Tuesday, July 31, 2012

goodbye South Fork

no, not that South Fork. as far as i am aware the revamped Dallas is still going strong over in the States and i am sure the rest of the world will get to see it. eventually. it is the other South Fork we said goodbye to recently, as in my parents, or if you will our family, home.

friends and family reading this will be aware that it's off to pastures new for my Mum and Dad. a consequence of that would be a requirement to sell the house, which they have indeed done. after my Dad, of course, with his usual grace, patience and unassuming ways, had "selected" the correct Estate Agent. it was time for us, or rather perhaps the grandchildren, to have a last mooch around, then.

William took quite a shine to doing this, and so off he went exploring with Grandad and Lyla.

the above, by the way, represents the only picture i got of Dad on our last visit to South Fork. he, for reasons best known to himself, thought it better to spend the afternoon electrocuting himself fiddling with some probably perfectly functional light fittings without feeling a need to switch off the electricity first. it's the sort of thing that keeps him amused, or if you prefer out of the way, so it's usually best not to interfere or get involved.

away from the pizzazz and glamour of self-inflicted electrocution, James and William decided that the most class thing they could do with their last visit to South Fork was, predictably but all the same enjoyably, to stage a most excellent light saber and sword battle!

James was wearing his most excellent new Batman shirt as you can see, purchased from that most excellent of excellent stores that is Tesco.

the two of them went wild, as you can imagine, for that is what they have done on pretty much all of their visits!

somehow, and this was a bonus, they managed to avoid either damaging themselves, each other or the house too!

it is perhaps to state the obvious that the boys shall miss South Fork, as indeed shall we all. James and indeed to an extent William understand, though, that sometimes people move and other families get to enjoy the house. they both have wonderful memories of the place, though, and sometimes that's enough.

should for some reason, or by chance, the new owners of South Fork happen to read this, we all wish you many years of happiness and fun in your new home. we can only trust that it provides you with as many years of pleasure, peace and comfort that it did us!

well, there you have it. i did, if i am honest, imagine getting a slightly wider variety of images for this post, but as it turned out all the boys wanted to do was run around with swords and similar! that is their way, i suppose!

if you are looking for them, no, the red shoes were not in this post.........

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 30, 2012


hi there

i had reason, the details of which i shall go into later, to have a chat with my Dad on the phone earlier this evening. this would be something that i seldom do, for i seem to have an incredible knack of calling him when he is busy with something. i suppose he's always busy with something, but never mind.

whereas the call itself was somewhat unusual, Dad said something that seemed a little out of the ordinary under the circumstances. what was it he said? well, it was - more than once - how he was looking forward to my next blog post.

assuming he was not referring to my updates on things like The Stone Roses or this interesting new Hannibal series, i just kind of assumed that he was talking about pictures from the weekend, like this one.....

it's also the case that he is one of my most regular of regular readers. well, sort of. he "reads the bits about himself", apparently, and skips over all the other stuff which he presumes, perhaps rightly, to be "nonsense". as quite a few of my readers are here thanks to him directing them towards me, i certainly do not grumble about his approach.

as it turns out, however, it wasn't really the pictures from the weekend he was particularly keen to have a gander at. a suspicious, if you will, brown paper bag of medium to large size was sat on the bed waiting for me. this was a touch exciting, to be honest, as there was the remote chance it was a "Cloughie", named so for receptacles constructed of brown paper were always the way in which the legendary, great Brian Clough preferred to conduct financial transactions.

there was, alas, no "Cloughie" inside the bag. not even an "El Tel" to be honest. instead i found inside the bag something which some might say is even better, indeed priceless.

yes, despite the low quality of my blueberry picture fading the colour somewhat (not that they were bestowed upon me cleaned up), they are what you think they are if you are a regular reader and think they are somewhat familiar. i am, dear reader, now the proud custodian of my father's beloved red shoes.

i had been advised, possibly assured, that he had disposed of the things, presumably in some sort of ceremonial burning. as it turns out, no, they are still alive!

many thanks, Dad, for leaving them with me. yes, the sight of them gave me a good smile and brought back memories of images of them from over the last few years!

i suspect, on an infrequent but subtle basis, these shoes may well appear every now and then on this blog going forward. this is in particular as i have not quite mastered how to go backward, but also to give you something to try and spot every now and then.

more updates soon-ish, things are a touch busy these days!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Morpheus joins Hannibal......

hi there

well, this TV series based on Hannibal Lecter prior to Red Dragon seems to be getting better and better. better in how it sounds, at least, as of course no one has seen it yet.

if you skip through my blog you will see the casting decisions that have been made up to now. interestingly only Hugh Dancy as Will Graham appears on the official site as a cast member; it seems to be a given that Mads Mikkelsen (in an inspired piece of casting) shall play Dr Hannibal Lecter.

a third, significant piece of casting has taken place. Jack Crawford, the mentor and indeed if you will boss of Will Graham, will be played by......

the most excellent Laurence Fishburne!

a bit of a surprise, this - he has only recently quit that CSI show, suggesting that he was more interested in stage and screen work. oh well, if it has attracted someone of his quality and stature it can only mean the scripts and concept are of a substantial, high quality.

the character of Jack Crawford has some senstional pedigree. the part has been played, in the film versions, by Dennis Farina, Scott Glenn and most recently Harvey Keitel. that's an impressive list of celebrated actors, and Mr Fishburne is very much at home in such company.

more news as and when i get it!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012


hi there

well, wouldn't you know, two people called Stanley who are no longer with us should have been celebrating their birthday this week. one would be my dear Grandfather, who we all remember very well indeed - in fact as well we rememember as much as we miss him.

the other Stanley would be somewhat better known worldwide, and indeed would have been celebrating his birthday today, of the same age as my Grandad as i recall.

hard to believe that it's been over 13 years since the man i still consider to be the greatest, finest and most important film maker passed away.

of course his passing happened in the era of the interwebnet, and thus one can find all sorts of ridiculous conspiracy theories surrounding his passing. the "best", for the real want of a better phrase, is easily that he was in fact murdered as what turned out to be his final film, Eyes Wide Shut, was to going to reveal the "secrets of the illuminati", whatever or whoever they are. the "proof" seems to mostly revolve around the fact that he died exactly (i have not checked this) 666 days prior to the dawn of the year 2001, a year he is rather closely associated with. for some reason he was the only victim of this conspiracy, which might give you a clue as to the validity of this theory.

whereas my Grandfather Stanley always had a smile, a kind word for everyone and always a wonderful story to tell. the fim maker Stanley not only refused to make a bad film, he went further and made movies that will be thought of, appreciated and watched until the last means of watching films is gone from the earth. both are greatly missed, and thought of this week.

viddy well.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

fixing things with Grandad

hi there

Grandad, as regular readers and indeed relatives will be all too aware, has a pretty interesting track record of seeing his grandchildren as excellent candidates for manual labour. usually, in his brief, skimpy defence, he waits until they are at least 2 before he has them hauling stuff around, but in the case of Ruby-Lee he would appear to have made an exception!

despite the fact that Ruby-Lee has barely mastered the art of walking, Grandad seems to have taken to her being his chief assistant (i.e. labourer) for the time being, getting her to help with whatever odd jobs it strikes him as a good idea to do.

here are the two of them attacking an unspecified wood construction with screwdrivers for no, thus far, given reason.

the more observant of you will have no doubt noticed that his ace Ernest Hemmingway beard is on the go once more. you may have further noted that whereas Grandad is wearing gloves, Ruby-Lee has no such similar protection. i guess he trusts her deft skill with a screwdriver!

Ruby-Lee, despite her young age, is obviously rather good with things that need a screwdriver to fix. i am guessing or assuming this from the fact that Grandad sought her help with sorting out a washing machine too!

the fact that Grandad let Ruby-Lee run around with a set of sharp edged screwdrivers isn't really the surprise here. the unusual part of this is that Grandad had bothered to disconnect the machine from any sort of electricity supply before allowing her to shove screwdrivers into it!

the most surprising thing overall, however, of Grandad's apporach to deploying his grandchildren as manual labour is that thus far not one of them has had even a minor injury whilst helping him do whatever it is that keeps him busy. and please do take note of the "thus far" element of that statement. however, with Ruby-Lee being somewhat younger than is usual to get meaningful employment from Grandad, Lyla was taking no chances with the safety of her younger sister and thus dressed as to be ready to step in and help!

the mind boggles at just what it is that Grandad will think of for his grandchildren to help him with next! i am not going to be surprised at all as to what he thinks of to build or fix next time around!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

new hat (sort of)

hi there

well, i've been a bit busy with all the photos from England as you may have noted. as a consequence, "more recent" pictures have not popped up on this blog as quickly as they might have! let me have a bash at getting this all up to date, then!

being back home, for the time being, means a visit to the joys of South Fork. whilst there a week or so ago William discovered that Grandad had, perhaps in retrospect unwisely, left one of his most smart and indeed dapper hats within easy reach.

the result of that is that this most smart and indeed dapper hat is now considered by William to be the property of William!

the most interest, or if you will amusing even, part of this is that William usually has no wish to wear a hat at all. we try, in the midst of winter, to get him to wear a beanie or similar to keep his head warm, but this just leads to quite a performance. sometimes we can sneak the hood of a jacket on when he is distracted, but that's about it!

i am not sure if this hat will keep his head all that warm, but he rather likes it so i guess that's all that matters. and, although of course i am biased, it has to be said that he does look rather smart in it!

more pictures to follow soon / "eventually"!!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

when Frankie spoke......

.....or sang is probably more accurate!

in recent times, Frankie Goes To Hollywood have been updating some rare and unseen images on their official page over on the grand social network . there's a temptation to pinch all their pictures and load them here, but rather click on it yourself, have a look around and you never know you may get to speak to a Frankie or two!

i am, however pinching one picture from them. why? because i was there when this picture was taken!

wow! for those interested, myself and Uncle Colin were stood to the side of the stage where you can see Paul and Nasher. and what an amazing gig it was too, one that i remember as well as if it was The Stone Roses we just saw. not bad since this image dates from January 10 1987!!!

i could rant, ramble and rave about this gig and Frankie for a bit, but i will just leave this picture of sheer excellence to, for the most part, speak for itself!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

throwing knives at Uncle Trevor

hi there

well, with a title like that i suppose i had better do my best to make this an interesting post!

Trevor has taken to using the grand social network to upload pictures of his days of fame, fortune and glory. and why not, i say, for that is what networks are there for, and Trev has had a most excellent life.

this picture, from Margate in 1981, is his most recent update. it is rather class, i think or at the least hope you will agree!

wow, nice one! i do look at a picture like this and wonder why i never got a class job that involved scantily clad ladies throwing knives at me.it would be an ace way to make a living!

if Trevor has any more pictures to share that are as ace as this i will be only too happy to pinch them and post them here!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and careful where you throw knives!

England via BlueBerry

hey there

OK, one more set of pictures from England to share! these are taken with my Blueberry thing, a device for taking pictures that, as regular readers shall be aware, are not normally all that good in terms of quality. the basic blueberry model is not blessed with the greatest camera, although i suspect it might help if i cleaned the lens or something. anyway here, in some sort of order, are the better pictures i took with the thing.

to start with here's James, followed as ever by William, trying to catch a sheep!

as per previous posts, James did not quite manage to catch one. i am not sure if this is a good or bad thing, really!

now then, i'd like to think that Nando's in England has been covered rather well earlier in this blog. there is, however, an alternate view that there is no such thing as too much Nando's. to that effect, then, here is a picture of Andrew as we headed to this sensational restaurant prior to seeing Red Lights.

many thanks again to Andrew, my MMA, for the class evening out!

now i am pretty sure i know what you are thinking around about now. no way, i hear you think, have anywhere near enough pictures of The Stone Roses at Heaton Park featured on this blog. let me put a few more here, then!

i recall putting up pictures of my chum John Payne with me holding our Stone Roses tickets at Heaton Park, but cannot remember if i did the same with one of Michele and i. if i did, well, here it is again!

to be honest, just standing in a field with Michele for a day and night would have been a very excellent thing on its own. having The Stone Roses, amongst others, there with us was just a major bonus!

in that regard, here's one of them "self portrait" pictures i took of the two of us, that i really rather like!

hope you do too!

as for images of The Stone Roses onstage themselves, well, there are hundreds of professionally taken ones all across the internet. i understand my simple snaps are not quite as good as those ones, but i do like this next one. it's rather funky!

that's probably quite enough pics of The Stone Roses from me for a while, i would imagine!

although possibly not quite enough of pictures of the magnificent city that is Manchester. if for some reason you are looking for a blurry image taken of Manchester from a bus on an overcast / drizzling day, then you are in luck with the next one!

i did not quite get to do all that i wished in Manchester on this trip, and at the top of the list of things not done would indeed be a visit to Salford Lads Club. that means, then, that i will most certainly making another visit to the place one day!

on returning from Manchester, i did as mentioned before purchase the at the time most recent album from Plan B, that thing about someone called Strickland Banks. for some reason Andrew was rather keen for me to take a blueberry picture of it and send it to him, so here it is for your viewing pleasure.

yes, that is a copy of the Evening Gazette it is sat on!

in the world of slightly less modern music, i was thrilled to see that Grandma and Gramps were still getting use out of my most excellent Holly Johnson keyring!

i ordered that, as i recall, from Holly's fan club back in 1989 or 1990. good to see that it has held up! Holly was and indeed remains always excellent with the fans. one of my most prized possessions remains the signed copy of his debut solo album, Blast, that he sent me, and if you want to have speaks with him he's always keen to hear from fans on the grand social network.

ever wondered what Dixon's Bank looked like late on a night, walking away from that fine establishment they call the Brunton Arms? wonder no more!

i was given assurances that this "dogging" business takes place in the car park there. i did not, alas, find any evidence of that, and it seemed rather rude to just go and ask the staff there.

i did have a decent enough pint in the 'Brunnies', mind. but i had an even better drink whilst in York!

aaah, dandelion and burdock! the king of drinks! we do get a sort of version of it over here, oddly, but it just not taste the same as the "proper stuff" one gets at home!

this next picture is one for you to puzzle over somewhat, and indeed admire the fact that blueberry feel no need to add a flash to their phone camera thingies.

i know exactly what is going on in this picture, but i am not allowed to say. if you are that curious, you could always try asking my (considerably) better half......

onwards to the next picture, then, and something strange indeed - graffiti, ladies and gentlemen, seems to have at last arrived in Great Ayton!

wow! that's actually a very class Che Guevara stencil someone has added to the back of a road sign there!

that last picture, much like the next one, was taken from the confines of our most excellent hire car.

in regards of this next one, it's taken on the way to the airport to leave UK, and features that magnificent statue the Angel Of The North.

i seem to recall a lot of people were baffled by it when it was first put up, but in general it's accepted these days as a great and wonderful addition to the general landscape of the North East. sorry that i took the picture on a grey day!

and finally, then, one not in England but of England. we got back to our home safe and sound, and with the help of Mum and Dad got all the cases back into the house!

as you can see, James was very keen to get started with unpacking, if only to get his hands on the class toys and games he picked up whilst on holiday!

right, i think that's it for holiday and holiday related pictures for a while! i shall just have to think of something else to write about, probably only next week though!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

on a plane

hi there

well, thanks to Bruno and Jelena, we have a couple of pictures of the boys enjoying their entry into the world of flying!

we were rather worried as to how the boys would take to being on an aeroplane, but as it turned out both thought it was the most amazing thing ever. both were exceptionally well behaved, with the exception of neither of them at first having any interest in sleeping!

well, that lasted on the first flight to Dubai really - by the time we flew from Dubai to Newcastle they had exhausted themselves and slept on most of that one!

these are on the last flight out of Dubai, where as you can see William had got himself to sleep, but James was having too much fun with all the videos and games!

a very big part of why the boys were so well behaved on the plane, and loved it so much, is because of the outstanding, best i have ever seen service provided by Emirates. i believe they have been awarded "airline of the year" seven times in a row or something? to be honest, if that is true then rather just give them the award for life. a touch of a rant coming up......

of all the options we had to get to England, Emirates got us to where we wanted to be for the best price. you cannot, however, put a value on just how good they are. whereas Virgin are OK, you get the feeling that the likes of SAA and British Airways really loathe and detest the idea of having passengers, and that they believe somehow they are doing you a very great favour in accepting large amounts of money to let you on their craft.

not so Emirates. even though we were in economy, we got nothing but the best service, comfortable seats (a bonus with my larger than average size) and just an all around amazing experience. it may take slightly longer to get where you are going via Dubai, but so what? stopping off in Dubai for a few hours either way was an excellent experience - that Dubai airport is fast, efficient, friendly and a sheer wonder to see and walk around. what people think the likes of Heathrow and JFK airports are, Dubai actually is.

the best way i can sum it up is that if for some reason i had to travel from Johannesburg to Cape Town, i would look in to doing it via Dubai with Emirates. 20 hours or so with them will, frankly, be better than 2 hours with another airline.

Bruno and Jelena are two of the stewards / flight attendants / whatever the term is these days who looked after us, which included taking these pictures of the boys. William even (sort of) woke up for one of them!

on that note, a bit more praise for them - Emirates really, really like families being on board. other than preparing special, excellent and very tasty meals for children, they also overloaded them with all sorts of toys and things to do. believe me - if you are a family travelling anywhere in the world, look no further than Emirates to get you there!

right, let me have a look at what i took with the blueberry and see if there's anything worth posting here! other than that, if there is such a thing as normal service, then normal service shall resume with this blog!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

the railway children

hi there

well, alas, these are the last of the proper pictures from our trip to England. the batteries for the camera packed up on our most excellent trip to York and, quite frankly, i just did not get around to charging them up. sorry, but for the rest we had an excellent time, and whilst i do not have the thousands of pictures that my Dad would take, i think i got enough!

after our encounter with the Stormtrooper and an absolutely ace tour of the Jorvik Viking Centre (sorry, no cameras were allowed inside) it was off to one of York's many attractions, the Railway Museum. sensationally, it offers free entry for all, which makes it all the more worthwhile to go.

James thought the place was most excellent, to be honest. even if the batteries on the camera had not been exhausted i would not have had that many pictures, so keen was he to run around and see everything. here, for instance, he is on what i am assured is a cast iron footbridge.

and if for some reason you doubt the veracity of the assurances i got in the statement above, well then may your mind be at ease with a look at the next picture!

as for why, as Michele asked, the Rail Museum was specifically in York, well once upon a time it was the centrepoint for this important service. York was and to an extent still is to trains what Liverpool and Manchester are to the canals in England, if that makes sense. there are probably several websites out there that give a better description than that, but hope this helps!

one of the more important functions of the rail service in England, or the UK as a whole for that matter, is the delivery of mail. as a consequence, the Royal Mail services has quite a display at the Railway Museum, the most excellent part of which is a mail sorting game.

if Christopher and William quite liked it, then it is the case that James would have loved to have spent a week playing it. the jist of it is a whole load of letters are given to you, and you have to sort them into the correct box on the basis of the city they are going to before the timer runs out.

a simple yet addictive and fun game, James discovered! it was rather difficult to get him away from it, to be honest!

the temptation of going over the cast iron bridge once more, however, did the trick in breaking the spell cast by the mail sorting game, and off he happily went over it again!


an excellent bonus is that Colin and Angela feature in this final (proper) photograph, as it allows me to thank them once more, on behalf of all of us, for there exceptional hospitality and generosity. thank you, you made our holiday all the more brilliant!

oh hang on, there's sort of two more close to proper pictures, and then any others shall be from the magic of my blueberry thing.

in the mean time, then,

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

more Heaton Park pictures.....

hi there

well, it was perhaps inevitable that i would get around to posting yet more (sort of) pictures from The Stone Roses at Heaton Park i guess! and why not? i mean, every day in the car i feel like screaming "I SAW THE STONE ROSES" at the world. it's one of those experiences that, whilst you wish you could have again, will perhaps never ever diminish or fade as a memory.

i say sort of yet more pictures as some of these, two in particular, featured earlier in the month when i had a go at scanning them with the equipment of the sensational Harlo Gang. as you may recall, though, the class equipment of the Harlo Gang as an extra benefit added a streaky smeared line to the pictures. without taking away from the artistic merits of that, i thought non-streaked images might be of interest to some.

onwards with the pictures, then, and where better to start than not longer after we had arrived and got through the security checks. all of that ran very smoothly indeed, by the way!

here's a rather empty looking Heaton Park, then. well, empty in regards of what was to follow, and what you shall see!

you will notice that above, and every now and then, the sky looks kind of strange in the pictures. i have no idea if this relates to the general pyschedelic vibe of the day or is in some way related to the disposable Kodak camera i used!

here's one of the three people i was fortunate enough to go to the gig with, which i think was taken not too long after the picture above. probably after we had been for a bit of a stroll around the grounds as John has his ace Stone Roses shirt on. it's mostly likely from just after the Dirty North had finished their set, hence so many people mulling around.

as i said in one of the first posts on Heaton Park, the Dirty North were well impressive on the day, and seem to have got a bit of unfair treatment from the press in their reviews. what i had heard of them on things like you tube was somewhat lacking in quality or appeal, but they sounded much, much better on the day. i am pretty sure i read that they are presently not interested in recording, rather wanting to just do gigs instead. hopefully that frame of mind will adjust, a record of them would be class.

i am pretty sure that the next picture is of the legendary band The Wailers in action. that would certainly explain the, if you will, hazy shade caused by grass look in the skies!

what an added bonus to the day to have walked away from it knowing that we'd seen The Wailers. yes, sure, everyone thinks "Bob Marley" and only a few think of the "and The Wailers part" at the end of it. the truth is these were his friends and equals in making the music that made the world pay attention to reggae.

this next one is probably taken around the time either The Wailers or Justice Tonight had either taken to the stage or just left it. it's included so you can see that formidable stage for the most part. however, i do seem to have managed to get a fair few faces in the crowd, so if you were there on 1 July 2012 and are looking for pictures of yourself, outstanding!

and now for two that i know full well i posted before, but here they are streak-free. here, thanks to the friend of John Payne, are images of the four of us, with that simply awesome stage in the background.

yes, i am the only one sans ale! i wanted to take it a bit easier on the sauce to be honest, as i didn't want to be hammered by the time The Stone Roses came on. several people at the gig didn't quite take this approach and were laid passed out even before Plan B hit the stage. that's a shame, but you can't go living other people's lives for them!

these two pictures are excellent, even i do not look all that bad in them. i would imagine that one or perhaps both shall end up printed and framed before too long!

here's one that might be the excellent, worthy Justice Tonight band on stage. quite difficult to tell, and i do not have the high-res scans here so i can't really zoom in and see for sure!

i really should get around to sending Pete Wylie a message, congratulating him on a great gig and thanking him once more for all the effort, energy and time he has put in to this good cause. Mr Wylie is available on the majority of the social network thingies and is a top, friendly bloke (as long as you are not called Thatcher). if you are aware of his Justice Tonight work and support him just as much as i and any football fan in the world does, do take the time to send him a message of support.

this next picture is most certainly (probably) of the Justice Tonight band in action, as it shows one of the special guests they had on the day - the chap from a band called Reverend & The Makers.

to be honest, i just knew that one of the guests for Justice Tonight would be from this band. no inside knowledge at all, it's just that my mate Shaun from LA (Man) was supposed to be at the gig with us, until costs and time made it impossible. as Reverend (as their fans probably call them) are one of his top bands, something like this was bound to happen, sadly!

now then, if there are any fans of an earlier post of the one that John Payne dubbed as the personification of his phrase Tatty Slapper (the phrase "tatty slapper" and all variants being © John Payne Lexicon, which in itself is © John Payne Linguistic and that name further being © John Payne Dutch Rudders) they are likely to be pleased with the accidental shot of her to the left of this next one. even if she has her tights more or less in tact, i guess. i say acciental, as the actual intended subject is sort of to the middle-right in a picture taken at the rather good suggestion of John Payne (see previous sentence for copyright details).

whereas the kids of today seem to get their jollies by holding their blueberry or iTwat phones up towards the stage in the hope of making a bootleg video or sound recording, back in the golden, mobile device-free era, we had concert flashers to help entertain and pass the time. that lady you can see sort of in the distance a bit was engaging in this much appreciated activity, although i didn't quite catch the moment. i tried for you gents, even though it would have meant a difficult time getting them developed if anyone at Tesco was checking!

there were quite a few flashers at Heaton Park, it has to be said, and indeed those who went on Saturday were treated to a gent going "the full monty" for most of the day. those pictures are not ones you will find here, but should be easy enough to find on the net. as for why a gent would strip to the full, no idea. perhaps, looking at the bill, something performed by either Professor Green or Beady Eye inspired him to do it.

on we go, perhaps wisely, then to some images of the "main support", Plan B.

i am reluctant to repeat what i said in my first post on the lad, but why not in case you did not read it or just cannot be bothered to search for it. he was really on top form with his more conventional songs and indeed won over a large chunk of the crowd. when he started with his rapping, alas, he tended to lose some of the crowd, very much to the gain of the bar. the beat boxes and sounds being made were ace, but "rap" and "outdoor gig for The Stone Roses" don't really go together as much as Ian Brown would like to think they do.

please don't think that the last comment is intended as bad or negative. i am one of what you would think was quite a few who went and purchased the most recent CD, The Defamation Of Strickland Banks, within days of the gig. granted, the songs on it that are rap heavy shall not get all that much of a play, but the ones which are not - in particular ace Free - shall get regular airings.

i believe when not on the stage or in the studio film is the game of Plan B. Andrew tells me to get the film Harry Brown with him in, and i believe he is in the soon to be released film adaptation of The Sweeney, in the Dennis Waterman role no less!

go on then, one more picture of the Plan B in action, if for no other reason than it will impress Andrew and Christopher.

in his capacity as my Modern Music Advisor (MMA), Andrew would wish to make it clear that the new album from Plan B, the soundtrack to his film Ill Manors, is out on Monday 30 July. the title track is one that i have heard and consider rather too shouty for my tastes, but i will give the whole album a chance to impress.

finally, then, three pictures of the moment we were all there for, The Stone Roses on stage, doing that which they do which no one else on earth can.

apologies that they are not as close to the stage or as clear as they could be, but we saw no reason to get squashed in the pit at the front. no offence to those who went in, as there was certainly no deliberate aggro, pushing or squashing, but i think we are all a bit too old for that sort of thing now, and thus had an amazing time in the middle, with a fair amount of space and still being able to be part of the groove. good luck to those who got to the front and stayed there for the day and night!

i am still wrestling with getting my head around the concept that i/we were there, to witness The Stone Roses in their home town conquering the world. there remained a sense of disbelief that they had (happily) just started talking to each other again before the gig, to be honest. it can be little wonder that Mani and Reni had a look of disbelief at just how powerful and how loved their music is, something that certainly pushed them to amazing performances. if you could play the guitar like John Squire then you'd be confident all the time too, and words like "disbelief" do not exist for Ian Brown. he is Ian Brown, take him or leave him.

there were reports of people who went to Heaton Park on the Friday and Saturday trying to get tickets for the next nights or night, so amazing was the experience. in this respect i cannot but help understand - i would love to live through it all again. which kind of throws up the question as to whether or not i would get the chance to see them again before, as Ian Brown put it, "the wheels fall off". it's unlikely, i would have thought. i doubt that we shall be able to afford to travel again to see them any time soon, and the chances of them arriving here for a gig are limited to say the least. you never know, though.

with some luck we will get something released from the gigs they have done, be it a DVD, CD or both. all the gigs appear to have been filmed, and yet i am not aware of any footage being broadcast anywhere. i've heard talk that the filming has been for this proposed Spike Island film, but with the band signing two record deals i suspect some sort of release will not be out of the question.

and that picture above, alas, represents the last of the photographs i took with a sort of proper camera of the day and night at Heaton Park. i have not had a proper look at the pictures i took with my blueberry thing so there might be more from The Stone Roses at a later stage, but not today.

hope you've enjoyed seeing these pictures, and if you happen to be in one of them, far out and i trust you are glad to appear!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!