Every so often we take a trip out with the cameras to Haigh Hall or Haigh Woodland Park to give it its new and correct title.
It is literally just down the road from where we live and over the last 18 months has undergone a dramatic transformation.
With a brand new courtyard food area, artisan markets, new woodland walks and the hall itself now a high quality hotel there has been no shortage of investment put in and hats off to Wigan Council they’ve had the foresight and strategic view to turn one of the most underused assets in the borough into something that everyone can be proud of.
Whether you want to take the kids on the fantastic adventure playground or just lose yourself in the extensive woods this is the place for you. It is, dare we say it, actually quite trendy and mirrors what seems to be a current drive giving a whole new feel to where we live in Standish - new housing attracting young families, new restaurants, micro breweries and a range of other outlets maybe not normally associated with a suburb of Wigan.
Whilst we may be some way off being a Chorlton or Didsbury this is how these places start to get noticed and its fascinating to watch it happen around you. Now, if we could just get a train station…..
We like to think of us as having a wide range of music and performers that we like.
We’re just as at home listening to Debussey as we are with Dr Dre. All through our married lives and before, music has played a huge part in a lot of things we do. As we’ve got older we‘ve started making up for performers or groups we missed “first time around”. Some like The Smiths have probably gone forever – though we did go watching Morrissey a few years ago before it seemed he fell out with Manchester?
Last year we attended one of the best gigs we’d ever been to – Jeff Lynn’s ELO at the Arena and next year we’ve booked to see Billy Joel at Old Trafford. A couple of weeks ago we went to see Marc Almond at the Bridgewater Hall as he toured on the back of his latest album Shadows and Reflections.
Anyone of our age will always associate Marc Almond with Soft Cell but if you don’t know him in any other connection you really are missing out on a musical genius and an absolutely top class live performer. After a bit of a hesitant first few songs – it turned out he was late arriving – the second half of the concert was a masterclass in live musical performance as he commanded the place with a range of songs form the sublime to the absolute crowd pleasers such as Torch and a Northern Soul inspired sequence containing Tainted Love.
There was though a major downside. As the concert was a bit late starting we had to leave early to get our train home and missed our absolute favourite Say Hello Wave Goodbye.
We were big fans going in to the concert – we came out of it as absolute converts. And if you think Marc Almond is just about Soft Cell and a few other hits and done nothing in between just have a look at his Discography you may be in for a surprise – and a treat too!
There’s no doubt about it Halloween has become big in the Uk. From the increasing popularity of “Trick or Treating” (we can clearly remember doing this for the first time with our two and their friends and having a party in our garage) right through to the latest imported thing – the Pumpkin Patch. Don’t worry if you haven’t heard about this one yet you will do over the next few years.
Life and other