Saturday, 16 April 2011


We're going to see Lenny Henry at the Lowry in Manchester tomorrow. I saw the show reviewed in a couple of papers and thought that it sounded good so I booked a couple of tickets. Although the show is also appearing at our local theatre here in Southport I decided that it would be good to make a short break of it, visit the Imperial War Museum nearby and book a hotel for the night. I had heard good things about the Lowry Hotel so I went on the internet and sorted out a night there. "Great" I said to Marion - "we can stroll from the Lowry Hotel past the Lowry centre to the Lowry theatre and back again afterwards". We were telling a couple of friends of our plan on Thursday when they pointed out that the Lowry Hotel is not near the Lowry theatre at all but almost bang in the centre of Manchester. I'd always assumed that it was on part of the same complex so now we've got to drive or get a taxi. Oh well, the best laid plans and all that.

Friends Mark and Nita (who saw and thoroughly enjoyed the Lenny Henry show when he came to Preston) took us out for a meal last night at the Freemasons in Wiswell near Ribchester. It's a pub with an excellent chef and we ate an exceptional meal and drank some very fine wine. I can thoroughly recommend it for a special occasion as it is many notches above traditional pub food and very close to the standards achieved at the nearby Northcote Manor which is Michelin starred. It is not surprising that the pub has won awards at the Publican awards in both 2010 and 2011. Thanks Mark and Nita for your hospitality.

We had been visiting Mark and Nita as Mark (above) had expressed an interest in trying out metal detecting. As they live in the countryside outside the Roman settlement of Ribchester he asked his neighbouring farmer if we could give it a try in the fields next to the house. We found a few bits and pieces but then Mark had an enormous loud signal on a bank near to a stream. We dug and we dug and we dug all the time thinking that for something to be so deep and right out in the country it must be ancient. Finally we saw a glint of metal. Could it be at Roman hoard? Alas no. It was this enormous cast iron plate. The detectors discriminate and reject iron but when it is so deep the machines are not always able to differentiate and by the time that we got to it we decided to dig it out just in case it was an ancient chunk of iron.  Never mind, we enjoyed the exercise and we had quite a few laughs in the process.

It's not long to the Royal Wedding now. I'm not really interested although I am interested in anything to do with St Andrews as our daughter Sarah lives there after studying at the university. Here's a tribute to the wedding from the university choir with a great St Andrews backdrop.