Category Archives: Bloggers Log

This section holds the blogs that have been posted documenting the recent road trips I have undertaken along with updates of the retirement challenges that I have been set.

By Now I know I’m Bonkers Part 3


I freely admit my music taste is a little on the eclectic side & for which I make no apologies for. Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes were the last band I saw live before the lockdowns of 2020 began & at that point I had never seen a live performance of either Biffy Clyro or Youngblud.

So when the opportunity arose for tickets to a gig where the line up included all three it was a total ‘no brainer’ as far as I was concerned even if it meant travelling to Glasgow.

Unknowingly with my purchase I had unwittingly gotten myself a free pass on the 2020 rollercoaster of uncertainty. No longer Bellahouston in June 2020 I swallowed the disappointment on the basis it was being rescheduled the only question was to where & when. Turns out it was September 2021 at Glasgow Green on the first day of the TRANSMT festival. Consequently instead of incorporating the gig on a trip to Scotland as part of a short break with my hubby I was looking at a solo drive North.

So it was I found myself ramming a swab up my nostrils at the crack of dawn to see if I had the all clear to depart. Google maps indicated the trip to be at least six hours but that excluded any comfort breaks or what turned out to be interminable road works. The weather was kind though & despite the sat nav going into a complete sulk in the oneway system I finally reached the city centre hotel I had arranged.

Wine for one

As it was late I opted to eat in the hotel & it still surprises me to see the odd looks you get when you eat alone you would have thought that society would have moved on a bit really.

Next day I began with yoga. One of the upsides of the pandemic ( yes there are some if you look) is that there now is an ‘online’ option & so I ‘zoomed in’ from the floor of the hotel room. Then a walk around a damp grey city where I stumbled on ‘The Tea Rooms’ in Bath Street to have lunch & the nicest carrot cake I think I have ever eaten.

I debated over footwear opting finally for wellingtons plus my trusty Musto waterproof coat at the last minute as severe weather warnings threatened at least a soaking or last minute cancellation.

Glasgow Green turned out to be a brisk 20 minute walk from the hotel & a long wait in a queue to get in. To be fair once the gates opened to this temporary venue the delay was due more to the volume of people & the additional checks required.

TRANSMT took place on Glasgow Green in the heart of the city built as a temporary structure like so many other festivals. However this unlike others had a distinct vibe of ‘not quite finished in time’ to it.

Chronic staff shortages within the events industry compounded by issues raised by covid restrictions & severe weather warnings had probably meant that the organisers were living on a knife edge in the run up to this event.

Ferris Wheel

I am grateful that they held their nerve & it went ahead even if it meant safety checks were still in progress as the crowds poured in. The first band sadly weren’t quite my thing so I headed for the ferris wheel to get a ‘birds eye’ view of things.

Finally given the ‘good to go’ & my ride finished with just enough time to grab some fries & head for a spot in the crowd ready for Frank & The Rattlesnakes.

Due to rescheduling I had by this time seen three of the four acts at Reading Festival only a couple of weeks before but as the first few notes of tunes from the Sticky Album started to blast out I knew it was going to be worth the effort of driving all those miles.

It probably goes against many rules of the universe but I now love a bit of Youngblud & wish it was possible to capture & bottle some of this performers energy on stage – I know I would certainly buy some. Below is a snippet of Mars – one of my favourites.

Youngblud

I had waited a long time to see Biffy Clyro live & if I had thought the performance of Reading to be good nothing quite prepared me for them plying on their ‘home turf’ so to speak.

Biffy Clyro

Being stood in the crowd were everyone seemed to be singing at the tops of their voices was immense & very memorable. I was a bit miffed that a fight started to break out during Wolves of Winter but the security appeared out of nowhere quickly & efficiently quelling the potential uprising which was reassuring.

All good things come to an end

Over too soon it was time to wander back along the river following the hordes of fellow festival attendees & back to my hotel. Next day I packed up & headed for home needless to say singing all the way & recalling the brilliant performances of the previous evening. That is until I reached the out skirts of Birmingham!

Take safe & catch you all later with the next part.

Some People Think I’m Bonkers..Part 2


By the time it came to head for Hatfield I truly had started to wonder if I was bonkers as none of the journeys were happening as predicted. Cheltenham marathon road closures required an additional trip from Bristol to collect daughter the night before to avoid being trapped. Abandoning the car at the hotel we headed for Hatfield House to join the throngs all walking purposefully towards the arena. Tickets & covid passes at the ready to enjoy this day festival that predominantly features punk rock with dashes of rock & alternative music thrown into the mix. Gutted that Waterparks had to pull out due to a crew member testing positive & depriving us not only of their main set but the intimate acoustic set we were glad to learn that none of their team became seriously ill.

The definition of ‘resilience’ apparently is the capacity too ‘recover quickly from difficulties’ & 2020 certainly tested mine. Plans repeatedly having to be changed often at short notice it was hard to keep up at times. However as someone with a natural tendency towards contingency planning I was able to refer to my (if somewhat hastily cobbled together) list of alternative set options which kept us at the ‘Key Club Left & Right Hand’ Stages for most of the day.

The Popes of Chillitown

First up was The Popes of Chillitown, a wild card recommend which proved a good one. Hot on there heels were The Hara who had undergone a dramatic metamorphosis since I watched one of their early music videos via Twitter. Still the set was for me the most entertaining of the day & I shall look out for them in the future as their sound was definitely my sort of listen. I also love a ‘front man’ who can engage with the crowd it makes such a good atmosphere & infinitely more memorable show.

The Hara

Roaming around in the unseasonably warm sunshine drinking cold beer, eating & listening to al sort of bands that included Doll Skin & Boston Manor it was great be regaining that sense of freedom so savagely snatched by 2020.

The Hara in action

Confession time I have never imbibed a Jaeger Bomb so I felt a tad guilty when beckoned to have a go on their 360 video thing. However in the spirit of my personal mantra “Feeling crazy lets not waste it” it would have felt rude to refuse so below is what they recorded.

Jaegermeister 360

With no desire to re live Boardmasters ‘sardines in a tent’ experience where at one point my feet were not actually touching the ground I had to forego the Trash Boat set in favour of the merch tent. It was tough resisting the temptation to buy any more tee shirts but I probably own more than I think I could now wear before I die. So I distracted my self by engaging in an interesting conversation with the manager of Normandie, a Swedish Band whom recently added to the growing list of new bands I like listening to.

Normandie

Anyone at a festival will send the average step counter off the scale & we were no exception so consequently felt no guilt over consuming vegan wraps & donuts! Mcfly drew a large crowd & lead singer egged the crowd on by creating a fun if slightly nostalgic atmosphere until all were heartily singing along.

Main Stage at Night

As the sunset over the main stage & headliners played we made our way back to the hotel as neither of us are Don Bronco fan’s. I have tried but sadly their music just doesn’t do it for me. Guess it would be dull if we all liked the same things & it didn’t detract from what had been an awesome day.

Next morning we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before heading back to Bristol & YAMAS at the O2. Thankfully we cadged a lift into the city centre as the thought of driving any more miles that day was not appealing & it also meant we could have a drink or several.

The queue was long so we missed the first support act which was a shame because the line up was great. YAMAS played a fabulous set list which enabled the crowd to really sing along and despite feeling a bit tired the evening was well worth it.

Back home with a day or two to repack the bag & wait to see if the trip to Glasgow was on or not.

Stay safe everyone & look out for part three.