Sunday, 31 January 2016

Salford Art Gallery and museum- something for everyone #citydailyphoto #SalfordArtGallery

The revamped Salford Art gallery and Museum is amazing- a spacious cafe area with great views of some stunning architecture and Peel Park. the wonderful 19th Century street recreated from vintage Salford that you can wander about, local 19th Century paintings and other treasures plus 20C pottery and rolling exhhibits and craftwork for sale from local talent.

Yesterday I went to a sketching class run by former Art Gallery Director John Sculley, who currently has an exhibition of his own work there which I recommend. From the miners' strike to Everton football club, 1980-90s' political badges from the UK and eastern Europe and some fine pieces illustrating his love of dance, above, plus some surrealism on anti-Bliar/ Iraq/ Weapons of Mass Destruction. It is on until mid February - I urge you to visit.

It was a pleasure to be able to talk to John about his work, and fun to be sketching with 20 others around the gallery. I wasn't feeling inspired sadly and am very rusty with my art "skills"- I must work on that in 2016!

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Friday, 29 January 2016

#Oromo protest #citydailyphoto

A protest by the Manchester Ethiopian community against the financing by the UK regime of the Ethiopian regime's persecution of the Oromo population. This took place in Manchester on Tuesday lunchtime. I happened to be passing.

The Oromo are descendants of the Eastern-Kushitie group of people indigenous to the Horn of Africa, with a population of over 40 million, which makes them one of the largest indigenous peoples of East Africa. Read more.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

#Zouk adds fizz as summer comes early @ZoukTeaBar


Cocktails in all shapes and sizes, check Zouk for details when they are launched officially. Cocktail guru Ricardo and fellow VIP invitee Michelle look comfortable behind the bar. And, after nearly 5 years of daily photos on this blog, it’s time I posted one of myself- thanks to Laura for the bottom photo, making me (green sleeves) look like I know what I’m doing (well, almost).

I had a fun evening at Zouk last night and was delighted to be invited to the launch of their summer cocktail menu- yup, I know we are still in January but hey… Maybe the cocktail industry is akin to the fashion industry and two seasons ahead of itself?

I had an experience similar to that of being on the catwalk when I was let loose behind the bar to mix some cocktails. Under the steady gaze (had he known me better it would have been a wary gaze) and guidance of Zouk cocktail supremo Ricardo, I was soon measuring generous quantities of magical ingredients, and dispersing cubes of ice in wayward directions as I got my game in order to recreate a Lychee Martini- It tasted just as Zouk’s new menu suggests it should - deliciously sweet with a zing (just like me I hear you cry).

I also enjoyed sipping a Romance cocktail- chilled champagne with lanique rose petal liquor- there have been far worse ways to round off a day in the office I must admit.

While the next round of cocktail meister wanabees took to the bar my new friends @MissPond, Michelle and I were given a lesson in wine tasting by one of Zouk’s suppliers. Three varied whites went down a treat but I had to leave before being sampling the reds. Maybe it’s just as well.

It did seem somewhat incongruous then to be walking across town to the People’s Assembly Against Austerity committee meeting with a bag of cocktail goodies in one hand (thanks Zouk!) and a large bag of blankets and clothing for the refugees at the Dunkirk camp in another, but I guess that’s the never attending attempt to achieve a life balance for you.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

ABC Wednesday: “C” is for calendar clashes - committees & cocktails

City cocktails

ABC Wednesday comes to the letter C on a day where I have calendar clashes.

A three hour committee meeting in my day job takes up much of the day, when you include time in the morning to read all the papers and prepare my own presentations.

Then I want to get to the In Conversation RNCM research forum with composer Harrison Birtwistle. I also have the launch of a new cocktail menu at Zouk to attend, before walking across town to the Manchester People’s Assembly Committee Meeting where I’m the music and culture rep. It's nice to feel wanted and busy!

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Our World Tuesday: Central Library, now and then #CityDailyPhoto

The wonderful Central Library in deep winter sun below as it is now. As it was then, above, on a vintage postcard. For culture lovers everywhere. Designed by E. Vincent Harris and constructed between 1930 and 1934. Our World Tuesday.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Monday Mural: Damas the Art of Meze

The best meze in Chorlton are served in the restaurant behind this wall so proclaims the sign. Damas the Art of Meze seems appropriate for my Monday Mural contribution.

Seeing a sunny mural on such a winter’s day can be uplifting but equally sometimes it can be depressing, making you realise how far away we are from experiencing anything like it for ourselves. (#FirstWorldProblems I know). 

I did see some buds on trees while walking in the countryside yesterday though, so hope is in the air and it almost felt like spring too, mild and some sunshine!

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Looking up on George Street

Honey stone and weekend's blue sky make the buildings on George Street stand out.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Skywatch Friday: January dusk

January, winter nights, long but slowly getting shorter. The warmth of a blanket on the bed, a good book, a mug of tea, hibernation mode. Skywatch Friday,

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Days of the long shadows

Long winter shadows as seen from my office window on Oxford Road. Cheer up, it's nearly Friday!

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

ABC Wednesday: "B" is for Band on the Wall @bandonthewall

ABC Wednesday and a big bold "B" for Band on the Wall, one of my favourite venues. So named because, as this poster shows, the first band there used to play on a shelf affixed to the wall. More history of the venue in the past century.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Homeless, heartless #CityDailyPhoto

Tory cuts = despair and death for thousands. At home and on the streets. Please make a New Year's resolution to join your local People's Assembly Against Austerity group, help out at a soup kitchen or at a homeless charity, join a pressure group or political party to campaign and find back, Together we can bring this heartless undemocratic Tory regime down ... There is hope!

update 20 Jan:
A homeless man died in the small hours of today when his tent was set on fire at Salford Central station. 

Monday, 18 January 2016

Monday Mural: Red Sea

I pass this many times each week but am not too keen on it so hadn't been bothered enough to post it, until now. I am adding a wider photo below so you can see the context too. On Oxford Road, part of a long road aka Studentville,  The Corridor Manchester and other names. Monday Mural, you know it makes sense...

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Winter warmth on a snowy morn...

Two fine old houses near Stockton Heath. On a snowy day like today I'm tempted to invite myself in for a hot beverage and to defrost my toes, but I'm unsure how that would go down.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

View of the Lune

Looking down from the Lune aqueduct on the Lancaster Canal as the River Lune sweeps westwards to the coast.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Skywatch towards Disley

A sweeping, brooding early morning winter's sky makes it hard for me to tell whether the day will develop into snow, rain or sunshine. Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Worsley New Hall

The site of Worsley New Hall is to be transformed by the RHS into gardens- it'll take a few years but there is an opportunity to create something wonderful here. The hall has long gone, burnt and battered by the UK military during a stay here in and after the Second World War. The quirky stone structures on the lake's island are depicted here, which we explored the other week.

"The 156-acre garden, which will include the restoration of the four hectare (10 acre) Walled Kitchen Garden, one of the largest in the UK. Plans also include a new schools Learning Centre to grow young people’s horticultural knowledge. The garden will be named RHS Garden Bridgewater, and is planned to open in 2019."

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

ABC Wednesday: "A" is for Aviary House

Linked to ABC Wednesday where we start all over again this week with the alpha letter.
The Aviary or Aviary House is in Worsley on the edge of the woods and was built in the 19th Century as a hunting lodge for the Earl of Ellesmere. 

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

MRI Picket line @PplsAssemblyMcr #SavetheNHS #JuniorAction #JuniorContract #SaveOurNHS

I joined the picket line at the MRI (Manchester Royal Infirmary) today, as part of the Manchester People's Assembly Against Austerity and as a Green Party member. Two thirds of the public support the strike, there was even one of the shock jocks on the national right wing radio station LBC supporting the strike today too. 

Full details of why the doctors are on strike and why the public need to support them to save the NHS from further Tory decimation and privatisation can be read at the British Medical Association and on this flyer, the text of which to the end of this post.

Come along to the Manchester People's Assembly Against Austerity monthly meeting tonight.  7.00-8.30 at the Central Methodist Hall on Oldham St, M1. At this event we will get reports from the day's strike, hear briefings from the Chair of the Midwifery Society on the NHS Student Bursary robbery and discuss how to help. 

Let's get the New Year off to a great start and plan the anti-austerity actions. Money for Trident, war and no money for NHS or flood help. Come along and have your say and get involved!

Why there is a strike:

"The Government is threatening the future of the NHS. They want to remove safety measures that stop junior doctors from working excessive hours. They want to force through a contract on junior doctors which threatens the quality of care patients receive. Junior doctors don’t want to strike, but the Government has left us with no alternative. 

This is the first time in 40 years that junior doctors have staged a  walkout. It’s a last resort – but we genuinely feel we have no choice. Junior doctors are angry at the way in which the Government is riding roughshod over the genuine concerns doctors are raising about patient safety and doctors’ wellbeing. We are fed up of hearing Government ministers undervalue our work and undermine patients’ trust in us. Many of us are already at breaking point, looking to work overseas or even leaving the medical profession altogether. 

Junior doctors believe that the Government’s plans will harm the next generation of doctors – and the future of the NHS itself. Nothing the Government has said has given us any hope that they are prepared to negotiate properly and listen to our concerns. 

What do junior doctors want? First and foremost, we want to negotiate a contract that is fair for doctors, safe for patients and provides a future for the NHS. However, to be able to get back round the table, we want the Government to remove the threat to impose a new, unnegotiated contract on us. 

We want a contract which: – pays us fairly for the hours we work – ensures that the hours we work are safe – provides cover at weekends and at night, but also recognises our right to family life – doesn’t disadvantage those doctors who work less than full time or who take parental leave

 In numbers: junior doctors and the NHS – There are 53,000 junior doctors in England – Junior doctors already work seven days a week – Every week, the NHS treats over 4 million patients – Junior doctors care for patients in hospitals 365 days a year The BMA is the independent trade union and professional association for all doctors working in the UK."

Monday, 11 January 2016

Monday Mural at the Font

Test tubes and cheap cocktails at the The Font on New Wakefield Street I'll have a Pink Floyd cocktail please. Shine on you Monday Mural...

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Duck egg blue door and windows

Near Lawton Heath End, this former workman's cottage now gives a zing of colour even on a grey day. It's in deepest south Cheshire, almost over the Staffordshire border and near Stoke on Trent. The parish of Church Lawton contains the hamlets of Lawton Gate, Lawton Heath and Lawton Heath End, and the Lawton Hall estate, with a small population of around 2,200 people. There is evidence of human activity within the parish stretching back to the Neolithic period: a polished axe was found in the parish that was possibly made 300 miles away in Cornwall.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Weekend Reflections: Yellow lines of India #CityDailyPhoto

Weekend Reflections sees part of India House and the Palace Hotel in a Whitworth
Street puddle. I'm a great advocate for looking up as you walk the Manchester streets, but sometimes it pays to look down after a shower of rain.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Skywatch Friday: Excitement at Circle Square

At last, late last year, work began on the old BBC Oxford Road site. I managed to enjoy 20 minutes of lovely sunshine during a short break from work on Wednesday and took this photo, thinking of Skywatch Friday.

I quite like the new name of this development - Circle Square - and it promises much: Opening the space up so that we can enjoy the previously hidden and enclosed River Medlock, alongside a public walkway, shops and housing. It is a promising start to the new year, as is Sadler's Square / Court (?) over by Victoria which I passed on Thursday night and will revisit here another time.

I hope you have a busy and fun weekend ahead- you've earned it after the slog of a full week back at work. I'm off to Sheffield today then Saturday in Manchester I am spoilt for choice. 

Sat 9 Jan. A high noon demonstration on Market Street (meet outside Boots the tax-avoiding chemists) for a demo in solidarity with the No to NHS Bursary Cuts movement and solidarity with the Junior Doctors. I'll be there as part of @PplsAssemblyMcr

After that there's the vegan beer and wine festival at the Thirsty Scholar pub then in the evening I plan to see the film of bass guitar phenomenon Jaco Pastorius at Band On the Wall.

Circle Square when it's finished...

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Stained glass at Rylands' Library

A stunning stained glass window at the amazing John Rylands Library on Deansgate.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

"Z" is for Zig-Zag on the Bridgewater

The good boat Zig-Zag. moored on the Bridgewater Canal between Moore and Daresbury. There are not many narrowboats with a motif like this one... Linked to ABC Wednesday where we finish off another 26 week round at "Z".

Update 6 Jan 2016, 1100 UTC: Chris Morley emailed me to say that:

It's an iconic 19th century advertising motif for a brand of French cigarette rolling papers, featuring a French North African regiment soldier

Captain Zig-Zag

The zouave soldier portrayed on the front of Zig-Zag products is colloquially known as the "Zig-Zag man". The choice of a member of this French North African regiment as a Zig-Zag icon originates from a folk story about an incident in the battle of Sevastopol. When the soldier's clay pipe was destroyed by a bullet, he attempted to roll his tobacco using a piece of paper torn from his bag of gunpowder.

Thanks Chris!

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Palatial afternoons

I popped into the Palace Hotel after work yesterday, just to share a photo of the reception are. I've not shown Mancunian Wave readers the wonderful innards of the Palace Hotel before, just the outside, so it was overdue. Brightened up a gloomy winter afternoon for me anyway. I'll pop back with my camera rather than my phone another time.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Monday Mural: Happy New Year mural

From back December 2014 on Stevenson Square but relevant this week and new to the Mancunian Wave blog, is a message as much as a mural, that repeats annually. Good luck to all who, like me, are back at the grindstone of work today...

The Monday Mural casts some light relief and inspiration on a tough day for many.
May 2016 be all that you wish it to be!

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Friday, 1 January 2016

City Daily Photo Theme Day: Best of the year

It's traditional for 1 January to be CDP bloggers' best/fave photo from the past year. But I choose to bend the rules. Here are two photos that I took on Instagram and didn't get to post here on the blog but half meant to.

Above is Chapel Street at dusk as I trudged homeward from work one autumn evening.It also meets this Skywatch Friday criteria! Honest Coffee Cafe is third building on the left.

Down at Castlefield on a lovely summer afternoon, I lay on the grass but not on the grass, soaking up rays and reading, while happiness glowed around me, although not much within me at that time.

Further afield, these photos of Central Park in Manhattan in April, the Welsh Cambrian coast in August, Saint Petersburg in September, an arcade in Norwich in November, reflections in Newcastle in December and London in December were others of my Instagram photos that seemed to be popular. Oh, and a happy and healthy 2016 to everyone! 

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