The fab weekend: I spent in Bolton with my DB, who is very lovely and fluffy (and yes he does read this!). *wave*. For them wot thinks Watford is in the north, Bolton is slightly north-west of Manchester - and yes it is "proper" north - so it's cold and everyone talks with groovy accents and the house prices don't have the silly number of noughts on that they have in the south.
We visited Bolton library, art gallery, aquarium and museum (all in the above building!). We had to go to the library cos we're both librarians. All very impressive, with a display at the entrance including KNITTING books and also a book of CHOCOLATE recipes. Yum. The aquarium had groovy fish including some piranhas and one whopping great long one (can't remember what it was called). The museum had things to play with, including a giant noughts and crosses. And also a large dinosaur:
in the entrance hall. He (or she?) is a Tuojiangosaurus Multispinus and is the first thing you see at the top of the stairs! DB had also found me a yarn shop to visit! It's called the Wool Centre and is on Soho Street (just off the main shopping bit). Link to a map is here.
The shop itself is quite large and doesn't look like much from outside. Inside they have loads and loads of shelves, stocking Sirdar, Wendy, Twilleys, Stylecraft (I think) and King Cole. What I liked was that all the similar things were together (ie chunky yarn all at one side and cotton denimy stuff all together) making it easier to compare prices and colours (something that doesn't seem to happen at other shops I've been to). They also had a much wider range of colours and yarns within these brands than I've seen in a lot of places (probably because the shop is so big). There's also a table covered with patterns and a good selection of needles. The circular and DPN selection was not so good but the metal and bamboo straights were on a par with John Lewis. Hold your breath - I didn't buy anything! Although I was quite tempted, I'm going to Harrogate this Friday and am saving up for that. It's also good to know that the Wool Centre is there and what sort of stuff they stock so I can return in the future!
Bolton had some amazingly ace other shops too. In a converted church St George's Craft Centre has loads of small stalls with art and craft materials. There was a beautiful fabric and haberdashery type stall in there, where I acquired some items for Christmas presents. Very close by there is also a good Fair Trade shop (Justicia) in the basement of the URC church.
On the Saturday evening we went into Manchester to the Bridgewater Hall for a concert. This is a really groovy purpose built concert venue. I'd been here before when it first opened (in 1996). I enjoyed the concert, although I wasn't familiar with the music. We sat immediately above the cello section so got a good view too. It was the BBC Philharmonic playing:
- Vaughan Williams Overture, The Wasps
- Elgar Violin Concerto
- Saint-Saëns Symphony No.3, 'Organ'
Meanwhile, back in Lincoln, the first Christmas parcels were arriving. But it's OK, as Monkey is guarding them to stop me opening them early!
I still have books and knitting to talk about, but think I'll save that for later in the week. This post is already quite long!