Mi and Pho — Manchester

20 October, 2015

Unusually, I spent the day in Manchester today. I knew I’d be finished with my commitments by early afternoon and so I decided to try to find somewhere truly yummy to have a late lunch. The availability of truly scrummy food is one of the few things I miss, now that I’ve moved to a tiny village in the heart of farming country. It’s a fair swap, but still… I do miss it!

I was very tempted by the prospect of dim sum at the Yang Sing, where I’ve happily pigged out many times in the past, but I’ve recently watched a lot of very happy-looking people eating/making pho (– apparently pronounced ‘fur’ without the ‘r’ –) on YouTube, and so I decided to go Vietnamese instead. Yum 🙂

TripAdvisor currently ranks Mi and Pho as ‘2 of 1,852 restaurants in Manchester’, so I decided to go for it. Unfortunately, it’s almost 20 years since I lived in Manchester, and so I’d forgotten that Palatine Road goes on for a loooooong way… My anticipated £5 taxi fare therefore turned into £17.50 including tip, but I reminded myself that a brief jaunt round the food hall in M&S would have inflicted much more damage and tried not to fret 🙂

I eventually arrived at the restaurant and shot in, in case some speedier diner might grab the only remaining table. I immediately saw a sign indicating cash only, though, and so I shot out again even more quickly than I’d entered and made a strategic visit to the cash machine next door. It was working. Phew!

Newly cash-rich, I re-entered the restaurant and bagged a table. Even at 2.30pm it was fairly busy, and so it was with a sigh of relief that I sat down. Exciting!

The staff are friendly, and quickly came over to say hello and proffer a menu. It was at that point that I think I made a fundamental error.

Upon reflection, the whole point of pho is that it’s made with a rich beefy, boney stock that has simmered for hours. Since I’ve recently given up meat I decided to go for the prawn pho rather than the beef, which is what I really wanted. The soup I received was good, but I think there’s a limit to what can be done with prawns in the production of stock, and so it wasn’t quite the unctuous concoction that I’d been hoping for. My fault, I think, rather than theirs. And major kudos to the restaurant for clearly using different stocks, based on the customers’ choice of main ingredient.

Summer Rolls - Prawn

Summer rolls – Prawn

Pho -- Prawn

Pho – Prawn

I enjoyed my lunch, but I think I’d have enjoyed it more if my choices had played to the restaurant’s strengths rather than having being constrained by my conscience.

It also turned out that it takes more than 50 minutes to get back to what used to be G-mex from Northenden, and so I spent the next 49 minutes in a state of increasing anxiety at the prospect of missing the coach home. I eventually jumped out and grabbed a second taxi, and managed to arrive with approximately 6.517 seconds to spare. Phew!

My lunch –with a glass of home-made lemonade– cost just over £10, which was great value. Taxis and buses to and from Northenden came to approximately £27. Oops… I’d have been able to eat my way through quite a substantial part of the Yang Sing’s dim sum menu for the cost of the transport alone, but I know I’d have regretted not having tried out something new and exciting.

In summary, then, I’d very much recommend Mi and Pho, but I suggest that you should allow them to provide you with what they do best, which prolly isn’t a conscience-stricken semi-veggie’s version of the fantastic Vietnamese cuisine 🙂


Les barricades mystérieuses, Francois Couperin — Gorgeous!

21 June, 2015

Francois Couperin

Watching The Tree of Life just now I had to stop and dash upstairs to the computer, to identify this beautiful music. Just gorgeous!

And a slightly too fast (IMO) version, but what amazing playing!

Back to the fiLm now 🙂

Happy times to all current Challengers

20 May, 2015

Such happy memories of my last Challenge! Would love the chance to do it again 🙂

So! Does this still work?

15 May, 2015

ZOMG… another week from Hell!

But muzicks almost always brings us through, if we give it a chance! Me, anways. 🙂

I’m sure this is already here somewhere, but it’s so close to my heart that I’m posting it again. I love it, and remember being unable to afford to buy it back in the 70s when I was a sprog at skool and singles cost 50p but I only got 10p a week pocket money, so I just had to run through it in my mind as I was jogging to the train station to get home. And now I can just look it up on YouTube and listen to it any time I like! And it still brings such a huge smile to my face 🙂

This always happens. Friday night, YouTube musicks search madness. Multiple editing of an earlier blog posting.


Here’s another one from the same time. I was in love with the physics teacher, Mr Goley, though, and so actually saved up my 10p’s in order to be able to buy this for him. I wrapped it up lovingly and secreted it in the physics and chemistry lab for him. My friend Moira Finn helped by keeping watch. Thank you, Moira 🙂 Since I’m now in my 50s (*faints*) he must now be absolutely ANCIENT!!!! But I can still see him walking jauntily along the bottom corridor, and remember him bathed in a cloud of lovely Aramis 🙂

This got to Number 1, but for some reason they didn’t play it at the end of Top of the Pops. Never quite got to the bottom of that! Must have been something political going on, as Number 1 was always played at the end of the show. Since I didn’t have my own copy, having given it away, I was outraged, and wrote to the BBC to complain. They didn’t reply. Hmmm…

And here’s the later version from Babe. Couldn’t believe it when I switched on the DVD (ok, so prolly it was a video) and one of my fave tuneZ of all time came on! Turned out to be the Best FiLm Evah! Maaaaa…. xxx


Website finally back up again

15 November, 2014


Hello! Is there anybody out there?

Old pals might remember that in 2010 I stupidly allowed my peewiglet.com domain name to expire. It was snapped up by a US internet company keen to sell it back to me for some ridiculously inflated price. I registered a similar domain name instead, but didn’t ever get round to re-uploading the page.

Anyway, a few days ago I checked to see whether peewiglet.com had finally become available again, and it had, so I’ve put my page back up. I’m sure lots of links will need fixing, but all my old backpacking write-ups should now be working again. I’ve started having fun re-reading them.

Ender’s Game the Movie — Review

25 January, 2014


Quite a lot of years ago now I listened to this as an audiobook as I walked Piglet on the beach. I was immediately drawn in: what a fantastic book, I felt! Probably my favourite amongst hundreds of books that I’ve listened to on MP3, even though Science Fiction is not my usual thing.

When I heard that it was coming out as a film I was hugely excited, and I’ve been waiting for it for many months. Now that I’ve seen the adaptation, though, I’m hugely disappointed. The actors playing the children were all too old (defeating the object of the book (if you’ve read/listened to it, you’ll know what I mean)), and it seemed as though somebody had been through the book with a pencil ticking off things that they felt should be incorporated into the film and filming them as a matter of conscience.

There was no heart in it, though, and I actually gave up and went to bed half way through the film. I tried again with the rest of it the next morning, but it was all so dull and boring and lacking in spirit that I simply turned it off: I’ve no idea how the film ended, and I really don’t care.

What a shame! I know that it was never going to be easy to turn Ender’s Game into a wonderful film, but now I’m sorry that they even tried. Thank goodness that I still have the book itself to return to.

Sorry to say, but if you’ve not seen it yet, and you loved the book, then I’d suggest that you don’t bother 😦

Bloody Natwest…

2 December, 2013

Have just had my debit card declined twice in the local shop. Pretty embarrassing!

Came home and tried to access online banking, but it’s down.

Went to Natwest home page to see if there was a problem, but there was no suggestion that there’s anything up.

Then Googled and found hundreds of people complaining of exactly the same problem. In a way it was a relief–was wondering whether I’d accidentally overspent my small stash of pennies, or whether somebody had nicked them–but how very unimpressive that Natwest haven’t posted any kind of reassurance or explanation or even… apology.

I have to get petrol in the morning in order to get to work. I hope my card is working by then…