Wednesday, January 28, 2004

The snow has turned to pouring rain - and I didn't bring my brolly.

Serves me right for making fun of how the UK copes with a few centimetres of the white stuff, I guess...

Snow, snow everywhere...

Lots of it - for Manchester of course. I think I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen actual snowfall since I moved here. And of course, it's always cute how this usually means that trains will be slow or cancelled, and drivers refuse to take to the roads. I also spotted some people using umbrellas...heh.

The bf mentioned that this cold snap and snow had come via Canada, so I had a look at the Toronto Star just now. I'm glad I'm not back home...

Friday, January 23, 2004

I've been walking to work recently - a combination of a) trying to save money before payday b) getting exercise c) feeling tired of paying £8 a week for a 3-4 minute bus ride. It takes me about 20 minutes, so there's lots for me to take in on my journey. Funny old Salfordian pubs that open at 8 am to serve breakfast to construction workers, and have old man karaoke crooners in the evening. Converted flats and swish media companies setting up shop in old warehouses, taking advantage of the original features and cheaper rents. A rash of solicitor firms specialising in 24 hour criminal law representation. The back entrance of the Lowry Hotel.

But one place sticks in my mind. Tucked beside one of the pubs, there's a tiny, brand-new corner shop. It's squeaky clean, freshly painted and has that real sense of wanting to do well. But what makes me sad is that it only has about four shelves stocked with a standard assortment of bread, biscuits and chocolate bars. There's always a little old man sat behind the counter, and no one ever seems to be in there.

The thing is, I never really need anything they stock when I'm on my way home, and it's not open in the morning when I could pop in for some milk for the office. And I guess maybe I feel a bit shy - like I'd feel I *had* to buy something if I went in to have a look. Like those posh clothing shops that stock about 5 dresses. Only it's Kit Kats and Hovis white.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

It's not often that I miss North American tv shows, especially as the best ones tend to get imported anyhow - but I have a soft spot for a good ol' made-for-TV movie. I looked up American Splendor (which we're seeing tonight), which led me to check out Hope Davis => About Schmidt => The Daytrippers => Parker Posey and finally Hell on Heels: Shirley McClaine, Parker Posey and Shannon Doherty in a tale about the Mary Kay cosmetics empire - fantastic! Maybe I should consider getting the Hallmark channel again.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Blogger keeps swallowing my posts. Grrr.

So. Lost in Translation was every bit as fantastic as I expected. And the ending was heaven set to "Just like honey" by the Jesus & Mary Chain. The rest of the evening just had to be Japanese style too, so we headed straight for the Wagamama (also in the Printworks) for edamame, gyoza, tonkatsu and Kirin Ichiban. OK, it's not completely authentic, but it's close enough. And then back to our flat for more drinks and... karaoke. You see, I invested in a special karaoke dvd player a few years ago. It hasn't had much use since last spring really, but after a glass or two of wine, I wistfully said I had the karaoke bug. The bf surprised me by saying he was up for it too, even though my song list was mostly made up of 70s rock ballads, 80s pop, recent top 40 and the Carpenters. A boy after my own heart! I activated the scoring function too, and if you can believe it, our best result was 95% for "Bag it Up" by Geri. And I have now been instructed to find some hip hop karaoke vcds for the next time...

All things Japanese continued on Sunday, when we explored Chinatown for the first time in ages. The bf bought a Gundam robot model, we did some purikura and I also picked up some panko breadcrumbs and Japanese curry sauce so I can make tonkatsu at home this week.

We also wanted to make some edamame at home, but buying fresh or frozen soybeans still in their pods has proved impossible in Manchester so far. I?ve discovered that Mount Fuji do mailorder frozen edamame, but there's a whopping £9.95 delivery charge since it's sent overnight - a bit much when the beans cost around £2. Hmmm.

Friday, January 09, 2004

I sniped an auction yesterday for a single I've been wanting for ages - Jackie Lee's "The town I live in" (which I first fell in love with many years ago through the Dream Babes cd). I had to bid a few times to win, but I *really* wanted it as I've never seen it for sale anywhere before. Moments after I'd won, I got an email from the other bidder, who turned out to be the person who runs the only Jackie website I know of. Oooops. I've promised him a scan though, and I don't feel *too* badly as he's got another copy, just not this one (which is a promo issue). Ah, girl group politics.

It's been a very cinematic couple of days, too. Sleeper and Far From Heaven last night. I cried my eyes out during Far From Heaven, especially since I'd had a crap day at work. And tonight, Lost in Translation is finally out in the UK, so we're going to a screening right after work. I expect to be floating around in a happy Sofia Coppola/Bill Murray/Japan bubble for the rest of the evening.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Sinus cold, owwww. Drugs not working. Note: do not let the sweet but, at the end of the day, clearly on-commission pharmacist persuade you to buy the Boots brand of Sinutab. Half the price maybe, but that also must mean half the drugs. It just ain't happening.

Oh, and can I gripe about the supermarket cashier I had yesterday? I thought he'd said £3.10, so I gave him £10.10. He took my money, punched it in and, after a minute of painstakingly sifting through the till, handed me a bill and a big pile of change. £6.99 in fact. So I said:

"Umm, I thought you said £3.10? That's why I gave you £10.10...?"

Him: "No, it was £3.11." (silence)

Me: "Can I ask why you didn't ask me for the penny?"

Him: even blanker expression

In the end I just walked away.

Monday, January 05, 2004

I haven't been anywhere near a computer since before christmas, and it was actually quite nice to just forget about emails and eBay for a while.

Got completely spoiled, which was lovely - too many presents to list, but off the top of my head: Creme de la Mer, trainers, an amazing hoodie from a brilliant new label, Duel Industries, dvds, 60s design books, the new Kelis album, Dream Babes 5, a beautiful pop art clock, and a nice little sum to add to my holiday fund from my parents, who say it's high time I paid Toronto a visit. (It'll be three years next September if I don't get back before then, ooops...)

Spent christmas/boxing day at the bf's parents' house, doing the usual sofa/telly/food thing (bliss!) and then it was back to Manchester for the rest of my break to just relax and do whatever. Let me tell you, sometimes it's pretty tiring living in town anyhow, but seasonal shopping hell made things even more intense. Just trying to do a run to Tesco for some milk required major psyching up, and forget about trying to just turn up at a restaurant to eat. So we mostly hibernated away with our ever growing dvd collection, except for new year's when we ventured out in the pouring rain to the That Amazing Thing party in a nice old pub tucked away off Chapel Street. And so 2004 started with a nice snog and dancing to Irfane...