Wednesday, 30 April 2014

"P" is for as nice as pie, a bar called Pi

My ABC Wednesday entry this week is A Bar Called Pi. It's on Shaw's Road in Altrincham and is the third in a successful range of Pi bars, with one in Liverpool's Mossley Hill and another in Manchester's Chorlton cum Hardy. There's a beer garden too for warm afternoons and evenings.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Seventies' suburban Citroen #CitroenDS

I'm no fan of cars but I can be persuaded that some of the older ones do have a certain style and panache. Sitting behind this  Citroën DS from the early 1970s the other morning made me realise how rarely you see these on the roads. Mind you, the vintage van I featured the other week on the blog was also a Citroën-maybe they are making a comeback? ;-)

Monday, 28 April 2014

Monday Mural: Altrincham hospital spells it out

Two of these identical murals are sited at the new hospital being built on Stamford New Road in Altrincham. Designed by a school via a competition run by a local newspaper, it's discreet but fun. I think they could have made them about 10 times larger personally.

Linked to Monday Mural at the Oakland Daily Photo blog.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

City scene Lever Street 15:43

Looking down Lever Street one recent grey afternoon.

update: Oops, it's Oldham Street, next block along... thanks to pic but isn't it Oldham Street? Still a good pic though...

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Weekend reflections in Veeno @veeno_uk

The other week I had an enjoyable glass of wine at the Italian "wine cafe" Veeno on Brazennose Street. Veeno opened late last year and is a welcome addition to my long list of local places that I enjoy spending time at. See the other Weekend Reflections.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Sensory overload: bluebells and wild garlic

Bluebells are peaking and peeking out of the woods everywhere at the moment. I went for a sunny walk in Styal Woods yesterday and was overwhelmed by the brightness of carpets of bluebells and the aroma of wild garlic, The garlic looked good too, with lush green leaves and white flowers. Even the bluebells emitted their own sweet smell as the cold sunlight woke them up.

It's the simple and natural things in life like this that get me out of bed in the morning. Since reducing my working hours from 5 to 4 days a week in January I have had more time to enjoy country walks, socialising and other commitments, such as writing my two columns a month for Radio User magazine, and co-editing the BDXC monthly journal Communication. Creating a 20% wage cut for myself by choosing to work one day less a week wasn't easy financially but it has vastly improved my quality of life...

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Susie of the Peak Forest

A narrow boat called Susie sitting on the Peak Forest Canal- posted today to wish a Happy Birthday to Susie with whom I have enjoyed countless enjoyable walks along this stretch of canal and many others (including yesterday's blog post).

Taking part for the first time in Little Things Thursday.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

"O" is for over the border & only an hour out of Manchester...

ABC Wednesday comes around to "O" and for the first time on Mancunian Wave we go over the Anglo-Welsh border. 

Taking a one hour drive (and under 50 miles from Manchester) you are well into north-east Wales. One of my favourite walks is from Horseshoe Falls to Trevor. This goes along the Llangollen Canal and can be a surprisingly a gentle, flat stroll of about 12 to 14 miles (there and back). Crags and slate, hill top castles, the River Dee flowing down in the fields, you also pass some beautiful rural scenery and the lovely town of Llangollen. 

Eventually you come to Trevor Basin and the amazing 18th century architectural masterpiece that is the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Spanning the River Dee, it also spans two centuries, constructed as it was from 1795 to 1805 under the auspices of Thomas Telford. It's a World Heritage site - you can travel across it yourself virtually with this video.

I wrote more about it last year as a guest blogger at 4 Manchester Women, here

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

St George's House ahead of its time

It amuses me how the original grand entrance to St. George's House gives way to a section which reminds me of a 1970's sci-fi space ship...

Completed in 1911, it must have seemed ahead of its time in certain ways as it originally had a running track and a swimming pool on the roof. Sadly these characterful features were removed when it became yet another office block about 20 years ago. Read more at Down by the Dougie.

It's all back to the grindstone today after a completely dry (weather-wise!) Easter in this part of the north-west, which included two gloriously sunny and warm days...

Monday, 21 April 2014

Monday Mural: a tropical side to a substation...

Brightness and colour at the Northern Quarter electricity substation, taken three weeks ago, when the trees started to struggle back into into life from their dormancy... Taking part in Monday Mural.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Easter Sunday, St. Margaret's Church, Dunham Road

The blossom is peaking outside St Margaret's Church in Altrincham. The only time I tend to go here is when they hold an annual car boot sale, usually on May Day Public holiday Monday. I expect more celebratory and serious events will be going on inside today...

Their website explains that the church was "commissioned by George Harry Grey 7th Earl of Stamford. The architect was William Hayley. The building was dedicated in memory of Grey’s sister Margaret and construction began in 1851. Building was completed in 1855."

Taking part in the Inspired Sunday meme.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Weekend Reflections, Dunham Massey lakeside

I went for a lovely sunny mid-week walk enjoying the wonderful warm spring sunshine. One of the lakes in Dunham Massey's grounds is starting to burst with greenery and is my Easter contribution to Weekend Reflections.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Good Friday climb to Rivington Pike

This is Rivington Pike in South Lancashire, which sits atop a 1,191 feet (361 metres) summit, so I guess that makes it a mountain. It is the site of one of a chain of beacons which were put in place by the Earl of Chester Ranulph de Blundeville around 900 years ago in the year 1139.

Usually you can have the place to yourself and a mere handful of other walkers and dogs. Today will be a different story however, as it's a Good Friday tradition for people from the village of Rivington, and neighbouring towns of Horwich and Chorley below walk up to the top. It stems from a feeling of being nearer to God.  At least it's a lot warmer and sunnier today than on the day I took this photo.

There will be stalls and music, food and drink awaiting those who make it. If it's a clear day then they will also be greeted by views of the Blackpool Tower, the Lake District mountains, the Welsh mountains and even as far as the Isle of Man (the latter is 93 miles or 150 km away).

The Rivington Pike Fell Race has been held on the Saturday before Easter Sunday since 1892. The fell race originally started from the Horwich railway works, but since 1930 from the park entrance at Lever Park Avenue. It attracts around 400 runners. The course is 3¼ miles and there is a 700 feet ascent.

Happy Easter!

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Annual Manchester Duck Race

Tomorrow many Mancunians and Salfordians will gather on the left bank of the River Irwell for the 4th annual rubber duck race. Thousands of ducks are tipped into the river and later rounded up downstream. These are all sponsored for the Brainwave Centre charity, which works with families to deliver home-based therapies and exercises to help children with disabilities.

I assume that all the ducks are taken out of the river at the end to be reused the following year rather than add to our polluted rivers and seas... I'm waiting for Spinningfields to confirm this- if they are then I'd support this fun event, but if more resources are used each year to manufacture thousands more ducks unnecessarily, I'd have to hold back on environmental grounds...)

A few summers back we found three rubber ducks on a west Wales beach. They had swum across from Dublin, where they had entered a similar race which started on the River Liffey. They had evidently been washed into the Irish Sea and south-eastwards across to Gywnedd, a journey of around 170 km.

Update: - I'm still unclear why the small ducks aren't re-used instead of recycled? Unless the Avenue at Spinningfields actually means re-used?
The Avenue
Apr 14
Hi FYI Small ducks collected & sent for recycling after race. Large ducks are collected, cleaned and returned to the company who sponsored.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

ABC Wednesday: "N" is for not your average abseilers...

Now we reach the letter "N" in ABC Wednesday . Not as easy as normal for me, but I've been meaning to post this wonderful piece of art for a while. Three metallic abseilers try to find their way down Arthur House on Chorlton Street in the city centre.

Happy Birthday Tim!   

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Vintage van, Ruby Tuesday

Down at Spinningfields the other Sunday I passed this vintage French van. All closed up for the day having sold a lot of fast food. 

Taking part today in two Tuesday memes: Our World Tuesday and Ruby Tuesday.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Monday Mural, Stevenson Square's spring

Splashes of floral colour above one of the current crops of Outhouse Project murals on Stevenson Square. Taking part in Monday Mural.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Black and white weekend: wrong side of the tracks

. The train track carves its way through the city, almost scraping the sides of these Edwardian packing warehouses (which are now offices and flats). Taking part in a Black & White Weekend.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Reflecting on Mancunian Wave's Mancunian wave!

Taking part in Weekend ReflectionsGateway House on Piccadilly Approach has wonderful 1960's modernist curves and waves. I featured it the right way round back in 2011, along with an explanation of why my blog is so named. Forgive me if I repeat myself as I reached a three year blogging anniversary this week...

The name of Mancunian Wave comes from:

1) The local flyover called the Mancunian Way, two words which could also appertain to a lifestyle or a certain way of doing things.

2) I envisaged a "wave" as in a greeting, a wave as in travelling across the airwaves and cyberspace, and a wave as in a trend, a wave spreading out across from the heart of Manchester & Salford and reaching the furthest points of the north west, from Peaks to Lakes, from the Cheshire plain to Lancashire life...

Friday, 11 April 2014

Coffee break on Greengate Square at Grindsmith @Grindsmiths

A newish coffee house on a newish square- Grindsmith Espresso and Brew Bar on Greengate Square just across from Manchester Cathedral in Salford. I hope this venture succeeds and that other businesses flock to the square and the arches soon. Taking part in this week's Skywatch Friday posts.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Blossom on the banks of the Trent & Mersey

Taking part in this week's Rurality Blog Hop. 

There is blossom in the air and on the canal banks as Mancunian Wave completes 3 years of blogging this week- 10th April 2011 was the start of this fun journey. I'm happily heading into Year 4...

Thanks to all readers, City Daily Photo bloggers and other bloggers for your encouragement over the last 3 years. 

Apologies to my fellow bloggers when I don't get round to commenting on your blogs as much as I'd like. I do try and visit them all at least weekly to catch up, but I don't always comment - you know how tricky it is when you have 2 jobs, family, social life and other community activities to fit in too ;-( ...

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

"M" is for magnificent medieval Manchester @ManCathedral

ABC Wednesday reaches the letter "M" and this poster outside Manchester Cathedral extols the virtues of the medieval quarter of town. The sign says it all, it's a fascinating part of town.

Just across the river from here was Salford's own medieval area, Greengate, sadly long gone. Greengate was replaced by 19th century buildings which were later bombed and demolished to make way for bus stations and garages, mechanics and industry. Much of that has since been flattened and is now being regenerated with flats, with retail, offices, greenery and squares promised too. We shall see...

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Spring comes to the Irwell

A westward view from my balcony. The River Irwell loops under Trinity Way on an early spring afternoon.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Monday Mural; substation's merchant of doom

Taking part in Monday Mural and we have the Grim Reaper(?) appearing on one side of the electricity sub station in the Northern Quarter, painted by CBloxx. See a 2 minute video of the artist painting this wall, back in February, here I took this photo last week but a day or two later when I passed again it had been replaced by a new, bright abstract mural. I was lucky to capture it before it became history... talk about being "last week's news"...

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Encountering Corpses at Sacred Trinity

This ancient lectern, dated 1690, was an impressive aside when I went to an interesting and unusual photography exhibition at Sacred Trinity Church in Salford the week. It runs until 10 April and is part of the Humanities in Public festival run by Manchester Metropolitan University. I featured the outside of this church, which is engaged with a wide range of community activities you'd not normally associate with conservative church life, back in 2012

Taking part in Inspired Sundays.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Weekend Reflections in a crystal haze...

To me it sounds more like a drug or a 1960's trip than the name of a boat, but Christal Haze sits peacefully enough on the Peak Forest Canal... Weekend Reflections.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Sackville Gardens springing into bloom

Sackville Gardens is one of too few oases in Manchester city centre, and for a couple of weeks each year its trees can parade themselves, almost peacock style, in wonderful pink and white blossom. The city desperately needs more trees and more green space. Other highlights of Sackville Gardens are the Beacon of Hope and the Alan Turing statue.

Blossom is a rare source of brightness this week as the region has been shrouded in polluted mist- a toxic, pale, almost yellow, low cloud that is choking us all and leading to long term health problems I dare say. But do people drive less, consume less, reduce and repair more as a result? It's up to individuals to act and also for all governments to impose bans on cars on certain days (as in Paris), and a huge "use less" campaign needs to be in place. Walk, don't drive, stop buying gadgets you don't need, live a simpler, greener, (and probably more fulfilling) life... and the IPCC report on climate change was published this week too!

GreaterManchester Tuc (Trades Union Congress) sums it up nicely:

"Contrasting responses to smog alert and rising air pollution levels:

London: Millions advised to stay in doors.
Paris: Restrictions on car usage introduced.
Brussels: Offers free public transport.

Britain is also facing fines of up to £300m a year and embarrassing court appearances after the European commission launched legal proceedings against it for failing to reduce "excessive" levels of nitrogen dioxide air pollution from traffic, despite 15 years of warnings and several extensions and postponements granted to the government.

According to the World Health Organisation, air pollution has become the world's single biggest environmental health risk, linked to about 7 million deaths a year – or nearly one in eight deaths in 2012."

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Joshua Brooks has you over a barrel... @JoshuaBrooksMCR

Roll out the barrel (insert other such puns here). The Joshua Brooks pub on Charles and Princess Streets stocks up for thirsty clientele. 

The pub opened in 1993 and is where the Chemical Brothers came to fame. The gent the pub is namesd after however, was born in the 1750s. Joshua Brook(e)s attended Manchester Grammar School, became curate of Chorlton Chapel, and in December 1790 was appointed chaplain of the collegiate church of Manchester. He was a great book collector too, I hear.  I wonder what he would make of becoming almost immortalised in Mancunian culture through having a pub named after him?

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

"L" is for Longplayer: a 1,000 year long composition at Future Everything

ABC Wednesday reaches the letter "L".

Among the many interesting events and ideas at the annual Future Everything Festival (which ended on Tuesday) was this installation which played a piece of music called Longplayer. It started as 1999 ended and will run for 1,000 years until the year 2999...

The festival then is very much one of social empowerment and harnessing the internet for change and democracy, something all bloggers will be very much aware of. We as individuals can set the agendas, not just the corporates and governments.

"...will look at how we can collaborate on new tools, devices and systems to transform many spheres of life, from the arts to democracy. People taking control of tools to shape the future has been a familiar trope within digital culture. Drawing on powerful currents in today’s design scene such as speculative design and design fiction, the festival will debate our fascination with tools as the most natural path towards social change, and open up new ways to question, imagine and make the strange, troubled thing called the future."

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

City Daily Photo Theme Day: Triangles

This month's City Daily Photo theme day is triangles. Here we have an architectural trio of triangles on the top floor of the Cornerhouse. The building was originally built in 1900 for John Shaw and for 85 years it housed Shaw's Furniture Store. Since 1985 it has been a major Manchester cultural hub with galleries and arthouse cinema. I wonder what will move in when Cornerhouse relocates to purpose-built Home, next year?

If you are a blogger who's struggled with this month's theme, then mea an extent. European bloggers were asked to nominate some theme ideas for April so I put it to the family around the dinner table. I chose revolution, Susie chose friends and Holly came out with some random suggestions which included triangles

I immediately envisaged triangular road signs, architecture, parts of town and country where triangles and triangular patterns might exist, along with more artistic interpretations. Triangles was then chosen by the CDP panel, and here we are. I can't wait to see the other entries... 

Elsewhere in the city, this evening after work I encourage you to join me (and hopefully many others) at a Friends of London Road Fire Station April Fool's media event for the Save London Road Fire Station campaign. This, you may recall, is the once glorious building which has been rotting away since Britannia Hotels bought it nearly 30 years ago and have been allowed to let decline. The event has a Mad Hatter theme- from 6 pm at the Fires Station's gates on London Road.

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