Thursday, 31 January 2013

Out of the blue, the comforting arm of the law...

Most of us, most of the time, bumble along in life. We may not always be as focused as we'd like but we're generally all heading in the right direction. Then, out of the blue, comes some horrible shock- illness, accident, you're a victim of a crime,  there's a death or divorce to deal with, or  an employer pulls a fast one on you.

You are plunged into a panic, cannot think straight,  feeling shaken and stirred. Legal advice is required but where do you start? Asking friends for someone they recommend is a good starting point. Or searching for a reputable company that specialises in the area of law you require.  

I've had cause to use a lawyer in employment law on more than one occasion when companies didn't behave as my colleagues and I would have hoped.

Beecham Peacock sound like a company I could turn to if I needed them (although hopefully I won't be requiring any legal advice again for  a long time). They deal with legal issues covering employment, crime, family law and personal injuries.

Although I have not used them myself I am encouraged that they have a corporate social responsibility policy which has led to them supporting charities including Disability North, Mencap and Women’s Aid. Also impressive to me is that their " cab journeys are taken in hybrid environmentally friendly taxis."

A busy day...
My latest guest post for Smitten By Britain, entitled This Snowbound Isle, is now published. My other monthly guest post, for 4 Manchester Women, has also just been published and is called Winter's wonders, Trent & Mersey canal walk.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

ABC Wednesday: "C" is for Cultural Instructions...

Artist Chris Kenny is  known for his three-dimensional ‘drawings’ and collage-constructions made from fragments of maps, strips of found text, or even twigs mounted on pins. This poem is called Cultural Instructions. Taking part in ABC Wednesday.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Ambience, warm, eclectic, that's Oklohoma #citydailyphoto @oklahomacafe

Eclectic, psychedelic, bohemian, - a new year and a new favourite café for me- Oklohoma café and shop with a great range of tasty veggie snacks to be eaten amidst upcycled tables, chairs and even internal umbrellas. Gifts too - I blogged about then once before but after enjoying lunch here last week it's time to blog again.

Talking of gifts, teenager Tim tells me there are just a few days left of sponsorship opportunities for a film he and some fellow Mancunian friends are making. These budding young film-makers have raised most of the money they need but are now on the final push. To see a trailer and more details about their film,which is called Benefits, please click here.   

Benefits and the ethos of the teenagers are a good fit with places such as Oklahoma and the other arty, independent and inspiring cafes, galleries and creative spaces of the Northern Quarter.

Linking today to Our World Tuesday.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Monday Murals: Last showing of the first cut

The First Cut exhibition closed yesterday at Manchester City Art Gallery. It was comprised of an amazing array of paper creations, from autumn landscapes to birds to a motor bike. 

A total of 31 artists took part and these are some of many wonderful silhouettes. This is part of a whole room dedicated to the work of Kara Walker. She is inspired by the Southern US pre-civil war period and uses them to re-present African-American history.

The exhibition moves on to Nottingham from April until June then is in Southampton from October 2013. Linking to Monday Murals.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Fields of glory #citydailyphoto

A heavy snowfall from Friday afternoon led to a wonderful snow-covered scene by late evening- Within 24 hours the temperature has increased and snow soon turns to slush, aided by a forecast of heavy rain. 

But the fields at Ryecroft Farm looked magical yesterday morning though. Taking part in the Weekly Top Shot.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Weekend Reflections: Power to the people?

This stretch of the Bridgewater Canal near Stockton Heath is always an enjoyable and gentle walk, even in the snow and ice. The ancient and narrow bridge carries vehicles while the foreground arch carries electricity or some such utility. Follow the link to see other bloggers'  Weekend Reflections.

My week-long curation over at Northern Spirit's A Wondrous Place blog finishes today- thanks so much to everyone who's been supporting it.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Skywatch Friday: A beautiful Barnton abode

I sometimes imagine happily living in this idyllic looking cottage on the hillside whenever I walk by, but I would miss the city too much... This is Barnton in the borough of Vale Royal in Cheshire. 

It's not to be confused with the Barnton which is an affluent area of Edinburgh, where they may well be piping in a haggis tonight to celebrate Burns' Night. I might take the opportunity to eat the vegetarian haggis we have in the larder and drink a toast to Scotland myself.

Click to see today's other Skywatch Friday posts.

Also, please do have a look at my curation all this week at Northern Spirit's A Wondrous Place blog.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Going to the wire

Looking through the fencing at the top of the amazing Anderton Boat lift. The 1875 lift transports boats between the River Weaver and the Trent & Mersey canal. More on that another day when I have got top the bottom, river level, which looks spectacular.

The wire fencing is there for safety as well as security and there are several layers and types. I had not much considered the manufacturing of fencing until I came across Siddall & Hilton. They specialise in industrial security fencing, mesh and wire products and, like the Anderton Boat Lift have a reputation stretching back to Victorian times - 1898 to be precise.

It's quite a range of clients that they cater for- as well as the more obvious area of security fencing for industrial estates, they make prison fences too, and for those of us on the outside can offer tips and products for garden fencing. They even make coat hangers for domestic use and and dry-cleaning businesses.

Please do have a look at my curation all this week at Northern Spirit's A Wondrous Place blog.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

"B" is for BBC Brain of Britain 2013

I had always wanted to see BBC Radio 4's Brain of Britain programme being recorded. Sadly I didn't get to see it during the Robert Robinson era but was nonetheless delighted when I got tickets to see two shows recorded here at Media City. 

Smooth-toned and silver-haired quiz-master Russell Davies sits on the right, with an adjudicator to his right. The scorer sat on his left, and the four contestants opposite. The two shows I saw were aired on 7th and 14th January. My only gripe was that out of eight contestants only one was female, and all were white. Hardly reflecting the true demographic make up of Britain's brains in 2013... Taking part in ABC Wednesday.

Please do have a look at my curation all this week at Northern Spirit's A Wondrous Place blog.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Lucy Locket in the snow #citydailyphoto

Lucy Locket is a snow splattered narrowboat on the frozen Bridgewater Canal that I walked past at the weekend. The name of Lucy Locket is from a nursery rhyme written in 1842 (when the Bridgewater Canal was in its heyday) which is sung to the tune of "Yankee Doodle". Evidently she lost her pocket... I'm afraid I find it a rather annoying tune which I now can't get out of my head.

Linking with the Ruby Tuesday blog and Signs, Signs blog. 

Please do have a look at my curation all this week at Northern Spirit's A Wondrous Place blog.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Monday Mural: Alas, poor rock chick? #citydailyphoto

Rockers may look like it is a bar for bikers but it's a vintage-style clothing store, with some modern items too, for guys and girls. It's another gem on Oldham Street - what a fabulous city Manchester is to live in for murals (and other culture too). Linking to Monday Murals at the Oakland Daily Photo blog.

My week's blog curation at Northern Spirit's A Wondrous Place starts today ;-)

Sunday, 20 January 2013

There's snow stopping narcissi #citydailyphoto

A trio of narcissi on the window sill are doing well in the inside warmth, laughing in the face of winter's raging outside.

Taking part in Weekly Top Shot, hosted by Madge in Seattle.

If you're a City Daily Photo blogger and also tweet your posts, we are using the hashtag #citydailyphoto 

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Weekend Reflections: Reflections on the big freeze #citydailyphoto

Sunrise reflected on a frozen canal last Sunday. The Trent and Mersey Canal near Acton Bridge, with the ice several inches thick and narrow boats were frozen to their moorings. Quite a sight to behold! More Weekend Reflections.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Skywatch Friday: Little Leigh, big dawn #citydailyphoto

Driving through Little Leigh last Sunday just after dawn, we witnessed another amazing sunrise. Heading for a walk across frosty fields, looking at smoking chimneys, a frozen canal, listening to bird song and church bells... it makes me think that all's right with my world. 

With a sunrise like that to share, Mancunian Wave simply has to take part in this week's Skywatch Friday .

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Going Kommando for Oxfam...

Oxfam emporium on Oldham St- thanks to Tim for effects

In an age where most of us in the western world have instant internet access and are able to promote ourselves, organisations we belong to and causes we support, it's ever harder and more competitive to be able to create a campaign or media stunt to increase awareness.

So companies such as Kommando are in demand. They describe themselves as an award winning, progressive and innovative Experience Marketing agency that create, activate and amplify brand experiences. 

Their success is based on a simple principle; great ideas are useless without the power to make them happen. They cover experiential,guerrilla, ambient, field and social marketing. Kommando make great ideas come to life, generating positive results.

I like the fact they are behind some exciting tourism ideas such as Glasgow's Festival of Light and that they work with some of the Third Sector groups that I support: Amnesty International, Oxfam and Advocates for Animals, helping them get their message across in innovative ways to the often otherwise under-informed public.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

ABC Wednesday: "A" is for Angel Meadow

I made reference to Angel Meadow last Wednesday when we were on nearby Dantzic Street. These days it's a small park in the city but has a turbulent history. 

The 19th century workforce who fuelled Manchester's industrial output endured squalid conditions all around the city centre. One of the worst areas was here at Angel Meadows where 20,000 people lived (if you can call it living) and often died, doing dangerous jobs. 

The great Friedrich Engels who lived and worked in Manchester and Salford, and whose ground breaking 1844 work The Making of the English Working Classes was partly inspired by the dire conditions for the north-west industrial towns' populous, called Angel Meadow "hell on earth".

See also FOAM, Friends of Angel Meadow
The lowest, most filthy, most unhealthy, and most wicked locality in Manchester is called Angel Meadow. It lies off the Oldham Road, is full of cellars and is inhabited by prostitutes, their bullies, thieves, cadgers, vagrants, tramps, and, in the very worst sites of filth, and darkness. – (1849).

"Thankfully, Angel Meadow these days is a green haven of a park that is full of wild flowers, space and peace largely due to the support of the local community and the friends group - “Friends of Angel Meadow” (FOAM). Recently FOAM has hosted several Guided Walks, a major BBC Springwatch Festival in June 2007, won 2 major awards including the prestigious Green Flag for the 6th year running and continues to win grant funding to continue the good work." 

Linked to ABC Wednesday where we start all over again this week with the alpha letter...

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Scene from a train, Jardin d'Hiver

Yesterday there was no snow in the city, but some settled in the suburbs and there was plenty in the hills. A friend up on the tops near Lees is snowed in. I had a meeting in Lancashire to attend and this was a snapshot from a speeding commuter train passing near Adlington (the 8.54 from Manchester Piccadilly should you ask!). Not the best of photos but the nearest I could get to the snow on a workday, and it gives you a freezing flavour. 

A song that came to mind was Jardin d'Hiver by Stacey Kent.  Taking part in the Our World Tuesday meme.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Monday Mural: See you on the south side of the moon... #citydailyphoto

Although this is a photo of a picture from an exhibition rather than a mural, I think the brilliant and thought-provoking artist (Fraser Chapman) would be able to create some mighty fine murals for Manchester. His exhibition at the Cornerhouse officially ends today, although there was not much left when I popped in on Friday.

This piece is in a series of moon maps and is entitled Geologic map of the south side of the moon. Acrylic on canvas, they sell for £400-£600.  Fraser is a Manchester artist and through his nomadic shop Grotto (part gallery, part shop, part event space) enables local artists to sell their work in the centre of Manchester.

If I ran the council I would commission him and others to produce murals to cover the horrendous concrete disaster zone in Piccadilly Gardens that us Mancunians refer to as Manchester’s Berlin Wall...

Linked to Monday Murals at the Oakland Daily Photo blog.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Festival of the Belly Button: Shades of pink on a winter morn

On a walk in the countryside, this pair of Tweenie sunglasses were doubtless dropped by a child, then found by a walker and hung on the gate for safe keeping. An overnight frost  sprinkled some magic on them. 

City Daily Photo are running a Festival of the Belly Button to show how CDP bloggers' photography has changed. I don't think mine has changed greatly- but I look for details . To contrast below is a photo I took in my first month, April 2011, but I would also pretty much take it in the same way today.

When I started my City Daily Photo journey in April 2011 with Mancunian Wave I would not have envisaged taking close ups like the above with my automatic camera. I thought I always would post photos of grand city buildings and interiors and local rural landscapes. 

Only having an automatic camera instead of Digital SLR has its limitations, especially when trying to focus, take sharp portraits or night time photograph. But its portability's an asset and I one day when I have more time and money I may use a DSLR. Meanwhile, I get by ;-)

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Delia Derbyshire Day at Band on the Wall

Today, Saturday 12th January, is Delia Derbyshire Day at Band on the Wall. Best known by the masses for her recording of Ron Grainer's Dr Who theme she went on to produce a wonderful, often unsung, body of electronica soundscapes and effects for the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in the 1960s and 1970s. 

Delia (born in Coventry in 1937) passed away in 2001 but her legacy and influence lives on. Click to read more on the inspiring Delia.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Skywatch Friday: Worth getting up early for...

A wonderful winter's morning, foggy and atmospheric at about 8.15 a.m. in north Cheshire. Click to see today's other Skywatch Friday posts.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Getting carried away with office supplies...

I imagine any office supplier would like to be the sole contractor for all the offices in today's photo, where functional office blocks dwarf some of the more ornate elegance of Mancunian city buildings from an earlier age.

I am minimal with my stationery usage, be it at home or in the office. I have paper folders I am reusing from a decade ago and piles of scrap paper. I wish more people were like this. Either way if you want an office supplier it’s hard to know where to start. 

I would always start local and independent but then there are the big boys of the office supplies such as Viking Direct (who are part of the Office Depot chain) I must say they seem to have a good range of accessories too such as office clocks and desk lamps, heaters and fans. (I'd better get one of each- for winter and summer). I see they even sell sat navs and cameras. And what’s this? Some pretty funky coffee machines too. I’ll have a Dolce Gusto Circolo Machine-Silver please. 

Hang on, a reality check, I’m not the budget holder for my office, so will have to put my order on hold. Shame! 

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

ABC Wednesday: "Z" is for the only letter in Dantzic Street

"Z" is the only letter that has not fallen off of the Dantzic Street street sign mounted on Holyoake House, one of the Cooperative's early 20th century buildings. (built 1911).

Prior to the Co-op developments,the area was once known as Angels' Meadow and was a centre of impoverished slum dwellings for workers who kept Manchester's 19th century factories going; making profits for the owners at the expense of their own happiness, sanity and lives.

Linked to ABC Wednesday where we finish off another 26 week round at "Z".

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

BBC Listening Project at RNCM

Iconic Manchester landmark The Refuge Assurance Building, known these days as The Palace Hotel, forms a backdrop to one of the RNCM 
(Royal Northern College of Music) Beethoven Festival banners.
The weekly RNCM Research Forum returns tomorrow, Wednesday, 9th January at 5.15 (the Research Forum is open to the public- I'm part of the organising team). 

The Spring Semester begins with a talk by RNCM composer Gary Carpenter on his latest collaboration, The Listening Project Symphony

It's part of the BBC/British Library Listening Project initiative in which excerpts from a number of conversations are thematically grouped and musicalised. This seminar explores the strategems and processes involved in realising an alternative dialogue stream between the (pre-recorded) spoken voice and (live) orchestra.

Mancunian Wave is today taking part in both the Ruby Tuesday blog and the Our World Tuesday blog.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Monday Murals: Painted ladies & their recycled bicycles

I posted this wonderful mural when it was first done back in the autumn of 2011- arty old town. The colourful bicycles were added later. It'll be familiar to most Mancunians but any out-of-towners who watched the final of The Young Apprentice last month will also have seen it flash by.

All a vast improvement from how it used to look, see Dirty old town.

Linked to Monday Murals .

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Sticking your neck out for religion

At St Mary's Catholic church in the city centre, which dates from 1794.
Taking part in the Weekly Top Shot at The View From Right Here.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Unfair or funfair?

The New Year festivities have died down but there's a pop-up fun fair in the city centre. It was all a little bit eerie wandering around the city centre on Thursday evening, the first time I'd been into town since Christmas Eve. Small crowds of sales shoppers were around but most of the workforce were still on holiday and it was just groups of youths at the funfair. 

Friday, 4 January 2013

Skywatch Friday: New year, new dawn...

Sunrise over Barton in Cheshire on New Year's Day. On a lovely 2½ hour walk we also saw a full-arc rainbow, donkeys and alpacas near Acton Bridge and three fellas / tree fellers removing a huge tree which had fallen into the Trent & Mersey canal. That was a good enough start to 2013 for me!

Click to see today's other Skywatch Friday posts.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

A lion worth its salt

The Lion Salt works at Marston still displays some remnants of its heyday, as illustrated here. Historically, salt production has been important to Cheshire since Roman times. By the 19th century the region produced 86% of the nation's salt.

The Lion Salt Works was established in 1894 by the Thompson family and closed 92 years later in 1986. The works produced salt by evaporating brine over an open fire in large lead pans, and the different salts they produced would be employed in the fishing, dairy and cosmetic industries. Workers could spend most of the week working, eating and sleeping at the works and were often joined by their families.

The historic brine salt making plant is now being renovated and goes on until 2014. The site is being restored and transformed into a unique heritage attraction. Led by Cheshire West and Chester Council, this £8 million project "will see the site reborn as a fascinating destination for tourists, day visitors and families."  

Linking with this week's Signs, Signs blog.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

ABC Wednesday: "Y" is for Ye Old(e) Nelson

Ye Old(e) Nelson Pub stands derelict on Chapel Road in Salford. It was built in 1899 and closed in 2004. Despite pledges of new money in the area, Chapel Street has pockets of boarded up properties and pubs interspersed with new flats and some iconic buildings, such as the Salford Cathedral, the Old Town Hall on Bexley Square and the Old Fire station. Linking with ABC Wednesday.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year

Wishing all and sundry a very happy and healthy 2013.

Some of the City Daily Photo Community are posting their traditional "best shot of the year" photo today at this unofficial Meme.
I find it hard to choose from the 366 photos that I posted to Mancunian Wave in 2012- unless I am happy with a photo (or at the very least with the subject it represents) I wouldn't post it. So in some ways I would choose all 366 photos today. But if pushed I would possibly go for the above, taken on a misty autumnal morning on the Bridgewater Canal between Moore and Stockton Heath.

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