My Week In Happy: Happy Seasons, Northern Soul Dance School and First Class to Coventry


Rice bowl and different Cantonese dishesI have to admit that I had so much to put in last week’s blog that I neglected to remark upon a delicious meal I had with Naz at Happy Seasons (great name) in Manchester’s China Town last Sunday.

Naz certainly knows her (spring) onions when it comes to places to eat in China Town and Happy Seasons served delicious traditional Cantonese dishes and offered highly attentive service.


Did body pump (weights) with a new instructor, and although he encouraged us to load up our weights I was careful not to overdo it. Afterwards I took on an hour-long Ashtanga yoga class, perhaps forgetting just how taxing the stretches were. Let’s just say I’ve been feeling rather stiff this week!

While these experiences may not seem to relate directly to happiness, looking after ourselves includes both stepping outside of our comfort zones and knowing our own limits. Sometimes we have to exceed our limits before we learn what works for us – in my case no more back to back gym classes after work.


Having had an early night on Tuesday I had recharged my batteries enough to head out Northern Soul Dance School with Karen P. We needed to grab some food beforehand so I suggested we try the Allotment Bar (which I went to with Google last week).

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I chose the veggie burger, which in fact was not a burger in any conventional sense but a stack of beetroot and courgette served in a bun and served with an edamame bean and leaf salad with a cute little bucket of wedge-style fries.

It’s was pretty fresh and tasty, but as someone who isn’t a great fan of burger buns I would love it if the bread was replaced by field mushrooms to make it healthier still.

Karen P was pleased with her courgette, mint, pea and feta salad and generally impressed by the number of veggie choices too.

So, on to the Northern Soul Dance Class at Night & Day Cafe ably led by DJ / school teacher / dance hero Tobin Lochrie. Was great to practise some moves from last time (V-shape, L-shape, kicks and spinning) and learn some more fancy ones too.

To give you a taste of what the night is like I’ve created this playlist showing a demo from Wigan Young Souls followed by a rather cool spin and back drop by Tobin.

I have to say that Karen P was a bit more adventurous than me when in came to backdrops (I’m still scared I’ll do myself a mischief). Neither of us were quite ready for some of the floor based acrobatics, but that was cool too as people really didn’t take it too seriously.

The class is already very popular and I think it’s only a matter of time before Tobin will make the night more regular. He’s also starting a Northern Soul event NQ Working Men’s Club from October.


Popped over to Rosie’s place after work to join in her birthday celebrations. I could only stay for a bit as I was travelling the next day, but the flat was very cool and decorated with some cute balloons containing LED lights. I had a go on the (indoors) trampoline while James attempted to upstage Rosie at pole dancing!


Time for a long overdue parental visit to the Midlands. I don’t get to see my parents as much as I’d like to and as they live in completely different places to each other this requires a bit more leg work.

I was lucky enough to get some very decently priced first class return train tickets which added to the sense of a proper day out. In fact, I had the carriage to myself in both directions and it was a bit of a shock to get on to a busy metro when I landed back in Manchester.

So, parental visit was very pleasant. Time for lunch and a chat before I headed back to the North. What I love about travelling First Class is the little touches that Virgin add. I was served two very cleverly designed ‘snack boxes’ on the way there and back.


But the real gem of the journey was the First Class lounge in Coventry station. The lounge puts many others I’ve seen to shame with a spacious seating area, free Wi-Fi, laptop / phone charger points, PLUS tea, coffee, a fridge of canned drinks, biscuits and crisps. I was so impressed I put together a little gallery.


So the week has been rounded off by my own version of the Salford Triathlon – walking to the gym, doing 45 minutes circuits, swimming 800m and then walking home.


Brenda’s panorama taken from the Watershard Cafe, Imperial War Museum North (Thanks to @postern03 on Twitter).

They say that exercise is meant to be energising, but after that I had a nap before venturing out to meet my lovely neighbours Fiona, Brenda, Carolyn and Steve (whose clever young grandson accompanied him) at the Watershard Cafe at Imperial War Museum North – such a beautiful panorama across MediaCityUK.

Feeling happy but exhausted. Make mine an early night!

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