Saturday, November 25, 2006

Blue Nile at The Usher Hall

My friend Brian called me to say that for the second time this year, he had a free ticket for me to see the Blue Nile in Concert. This time they were playing at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh.

However, Brian was unable to make it up from Sheffield this time so there was a spare ticket for Susan, AND we also had backstage passes for the aftershow gig.

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The show was pretty much the same set that they had performed in Glasgow a few months ago, only maybe a bit tighter this time.

They played one fantastic song after another and the highlight of course was "Tinseltown In the Rain".

After the show, we were guided down to the area where the aftershow party was held and walked into a room of diehard Blue Nile fans who obviously knew each other very well. We tried to make ourselves inconspicous, but I couldn't resist helping myself to the complimentary wine and beer. So much for keeping a low profile!

Then out came the man himself, Paul Buchanan. Musical genius!

I was totally tongue-tied and could only blurt out, "the show was great". Fanny!

Anyway, the Big Man was good enough to pose for a picture.

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Feeling like a bit of a fraud and with the drive to the West coast, we made a discreet exit. We drove home with The Blue Nile playing away on the CD player.

Wonder how many times I will get to see them next year!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Graduation From Paisley University

I graduated from Paisley University today with a Diploma in Higher Education with distinction.

Susan and my Mum came with me for the ceremony at the Thomas Coats Memorial Church in Paisley. I wasn't too bothered about being there to be honest, I did it for my Mum to keep her happy.

I'm glad I did though, as I ended up really enjoying it and Susan said my Mum had a wee tear in her eye, God bless her!

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After posing for pictures in the pouring rain, it was over to the University for a buffet. I met my cousin Tracy who was also graduating and her Sister who I haven't seen since I was a boy.

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Also graduating was Funtime Frankie, who I work beside on the ward. Patients often get us mixed up. Can't think why though!

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Cobbler

Today was going to be an important one for me, but I did not realise it at the time. I had only been seeing Susan for a short while and six months later as I retrospectively write this blog, that was the day that I began to realise that there was more to us than just two people who were attracted to each other.

Susan would be the one to stop my life from the freefall that it was in.

And she did.

We both had the day off and so we set off early to Arrochar to climb Ben Arthur. I had unsuccesfully attempted this climb a couple of years ago in the torrential rain and snow of March with the guys, with the end result that we nearly had to be airlifted off the side of the hill!

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As we set off the weather was not too bad, but a little bit chilly. However, our brisk walking pace kept the cold at bay. We spent the four hour climb really getting to know each other, chatting about our pasts, likes and dislikes. We share many of the same hobbies such as cycling and of course hill-walking and I don't ever remember feeling quite at ease with someone as I did with Susan .

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The weather became increasingly changeable as we got further up culminating in a brief snow shower 20 minutes before we reached the summit.

The view was amazing and we spent a little while taking pictures and trying to stay warm in the strong, icy winds.

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There was only one thing left to do and that was take a look through the "eye" of The Cobbler. This is two gaps in the rock with a ledge in between that tradition dictates you have to traverse.

To access this centre peak, you have to pass through a small opening in the rock which leads to a narrow ledge facing a 150 ft vertigo inspiring drop. Once on the ledge an awkward sloping ramp leads to a final step onto the flat summit rock.

I crawled through the hole on the right looked down at the shear drop and the newly fallen snow on the ledge and bottled it! Death was not on today's itinerary!

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I retreated through the hole with my dignity barely intact and we began our decent of the hill.

A couple of hours later and we were back where we started, safe and sound and ready for all our adventures in the future.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Ruby's Christening

My friends, Brian and Fiona's wee girl, Ruby June was christened on 5th November and they were kind enough to invite me and my Mum down for the service.

It was great to see them and the kids and after a fun day spent with the children we had a nice night out at a litttle Italian restaurant and were joined by Brian's Sister, Mary and her husband, Albert.

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It turned out to be a long and late night and the next morning, the day of the Christening, we emerged from our slumber feeling a bit...jaded!

Unfortunately, my Mum was feeling more than a bit jaded and was unable to make the Christening service. However, after the ceremony everyone came back to the house and eventually Mum was able to join the festivities.

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Ruby's Mum and Dad were very proud of her and she enjoyed her day, surrounded by the people who love her the most.

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Level 42

Susan and I went to see one of my favourite bands in concert tonight.

Level 42 were playing at the ABC in Glasgow.

Although they are not the greatest band in the world, I have been a fan of them since I was a teenager and they are excellent live. I haven't seen them at a gig for years and it was good so see that they are touring again to coincide with their new album "Retroglide".

I think that Susan was pleasently surprised at how good they were too and a special mention has to go to their support act Kenny Thomas who has a cracking soul voice and should have more critical acclaim than he presently has.

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I hope it won't be another decade or so before I see them playing live again.