Having spent the weekend in Manchester (without the children) to celebrate Paul's birthday, there are four things that I know to be true:
Few things are better than live music.
Very little is better than live music on a warm summer's night.
Virtually nothing is better than live music on a warm summer's night, drinking cold beers.
Absolutely nothing is better than live music on a warm summer's night, drinking cold beers when you don't have to get up in the morning.
I would have said 'now know to be true', but I think I've always known; I merely forgot in the chaos of bringing up two little boys. My head still isn't quite functioning as normal even today, and my feet have yet to recover from so much dancing, but my goodness, it was amazing. If you had some of your best nights out in the 90s, go see the Haçienda Classical. You'll be whisked straight back to bucket hats and Born Slippy.
But how to recreate that carefree summer vibe at home?
The sun's still shining, we have cold beers in the fridge, heck, we even have a fully stocked bar thanks to many birthday gin gifts, and I'm pretty sure that I could dig out a few glow sticks and whistles for any passing guests. But fitting Peter Hook and the Manchester Camerata on the patio? Potentially, a stretch. Violins in the vegetable patch? Oboes in the orchard?
'No, Peter Hook, you can not pull up those lettuces to make room for your decks. And step away from the rhubarb.'
So I'm going for the next best thing.
Streaming the Haçienda Classiçal album from my iPhone to my new Rosie-Lee digital radio, a gift from VQ. I love the Bluetooth connection. I'm a Radio 1 fan during the day but come the evening, I don't want the commentary, just the music. Sorry, Annie Mac!
Let's take a closer look at it. It really is a complete babe of a bedside (mini bar) alarm clock DAB Digital and FM radio - I put it on the bar because it sits neat and low and I can still see all the bottles behind it ... just in case you're wondering.