Friday, 31 January 2014

Skywatch Friday: Dunham delights

The delights of Dunham Massey are to be found at this time of year in its solitude. The house (work started on it in 1616) is sadly closed up for the winter but the grounds with their roaming deer are open as are the restaurant, cafe and gift shops (in the buildings to the left). 

My preferred option is to walk there early before the grounds are officially open to the public- you get a true sense of the size, the space and the original setting then, before the crowds arrive (although there's room for all and I used to do that too about a decade ago, with a young family). Well done everyone, we have made it to the end of January!

Here are this week's other Skywatch Friday posts.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Mellow by name, smelly by nature...

This narrowboat on The Trent and Mersey Canal is named Mellow but the offensive smell from the farm it was moored by was anything but mellow. How the poor animals or those humans who live on farms can cope with such a stench is beyond me- manure and the smell of death lingered in the air. It's not somewhere I would choose to tie up for the night. 

Taking part in this week's Rurality Blog Hop.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

"C" is for Chinatown's lucky cat

Mancunian Wave is taking part, as ever, in ABC Wednesday .

Chinatown is the place to be. There are 3,000 Chinese lanterns all around town and from tomorrow until 1 Feb there's a Chinese food market in St. Ann's Square. Lion Dancers (big cats?) are performing there at 1 and 5 pm on Friday and at 5 pm on Saturday.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Ruby Tuesday: Hats off to Harry Blyth! @HBlythCo

1889 was a long time ago and H Blyth & Co. are still going strong. An artistically entertaining blog is a modern service their forebears would have balked at.

Harry Blyth saw the chance to supply drawing materials to the businesses of 19th century Manchester. The business moved here to Stevenson Square from Deansgate in the 1990s.

With colour like this I simply have to part in this week's Ruby Tuesday posts.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Monday Mural: Old Garratt, new artwork

There are three large hoardings outside the Old Garratt pub in Manchester city centre. For years these featured a mural which was mostly white with abstract pink, black and green designs. It didn't really warrant a place here on the blog, so jaded and faded had it become in recent years.

However a few months back the hoardings were whitewashed and last Tuesday one of them was painted with this design. It advertises a drink but personally the blood red and flesh-coloured globules that emanate from the bottle slightly turn my stomach and put me off... What do you think? 

Taking part in this week's Monday Mural.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Chadkirk Chapel, Inspired Sundays

Chadkirk Chapel near Romiley in Cheshire dates from the 14th Century. After restoration in 1995 it has became a tourist attraction. Wikipedia states that:
"There are records of a chaplain at or maybe from Chadkirk in 1347. The chapel fell into decay, passed through a succession of owners and was used as a stable. For a time it was used by non-conformists who were ejected during the reign of Queen Anne. It again became neglected and was 'in a ruinous condition until in 1747 it was taken over once again by the Chutrch of England and restored. Further repairs were carried out in 1761 and 1860."
Taking part in the Inspired Sunday blog posts.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Weekend Reflections: Wetworth Street wet

Photo of Whitworth Street West. Taking part in Weekend Reflections.

I was walking down Whitworth Street West on Tuesday evening. If you can feel happy on a damp and bleak January night like this (as I did) then perhaps you are one of life’s optimists. 

The white light of the Cornerhouse Arts Complex reflects on the street here, and the buzz of other Whitworth Street West stalwarts and newer arrivals, such as The Ritz, Gorilla and Dog Bowl- Black Dog Ballroom all exuded their neon charms as I walked on by to meet with a friend at Dimitri’s on Deansgate. I tweaked the photo a little using Tuxpli’s photo to painting effect to enhance the watery, rain-soaked feel.

It's been near incessant rain for about two months in the UK now, with only a day or 2 a week dry. I've been fortunate to get out and about on such rare sunny days (photos to follow).

Friday, 24 January 2014

Skywatch Friday: Peak Forest dawn

A walk in the Peak Forest and a warm winter glow at sunrise. It makes my heart sing!

 This week's other Skywatch posts.

For CDP bloggers, in case you hadn't heard,  1st February's City Daily Photo Theme Day will be "Entry".

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Loneliness of a long distance jogger

Last Friday, high on the West Pennine Moors, 1100 feet above sea level. Horwich and the reservoir are directly below, and Liverpool and Wales westwards straight ahead. Meanwhile a solitary jogger braves the damp and the cold...

Taking part in Rurality Blog Hop.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

"B" is for bleak but beautiful building -a vanishing history?

 Photos by Tim

Taking part in ABC WednesdayA bleak but once beautiful building opposite WH Shaw Pallet Works on Huddersfield Road, due for possible demolition.  Lest the bleakness goes for ever, I thought I would give it a colourful treatment. It looks like it could be a good film location for a horror movie.

Some interesting inside photos of the area are here.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Circle of life, Life Cycle

This giant bicycle was created by George Wyllie. Called Life Cycle, it was commissioned for a conference on the environment in 1995. It can be found outside Atlas Bar by Deansgate-Knotts Mill station. I find it amusing that some cyclists use it to chain their bikes to.

The flash of blue and black on the right of the photo are of a cyclist whizzing past- I just missed snapping them...

Monday, 20 January 2014

Monday Mural: Cotton cottage industry?

This mural inside the MacDonald Hotel on Princess Street appears to depict a woman weaving or some such cotton-related chore, which is a nice homage to Manchester's industrial heritage. More Monday Murals. 

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Weekend Reflections: In the drink

A bad day at the office, as they say, as a boat sinks slowly and we can but watch, looking out across a crowded section of the Trent and Mersey Canal at Preston Brook. (Photo taken last November). More Weekend Reflections.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Republic in the North West, Queen Victoria statue, #BornEqual

An interesting event in Manchester city centre today (Sat 18 Jan) with Republic in the North West. They are holding their first action day of 2014 by the statue of Queen Victoria in Piccadilly Gardens.

The leafleting part of the day starts at 11.00 a.m. and is followed at 1 p.m (until 230 p.m. by adjourning to the Vine Inn on Kennedy Street (a good choice of pub IMHO!)

As the photo above shows, 
the statue of Queen Victoria in Piccadilly Gardens proved to be a successful location back in August, when they locally launched Republic’s #BornEqual project.

Both events (the leafleting session and the pub) are open to all, so go along and learn more about Republic and what they are up to in your area!

Republic is a campaign pressure group working for the replacement of our monarchy with an elected Head-of-State and the adoption of a written constitution. They are not aligned to any political party and members come from all social backgrounds. Republic relies entirely on donations and subscriptions from supporters.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Skywatch Friday: Rainbow resurrection

Last Saturday we walked along the Trent and Mersey from Sandbach in Cheshire to Kidsgrove in Staffordshire, and then back again. It was on the final mile when this rainbow appeared, arching gracefully over a bare tree, the bark of which seemed to be returning to life in the dazzling sunlight... 

Here are this week's other Skywatch Friday posts.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Fields of floating fog

Up and out early to a deserted countryside that you can have mostly to yourself. It's just you and the elements, such as a swirling mist on the fields by the River Weaver. Mornings might well be the best time of the day...

Taking part in Rurality Blog Hop.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

ABC Wednesday: “A” is for architect Alexander’s aqueduct

The Lune aqueduct carries the Lancaster Canal over the River Lune in Lancashire. It took three years to build and was completed way back in 1797 (and restored in 2012). It was designed by civil engineer John Rennie and constructed by architect Alexander Stevens. 

Evidently there was a rush to complete the original structure before winter floods arrived, which required a round the clock workforce. This sent costs way over budget to just under £50,000.

That overspend had a knock-on effect for the Lancaster canal not getting joined up with the main canal network, as there wasn’t enough money for another aqueduct to take the canal over the River Ribble at the southern end of the canal…

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

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Pyjamas and Radimar skirts, or old brands linger on...

Here's some lovely vintage signage at 3 Stevenson Square. At first I had assumed George Taylor was the shop name, but it may have been a brand of clothing.  Arco Shirts and Pyjamas Ltd. was the company but it was hard to discover much. They stocked Golden Crest goods and Radimah skirts (whatever they may have been).  Aha, on a second look I see it it is Radimar, who appear to have been a 1940s company.

As to the era, I was thinking the signs were 1940s in a 19th century building but then thought maybe they are as recent as the 1960s?   A little research and I discovered that Arco Shirts and Pyjamas Ltd were registered here in 1947. Maybe my friend and sign historian Sue at the Signs Siren blog can help me out?

With colour like this I simply have to part in this week's Ruby Tuesday posts.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Monday Mural: 4 sides of 5 Rhythms

Today's Monday Mural is a little unusual in that it's painted on a narrow boat rather than a wall. I saw 5 Rhythms on the Lancaster canal last week near Hasty Brow Road. Narrow boats (or barges as narrow boat owners hate to hear them called) are usually conservatively painted in traditional colours and designs, as regular readers of this blog will have probably noticed. 

The sun last week, although very welcome, made it tricky to get a single good angle photograph of 5 Rhythms, short of my wading into the canal to capture the side that the sun was shining on. As much as I enjoy blogging and sharing my views of the world, that would have been a step too far... For a better overview photo, click here.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

St. Mark's in Dunham: Inspired Sundays

St. Mark's in Dunham Village; sporting the red colours that all the Dunham Estate is painted in; houses, shops and church. It was built in 1855 thanks to the 7th Earl of Stamford. Linking with the USA-based Inspired Sunday blog posts.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Weekend Reflections: Taxi for the architect of One St. Peter's Square...

Taking part in Weekend Reflections.

The "yet-another-unnecessary-ugly-Manchester-office-block" also known as One St. Peter's Square is still being completed. I wonder if it will be finished before the wonderful Art Deco Central Reference Library opposite it re-opens its doors in March? 

Sadly, the only 1930s structure that One St. Peter's Square reminds me of are that period's Nazi and Soviet fascist monoliths. It is completely out of keeping with its neighbours such as the Midland Hotel, library and Neo-Gothic Town Hall. Am I alone in thinking this, I wonder?  If you have a spare five minutes you can watch this fast-speed video of its construction.

Gripes aside, this grand old city has much to offer this weekend as the Manchester Evening News illustrates. I rather fancy the Life on Mars tour (Saturday 11 January, 2pm-3.30pm. Meet at Police Museum, Newton Street, Manchester, £6.) 

There's the RNCM Chamber Festival, and a friend is seeing the rock band Trans Siberian Orchestra. I've heard good things from friends about Victoria Woods' "That Day We Sang" which is on at the Exchange Theatre until the 18th - such variety... enjoy your weekend however you spend it. 

Friday, 10 January 2014

Skywatch Friday: Offerton's sunrise offering

 Last Sunday not long after 8 a.m. as we drove through Offerton, a spectacular dawn suddenly broke before our very eyes... Interestingly, other bloggers caught this too- Bill 150 miles away and Gerald about 10 miles away. Ohh, and the wonderful Levenshulme Daily Photo Blog 5.6 miles away!

Click to see all of this week's other Skywatch posts.

(Photo taken by Susie, snapped on a standard digital camera, no effects added- just nature in suburbia at its best).

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Hest Bank; happiness-on-sea, dog days

I had a day off work yesterday and we went for a lovely four hour walk along the Lancaster canal, in welcome sunshine too. We walked so far that we reached the Lancashire coast (actually Lancaster is only five miles from Morecambe Bay). 

But it was amazing to suddenly and unexpectedly see the sea on the horizon. We then branched off the canal at Hest Bank, down a road and onto this lovely wild beach. Not many people around, just this woman and her dog. 

I took a photo of Daisy our Labrador too, with Instagram- it looks almost like a painting to me… Taking part in week 45 of the Rurality Blog Hop.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

ABC Wednesday: "Z" is for Zen zone

There are few offices that I have worked in or visited that I could attribute the moniker of "zen" to, but  this one behind the Swan Street end of the Oldham Road implies to me that it offers something different- I hope so...certainly a blue sky like this helps put me into the zen zone.

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

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Ash Farm Country House

Ash Farm in Little Bollington near Dunham Massey. A nice-looking guest house to stay at- especially if you like 18th century farmhouses. The house martins certainly think so each summer, but it's far quieter at this time of year. A contribution to Ruby Tuesday.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Monday Mural: all aboard for a long haul through winter

Today's Monday Mural is a Kelzo special on Stevenson Square, part of the rolling Outhouse Street Art project.  A vintage bus and a trademark Kelzo dog brighten up a dark night in the city.

The slow post-festive return to normality peaks today with schools and universities and all workers back to the grindstone too. Some of us who struggled into the office last week can fell a little self righteous, but that doesn't dull the pain of a long winter ahead, of work and toil and little warmth. So what's your way of surviving a long hard winter, short of moving to the tropics or California (where the Monday Mural meme is hosted)? 

Mine is probably to try and go to art galleries, cultural events and getting politically active. Tomorrow evening's frack-free Greater Manchester meeting at the Friends' Meeting House, 13 The Polygon, Wellington Road, Eccles, M30 0DS is a good place to start. Or Wednesday's Manchester School of Samba class at Sacred Trinity Church in Salford. Then there's the RNCM Chamber Music Festival (the Art of Bach) starting this Friday (2.15) at the Cathedral, Chetham's and St. Ann's church. 

Hunkering down with the pile of books I received at Christmas is another proven winter winner. I think I now have something for every possible mood I could be in, with a variety of genres: Children's (JP Martin's omnibus of Uncle the elephant books); crime (Edward Marston's 19th century Inspector Colbeck); history; (Norman Davies' Vanished Kingdoms of Europe); politics (Edward Hobsbawm's How to change the world) and music (Hugh Fielder's Pink Floyd behind the wall) for starters...

Sunday, 5 January 2014

My 1000th Mancunian Wave post - Weekend Reflections: Slimline Manchester...

I couldn't resist taking this photo of a narrow window reflecting a mix of Manchester's architecture, temporarily united by their distorted thinness. Taking part in Weekend Reflections

A slimline, bite-sized, digestable version of Greater Manchester is hopefully what I have been blogging about here for the past 999 days. Thanks to all readers and visitors as Mancunian Wave reaches its 1000th post today- Tempus fugit...

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Loss of the Lass; last boot sale today @thelassogowrie @greenekingpubs

Goodness, this is my 999th Mancunian Wave post and a rather poignant one it is too. We have a peek inside the always welcoming Lass O'Gowrie pub on Charles Street,  which has long been a good enough place to head to at any time of year. With innovative themes, quizzes, art work, drama, comedy and a good range of drinks too, the pub has won plaudits and national awards. In recent years the landlord took a traditional pub and gave it a modern artistic twist. Enough innovation, insight and inspiration, you would think, for it to be a role model for the brewery to roll out across its other public houses.

But unwelcome changes are underfoot, with Greene King Breweries taking back the ownership. Today sees the final car boot sale at the Lass, with the cellars being turned out and all kinds of goodies up for sale, from noon to 3 p.m. Yes, unforgivably, Greene King are changing the award-winning, ever-popular Lass. As a result I for one will never drink in any Greene King pub again and urge others to boycott them as well...

Friday, 3 January 2014

Skywatch Friday: Moore rays of light...

A walk near Moore the other weekend as the sun was rising and then out it crept from behind the clouds, Tellytubby-style. It really did look like this- a wonder of nature! See this week's other Skywatch Friday posts.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Bridge over bubbled waters

It was an invigorating News Year's Day walk before the rains came down; this was the fast flowing Forge Brook near Budworth, captured with Instagram.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

"Y" is for a New Year and 4 from last year #CityDailyPhoto

Wishing you a Happy New Year- may 2014 bring good health and equality to all… 

City Daily Photo bloggers traditionally start the year with a post of their favourite photo from the previous 12 months. I always find it so difficult to choose just one of my 365 photos, so here are 4 which capture some seasonal change and some of my fave architecture in the great metropolis of Manchester -and its surrounding boroughs, cities and counties. Today's post also
 takes part in ABC Wednesday where we reach "Y", which will set off the year...

At the weekend over a lovely lunch with Deb of the York City Daily Photo blog, Ginnels, Gates & Ghosts we discussed the New Year’s Day theme. She raised the interesting point that “a favourite photo of yours from the past year” could apply to another blog, not just your own ;-)

There are so many great city photo blogs that I enjoy and it seems a mite unfair to single some out, but two I always visit feature Washington D.C and Helsinki- two fabulous cities I also have fond memories of visiting.

So, two artistic interpretations that I particularly liked from those cities in 2013 were:

One Photograph a Day, by Luis in Washington D.C - this great reflection entitled Not Venice.
Learning to See in Helsinki by P Pusa; this duckpond shot, Ankdammen.

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