It's took a while but I have managed to finish writing up my trip to Spain last year where I spent a few days to myself, enjoying the food and drink scene from Girona to Barcelona, before meeting up with Angela and friends in La Zenia after an eventful trip.

Link: 2017 Girona-Barcelona-La Zenia trip

<update> You can now see a series of videos I've made on the SoBo Mile YouTube Channel or keep up to date on the southbournegroove.com website.

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I know Harry from Chaplins Bar wants to put Boscombe forward as a foodie destination (Bournemouth Echo article), but I counter that with Southbourne being much more of a destination for foodies when it comes to bars and restaurants.

Let the SEO wars begin in good banter - I want our area to show up when people are searching for "Where to eat in Bournemouth?".

Southbourne has always been a sleepy corner of the Bournemouth food scene, and a lesser know property bubble as well, but it has never reached the heady heights in prominence but maybe for some residents that's a good thing. Even the Financial Times said Southbourne was an area to watch way back in 2008.

As a concept the SoBo Mile runs from Pokesdown train station through to Southbourne Crossroads via the Grove. However, in reality, I have taken some artistic licence as the stretch from the other side of Lloyds Bank to the station is technically not in "Southbourne" if you take the voting wards. Hey ho, we are good neighbours and want to promote that whole stretch as #sobomile

A brief history of SoBo time follows...

I have time now to write a few words on my enjoyable artsy weekend. Definitely not my usual weekend but something I'd like to try more of. Angela was away for the weekend, so I had the freedom to just book and explore.

It started off on the afternoon of Friday April 27th. As part of the Westbourne Book Festival, which was part of the Bournemouth Emerging Arts Festival, I hosted an author for an hour and a half. What that entailed was, well me having to read a book and finishing it on the night before! It put me under pressure, which I liked, because having been to technical seminars and presentations before it can fall flat when a host asks if the audience has any questions and there is silence.

It was a good job that I had a meeting in London the week before and was able to meet with the author, Helen Fry, and have a good discussion about her book The London Cage. It gave me time to prep some questions. The book is about the main interrogation centre used by the British secret services during the World War 2 to gain military intelligence vital for combat, as well as gathering vital evidence for the war crimes tribunals afterwards.

Standing up in a room full of strangers to make the introduction is not my favourite thing, and on something not techie or digital made it even more out of my comfort zone. This year however, I said I would challenge myself to new things.

It went well. Audience didn't have any questions at first after Helen's talk, but after a few of mine people started to join in. The preparation paid off.

I ended up buying a few more books and I wonder if I will be able to read them by next year's book festival. I hope the event returns and I get asked back.

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I also haven't been to the movies for ages and I had a free token from the purchase of a wall planner to make use of. I was hoping to see the film about Churchill (Darkest Hour) but things had moved on from them, so fancied something silly instead. Rampage with The Rock it was. Errrm, nothing more to be said about a film of oversized rampaging animals.

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On Saturday meanwhile, I booked to see a play called "Mountains: The dreams of Lily Kwok" at Poole's Lighthouse. A new tick on both accounts in going to a play as an adult and visiting the Lighthouse. The Lighthouse is a beautiful venue and will go back for sure.

The play is based on a book written by Helen Tse about her grandmother Lily Kwok, called Sweet Mandarin. The play centres on an interplay between Helen and her grandmother, following her life in Hong Kong/China before coming to UK.

As the first generation of Chinese immigrants that came to Britain in the 60's, the play was very, very touching and I could identify with so many elements.

I guess plays are there to really touch the emotions and the performance is a vehicle for that. I did wipe my eyes a couple of time but styled it out.

Although there was not a huge amount of people in the evening performance, probably less in the afternoon one, but I was happy that the pensioners of Poole came to support a niche play. A Thank You from me.

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Sunday came. Timo Peach came. I don't know how to describe Timo as I fear I would do him a disservice. A man of many talents he is.

As part of the Bournemouth Emerging Arts Festival, Timo put on a musical production called, Five Songs to help us Unsee The Future. The event was held at Talbot Heath School.

You can see some of his works here the Momo Tempo Videos page.

We were lead, blindfolded, into the school's main hall in readiness for the production, holding hands with another person to await the start of the performance. Funnily enough, the person next to me asked my name and I said Gordon, to which she replied Gordon Fong, from SoBo. Go SoBo!

Well that was an interesting few days, venturing into the arts..

Started off on Friday hosting an author as part of a literary festival and afterwards I went to the movies for the first time in ages. Then there was a play at Poole Lighthouse on Saturday and finally on Sunday attended a music/art performance.

I tested my blood pressure this morning and it was under 80 for the first time for a while. Related, who knows? I do know that an evening spent listening to my music collection really did help bring it down.

What can I say?

I've had two separate 50th birthday parties, in the same place, with virtually all the same guests, and with one going slightly better than the other one, from my poor recollection....

That surely must be a first.

Does it make me 100 though?