Most people who have visited Manchester Concord on a Wednesday evening will know Paula Falisis. Paula has written many reviews & tails of her experiences out and about in restaurants throughout the North West and occasionally beyond. They make for fabulous reading – funny and inspiring. They have given many of us, without Paula’s adventurousness and confidence, the push we’ve often needed to venture to places previously thought to be out-of-bounds.
We hope you enjoy them as much as we have. Apologies if some of the test has glitches – these are due to errors in conversion from our old website.
When I was a young Ÿ??girlŸ? at primary school, I vaguely remember going on a school trip along the Manchester Ship Canal. I’m sure I have mentioned my fascination for canals, and I have to admit that lately, I have had a hankering to repeat this said trip. I mentioned it to Sue, and she was more than up for the idea, so I made a few enquires, and eventually managed to book a cruise on a Thursday. It was to be a 6 hour cruise from Manchester to Liverpool, a couple of hours in Liverpool, and then a coach trip back. Sorted! Alas, things were not to be. A couple of weeks before the cruise, I received an email to say that due to Ÿ??an incidentŸ? with one of the boats the trip was cancelled. My money was duly returned to my bank account, and I was left feeling disappointed. We replaced the trip with a day out shopping in Liverpool, but that is another story. As we were due one of our Friday nights out, I decided for some reason, to type the words Ÿ??canalŸ? and Ÿ??dinnerŸ? into my Google search box (other search engines are available!). Would you believe that only a 20 minute drive from where we live there is a Company that operate canal boats, and offer various dining experiences thereon? You can do Sunday lunch trips, afternoon tea trips, and dinner trips. Details can be found at www./canalboatcruises.co.uk . Better still, there was a trip available on the coming Friday evening. It was a Tapas menu on this occasion rather than a full meal, but I still fancied giving it a try. An email was promptly dispatched, which was equally promptly answered confirming that Sue and Paula were booked on. I didn’t tell Sue of my plans Ÿ?? I thought the element of surprise would be a nice change, so on the said night, we rushed home from work, showered, made up, dressed, and set off on our Ÿ??magical mystery tourŸ?. The canal boat company is based adjacent to a pub appropriately named Ÿ??The Boatyard InnŸ?, so my plan was to go there for a drink and let Sue think that was our final destination. We headed off down the M65 motorway, left at junction 3, and pointed the car towards Riley Green. Ÿ??Isn’t the Boatyard down here?Ÿ? Sue enquired. I put on a mock grimace, and lead here to believe she had busted me. This plan would have been OK, apart from one minor detail. Actually, in fairness, it was a pretty major detail Ÿ?? The Boatyard was totally closed for a refurbishment and resembled a building site. I pretended to be disappointed and headed for a nearby pub called the Royal Oak. In my other life, my Company carried out all the electrical repair works at the Royal Oak, so I thought this could be interesting. It was Ÿ?? but for another reason. As we entered there were four Ÿ??old croniesŸ? sat at the bar in two pairs, sideways to the bar, facing each other. They were what I would describe as the snobby type, and as I walked past them, one with his back to me quite obviously sniggered and said to the others Ÿ??That was a conversation stopper!Ÿ? Now as you all know, I am fully aware of who and what I am, and I usually take such very infrequent comments with a pinch of salt, but there was something about this particular Ÿ??gentleman’sŸ? attitude that shall we say rubbed me up a bit. His two friends that were facing me were obviously embarrassed, and were trying to give him the nod that I was stood behind him, so I thought it only fair that I should help them out and let him know personally. I leant my head between him and his friend, and quite politely pointed out that he should feel free to continue his conversation and on no account would I expect him to stop it on my behalf. He nearly fell off his stool! I got a half mumbled apology, which I accepted, and then I ordered my drink and left them to continue their conversation. I don’t think they found it easy with me stood behind them, but I was only having the one drink, so I didn’t feel inclined to move. In fairness to them, when Sue and I left, they did all make the effort to say goodbye, and I gave them the respect of a civilised reply. Just! I know none of the above relates to food or canal boats, but I wanted you to know that although they are massively rare occurrences, I, like all the rest of us am vulnerable to public opinion. Anyway, now what were we to do? As we walked back to the car Sue was wondering what my back up plan was. I suggested we went back to The Boatyard, just to check it really was shut, which was really quite ludicrous! It was fenced off with construction barriers and in total darkness, but Sue humoured me. As we pulled back onto the car park, I pointed at a large canal boat moored up at the far end and said Ÿ??we could always eat thereŸ?. I must admit, I had won this one. Sue did not have a clue! We parked up and made our way to the boat, where we were met and welcomed aboard. It was down 3 or 4 rather steep steps with very little headroom. The type of situation where one could imagine quite easily losing your hair. I was very, very careful. We were last to board, and as we were shown to our table I was able to count around 30 people already sitting down waiting. It was lovely. A proper little table with table cloth, LED candle lights, and the appropriate cutlery and accessories. There was background music playing and fairy lights flashing, helping to provide a lovely atmosphere. The boat was aptly, or aptly not, called Ÿ??RomanceŸ?. Within a few minutes we were Ÿ??casting offŸ? and backing out of the Marina, ready to start our trip along the Leeds Liverpool canal. There were four young ladies and a young man, all wearing matching black outfits with multi coloured scarfs who very quickly went along the full length of the boat taking drinks orders, and again, pretty quickly, the same team then came along with our first dish of food which was Mixed olives with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and artisan bread. After a few minutes, they came along with more bread which was very tasty indeed. All the while, we were chugging along at about 4 miles per hour, enjoying the scenery in the fast fading light. I have to admit, if it had been Sue and Dave instead of Sue and Paula, it could have been quite romantic! The boat is aptly named. As it went darker, spotlights were switched on, and the scenery on the canal bank was stunning. Wildlife could be seen scurrying about in the dark, and the silhouettes of the trees and fences looked beautiful. The serving team quickly cleared our dishes and appeared with the next course which was Vegetable Paella, and so this process was repeated with servings of Salt and pepper chicken wings, baked camembert and roasted garlic with more bread, BBQ Ribs, Mini Bruschetta’s topped with chorizo and red onion, and Patatas Bravas. After about 40 minutes cruising we turned around and headed back towards the Marina, which we then sailed past in the opposite direction for a further 40 minutes or so before turning round again and heading back to base. We were served vanilla ice cream for dessert, and Sue asked for a coffee which was promptly and politely provided. All in all the experience lasted two and a half hours, and we were back Ÿ??in dockŸ? at 10-00pm. The girls (and boy) came around with our bills and chocolate mints, and we all said our thank yous and goodbyes. The cost of the Tapas cruise is ô?19-50 per head, but due o the fact that Sue consumed a reasonably large amount of Rose wine equaled by my capacity for Diet Coke, and adding the cost of the coffee on, our bill ended up at ô?71-00. I was still more than happy with that. We have both said that we fancy trying other meals on the boat, so I don’t think you have heard the last of this one. The crew was all really friendly and polite, and Sue managed to reward their diligence with a Ÿ??head crunchŸ? on her way up the steps off the boat. I reckon it was the Rose wine rather than the lack of headroom, but it wasn’t for me to surmise Ÿ?? I know when and when not to comment! So, what do we think? How are we going to summarize this one? Let’s see shall weŸ?íŸ?íŸ?í. Is Romance TV friendly? It was brilliant Ÿ?? smiles all round from crew and passengers alike. You aren’t exactly in the public domain, but the audience you do have is pretty captive! No worries here. Value for money? I think so Ÿ?? you can’t complain at ô?19-50 per head, and let’s face it, you don’t have to add a vast amount to it unless you want to. Would I go again? I will definitely be going again. I quite fancy the Sunday lunch trip next, and Sue has said that her and her friend Sue will be trying it out.
Having enjoyed my recent weekends away, I reckoned it was time for another one. We didn’t really have an agenda, or any special reason to go to any special place, so it was a case of having a look at what took our fancy. We didn’t want to travel too far, but we wanted to go somewhere we hadn’t been before. I got a good old fashioned map book out and had a gander at the cities surrounding Manchester in an ever increasing circle. As you can imagine, we had at least visited most of them, if not indeed stayed overnight at them. The first place to stick out from the crowd was Lincoln. The reason beingŸ?íŸ?íŸ?íŸ?íŸ?íŸ?íŸ?í.. there was no reason! I Googled Lincoln, and noted that it appeared to have everything we would need and more, so I classed it as a decision made. A bit more research led me to the fact that most of the City Centre accommodation was booked up, but I was able to book in at a hotel called Huckleberry’s Bar and Grill located at 30 Clasketgate, Lincoln, LN2 1 JS ( www. huckleberrysbarandgrill.co.uk ). It was well located very close to the Centre, had a Restaurant in case of emergencies, and had a Bar! Happy Days! Rooms were booked in Paula’s name, and the journey was planned with precision. Well, the postcode was typed into the Sat Nav! Suppose that’s as much planning as is required nowadays. We left Manchester Around lunchtime on a Friday, and by mid-afternoon the newly installed Manager at Huckleberry’s was being introduced to Paula Falisa. He was totally unfazed, helped us carry luggage upstairs, and made sure we were aware of all the facilities available to us. He was also helpful with regard to places to eat, both for Breakfast and for Dinner. We made ourselves at home, unpacking our various outfits and shoes etc. and then decided to go and explore Lincoln a little. We had a wander around the shops, and quickly spotted Stokes High Bridge Caf€÷ – A traditional caf€÷ serving freshly roasted coffees located on Lincoln’s High Bridge, the country’s oldest bridge that still has buildings in use on it. We had a sandwich and a drink each, followed by scones, strawberry preserve, and clotted cream. Yum Yum! I already liked Lincoln a lot. Once we had demolished the scones, it was time to return back to Huckleberry’s, where we had a quick drink before going up to change for the evening. By 8-00pm we were back on our way out again Ÿ?? this time the jeans, tee shirts and Ÿ??flattiesŸ? had been replaced with dresses and heels. We were ready to hit the Town! First stop was food, so we wandered up High Street and found Cote Brasserie, where we had a main course and dessert each – we passed on the starters on account of the scones! I won’t bore you with all the details, but it was good and cost us ô?58-67 including drinks and a 12.5% optional gratuity. From there we wandered further along the street and found The Cardinals Hat Ÿ?? a good old fashioned pub that seemed to be a bit of a Ÿ??real aleŸ? type of place. We managed to interact with a couple of guys who were sampling a pint or three, and a certain amount of flirting took place. They knew who and what I was, but sufficient ale had been sampled to ease the pain, and lower any inhibitions they may have set off with, and by the end of the night it was touch and go whether I would remain a Ÿ??single girlŸ? much longer! Needless to say, I was not wearing my beer goggles, nor was I suffering the symptoms of over indulgence, so I kept a penny tight between my knees and remained a good girl. After a thoroughly good night, we decided to head back to the Hotel and have a reasonably early night ready for tomorrow. This was a great idea until we walked past Lola Lo. Actually, this is where the problem lies. We didn’t quite walk past Lola Lo. We sort of walked up as far as Lola Lo, and then we walked into Lola Lo. Why we walked into Lola Lo, I’m not quite sure Ÿ?? I think it may have been because the guy on the door invited us in free of charge on account of us being Ÿ??ladiesŸ?. Anyway, the whys and what fors don’t really matter, the fact is that we went in and didn’t come back out until some time later. Some considerable time later! Several Cocktails later. It was nearer breakfast time than teatime when we let ourselves into the back door at Huckleberry’s and crept up to bed. Despite our late night, we were both up, dressed, and ready for breakfast by 9-00am. We ventured out and found ourselves looking for Patisserie Valerie on the recommendation of the Manager at Huckleberry’s, where we both tucked into a full English breakfast. It was much needed! I don’t know how much it cost Ÿ?? I didn’t pay. Saturday then saw us roaming around the shops, going on a one hour canal boat trip setting off from the Waterfront, sitting watching the Dragon Boat Racing in the Marina, and generally enjoying a relaxed, chilled day. We had a coffee in a small caf€÷, but I can’t for the life of me remember what it was called. We people watched, chatted, walked, sat, and did everything you should do on a leisurely weekend away. Teatime saw us heading back to the hotel where we had a quick drink before once again heading upstairs and transforming our look. This time we decided to head back down to the Waterfront where there is a host of Restaurants and Eateries. We opted for Italian, and managed to find a table in Ask Italian. Here, we had a starter each, a main course each, and a shared dessert along with a drink each for ô?55-00 including a tip. We chatted and watched people walking to and fro along the Waterfront, probably both being a little bitchier than we should have been! Once our food had settled, we walked back up onto High Street and had another drink in The Cardinals Hat. Lincoln really is buzzing at night time and there is a lot of choice of places to go. I guess we opted for the same out of laziness to be honest Ÿ?? we enjoyed it on Friday, so why not Saturday? This time we pledged to give Lola Lo’s a miss. We were successful with this pledge, and headed back to the hotel at the reasonable time of about 1-00am, but just our luck – the Staff were just finishing tidying up and were sitting having a drink. The second we walked through the door, we were invited to sit and have a drink with them. The Proprietor was also sat with them as well as the Manager, so it would just have been downright rude to refuse. The result of this valiant display of good manners was a somewhat later night than planned, we did however have a great laugh and conversation with everyone, and once again I was flattered by the unreserved way they treated me. Bedtime soon brought around morning, only this time it was Sunday. Packing day already. We packed our cases and loaded them into the car, and then wandered off back down onto the Waterfront for our final breakfast. This time it was Harvester that enjoyed our company. We had the unlimited breakfast do-dah which cost us the princely sum of ô?4-99 each. Another wander round saw us slowly heading back towards the car, and finally leaving the city of Lincoln early Sunday afternoon for our journey home. The three questions go as follows: Is Lincoln TV friendly? Didn’t see any others, but I was treated fantastically. I was chatted up, high fived, smiled at (no doubt laughed at somewhere along the line), and treated exactly as I would have wanted. Value for money? Doesn’t really apply apart from the fact that we paid reasonable prices for reasonable food. We didn’t consider the Hotel to be overpriced, and there are enough shops of all types to be able to buy what you might need at the right price. Would I go again? I certainly would. We didn’t get time to visit the Cathedral, and there’s certainly plenty of unexplored nightlife to last another weekend
This blog is slightly different to the usual ones, as it covers a four day trip, so I don’t intend to bore you to death with details of every morsel of food we ate, but merely to let you know where we went and how we got on. Elton John is as Artist I have always enjoyed and admired. I suppose the fact that I have been to see him live on several occasions at places as far away as Wembley and Paris, as well as more local venues probably makes me what you would describe as a Ÿ??fanŸ?. I’m more than happy to accept that label, and so when I heard he was on tour this year, I decided to see where he was playing, and if I was able to see him once again. I logged on to the appropriate website and was pleased to see that he was indeed playing as local as Liverpool. I immediately decided to go and see him on what may be his final years touring. He is now 69 years of age, and has more than hinted that this may be the Ÿ??last oneŸ?. The Liverpool Gig was on a Tuesday evening, mid-June. Perfect. Then, however, my mind started to do its usual overtime working, and I decided that finishing work early on a Tuesday and fighting with the pre tea-time traffic around Liverpool might not be such fun after all. Where else was he playing – preferably on a Friday or Saturday? Edinburgh on Saturday 25th June. Mmmmm, never been to Edinburgh since I was a young Ÿ??girlŸ?, Sue had been recently and raved about how nice a place it was, and 25th June is my late Mums birthday, so something to keep me occupied would be a good idea. Edinburgh is quite a long way to travel (201 miles to be precise), so maybe I could go the day before and make a trip out of it? Maybe I could go a couple of days before and make a bloody good trip out of it? A plan was forming, and with no more ado, I ordered two tickets. I hadn’t asked Sue at this stage if she wanted to go, or indeed if she minded me going, but these were details that could be sorted later. As it happens she had an important horse show on Sunday 26th, so she couldn’t in fact go, but my friend Yvonne was more than happy to join me, so I booked some accommodation and it was decided that we would leave Thursday morning and travel back home Sunday afternoon. Something to look forward to! I made all the appropriate arrangements at work, putting in extra hours to get ahead, working harder the week before, and making sure my sister Anne was happy to hold the fort whilst I Ÿ??did oneŸ? for a couple of days, and even went home early the Wednesday evening after attending Concord to ensure I wasn’t overtired on my Ÿ??holidayŸ?. Thursday morning saw me packing my two suitcases with numerous casual daytime outfits suitable for all weathers, along with a couple of posh night time outfits for the inevitable jaunts. I had decided to wear a jumpsuit for the Concert Ÿ?? smart, but more practical for sitting down in and travelling on public transport in. Yvonne arrived at our house where she was leaving her car, and shortly after 10-00am we were on the road like two excited schoolgirls. We made good progress, and had reached a strategically positioned service area in the Gretna Green area at a suitable time for a lunch break. We went into the food hall, and decided that Burger King was the unfortunate place that was going to suffer the company of an excited, travelling TV. We ordered soft drinks and food, found a table, and enjoyed our food in total comfort. Not one person appeared to notice that there was a girl with a difference amongst them, and after a visit to the Ladies, we left Gretna behind with our marital status remaining as was, and totally happy with my first encounter with the Scottish Public. Another couple of hours or so saw us tackling the streets of Edinburgh, seeking out the NCP car park near our Hotel. With the help of my iPhone Sat Nav, and a bit of crafty navigating by Yvonne, we were soon parked up and wheeling our suitcases out of the adjoining shopping centre, heading for the Hotel. When I say Hotel, I actually mean Travelodge, but for the purpose of our visit it was more than adequate. The rooms were clean and tidy, the bathrooms were perfect for real girls and pretend girls, and the location was perfect. Right at the end of Princes Street. We introduced ourselves, collected our keys, and chatted to the Receptionist about possible night time venues, as well as ideas for our journey to the Concert. Having parked the car up, I was determined to use public transport for the next few days if possible. She was really helpful, providing us with local maps, and adding several biro marks to indicate suitable places for us to go. We made ourselves comfortable, and then headed off out for a walk along Princes Street to see what was where. All the usual shops were there to be seen, but the drinking and eating venues were mainly a couple of streets back. We walked the full length of the street and back, finishing our journey in a local caf€÷ bar / bistro next the Hotel called Martone. Here we ordered a soft drink each just to quench our thirst prior to going and getting changed ready for the night time. This was to the first of two visits to Martone, so I’ll save the details for later. Having donned posh frocks, we met up ready for our night out, and discussed where we might go. I had spotted a Jazz Bar on the map, and quite fancied a visit, so I checked out Yvonne’s thoughts with regard to live Jazz music. They were positive, so a decision was made. We would walk towards the Jazz Bar which was on Chambers Street, and see what we could spot food wise on the way. It didn’t take long before we had stumbled on a small Whiskey Bar / Restaurant called The Royal MacGregor, located at 154 High St. Here we were able to go in and enjoy some good pub type grub, which was promptly served and reasonably priced. Needless to say, they didn’t appear to have any issues with serving a TV from over the Border. Once we were fed and watered we continued our walk, and were soon stood on Chambers St. at the top of the stairs that led down to The Jazz Bar. We went down the stairs where we had to pay a ô?7-00 entrance fee, and then entered the Club. It was obviously located in a basement, and had all the hallmarks of a James Bond set. Booths, dark almost seedy atmosphere, bar at one side, and a stage at the far end. A trio were busy performing live jazz music, and all that was missing was lots of cigar smoke and a husky voiced female singer. We sat at a table, ordered drinks Ÿ?? which were reasonably priced, and sat back to listen to the music. The clientele was surprisingly mixed from a young single lad, to a couple of girls, to a middle aged couple, to a much older couple, and pretty much everything in-between. The trio left the stage around midnight, and were replaced by a five piece local band who were playing funk fusion and jazz, this time with some vocals. As time went on, the place got busier, and by the time we left somewhere around 2-30am, it was pretty full! We managed to hail a cab within 10m of the door, and were soon heading up to bed back at the Travelodge. Friday morning saw us up bright and breezy (ish), and we were soon setting off out to look for some breakfast. This particular Travelodge didn’t have breakfast facilities, but we wouldn’t have used them anyway Ÿ?? we prefer to Ÿ??eat outŸ?. It didn’t take long for us to locate The Booking Office which is the Wetherspoons venue located next to the vast Waverley railway station. Two large Scottish breakfasts were ordered along with fresh orange and coffee. A big mistake! Two large Scottish breakfasts would feed four people! Believe it or not, we did manage to finish them off, but we decided that the following day we would just have Scottish breakfasts. Not large Scottish breakfasts. As always with Wetherspoons, the price was right, and the service was efficient. It was a very busy place with hen parties starting the day off, and lots of blokes about. If Paula was going to have any mither, this may be the place it would happen. She didn’t. Everyone was perfect. Next on the agenda was a walk up onto the Royal Mile, where we would proceed to The Palace of Holyrood House. This is where the Queen entertains when in the capital, and is well worth a tour. We did the full touristy thing with the audio commentary on the way round, and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. We toured the house, the gardens, and the adjoining Abbey ruins, finishing off with a cold drink at the Caf€÷ at the Palace. The cakes and other food looked very tempting, but we were still busy working off two large Scottish breakfasts, so I’m afraid cold drinks it was. After that, we walked back along the Royal Mile and called in at The Scottish Museum. Again, very interesting. Another hour or so later saw us heading back towards Princes St. where we did a little shopping and then nipped up Fredrick St. where we happened to fall upon a little bar called The Boozy Cow. How appropriate! We sat outside and enjoyed a couple of beers (through straws of course!), before heading back to the hotel to change. It was on this journey that Paula had her first experience of a one to one opinion from an Edinburgh resident. We were stood at some traffic lights waiting for the little red man to go green when a girl in front of me turned around, looked me in the eye, and in a lovely Scottish accent said Ÿ??You look fucking greatŸ?. I blushed and said I thought not, but she replied with another reassurance that I did. Hell, now I know why I do this! Talk about feel good! Anyway, two showers, and two frocks later, we were once again ready to set off out. We jumped into a cab and went to George St. which runs parallel with Princes St. and which houses lots of eateries. It was Friday night, and we hadn’t booked, so we just took pot luck. There was a Gusto, but we had just eaten at Gusto in Manchester, so we decided to do Browns. It was very busy, but they managed to find a nicely positioned table for two and we were well looked after by a very friendly, very young Waiter. He was extremely polite and chatty, and didn’t appear to be one bit worried that he had drawn the short straw and ended up with The Tranny! We had a nice meal Ÿ?? 3 courses, drinks, coffee for Yvonne, and a Baileys for me. Total price including tip – ô?100-00. About right for what we had and where we had it. By the time we had finished it was after midnight, so we decided to call it a do and get a taxi straight back. This turned out to be a wise decision, as by the time we got back to the hotel it started to rain. Hard! Saturday morning saw a repeat performance of Friday morning, but as previously mentioned we downscaled the breakfasts. Just the right amount to set us up for the rest of the day. We then crossed the road and jumped onto an open top tour bus which took us around the streets of Edinburgh for about an hour, complete with pre-recorded commentary. Very interesting, and definitely worth the ô?15-00 hop-on hop-off ticket price. By the time we had finished the tour it was time to get a late lunch. Tonight was Concert night, so we had to be ready for out by about 5-30pm. We hadn’t a clue where we were going or exactly how we were going to get there, but we knew there were buses, and we knew it wasn’t too far away, so we decided to make an adventure out of it. Late lunch saw us in Martone again. Martone is an Italian establishment that is open throughout the day advertising everything from breakfast to dinner. It would appear that their speciality is homemade ice cream! I think we know where this is heading! We started off with a steak sandwich and chips each followed by the inevitable, largest, stickiest, most calorie ridden Ice Cream Sundaes you have ever seen! I’ll never get in most of my dresses ever again at this rate! Washed down with a cold beer, it was perfect. Next, it was back to the room, shower, yet another make up application, and dress ready for the concert. The weather forecast was a bit mixed, with the possibility of early evening showers. This wouldn’t have been a massive problem apart from one minor fact. The concert was outdoor. We debated what jackets to wear, and whether to take waterproofs or not. It was warm, and didn’t actually look like rain, so we decided to risk it and go out with little denim jackets. It was that warm, we weren’t even wearing them. We went outside to the bus stop and were soon chatting to some locals where it was decided that pretty much any bus coming this way would get us to Meadowbank where the concert was being held, so when an X14 arrived, we all jumped on with no more ado. Sure enough, about 10 minutes later, we were alighting about 200 yards past the venue. We walked back to the gates, showed our tickets, and were soon stood inside the arena. Yvonne decided to pay a visit to the Ladies (portaloo!), and I was left standing on the grass wondering why I had decided to wear platform shoes with about 5Ÿ? heels. I soon got the answer as a Scottish girl came across to me, complimented the shoes, complimented my jump suit, and complimented me in general. By the time Yvonne arrived back we chatting away along with her boyfriend as if we were long lost friends. All through a pair of shoes (Oh, and a bit of make up as well perhaps!). Unfortunately, whilst all this chatter was going on, a large black cloud had parked itself overhead, and was now depositing its water content over us. It was soon raining pretty hard. There was nowhere to go, other than our seats, which of course, were now pretty wet. We found our places, counted to three, and sat down on the soaking wet seat, putting our little jackets over our heads. What a horrible feeling as the rain soaked up through the thin material of the jump suit into the rather flimsy underwear I was wearing. We had the brief inquest as to why we had not come more prepared, laughed, and decided to enjoy it whatever the weather. Besides, there were still lots of blue sky around and I was sure it was only a shower. Thankfully I was right, and by 7-00pm it was fine and sunny again. That said, a wet bum is a wet bum, and my knickers were still clinging to my arse several hours later! Lol. The concert was superb. Elton as I said earlier is 69 now, and to be fair, he looks it. He moved around the stage a lot slower, and fluffed a couple of lines, but we forgave him. The overall event was great, and he literally reduced me to tears with the second to the last number as he sang Candle In The Wind Ÿ?? my all-time favourite song. I think it was a mixture of Mums Birthday, Elton’s song, and Paula’s hormones all kicking in at once, but whatever it was, I made a very serious attempt at smudging my mascara. The end came all too soon, and it wasn’t long before we were filing out of the stadium, thankful to be stood back on tarmac. Now all we had to do was find a bus stop, find a bus that went where we wanted to go, and then find enough space to get on it! I think we did rather well Ÿ?? by 11-15pm we were back on Princes St. It was too early to go back in, so we took a detour via The Booking Office, where we discovered their wine and sodas are just as good as their breakfasts. They threw us out somewhere around 1-30am, when we rolled off back to the hotel. Sunday morning. It was horrible. We had done the meals out, we had done the touristy bits, we had done the concert, and now we had to do the packing. I was seriously pissed off. I had really enjoyed my visit to Edinburgh but felt there was more for Paula to see and do. I suppose the only thing to do, is maybe go back again sometime? Anyway, we packed and took our cases to the car, and then went for one final breakfast in The Booking Office, before hitting the road and heading for home. We left sunshine and 21 degrees in Edinburgh and within an hour of travelling had the wipers on and a temperature of 13 degrees. As always, I have to admit that it was nice to get home, but I must also admit that I secretly wanted another day or two away! That said, seven shaves and seven make-up applications in four days begins to get monotonous and uncomfortable. A stark reminder why to me it will never be more than a hobby. No disrespect you full time girls, but full time isn’t for me. So, now to sum Edinburgh up: Is it TV friendly? I’ll say it is! I did not see any other obvious transgendered people, but this one got treated perfectly. Value for money? This doesn’t really apply apart from the fact that all I can say is we spent a few bob, but didn’t feel we had been ripped off anywhere. Would I go again? I think you all know the answer to this one.