Published: May 8th 2008May 8th 2008
Well today marks a year since I left little old Perth for the UK (or the end of the Festival of Pete as Kel would call it). So can’t believe time has flown by so fast, it feels like only yesterday, yet at the same time I feel like I’ve been here forever, it certainly feels like home (well a second home perhaps).
So a year, it has been an eventful one:
*two temp jobs and three houses
*trips to Berlin, Edinburgh, Berlin, Copenhagen, Morocco, Stockholm, Cairo, Brussels and Oslo
*England trips to Coventry, Leeds, Liverpool, Blackpool and about 10 trips to London
*about 10 comedy performances
*and over 115 music gigs (averaging three gigs a week) and seeing somewhere in the vicinity of 300 different bands/artists in total
During that time I’ve made a stack of friends, had some awesome times, seen some great sites and seen bands play that I never thought I’d get to see.
Got back from my trip to Oslo on Monday. I really only booked the trip as it was timed well with a gig for one of my favourite bands (post rockers Explosions in the Sky), but I still had
Oslo Opera House
looks like it just emerges from the harbour, yeah?
a good time in Oslo.
Luckily Ryanair came good with a cheap flight although this was offset a bit by the Ryanair airport being 120km out of the city and the train into Oslo central taking as long as the flight from Manchester and at ₤20 costing just as much as my flight!
Fortunately the weather played nice to me, in fact Saturday and Sunday were warm enough to wish I had brought my shorts.
Its been ages since I’ve had time to go to the movies so I had quiet nights Friday and Saturday and watched Paranoid Park on the Friday and Funny Games (‘our’ Naomi Watts, Michael Pitt) on Saturday. I can’t really recommend Paranoid Park, I liked the movie but in typical Gus Van Sant style the film is difficult to watch. Funny Games was pretty good.
Oslo is certainly as expensive as I had been warned. ₤3/$6 for a coffee and finding even a dodgy kebab (let alone some veg food) for less than ₤5/$10 is a mission in itself - basically everything is twice as expensive as the UK which in turn is twice as expensive as Oz. Luckily I was
Oslo Opera House
not many pera houses that let you play on them
travelling on the pound and not the dollar!
My hostel was nothing special and I didn’t make any new friends like I usually do but I did start talking to two girls from Ireland (who were at the same band’s Dublin gig I went to) and a guy from Brazil at the gig but this was on the last night so there was no time to catch up again (might be catching up with the Brazilian at a festival in Barcelona we both happen to be going to.
One cool thing about the hostel, whilst sitting in the common area having my breakfast on the first morning and what was on the tele but a rerun of Skippy! Classic … or not.
Walking around the city it was hard to get any feeling for the place. The streets are mostly pretty nice and there are lots of open spaces and greenery to be had but not much in the way of character or tourist draw cards.
The only real tourist drawcard is the new Opera House which opened just last month and is a pretty stunning building. Seemingly coming out of the harbour, the building is
Oslo Opera House
pete plays with mirror effects
all angles and even better you are allowed to walk all over the building. The steep slopes of the ‘roof’ resemble a ski slope and would look even cooler covered in snow. Inside is almost as impressive including a ‘forest’ of coat racks (I do notice the strangest thing).
The weather in the UK has finally improved, had some lovely warm weather (20'c so still too cold for Maria) and its nice getting a little sun. Am thinking lunch at the pub in the outdoors bit might become a regular thing :-)
Right now I’m in London for a quick mid week trip (yes for gigs, do you need to ask???) and was going to catch up with Cam Webb before he embarks on some great travels but that didn’t work out but we might end up being in Vancouver at the same time which will be good (although maybe not so good for my liver!).
Now I’m just counting down my days in Manchester, I can’t wait to see what Vancouver has to offer but at the same time I wish I could stay here forever. It will be sad to leave the city.
iLiKETRAiNS - awesome ‘historical’ post rock band put on a set just as good as the last time I saw them
Explosions in the Sky - another brilliant gig with my third favourite band of all time
Gravenhurst - caught them in Coventry last year and really glad I got to see them again before I leave
Bye for now
There are more photos below