Wednesday, 17 September 2014

ABC Wednesday: "J" is for just a juxtaposition of chairs

Taking part in ABC Wednesday joining "J". Even when they are closing up for the day walking past Cafe Pop and Pop Boutique on Oldham Street can provide an inadvertent, slightly abstract, artistic vision. I give to you a piece I call...chairs.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Window box of delights...

Little potted pleasures on a sunny late afternoon above the River Irwell, on the Manchester side. Taking part in a week full of possibilities at Our World Tuesday.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Monday Mural: Icons of the past, Marilyn & the phone box

Back streets of the Northern Quarter

My interpretation of this intriguing mural by D7606 is that is expresses the redundancy of what once were iconic items in the western world - items which we have since moved on from, having no place in the current day (sexism and exploitation of woman as objects) and the mobile phone long since having replaced call boxes?

A trademark D7606 crayon is to the left. Taking part in this week's Monday Mural.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Plant 100,000 snowdrops in Manchester @NTUrbanGardener

The National Trust are running a week-long campaign to plant 100,000 snowdrops in Manchester. Parsonage Gardens (photo) gets its turn on Monday between 11.00 am and 3.00 pm, when volunteers are required. 

Unfortunately most people are at school, college or work during those hours ...I pass through here most days so would have liked to take part- hopefully there are better times on other days to suit everyone.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Weekend Reflections: a walk in the forest

While putting on my walking boots the other morning I looked up to see these trees reflected in the car's rear window. A nice start to a walk in the forest. Taking part in Weekend Reflections.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Skywatch Friday: sunbeams over Angel Square

6.40 a.m. 4 September. The sun rises over the Co-op building on Angel Square.
Have a look at other Skywatch Friday posts around the world. 

(Yesterday's photo was taken on the southern side of Albert Square, above the entrance to St. Andrews Chambers and no.21).

Today's sunrise shot was the first photo that I have taken with my new camera, which I bought last week. Sadly my point and shoot Nikon Coolpix which served me well for 8 years and 8000 photos developed a fatal lens problem. The Jessops’ staff seemed amazed it had lasted that long, saying the average camera only makes it to about 4 years. What a shocking waste- if that is correct then it shouldn’t be allowed, surely? Cameras used to last decades from what I recall?

I wanted to buy a bridge camera - more than a point and shoot but not as expensive or large as a DSLR. Research led me to go for a Sony HX50. So I snapped the above shot and then realised that with my schedule for the following 24 hours I could play an amusing and creative game of “the first three shots taken on the new camera being taken in three different cities”.

After work on 4 September I jumped onto a train from Manchester to London (180 miles and a bargain £19.50 fare). I had a couple of hours in London that evening and went to the Serpentine where I took the first photo below. The light was appalling, one of those polluted (?), almost white skies that cities get when their mayor does nothing aboutcurtailing car use and exhaust fumes. But the photo represents a version of London to me. Click 2. It’s a Henry Moore sculpture (“The arch”) on the edge of the Serpentine and with Kensington Palace on the horizon.

I was then due to catch an overnight megabus and ferry from London to Paris (a cheap and cheerful £20). I slept better than I’d feared. So I arrived in Paris about 24 hours after I had taken the first photo above. As with my time in London, I wanted to find the right photo, not just click at everything, the first three with my new camera had to illustrate the cities they were taken in.

The Paris sky was even mistier and paler than London - pollution again or heat haze? The temperature soon rose to 27°C. I knew what subject matter I wanted, an art nouveau-inspired Metro station. Click 3.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Guess where?...

Another gloriously sunny day in Manchester and I looked up on the way to work to see this beautiful work of art. Would anyone with local knowledge care to hazard a guess as to where this photo was taken? I'll give the answer tomorrow...

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

ABC Wednesday: "I" is for iWonder at the BBC

Taking part in ABC Wednesday: the innards of BBC Quay House at Media City.

I was invited to the BBC in Media City last week to give my views (as a blogger) on the new BBC "iWonder?" tool that they are developing. It's a cross between social media and a BBC Wikipedia, and would enable anyone to pose questions and stimulate debate. Interesting. Watch this space.

It was also a good opportunity to see inside Quay House with its cool meeting hubs and workspace, not to mention BBC radio and tv studios etc. 

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Strong & steadfast as she goes: The Anchor @AnchorCoffee

After the tour featured on yesterday's blog post, we popped across the road to the Anchor Coffee house on Moss Lane East for a late lunch. It's a former pub nicely refurbished which now does a  good line in bagels: houmous and sun-dried tomatoes for me and a peanut butter one for my friend Rachel (who alerted me to yesterday's Whitworth Park tour in the first place). It's a lovely cafe with a good vibe which opened two years ago on the edge of the curry mile. I will happily pay a return visit soon.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Monday Mural: Whitworth Art Gallery

The Whitworth Art Gallery reopens this autumn. I went for a tour of Whitworth Park last week, which proffered great insight to the gallery and the park's histories. It was special to be on a tour which was led by an artist. 

Once the extension and refurbishment are completed, there will be a sparkling cafe overlooking the greenery, which I look forward to pondering over a cup of something warm in.

I have fond memories of the Whitworth as I think it was the first Manchester gallery I ever went to. The pop art and spaciousness of its southernmost gallery filled me with happiness. Other exhibitions, textiles and 19th century glories bounce around in my head when I bring past visits to mind too. 

Taking part in the Monday Mural.