Who gets lost at Dot2Dot festival?

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So, I think I owe you guys an apology – it’s not you, it’s me. I’ve been slacking on the blogging front. But, I’ll make it up to you – promise.  I don’t mean to rub it in – but I’ve been living the some sort of high life lately and haven’t had time to stop. From press nights at Turtle Bay to menu reviews at Missoula – I’ve basically been paid to eat my body weight in food and drink. Another rum punch? why not.

It’s been a very busy bank holiday. But, it started with a bang that’s for sure. I jetted off to Manchester for a day (and night) of unsigned bands, quirky venues and far too many ciders. It’s safe to say I’m still feeling the effects two days later. Ok, I guess it doesn’t help that I followed the ‘hair of the dog’ rule yesterday and had a generous tipple of gin at a family house party. But, it’s the bank holiday weekend and sleeping, eating and drinking is part and parcel, right?

Back to the festival, before I go on a sleep deprived tangent. The teeny-weeny festival – a cracking £12.50 a ticket – was scattered across Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Proper quirky. Like, who’d have thought you could watch Sundara Karma in a cathedral with a pint in hand? I know.

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I’ve been to a far few festivals, but this was something else. Ok, there was still the odd cup of piss flung in the air – but that’s a given. It was everything without the bullshit. No floral headbands, floor length kimono’s or 125ml bottles of wine in sight. It was just decent music for a change. We stuck to the pint-a-place rule so we could see as many acts as possible – and many acts we saw. By the end of the night, we had no sense of direction at all. Forget dot-to-dot festival – we walked the same circle three times to end up in the exact place we started. At least we found the kebab shop no bother. Saying that, we could sniff one out on a deserted island.  

Liss – a five man band from Sweden – tore the place apart in Soup Kitchen. Set in a grungy cellar – with make-shift toilets and stage – it was a real experience. We’d sacked the all-time favourite Mystery Jets off to see the unheardof band –  and it was well worth the risk. I’m all for sticky feet, sweaty hair and being packed in like sardines.

Dua Lipa were on point. Yet, the venue was past boiling point. Manchester’s Methodist Church was a literal sweat box. Vocally, she was wicked and she had real good stage presence (give or take the late arrival).

 

A festival up there at the top – it’ll definitely be on the cards for next year.

Ey up, a quick inside tip for anyone looking for somewhere ‘different’ for a drink

  • Soup Kitchen – kitted out with quirky furniture
  • Night and Day – proper chilled atmosphere
  • 57 Thomas Street – lush apricot cider

 

Until next time…

The Mad Grad

 

 

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Gym and Tonic – if only it was as good as the real thing.

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So, I’ve finally turned into the person. I’ve purchased a gym membership – ‘cancel any time’ – of course and I’ve planned a weekly routine. Send help.

Screw the beach body, Kim K bum and abs that look like baking trays – I’m doing it to keep fit. It’s so easy to get caught up in the work-life routine and forget about your own goals. It’s important to always put time aside for yourself. Whether it’s a stroll round a park, an hour watching your favourite TV series or a quick workout at the gym – sometimes you just need to ease your foot off the gas for a bit.

Let’s get one thing straight – I’m far from a ‘gym-head’. I’m that person who stares at a machine for ten minutes to figure out how it works. I’m also that person who can barely lift the lightest weights. Oh yeah, I’m also that person who has a half-hearted attempt a gym wardrobe. I’d much rather sweat in an Arctic Monkeys top. That way, at least if I can’t lift, people know I’ve got good music taste. Every cloud, ey?

I doubt I’ll be entering the World Championship body-building tournament or running a marathon any time soon. But, it’s all about one step at a time. I’ve always been a keen runner. Ok, keen and running should never be used in the same sentence. Let’s re-phrase that. I have two left feet, so I never made it as a dancer. And, height isn’t on my side, so I never made it as a netball player. So, I guess you could say running was a last resort. I was tactical – the 200m sprint was my forte. It was neither a sprint or trek.

Ok, I know I say I’m only joining the gym to wind down after work, yet I do have one goal in mind. I’ve done Race for Life, I’ve competed for Sparkhill Harriers and I’ve played for Sheffield Hallam’s Gaelic football team. But, there is still one thing to tick off – Mudderella. So, let’s see how that plans out.

Watch this space.

The Mad Grad

 

 

 

 

 

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“No, it’s not Ashton, it’s Aisling. That’s A-I-S-L-I-N-G”

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Well, that’s a wrap. I made it the end of the week without any major fuck-ups. Yeah, major is the imperative word here. But, it could have gone a lot worst. Believe me. Ok, I might have had heart palpitations, a tied tongue and a spate of shakes when I made my first phonecall. But, I still managed to pluck up the courage to do it. We’ll just ignore the fact it took three hours to do so.

It’s weird – I’m practically an adult now. Like, I have my own you-can’t-see-much-because-it’s-covered-in-sticky-notes desk, a fancy office phone (which I’ve soon discovered actually works) and a fully functioning email address. Woah – calm down. Fashion wise? I get to wear fancy shoes, fitted pencil skirts and elegant dresses – it’s bliss.

Saying that, it hasn’t been plain sailing. It’s a challenge and I’ve got a lot to learn. Writing is my passion and when I’m blogging words just roll off my tongue – but news writing is a completely different kettle of fish. It’s hard. It’s frustrating. And it’s an it’s an art I’m eager to master. I know it’ll come in time and the penny will drop – I’m just very impatient.

As far as work environments go, it’s pretty awesome. Everyone is so chilled and the room is constantly full of flying banter. Of course, I’m always the brunt of the jokes. But you wait, you wait until I’m all settled. They’ll need a tub of sudocreme for the burns. They’ll soon see the punny side. Joking aside, they’re a cracking bunch and have made me feel proper welcome.

Sticking to my word – even though I’ve settled into a job – it’s the year of experience. The first hurdle? shorthand. It’s shapes and symbols, so if it’s anything like algebra – I’m screwed. With that in mind, I’m proper excited to get my teeth into it and whip its ass. But let’s not get cocky – I haven’t started it yet.

So, the good news is that I’m going back for another week. They haven’t managed to scare me off. Not yet anyway. Although it’s difficult, I’m excited to grow and find my niche as a journalist. I know I’ve made the right decision and I’m full of beans to see where it will take me.

For now? It’s about nailing an Intro.

Over and out.

The Mad Grad.

 

 

 

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