Give a little bit…

I was over in Manchester today for a business event and to see Roger Hodgson of Supertramp in the evening.
The Lowry hotel (*****) overlooks this stretch of water with a graceful pedestrian suspension bridge leading across to the City Centre. The area is full of developments with very expensive apartments. That building with the sticky-out cubes is some sort of Court Complex at street level.

Inside the hotel, the Atrium has these two large suspended mesh figures.

Roger is the one in white on this blurry sneaky photo I took. Yes, the stage set does consist of shrubs! Note that the house lights are on low- Roger likes to see his audience. Playing Electric Piano, Grand Piano, and two guitars (one a 12 string) he went down very well to the (mostly aged 50+) audience although I was surprised to see in the interval that the upper Circle wasn’t in use. Unsurprisingly he was note perfect, although a couple of the songs were weakened by the lack of expected drums & bass and would have otherwise soared. Most of the solo woodwind was provided by another musician, Aaron MacDonald, who was remarkably versatile and had the ability to stroll onto the stage at the last moment and be on the spot ready to play exactly when needed (although the lighting man was a few seconds behind him!). Aaron also provided harmonies when it was right to do so and even had a Swanee Whistle portamento horn (made up name) for that bit in the Logical Song when it goes a bit noisy.

One song I didn’t expect in the set and was delighted to hear performed live- Rosie had everything planned from their second (& not too hot) album, Indelibly stamped.

One other treat for me- I found a staircase in the Theatre I hadn’t seen before with some splendid tilework.

School Dinners

Healthy school meals have been only a partial success*, it seems. Even David calls Jamie Oliver for doing away with tasty food and flavoured drinks at his school, even sugar free ones.

When I went to Kenton school, there was a meal choice which you decided by picking which dining hall to go into. (We had a choice of two, there were five in total with three kitchens, after all there were 1,500 kids to feed). The daily dish was chalked up on a blackboard in the corridor. One day, a new word appeared- Macedoine. It turns out this meant diced veg (generally carrots & suede or turnip) but we didn’t know how to pronounce it- instead of May-say-dwan we said Mack-ee-doyne.

I now see that it originated in Macedonia, hence the name. Ahh, isn’t the internet wonderful?

*Partial success- euthemism for an almost but not quite total failure where something minor went right in amongst the train wreck. As used on an Army Telecoms project I worked on in the mid-90s.