Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Shopping for rings...

...is not always what it seems. Calm down readers, it's NOT an engagement ring. Lovely tho, eh? And, I'm proud to say, I chose it.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

I went wedding dress shopping...

...with my girlfriend and her friend, the lovely bride-to-be Jo. Two shops and two hours later, we found one. How many metrosexual points do I earn for that? So many that I had to stay in and watch MOTD to compensate for it.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Our preparations for Japan

If you're an avid reader of this blog, you'll know that Laura, Kath and I are applying to the JET Programme this autumn, and hoping to move to Japan next August. Well, now you can keep track of all of our preparations on our imaginatively named DTRJPN blog. You find it in the blogroll, where you can follow it using the Google Friend Connect suite, or you can - I imagine - set up an RSS feed direct from the page. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Viewings: the decision

Number 3. Hands down. I called the landlord. “Well, you’d better come round and meet the housemates,” he said. “Can you do next Wednesday?” Yes I could. That was after the Bank Holiday. Fingers crossed! I’m sorted!

Viewing #5 – The laddy shack

I knew that is was a no before I knocked on the door. The plastic window in the porch door was more or less a deal-clincher right away. The bedroom was big, but the communal areas were grotty, the kitchen was old, dilapidated, mouldy. I got on really well with the lads in the house, but they were both intending to move out in the next six months. “I’m too old,” I thought as I looked around, “to live in a this kind of shit-tip.” My guts were right.

Viewing #4 – The belly dancer

“I teach belly-dancing downstairs a couple of nights a week. Is that okay with you?”

A garden full of pot plants; dream catchers in the window; bongos here; a didgeridoo there: for Old Trafford, this house was pretty darned Chorlton. The Ayres Road neighbourhood has always tickled my fancy, with its Asian supermarkets and bustling, crate-filled streets. The landlady was mid-fifties, friendly, and very much the grown-up hippy. The three downstairs rooms were lovely, but the bedroom… it was grotty… and I knew that second that it was a no. Steve wrote on Facebook, “How could living with a belly dancer be anything other than awesome?”

Monday, 23 August 2010


My, how you've grown.

Viewing #3 – The mansion

Do I go for a live-in landlord, or do I choose a houseshare? Well, how about a hybrid of them both? The mansion sits on one of the roads between College and Withington Roads in Whalley Range and, frankly, it’s bloody lovely: beautiful stained glass front door; a wide and generous hallway; ornate banisters; posh carpets. “I live in the attic with my wife,” said the landlord, as he showed me round. The shared spaces were large, the kitchen was modern, and the room – though not massive – was okay. “It’s £289, all in,” he said. My jaw dropped. Including bills? Yes. For this palace? Yes. Wow! How interesting…

Viewing #2 – the wreck

Tipping rain drummed on the reinforced peak of my anorak as I pushed the buzzer. Nothing. I buzzed again, waited, again nothing. Stepping down from the ramshackle door, I made my way around to the back of the house, between the heaps of broken wood and junk plaster. The yard was overgrown. To the front door again, and this time a knock. The door opened.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Viewing #1 – the masionette

After our sushi-making course, I went for my first viewing feeling rather conscious that I smelled like a fisherman’s fingerbowl. First impressions and all that…

Three-story town house, with good-sized garden. Double room on top floor. 300pcm inc. bills.

said the advert. It should have said:

Maisonette, with ground floor garage and no carpets throughout most of the house. Boarded-up window panel in front door. Poky room with disgusting green walls.

Thanks, but no thanks.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

“The Best Man that Gethin could find…”

We accepted the offer of a chance to hear Dunk’s speech at Hazelgreen. After all, we weren’t going to the wedding. I’d never heard a best man’s speech before; at weddings that I’ve been to, there hasn’t ever been one. If the average standard is as high as that Dunk put forward, I’ve really been missing out.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Cocktails, Steak, Lesbians

Date night! Caipirinhas! Yum! And then on to Torore. Quiet, but great food. A rib-eye steak for the lady? And a t-bone for the gentleman? Yes please! Tasty, fatty, delicious!

Monday, 9 August 2010

The Wind of Change

“For me, the moving our date has either got to be July next year, or this September.”
“Well, I don’t want to stay until July.”
“I thought you’d say that, so I prepared this…”
I pulled out the letter from my bag.
“…we both have to sign it to give in our notice.”

Kate looked at me for a beat, then signed it.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Taking off

This afternoon, Kate said that she wants to move out of the flat, and soon. “When we can afford it, Brad and I plan to move in together.” I was half shocked, half not. Brad lives with his parents

Monday, 2 August 2010

DTRMCR's reading list pt 1

Timbuktu by Paul Auster
Laura’s in France for a week, and I’ve got lots of trips around the area for work, so I imagine there’ll be lots of reading from me over the next few days…

Sunday, 1 August 2010


These scars I earned...
Bicycles, bicycles, bicycles, everywhere you looked, bicycles! Dunk and I chatted merrily around the Skyride route from Castlefield up to Sportcity and back again. Afterwards, we still had the hunger to ride, so headed down the canal and out on the NCN Route towards Dunham Massey.