An absolutely amazing weekend, started with a pub crawl I organised for the walking group.

A couple of months ago, Brian, Sue and I had an impromptu trip into Chester. We went in various pubs at random, most of which you’d normally just walk past, but with 1 notable exception, they were all really good. One pub in particular (the Cottage on Brook street) made us really welcome, tried to teach us darts, and overall were superb.

The idea of the pub crawl, was to take the group to some pub like this one. As often happens, things didn’t go to plan. Id intended to start the crawl at the Lock-keeper on Canal-side (a favourite haunt of mine, from my earliest days in Chester). The email had gone out to everyone in plenty of time, but with just a day or 2 to go, the Lock-keeper closed down. I had to text everyone and re-schedule for the Marlborough arms. After all that, as I set out on Friday night, I found that the “Lock” had actually re-opened after all, and I needn’t have bothered.

On Saturday, I got up early and went for a walk around the Meadows and Dukes drive. In the afternoon, I met up with Dan and a couple of friends, and we had a few drinks around town. At the end of the evening, we had a couple of Curry’s at Asia fusion.

On Sunday, I spent the morning catching up on my reading (see bellow) and then went out on my bike again, to the Golden Groves. Im really getting into cycling now, and its great to have a sort of “target” to head for. If I just “go out” on my bike, I usually find myself back in the house 45 minutes later.

After I got back, I had a visit from Tony, and it turned out there was a music festival going on at Brook Street, just a hundred yards from my house. We went over, and I wasn’t enthusiastic. Turns out, it was really good, I ended up staying for several hours. I even texted Glenn, who despite taking part in a Triathlon earlier in the day, came along. We also ran into Pete and Cath from the walking group. Loads of great music and friendly people, but the highlight for me had to be an old man who shamelessly stripped to his underwear and starting dancing around !.

We actualy finished that night with a Curry as well, this time at the Spice Balti.

Its said that the BBC news service is probably the most respected around the world. Certainly, their website comes in consistently in the top 10 most visited websites each year.

I trust their news reporting, but I couldn’t help laughing the other day, when I found out about the logo mix-up.

What the report was meant to say, was that Amnesty International (who’s logo is a candle with barbed wire around it) were critical of the United Nations Security Council.

Thing is, the UN security council, doesn’t have a logo of its own, and normally uses the standard UN logo. The logo they ended up with instead, was the logo of UNSC forces. If you’ve ever played Halo as I have, you know that their a fictional group of space marines 🙂

How proud I was to see “my regiment” featured on BBC !.

Other stuff on TV hasn’t been so good. Loads of really good American shows have been cancelled. I could name dozens, but 2 specifically that jump into my head are Alcatraz and the Finder. Still, on the positive front, we’ve got Mad Men, Svu, The Borgias, Family Guy and Game of Thrones, showing at the moment.

Games wise, I’m working my way through modern warfare, with only call of duty 4 and the world at war left to complete.

Years ago, I was into the Smiths (as I still am now). I always envied friends who had all of their albums on cassette. I could never afford that, and ended up using copies, which were never as good. Well, although my music collection is digital, I’ve recently purchased all 5 of the Smiths albums, which I’m happily playing each evening now (if my neighbours are reading this, I apologise).

Out with the walking group the other evening, we were discussing the annoyance of lending books, and not getting them back. One of my favourite books of all time, is Bushcraft, by Ray Mears (not to be confused with Bushcraft Survival, which is more of a spiritual journey kind of book). Anyway, I finally got around the replacing it, and I’ve just started carving a new spoon.

Another book that appealed to me, was the Hobo handbook. Incredibly frank, it talks about living by your own rules, travelling around on trains, eating out of bins, yet has contemporary sections on how to use your laptop at the library to make money. I haven’t read it yet, but for 8 quid, you’ll be lucky to find a more interesting book for your holiday flight.


After Curry on both Saturday and Sunday night, I got a call from Debora on Monday, and along with Raymond, we all decided to go out.

Debora has sadly decided to leave Chester, to work in Burton on Trent. Its a shame, she’s a totally cool girl, and I wish she was staying. In explanation, she summarised the problem (in her beautiful Italian accent) as their being too many Bastards. On close investigation, it turns out that she is referring to Landlords and Letting agencies.

Its a while since I used a letting agency, but from previous experience, I couldn’t think of much to challenge her summary. Only thing I did say, was that there were loads of nice people in Chester, who don’t work in that profession.

We started off, with a drink in the awful Harkers Arms (If it were located in any other country, it would be full of English ex-pats. Since its actually in the UK, I’ve never seen the attraction).

As a goodbye, to thank Raymond and I for being such good friends, Debora took us for a curry. Dave and Amanda from the walking group had recommended the Coconut Grove (silly name, but a superb Southern Indian restaurant, and one of the nicest curry’s, I’ve ever eaten in the city).

Its only the 2nd time I’d eaten Southern Indian. There are several differences, but one of the main ones, is they use rice pounded down to make a sort of crust, which they serve with the food. Above you can see a sort of cone crust they had made.

I especially like the way the Nan bread was cooked fresh, that they played 80’s music, and obviously the interesting conversation of my companions.

As we walked back and said our Good Bye’s, we came upon this Swan, which Debora found fascinating.

I was explaining, that wherever they are born, Swans automatically belong to the ruling Monarch (at this moment, Queen Elisabeth II).

I also suggested she might want to keep her distance. Elegant as they are, a peck from a Swan can be particularly vicious.

Well doubtless meet up in Burton on Trent, I’m sure well have more adventures to talk about then.

Times are hard at the moment, and sound financial budgeting is required. Well, that’s all very nice, but after 2 years of watching every penny, I decided to treat myself to a couple of things (no sports cars, just some new walking trousers, some smiths CD’s (mentioned above) and the super light Zephyros 2 tent I’ve always wanted).

Im doing a couple of adventures this month (in fact I’m away every weekend for the next 4 weeks. Over the bank holiday weekend, I’m intending to ride to Llangollen, with just a 25 litre rucksack, to see if I can carry a sleeping bag, kip mat and tent all in such a small and light container. Ill then be staying over, and riding back the next day. Ill tell you what happens.

Out with the walking group the other evening. We did a section of the Sandstone trail. On summer evenings, there isn’t anything nicer than than a walk through the woods, and I pint with a few friends afterwards in some country pub.

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