were thinking why can’t we just go straight home and bang the TV on.

ADP Riot Tour The Florrie Liverpool

So we entered The Florrie and what a magnificent building. I remember from the days when I worked in a bookies just up the road on Park Road that The Florrie had near burnt down. Thankfully the building was saved and didn’t go the way of many fine historic Liverpool buildings and get flattened. Many of them caused by our own city council in numerous acts of civic vandalism. So once we got by the container I gave the kids the Brucie bonus. Go and have a look in some of the holes in the side of the container. And its if by magic their faces lit up as they seen the magic of Cauty’s miniature landscape. There was no stopping them as they tried to view the artwork from all the available viewing holes and also they took in what had been put on the actual container itself (See below)

The ADP Riot Tour The Florrie Liverpool

‘Culture” dad had come up with the goods again as we viewed the landscape from several angles going around at least twice. Afterwards a helpful worker at The Florrie advised us upstairs there were some exhibits from local schools so we had a good nose around this great building and ended up in what I think was the main hall. I was just as chuffed being in the building as I was amazed at the miniature landscape. The exhibition was free but I there a fiver in the donation box.

The ADP Riot tour The Florrie Liverpool

The ADp Riot Tour The Florrie Liverpool

The ADP Riot tour The Florrie Liverpool

I was that impressed with the display that I went on social media to try and promote it as there was one full day left and even banged the message out on my Liverpool Weather account which has over 10,000 followers so hopefully some people took my advice and went down today to have a look at it. I certainly took advantage and took the wife and youngest Holly (4) who despite not being tall enough to look through any of the holes she got the full tour as I lifted her up to peer in the many small windows and she too was amazed with the display. As was my father in law who is a technology teacher so this was right up his street as well. But the display leaves tomorrow on its UK tour (Leeds next) As if by some strange KLF quirk of fate there was an ice cream van parked by the display this evening. I was waiting for the KLF to appear and Tammy Wynette bang out “All bound for Mu Mu Land” but sadly it was ice creams only (Make mine a 99)

So I brought some culture to the Fay family and the in-laws. The kids even asked if there had ever been riots in Liverpool and I gave them a brief history lesson on the 1919 and 1981 riots. I recall being on holiday in a caravan in 1981 as just a few miles from where we lived part of Liverpool was going up in flames and today I was reminded in long winded way about this as today we had a prime minister leaving to see the queen to retire and it brought memories of a teary eyed Mrs Thatcher leaving number 10 in a car on a dark November night in 1990. I was 17 and the lads had knocked for me to hang around the streets of Aigburth but I said no I was watching the news as I wanted to see Thatcher on her way, my dad had brought me up well. Nearly got through a blog without mentioning the current political upheaval but I will stop short there.

Finally happy birthday blog which is now 7 years old. Many thanks to all who subscribe, comment and read these ramblings. To those who share it on various social media platforms and those who give me great feedback. As I always say I aim to raise a smile then and again and try and not be too serious though that might happen from time to time. Anyway cue iconic closing South Bank Show theme tune and farewell until next Sunday were I will be looking at the impact of Shakespeare on the modern school curriculum and we look at the life of influential saxophone player Stan Getz.

Peace

Fay x x x x x x x x (Extra kiss for the 8th year of the blog)

Click on any of the pictures for a larger version

The Florence Institute web page

James Cauty web page

The ADP Riot Tour The Florrie Liverpool