What's this all about?

A new adventure beckons, and this is once again about my personal journey to make it happen.

It might make you laugh; it might make you cry, but by 'eck lads and lasses, it will be worth a quick skeg every now and then, tha's for sure.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

A MONSTER of a post (including the event at Zinc)

Well hello again; how was your day? The sunshine certainly made a refreshing change and yet we English are perhaps just as likely to complain that it's too hot tomorrow and the gardens and reservoirs could do with some respite. Bit like my mindset this week I guess.

After last weekends return to the gym I was lucky enough (yes, I meant to use the word 'lucky') to go back to the gym on Wednesday morning and again today. We'll come back to today's session later but firstly let's focus on the fundraiser at Zinc Restaurant Bar & Grill in Manchester on Wednesday.

The afternoon was intended to be a leisurely drive over to Manchester with a 4pm arrival at Zinc to help prepare things. Well that didn't go to plan did it; the morning (and parts of the previous week) had been spent trying to track down easels for the artists to display their work with the final blow being the biggest easel hire company in Manchester telling me "Yes sir we usually have 80-100 easels in stock ... but this week they're all out on hire".

What with that and the Unison conference in town sending hotel room costs through the roof (even the 3-star Novotel was offering their standard £79 'family' room at £244 a night !!!) I should have known it was going to be a bit stressful. So no easels whatsoever, so I set off from Leeds and got to junction 20 (Rochdale and Oldham) at 2:30pm ..... and decided to head back to Leeds, with my own money, to buy 5 easels.

I felt relief at doing so and truly calmed down for the first time that day but it messed-up my casual easy-going arrival at Zinc. Still, Su, Craig, Elvis, Isaac and team did a MAGNIFICENT job of making organising look easy and by 6:15pm Lucia and I were changed and back at Zinc, ready.

And so the scene was set for the 60 diners to arrive.

At the back of the restaurant is a conservatory area and that's where the art was set up and where most of the attendees gathered before being seated. Here are a few of the photos (Tomas did a great job taking over 300 on the night which he has whittled down to 200 - all will be available to view on a CD in a week or so and on-line, and any are available for £1 each; 50p for Tomas to cover his time and expense and 50p to charity).

Early arrivals enjoy space to move and a glass of 'bubbly'

It soon got pretty full and artists were talking to the aficionados ... and Jason

A split-second after this photo was taken I hear that David McComie managed to blag a second free glass of bubbly

Some of those arriving late were either suffering from anxiety, trapped wind or simply angry as they'd heard they had missed the free bags of Quavers

Chris directed the seating plan. It was 'Eat' versus 'Starbucks' on that table.

"You see my hand remains steady despite that extra glass of bubbly"

Sometimes even Gooners need to listen (Arsene are you taking note)

It's amazing how happy someone can be when they sell two paintings
And so, despite 8 no-shows (some proactively called to explain why .... and some didn't call at all) I think the evening was a huge success. Food was good, company was great, the price was outstanding value and each of the 4 people displaying their wares sold some. In total and with a WONDERFUL donation of £1000 from Zinc itself, the evening raised over £2300 which was pretty much what I could have hoped for.

The most exciting parts about the art sales were someone put in a bid for one piece and they were nothing to do with the event itself, just a customer on his way back from the gents, and the mysterious anonymous bidder for 3 pieces of art/photography ..... who promptly got tipsy and started telling everyone they were the anonymous bidder. Err maybe someone should have a word with Mr you-know-who about the definition of anonymous!


Since Zinc I've apparently been in a world of my own. You see I can't help but wonder how I could turn this sort of thing into a life and a career that pays the bills? My cousin Mandy met someone who does just that; Yaser Martini (no seriously that's his name) so who knows what the future may hold. Hey a guy can dream can't he?

And so after a 2am finish Wednesday night/Thursday morning, Thursday became a late night as did Friday (arriving at an airport hotel with Lucia at 10:30pm and we still had to eat) with a subsequent 4am alarm call this morning. So this morning (Saturday) I left Lucia at the airport in Liverpool at 6am and headed back for an 11am appointment at the gym. After a few minutes warming-up, the work-out went like this: -

1 minute of squats with 2 x 16kg weights
1 minute of seated shoulder presses with 2 x 8kg weights
1 minute of ab crunches

30 seconds rest

Repeat as above but add a further minute of sit-ups

1 minute rest

1 minute of chest presses with 2 x 14kg weights
1 minute of static lunges with 2 x 8kg weights, per leg
1 minute of torso stretches using dumbell rollers

1 minute rest

1 minute of chest presses with 2 x 14kg weights
30 minute of static lunges with 2 x 8kg weights and 30 seconds without weights, per leg
1 minute of abs crunches with knees in the air and legs bent parallel to the ground

And then LOTS of stretching out. After which it was the usual domestic god stuff, a visit to my Mum's for her 79th birthday, e-transferring money to my eldest daughter who was stuck in London and now it's 00:18am and time to go to bed.

Might just be a big day tomorrow for tyre-pulling so I need my rest but my thanks once again to Tina B and Annamarie for trying their hearts out to find me some easels, to Zinc for helping put on what was for them a really busy Wednesday night, to Alison, Ben, Lucia and Mark for putting their products on show, to Tomas for capturing the images and to all the wonderful people who attended the evening and were just fantastic.

Sleep well.


  1. As ever, well done Geoff. Glad the event came of well in the end.

    The squats sound painful!

    All the best, Mark E

  2. Follow your passions !!
    Best wishes
    Yaser Martini