Saturday, 31 March 2012


I was lucky enough to make a little trip to Paris at the end of March and oh how lovely it was. The winter sun was shining and the red wine was flowing. I do like Paris. You can amble along the river, stop off in as many cafe's as you like and digest the wonderful architecture in the city. But my upmost favourite thing about being in the French capital is just getting baguette, some cheese and a bottle of red wine and laying on the grass in front of the Eiffel tower watching the world go by.

This was my second visit to Paris so this time I ventured to Pere Lachaise Cemetery which is the one thing I didn't get to do last time I was in the city. It's a short walk out of the centre of Paris and many metros and buses can take you there too. It's a big place so be sure to take a picture of the map at the entrance before you set off otherwise you risk getting horrendously lost like I did!

However I did manage to find the graves of Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde so I was a happy bunny. Near Morrison's grave there is a tree with lots of chewing gum stuck on it and for some reason I did the same. His actual grave has fencing around it to try and stop you walking on it but it's not too sturdy. Oscar Wilde's has a clear plastic wall all the way around it to stop people kissing his grave. I'm glad I got to spend time walking around admiring the tombstones. I find cemetery's very relaxing and beautiful- a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Monday, 19 March 2012

The Quays

I had a proper walk around Salford Quays at the weekend and decided to have a look round the Imperial War Museum North. The actual physical presence of the museum is striking. It's modern streamlined architecture stands out along the Quay front and you're immediately enticed to go in and have a look inside.

It's free entry which is a thumbs up in my book. I think all museums should be free and if you want you donate something. This gives everyone the opportunity to learn and experience what museums have to offer.

The Imperial Museum North is very different to it's sister in London. In the North it's very open and modern and takes you on a journey through all the wars since WW1. There are lots of 'action stations' which allow a more hands on approach to learning. I think my favourite interactive learning post was trying to 'guess the war smell' and know the difference between mustard gas and smelly soldiers feet.

As the museum has an array old tanks, cars, jet engines and more on display you can't get tired as you walk round. It strikes a good balance of information, artifacts and interaction. One of the most astounding pieces of war history on display is a section from the Twin Towers destroyed in the September 11th attacks. Very surreal. It may be this is most significant to me because I remember it happening. You learn a lot at most museums, but when you visit one which reminds you of the atrocities man, you leave feeling slightly subdued and thoughtful. The Imperial War Museum is definitely worth a visit, even if it's just to remind you that we're actually quite lucky considering what other people in history have been too. I will make another trip to the museum.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Theatre of Dreams

Today I watched my first Premier League game. I saw Manchester United versus West Bromwich at Old Trafford, otherwise known as the Theatre of Dreams. Getting to the match wasn't as troublesome as I thought it would be. I walked from my current residence which took about 30 minutes. There didn't seem to be a lot of people making their way to the match by foot but the crowd there was I followed because I didn't really know where I was going.

As I got closer to the entrance I began to acknowledge just how many people were around- a lot! I think everyone must have left earlier than me as there were so many people buzzing around the stadium waiting to go in. I rapidly drunk my can of pop before entering the stadium and finding my seat in the northern stand. A great view and a great atmosphere.

There were about 75,000 people watching the game which was amazing. The number of people slightly overwhelmed me. But what made the occasion even more surreal was Rooney and Scholes came out onto the pitch! All the times I've seen them on television and know they are here playing in front of me; fantastic.

Te game was a pretty slow match with Man Utd. not making the most of their possession in the first half. Both teams came on more spirited in the second half which lead to a goal by the home team. A dirty foul in near West Brom's goal meant Man Utd.'s second goal was from a Rooney penalty. Once Man Utd. were 2 goals up there was not a lot West Brom could do. The final whistle gave the home crowd what they wanted, a win.