Sunday, 31 August 2014

The wonderment years: children's tv & radio at The Lowry

“Eh-oh”... Tinky Winky and fellow Tellytubbies greet you at the Lowry.

Here’s one we made earlier is an exhibition of BBC children’s programmes past present and future. In a gallery at the Lowry just across from BBC Children’s TV HQ at Media City, it has been busy throughout the summer holidays and runs until October. Children of all ages have attended, including yours truly.

A timeline charted the development of BBC children’s programmes started 90 years, on the wireless, leading through to its post World War II boom and way beyond to now. The advent of televisions for the masses across the land ushered in a surge of quality and quantity tv programmes. Displays of actual puppets, sets and characters, video and infotainment ensure all are taken on a nostalgic trip when they attend.

I have to mention some of my favourites: the black and white of Pogles’ Wood and Ivor the Engine from the 1960s which preceeded the 1970s' colourful explosion of Mary, Mungo & Midge, Sir Prancelot, The Herbs, Sooty, Blue Peter (and its space age cartoon Bleep and Booster) and Bagpuss (and yes, I did win a Blue Peter Badge, being a runner-up in a Keep Britain Tidy art competition, in my pre-teen days). 

The turn of the century explosion of classics such as In the Night Garden and Tweenies continues to this day, with 2013’s Strange Hill High (its Green Classroom is below) and autumn 2014’s Sesame Street spin-off, Furchester Hotel.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Weekend in Black and White: over a barrel

Duttons' cafe bar on an early morning, open for breakfast but before any takers. 
Taking part in the Weekend in Black and White.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Skywatch Friday: Exchange Square

Heading out of Exchange Square on a sunny afternoon and looking towards the Printworks, under a sky with billowing clouds. Taking part in Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Ecstastic eating at Evuna @Evunamanchester

Evuna started life in Manchester in 2003 as a wine merchants on Deansgate and expanded into a tapas bar and restaurant. Both their branches in Manchester are great, with one in the Northern Quarter (photo below); both serve fabulous food, and there's a good atmosphere, I have eaten there as part of a large groups and just with two of us. Service is good,as is the wine choice and the food I have eaten there is mouth-wateringly wonderful.

Like most restaurants, I wish there were more vegetarian, vegan and cruelty-free options on the menu. But I just about have a choice and (as in above photo) tend to go for the vegetable skewers with bread, patatas bravas - a powerful tomato and chilli based sauce gives them a real kick, Best of all all are the lovely stuffed sweet piquillo peppers- these are the best tapas in town in my view.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

ABC Wednesday: "G" is for green glimpses

Some summer greens in the city centre, snapped with my phone as I hurried by. Alwats trying to see your city as a visitor might is the best way for me to look out for joyful glimpses that you would probably otherwise miss out on. If I had seen this on a weekend in Belgium or near a Paris Metro stop I would have been pondering the meaning of the lions and salivating over the art nouveau style design. 

Taking part in the "G" round of ABC Wednesday.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Messing about on the water, keen at the Quays

Salford Quays is popular for aquatic enthusiasts even on these grey summer days. It gives city dwellers a chance to experience the great outdoors.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Monday Mural: son of the artist #akse

Painted on 16 and 17 August on Stevenson Square by the talented Akse. This is his son. (Nelson Mandela from the other week is on the other side of this concrete block). Taking part in Monday Mural.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Weekend Reflections. Parsonage Gardens from Kendals

Looking into the rather nice window display at the back of Kendal's Department Store the other morning you could see the new and old buildings on the far side of Parsonage Gardens. Flowers in the display resembling fluffy clouds. 

Taking part in Weekend Reflections.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Weekend in Black and White: Lincoln Square

Walking up from Lincoln Square on a bright summer's morning. The sun shines down onto the treetops, commuters and the paving. Taking part in the Weekend in Black and White and Weekly Top Shot.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Skywatch Friday: Grand and golden

We welcome a guest photographer to Mancunian Wave today: my Instagram friend Molerocks (aka Carl Morgan). A snap along Whitworth Street in Manchester city centre. The buildings look grand against the golden sky. Taking part in Skywatch Friday.


Thursday, 21 August 2014

An urban Irwell oasis

I know some places which are in the city but away from it all, such as a little stretch of the River Irwell away from apartment blocks and building sites, traffic fumes and chewing gum, fag ends and fast food litter, where you see herons rather than cranes...

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

"F" is for Fabulous Talking Statues- Abe Lincoln

Taking part in ABC Wednesday where we reach the letter "F"Abraham Lincoln has a statue and a square named after him. From yesterday many statues in Manchester and London come to life and talk to you. 

I have been so excited about this innovative artistic venture and spent breakfast time this morning nattering with Abe- conversation was a bit one way but I was intrigued to hear his message to the cotton workers of Lancashire. 

Fantastic talking statues, I want to visit and hear them all! I'll have one year to do so...

Back to Abe's statue and I have seen some grainy video footage of the unveiling in 1919. There was also an interesting Guardian article about the origins of the statue and the northern States' connections with Lancashire cotton mills. 

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Coffee at the Oak Street Cafe @ManchesterCraft

The Oak Street Cafe in the heart of the ever-wonderful Manchester Craft and Design Centre. A nice temperature on hot summer days and always a good place to pause while deciding which of the wonderful creative works to buy.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Monday Mural: moustache man #OuthouseMcr

A current Outhouse Manchester mural in the Northern Quarter. Brightens up even a mild but grey summer's day with its splashes of psychedelia.

Start your week with a Monday Mural.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Pick of the salvage at Pickmere

Yesterday we spent a happy afternoon in Pickmere at the Cheshire Decorative Home and Salvage Show (it's also on today, Sunday 17th) There was a wide range of items on sale from stone statues to art deco furniture; upcycled decoupage trays to metal troughs; French wardrobes to English handcrafted wooden benches; expensive classic furniture and cheap and cheerful oddities.

Refreshments such as Pimms, ice cream and artisan pizza, could be had under canvas and was also sold by two vintage VW camper vans. The salvage show is on again today, so pop along if you have an eye for stylish home and garden vintage or the style to re-use what once was consigned as unwanted.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Friday, 15 August 2014

Skywatch Friday: bye bye Bertha

Skywatch Friday will (I hope) this week be featuring lots of supermoon photos and the affects of the aftermath of Hurricane Bertha. Bertha blew through the north-west this week and although not too destructive, and fewer floods than elsewhere in the UK, she certainly curtailed the hot summer we'd enjoyed up until then. Hopefully normal sunshine will resume next week...

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Beside the seaside...Bay Crossing cafe

The Bay Crossing cafe, established in 2007 at Halt Bank on the Lancashire coast. 

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

#ABCWednesday : "E" is for Emerge: creative goods on Brazennose Street

 Taking part in ABC Wednesday where my "E" is for the Emerge shop on Brazennose Street sells a wondrous range of creative goods. Artists and innovators take the unwanted and ordinary and upcycle them into new creations; from 1960s' furniture given a modern twist to old radios and trays turned into robots- which may not talk but sure become taking pieces...

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Nie Zhengji's lunch

I visited two interesting exhibitions at Manchester's Chinese Cultural Centre last week.

There is living space for their resident artist, where the selected artist works, lives, sleeps and creates during their residency- a nice idea. The current incumbent is Nie Zhengji whose artwork includes lunch, as above. His Urban Farmers exhibition is on until the end of August. Running until 7 September is Spanish artist Jorge Mañes Rubio's A journey through the Yangtze River’s transformation.

Taking part in Our World Tuesday.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Monday Mural: Mila K

When I first saw these murals a couple of weeks back, I wasn't sure what to think. They were so new that I wasn't alone in taking photos. But I had a sinking feeling that maybe they were a male sci-fi fan's fantasy, which made me rather uneasy. 

When I discovered they were by Sheffield artist Mila K I felt better. They are titled "And we are aware, cause we've been through it". My interpretation of that is women all experience sexism and many are the object of male fantasies - but we can try and reclaim and reinterpret the "woman as fantasy role" and be empowered rather than oppressed...

Taking part in the Monday Mural at the Oakland Daily Photo blog.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Magical places to make your day: Bier Cell in Altrincham @BierCell

Bier Cell is a specialist beer emporium - it is hidden down a side street (Greenwood Street in Altrincham)  but is worth seeking out. It's beautiful inside with the old style bar and the unexpected giant wooden soldier to welcome you, and to serve you a wide range of rare beers from Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, The Netherlands and the UK.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Weekend Reflections: Glass of wine & Summertime

Summertime and the living is easy, 
Herons fly by, the Irwell flows blue.
Evening sunshine and a glass of chilled white wine,
So hush little baby, don't you cry...

Taking part in Weekend Reflections (with apologies to Gershwin, Porgy & Bess).

Friday, 8 August 2014

Skywatch Friday; an evening at Hollingsworth Lake

The other evening I was at Hollingsworth Lake. This is a 130-acre reservoir at Smithy Bridge, in Littleborough, just north of Manchester. The temperature was a comfortable 19C and it was rather pleasant to wander along the lake shore, watching children, their dad and dog frolic in the water. 

Others sat and admired the views, while some took their boats out. One had capsized immediately on leaving the harbour (see photo- hastily shot with my phone) but was soon rescued.
It's an interesting area. The facilities at the lake cover both ends of the spectrum: Tacky amusement arcades, chip shops and ice cream kiosks, a slightly grim looking pub (but with a nice name, The Beach) all vie with stylish looking places such as Olive and Pickle and a couple of other eateries. A nice pub further along the lake shore- popular with bikers-  is where I'd also like to visit another time.
Have a look at other Skywatch Friday posts around the world.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Dale Street filming: Cucumber or Banana?

There's film shooting taking place in Dale Street this week, I wonder what it is for? Maybe Russell T Davies' two new related dramas Cucumber and Banana, or something else by the Red Production Company?

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

ABC Wednesday: "D" is for Diversity at Dig the City


A montage of diversity at Dig the City this week with something for everybody: from playing giant chess, Connect 4 and Jenga, through a range of  stalls including Friends of the Earth and the National Trust, companies, and plenty of live music, bars, refreshments and other entertainment among the urbane urban greenery. Plus the BBC filming a new antiques programme - The Great Antiques Map Britain with daytime tv host, the ever-erudite, bow-tied and trilby-wearing Tim Wonnacott. Taking part in ABC Wednesday.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Manchester Palestine Solidarity Campaign #FreePalestine

Some members of the Manchester Palestine Solidarity Campaign group in the city centre a couple of days ago, either on their way to or from trying to do what they can to stop the atrocities being inflicted in the latest Palestine-Israel crisis. 

A century on from World War I and somehow there are still maniacs (and usually on both sides of a conflict) who become leaders and who never learn from history... Tragic.

Update Tuesday evening: it's actually a daily boycott of the Kedam shop on King Street. I took the below photo on the way home this evening. Kedam stock beauty products made with minerals in the Dead Sea- the Israeli economy benefits from Dead Sea resources while Palestine is deprived of £84 million woryh of tourism and other revenues due to Israeli occupation  More at

Quite antagonistic with a few people waving Israel flags outside the shop, while Palestine protestors handed out leaflets and a few police on hand to stir it all up too...

Monday, 4 August 2014

Monday Mural: Nelson Mandela

A wonderful Nelson Mandela portrait, new to Stevenson Square and painted I assume by the talented Akse. The late Nelson Mandela, known to all one of the world’s greatest freedom fighters and statespeople. Except some right-w(h)ingers of course. 

Taking part in the Monday Mural at the Oakland Daily Photo blog.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

The growth of a hardy perennial @digthecitymcr

Preparations for Dig the City were in full flow when I passed by New Cathedral Street and St. Anne's Square on Thursday. It's one of the local summer highlights for me- an annual urban garden festival with presentations and talks as well as innovative planting and sculptures, food and drink and great floral displays. It's on from 2-10 August and spreads all around the centre, from Greengate Square to King Street.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Le Tour de Pennines, I mean France, The White House Pub


Le Tour de France had a couple of UK stages this year in London and Yorkshire (see my good friend Deb's York photo blog Ginnels Gates and Ghosts). And even on the Lancashire borders with Yorkshire it seems. I was up at Blackstone Edge above Littleborough on Wednesday and the White House pub was still decked out from when it received the tour -which had passed by briefly in July.

This pub on the Pennine Way is 1300 feet above sea level and in splendid isolation since being built in 1671 as The Coach and Horses. The passing of le Tour is another chapter in its history, which started when "the young bloods of Littleborough having guarded their mail coach from highway men would seek recompense for their labours with vigorous application to strong liquors".

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