Today's soundtrack: The High Llamas - Gideon Gaye
Up and out early today, to take Mrs W shopping. The Trafford Centre again - I'm becoming a regular! It was another filthy day though, and we didn't want to be stuck at home indoors, so a bit of indoor shopping seemed in order.
Once we got to the Trafford Centre, we split up. Luckily for me, Mrs W is not the sort of woman who expects me to trail round after her while she goes clothes shopping, looking and acting like a spare part and nodding non-committally when she asks me what I think about this dress or that pair of shoes. Of course she knows that I'd be as much use as a chocolate fireguard anyway.
"That's nice, dear. No, your bum doesn't look big in that at all. If you like it, you buy it."
So we went our separate ways, meeting up later for some chuck. I was given a project though - Mrs W had decided that we needed some steak knives, so I had to find some. That gave me the opportunity to wander over to the new 'home' bit of the centre, on the far side of the road but connected by an ornate walkway to the main shopping centre. And I managed to find some - cheap and cheerful (it's not like we have steak every night) and not a million miles off being a match for the rest of our daily cutlery (not that we have the silver set in the big box 'for best', you understand).
Then it was off to the 'boy' shops to pick up a couple of cheap dvds (no cds - music shopping has become almost exclusively an on-line process now). The shops are all gearing up for the launch of The Beatles' 'Rock Band' game (and not for the reissue of the remastered cds, interestingly - the game has a higher profile than the 'real' music it's based upon, seemingly).
The 'Rock Band'/Guitar Hero' thing has passed me by a bit - I'm aware of what it is and how it works, but it strikes me as a bit of a shame that kids would prefer to press buttons on a plastic guitar rather than plucking strings on a real one. I'll admit I've been tempted to explore further, but if I'm going to learn the bass lines to 'Day Tripper' I'd rather do it on my *real* bass than on a plastic copy.
Mind you, the 'Rock Band' drum kits look like they could be fun...not sure about the singing bits though!
Anyway, come lunchtime and we met up just outside the food court. Mrs W was hankering for some Chinese food, and the Trafford Centre is well served, by an outlet of the famous Manchester Chinese Restaurant, the Yang Sing. The Yang Sing is widely regarded to be one of the best Chinese Restaurants in the country - certainly I've never had a bad meal there. So how was the shopping centre experience? Well it was pretty damn fine, actually. We had a range of lunchtime options to choose from, eventually going for the ten quid-ish option, which included a dim sum platter and a decent choice of 'mains' served with fried rice.
Oh, it was goood - and great value for money too. Neither of us could finish our meals (which, if you know Mrs W and myself, is not that common) and the quality was great.
Leaving me to pay the bill and lug around everything she'd bought thus far, Mrs W went off to finish her shopping. I meandered round for a while, then when she'd finished it was back home to feed the cat before he decided to gnaw his own paw off.
The High Llamas are an Irish band, formed out of the ashes of Microdisney. While Cathal Coughlan went on to form the acerbic (and quite wonderful) Fatima Mansions, Sean O'Hagan indulged his Brian Wilson obsession and formed The High Llamas. Gideon Gaye is their third album and is probably the best album The Beach Boys never recorded, full of sumptuous melodies and harmonies.
This is 'Giddy and Gay' from Gideon Gaye (do you see what they did there?) - enjoy!