Wednesday, November 18, 2009

30 hours in Paris

Urgh, this blog is a bit out of date, I clean forgot to post this blog last month about our short trip to Disneyland Paris with Abby and Oscar.
Last (Halloween) weekend we went for a very short trip to Paris staying at Disneyland Paris. We caught the FlyBe from Manchester in the early Friday afternoon to Paris Charles De Gaul. We then got a bus then a train to straight to the Eiffel Tower with kids in tow. Abby was quite keen to climb the tower, especially when she saw it all lit up at night. Problem was, it was much busier than we anticipated, so we then had to pursued her that it was much better to head to the Hotel in Disney Village.

Anyway we arrived late at night at the hotel and everyone went straight to bed.
Saturday: we then spent our one full day in Disneyland. It had a Disney Halloween pumpkin theme with lots of men dressed up as pumpkin men. Abby was very excited by all things Disney-princess-like, so we basically spent the whole day in the fantasia (Disney castle) part of Disneyland. Halfway through the day Abby got exhausted so we went back to the hotel for a rest before heading back for the Disney Halloween parade. Abby was very scared of the Halloween monsters and kept hiding behind me when they tried to talk to her ;-)

Sunday, we caught a taxi back to the airport and were back in Manchester late Sunday morning. Maybe we should have stayed longer but Abby may have found it too exhausting!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

my top 10 albums of the decade...

Is it really the end of the decade? It went so fast! Anyway, In no particular order:

(Edit - I've added some explanantions. Sorry for the pretensiousness ;-)

PJ Harvey – Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
I am a massive PJ Harvey fan, and am completely incapabale of objectivity where she is concerned, but this is the fabulously positive album that all non-PJ fans should own.

Radiohead – In Rainbows
Their best album since the era defining albums of "The Bends" and "OK Computer" fromthe previous decade. For some reason this fact seemed to get lost amid the hype of the way it was sold. I really need to buy this album proper because owning the mp3s isn't really enough for me!

The Strokes – Is this It?
Quite simply redefined indie guitar rock for the rest of the decade. The deceptively simple blend of 2 guitars and bass blew everything else away even if it did sound a bit like Blondie and Television from the late seventies. And "Last Night" was *the* song of the summer of 2001.

The Killers – Hot Fuss
Just a really exciting indie / pop album from 2004-2005.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Fever to Tell
The best of the second wave of NY bands that appeared after the Strokes. And Karen O is hot as well ;-)

Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid
Mancunian local boys finally come good after years of being second best. "One day like this" is one of the most positive songs ever.

The White Stripes - Elephant
Proof that if you have some decent songs then you don't really need anything other than a guitar, a voice and some drums.

Grandaddy – The Sophtware Slump
A great album with some heartbreakingly beautiful songs about the breakdown when technology meets nature. Could anybody else write a song about an alchoholic android (Ged!) and make it sound so sincere and tragic?

The Streets – A Grand don’t come for free
A rap concept album. Wtf!? But when it sounds this good...

Amy Winehouse – Back to Black
Such a shame that Amy Winehouse is now more famous now for being in the tabloids than for being a great singer songwriter. Check out her debut album "Frank" as well, there's some great songs on that as well.

Honourable mention:

Badly Drawn Boy - Hour of the Bewilderbeat
The hype around the Twisted Nerve record label and BDB reached such a fever pitch amongst the lo-fi cool kids (I wasn't one ;-)) in Manchester around 1998-1999, so much so that when this finally arrived in 2000, it seemed a bit of a dissappointment. In hindsight, I was wrong; it's a wonderful record. Such a shame his career hit the skids so soon afterwards.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tobi, Tobi, Tobi, Tobi!

Went to the clinic the other day for my nebulised Tobi trial with the physiotherapist. The trial is to take nebulised tobramycin for a month and see how things go, and hopefully see some LF improvement over the next month as my blows have been a bit rubbish recently. We did the test and she also rejigged my iNeb with her laptop from tidal flow to TIM (Target inhalation mode) this is better because it quarters the time needed to do the inhalation, and it turns out I will need this extra time with all the extra stuff I'll be inhaling next month. She asked me about my iNeb compliance before she brought up a flow chart telling her exactly how compliant I had been with my nebs over the last 12 months! It turns out my compliance was only 70%, I was well embarrassed, I felt like a naughty schoolboy!

I had heard that Tobi was inhaled once a day, but for the monthly trial I will be nebbing twice daily with an old compressor neb (like I used back in the 80s! Doh!) You take it twice a day and also you need to nebulise Ventolin before it to stop the possible bronchiectasis. that'll be fine in the evening when the kids are in bed, but I will struggle to fit that into my morning schedule, which consists of getting showered, doing a bit of physio (in the shower), getting breakfast, getting Oscar and Abby dressed and fed, and dropping either Oscar or Abby off at nursery / school before work. I think I'm going to have to use the iNeb for Dnase in the car on the way to work, which I don't really like doing as it's not safe and I could get pulled over. The physio also said I should neb Tobi in a ventilated room away from the kids. Hum. Looks like I'm getting up even earlier in the morning...

Anyway enough moaning! I actually felt quite loose in the chest after the trial tobi neb so hopefully I will see some real benefit when the month is over.