Plan D

You would think with all the Christmases I’ve seen that I would have got the hang of the festive season or at least its immediate aftermath, but apparently not.

On Tuesday we had the bright idea of taking a trip to the cinema. Had this involved Mrs P I dare say the planning would have been more precise but as it was just me and son and daughter things were rather vague.

The plan was to go to the Trafford Centre, have a bite to eat at Yo Sushi then head to the cinema to watch Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Simple enough you would think except that the decision was made just an hour before the film was due to start. Even so, we decided to give it a go guessing that it would take twenty minutes or so to drive there and, assuming there was no queue at Yo Sushi, then we should just make it to the film before the ads and trailers ended.

Except we had forgotten about the lure of the sales. The traffic to the motorway was heavy enough but when we got to the Trafford Centre itself we entered the Car Park of the Damned. The normally empty overflow car parks were full which was a bad sign and there were hundreds of cars driving aimlessly about the place in the forlorn hope of spotting a parking space.

It became clear that we would not manage get something to eat and reach the cinema in time and Ms P busied herself on her iPhone to come up with a Plan B which was to see the new Star Wars film instead as it had a later start time. Which would have been a good plan except that we have more chance of discovering the Grand Unified Theory than an empty parking spot so we decided to leave.

The problem with the Trafford Centre is that once you enter there is no turning back. You have to drive around endless byroads and roundabouts to find you way to exit which took us another twenty minutes. And while we did so, Ms P worked on Plan C which was to drive all the way back and on to Cinema World in Ashton where the new Star Wars film was due to start at 15:10.

The car park there was crowded but we managed to find a space without too much trouble and had time to scoff a burger a Five Guys and get to the cinema as the show was about to start. Replete, we queued to get our tickets only to be told that it was sold out.

We almost gave up at this point as the next showing wasn’t until 16:30 but we Parrots are nothing if not determined and came up with Plan D. We spotted that Fantastic Beasts was due at 16:10 so we bought tickets for that instead and had an hour to kill.

The problem is, there isn’t much to do at these out-of-town leisure centres except eat and we’d already done that so it was a case of kicking our heels until we eventually sat down to the film armed with various flavours of ice-cream.

Having very little knowledge of the Harry Potter genre I wasn’t sure what to expect but I did enjoy Fantastic Beasts. But as I sat there I made a mental note to plan better for next Christmas. Either that or make sure that Mrs P is in charge.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

9 comments… Add yours
  • Yorkshire Pudding 29th December 2016

    What a delightful way to enjoy quality family time at Christmas. Nostalgic memories of Christmases past – when Master Parrot put his first Action Man in the microwave and Little Miss Parrot swigged half a bottle of vodka before tumbling down the stairs. What a shame that Field Marshal Lady Parrot McParrotface wasn’t there to share in the joy. I guess she was at home luxuriating in a warm bubble bath surrounded by scented candles.

    Reply
  • rhymeswithplague 29th December 2016

    Don’t mind Pudding. He always gets more snarky when he’s ramping up to the Laughing Horse awards. In other words, it comes with the territory.

    Reply
  • Trevor Rowley 29th December 2016

    Nowt wrong with a trip to “the pictures.” As I write this, I’m trying to calculate the title of the last film I saw at the cinema. I think it might have been, “The Young Victoria,” when I had a pleasant afternoon accompanied by one of my daughters. I tend to get attracted to films in blocks and, that year, I was intent on seeing “The Young Victoria,” “The Wrestler” (Mickey Rourke?) and “The Way Back” (Three? inmates escape from a Russian prison camp in Siberia and make their way to India via the Gobi Desert (like you do). I managed to see the Mickey Rourke film on TV and I have the DVD of the prison camp escapees (but it remains in its cellophane still). You made a good choice with your “Fantastic Beasts,” Mr P – that’s already on my list.

    PS Are you too young to remember queing up to get into The Princess cinema on King Street, The Oxford at the bottom of Foundry Street or The Palladium half way up Crescent Road (known to all and sundry as “The Bug Hut” (I think you can guess why)?

    Reply
    • Yorkshire Pudding 29th December 2016

      Of course he’s not too young Lord Rowley. Why, he can even remember silent films accompanied by Wurlitzer virtuosos at “The Paramount” and “The Gaumont”.

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    • Mr Parrot 30th December 2016

      I remember the Princess, now a snooker club or something of the sort, but it was either the Oxford for me as it was nearer to where we lived or the Odeon in Ashton, mainly for the Saturday morning club.

      Reply
  • Trevor Rowley 29th December 2016

    I’ll bet he can’t remember the gas lights (I kid you not) at the Pavillion Cinema on Old Street in Ashton-under-Lyne (closed as a cinema in 1966) or the fate of the New Prince’s Cinema on the corner of Caroline Street and High Street in Stalybridge, which mysteriously caught fire one Thursday night in September 1979 after the lease had run out and the building had become idle. The building was demolished a few weeks later – insurance job? The funniest was the Empire Cinema in Mossley, which was situated directly adjacent to Mossley train station, on the main line between Lancashire and Yorkshire and the North East. When the “flyer” to York and Newcastle went past every night at 8-30 pm (didn’t stop at Mossley), the place rattled that loudly you couldn’t hear the actors on the screen.

    Reply
    • Mr Parrot 30th December 2016

      I don’t recall working gaslights but there were a few of the defunct standards around Astley Street I recall. And I believe that my nan’s house on King Street still had the remnants of the gas lamp fittings.

      Reply
      • Trevor Rowley 30th December 2016

        The amazing thing about the gaslights at the Pavillion Cinema was that the gas lights were actually INSIDE the cinema. This clearly would have been a total safety risk, yet somehow they were able to get away with it in those days. There was an Asian employee whose role it was to go up a set of ladders, before the performance began, to turn off the gaslights. He always undertook this task accompanied by thunderous jeering and ribaldry from the seated cinemagoers. It’s now a furniture and beds sales warehouse

        Reply
  • Roger O Green 30th December 2016

    We went to see La La Land on Boxing Day, which is a holiday here only because Xmas was on Sunday. Long queue at the cinema; should have left 15 minutes earlier. Barely got in before the trailers were over.

    Reply

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