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By: Phil From Birmingham

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Saturday, 9-Apr-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
DaCorrado's

 
 
 
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Went out to celebrate Tony's retirement.

It's been several years since my last visit to this restaurant and I thought the quality of food had gone down. £70 per couple - at this price point I expect everything to be bang-up. The Filletto Rossini was good, but the vegetables were very indifferent. The sweets were reasonable although nothing spectacular. Drink prices at the bar were sky high, although the wine we had at the table was pretty good I thought.

Everyone had plenty to drink. It was great to see everyone again and particularly good to see Mavis back on top form and looking so very well.

Great company.


Tuesday, 5-Apr-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
The Cotswolds

 
 
 
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We went to the Cotswolds today. This is an area that I very rarely visit, despite being on our doorstep.

There are some interesting things to see.

We went to Hailes Abbey, a 13th century Cistercian ruin. I have visited a number of these places and really like them. This one was no exception, being in a particularly beautiful and secluded location which looked great in the thin Spring sunshine. The remains are hidden away off the beaten track . Apparently it was much visited in medieval times by pilgrims, as it was supposed to have housed a phial of Christs blood. Although there's not much left, the architectural remains are stunning. The craftsmanship and detail in the hand carved stonework is quite amazing.

We went on to Belas Knap - a 4500 year old neolithic burial mound. Not much to see really, but what do you expect after 4500 years of being exposed to the elements? Incredible to think that 4500 years ago there were people wandering around on the very ground where I was taking photographs. Interesting for me, but I am a bit of a geek when its comes to this sort of stuff.

A good day


Monday, 21-Mar-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
The Zutons

Went to see The Zutons.

A good gig. I've heard some of their material and was quite impressed. Live they are really good.

Tight, and very powerful, but some nice ballads - a bit of light and shade here and there.

Drummer Sean Payne is quite exceptional and the prime mover for me. He really provides the horsepower that drives the thing along. One of the best drummers I have heard in a long time.

Squawking, sexy sax lines are provided by band member Abi Harding. Who looks as good as she sounds.

Overall, a dynamic band with things to say. I enjoyed it.

The venue, The Carling Academy was pretty full. Getting a drink was easy peasy and the atmosphere upstairs was surprisingly genteel. I have had more trouble getting a beer in my own kitchen than I had here.

The last time I came to this venue it was the infamous Top Rank in about 1974. Full of skinheads and a vicious, squalid, 1970's atmosphere. I only went a few times, I was about 18 and I never liked it.

The atmosphere and ambience tonight were, I am pleased to say, first rate and highly enjoyable.


Saturday, 19-Mar-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Out with some Old Lucas Boys

Went out with a few of the old Lucas Boys. It was really good to see them - Pete, Elwyn, Carlo and Colin. It's been 10 years since I saw Colin - a couple of years since I had seen the others. They all looked well and were on good form.

We kicked off at The Old Joint Stock - a first rate boozer in the city. The beer is good and plenty of variety. The crowd is mixed and generally up for the craic.

We then went on to The Wellington This is a serious drinking establishment with about 8 or 9 real ales on tap. I sampled a few - can't really remember which ones - as by now I was in a fairly relaxed state. They were all good anyhow. I recoomend this pub for those of you on a session. You can't go wrong here. A great pub.

We finished by tipping up at The Kasbah. An excellent post pub balti was enjoyed by all.

I can walk home from here in 5 minutes. An enjoyable night.


Friday, 18-Mar-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Planets, Plug-Ins & Printers

 
 
 
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I've been working with some new plug-ins for Photoshop. The results for rendering planets and starscapes are pretty good.

I've also invested in a new printer, a Canon PIXMA iP 4000, which I am very pleased indeed with. I can't get it to produce results with some papers, but with Kodak Inkjet papers, the quality and level of detail is staggering. A good purchase.


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