Showing posts from September, 2018

Manchester - Chetham's Library & Bee Walk across the City

Bee book - Chetham's Library Manchester is synonymous with the worker bee. It has been used as a symbol to represent the history of Manchester's industrious past. In the 19th century, Manchester was a hive of activity during the industrial revolution and wherever you walk in Manchester you will see a bee, whether that is an emblem on the city bins and lamp-posts, or on its heraldic coat of arms. Art trails have become a fantastic way of getting people to visit cities and raise money for good causes. From Liverpool's Superlambanana's, the international Cow Parade, and Bristol's Gromit (Wallace and Gromit) Unleashed Trail, Manchester has taken its famous bees to the streets this summer in the shape of 101 super sized bees and 131 smaller bees, all decorated by different artists celebrating the uniqueness of Manchester. But let's put our bees on hold for a moment. As this trail takes you the length and breadth of Manchester, we decided to take a closer lo

"What were you in life?" - Allelujah! London Bridge Theatre

On paper, Allelujah didn’t sound that promising. Set in a old style Yorkshire hospital, The Bethlehem, which is facing closure, it tells the story about a group of patients on a geriatric ward. It was typical Alan Bennett. Strong, straight talking Yorkshire dialogue about various political issues past and present. The afternoon could have been a preachy and tedious couple of hours, however this was a light-hearted piece about serious issues and I’m pleased I went to watch it. Alan Bennett is something of a national treasure. Now in his 84th year, he still has that ability to make you think about the days of "good ole England" when life was simpler, and people had time for one another. And what better place to show that lack of empathy the nation has with people, especially the older generations, than a geriatric ward on a hospital. Capitalism has taken its toll and paved the way for a less caring society. Often we mean well, we intend to see people, to contact them mor

Beautiful Fashion Shouldn't Cost the Earth

Lear finished rather late, but luckily I arrived at Waterloo station just before M&S shut; this meant I was able to grab a cuppa and an iced bun for supper before falling fast asleep at my hotel. (Supper from where I come from is a cup of tea or hot chocolate and biscuit or a bun just before bed - not a full on evening meal!) Whilst it is nice to share a hotel room, the benefits of being on my own was not lost on me. By 9:30 am, I was already showered, packed and breakfasted and ready to make the most of the day. I dumped my bag at reception and headed to the V&A for their exhibition “Fashioned from Nature.” I’m aware of the use of animal fur etc in the fashion industry, and cheap labour giving us cheap throw away fashion, but I wanted to find out a bit more about issues we might not think about. It’s all very well asking the question “who makes my clothes” but for me, often the answer is myself. The question that I should be focused on is “how is my fabric produced and by

“Who is it that can tell me who I am?” King Lear – Duke of York’s Theatre, London

Happy Birthday to me! I’ll be 25 again (give or take a couple of decades.) For my birthday I headed to London to see King Lear. I knew the basic premis about the play but I was certainly no expert. I knew that there are parts which are quite gruesome and I knew it wasn’t going to be a laugh minute but more of an intense experience; so you may ask, why would I want to see it? The answer was simple, Sir Ian McKellen was playing the titular role and this was potentially my only opportunity to see him take on such a demanding role. (I really wanted to see him and Patrick Stewart in No Man’s Land, but the closest I got was the NT Live version…a shame because I rather like Harold Pinter plays!) King Lear was booked a while back, in February to be precise, but it was surprising just how quickly the time flew and I found myself travelling down to London to see it. It seemed like forever since I’d been down there, but thinking about it, I was actually there in July to watch The Cure per

"Glorious summer by this sun of York…" York's Pop Up Globe Theatre

From the above, you’d be forgiven for thinking I’ve been to see the recent production of Richard III in York, and to be honest the idea of watching it at the pop-up theatre (in a car park) amused me, but with the year I’ve been having, I looked at the cost of tickets and thought no way! Plus, I wasn’t quick enough off the mark and tickets had been booked by the WA group before I’d made up my mind when I could go and what I wanted to see, but in retrospect, maybe fate was playing her part. Hello all. I’m back blathering about what is going on in my world. Hopefully things have started to get back to normal and I can now find time to share some of the more interesting moments of my life again. The last year has been a bit tricky if I’m honest… not that you’d find me whining about it all over social media; the original 6 month contract turned into two years and an office move that required an even longer commute – and father-in-law’s cancer became progressively worse meaning that