Well, my birthday came and went and so did the sun. It felt like the start of summer: the hobgob garden packed with people, the smell of the barbecue, some mellow tunes and the flustered whinging of the people in the queue for the food. Happy memories came flooding back, but at the same time it really felt like time for a change. It wasn’t stale exactly, just over familiar. Roll-on visa. It’s not just us that have found the bureaucracy tortuous either. The Hallé Orchestra have cancelled a tour to the States because of the Herculean requirements of the visa application process.

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