18 February 2017

Everybody is Vulnerable

One of the advantages of taking the train to work is extra reading time, and by extension extra thinking time. I'm ploughing through books at the moment and my world is expanding thanks to my new role working with fashion students. Last week I was reading Worn Stories by Emily Spivack, a series of one page personal accounts of emotional connections to items of clothing. The book has made me laugh out loud at some stories and it has shocked and moved me. The Marina Abromović anecdote ended with the words 'everybody is vulnerable'. This seemed so poignant to me, strangely reassuring that we are all the same and equally exposed to our own emotional ebbs and flows as well as the external forces of the world around us. I've carried the sentence around in my head for days and these images are a response, a visual message back to Marina Abromović. 

10 February 2017

Toxic Gas

I’m new to commuting and it’s been quite an eyeopener getting the tram to Manchester Victoria each morning and then a train to Liverpool. The trams are full to capacity and I’ve never got a seat. I overheard someone saying he sometimes goes three stops in the wrong direction to the end of the line so that he can stay on and get a seat. The whole experience is very intimate; you can actually feel other people’s phones buzzing as you are squeezed in together. Yesterday I started to count how many people were in contact with me, I got to five and then a man moved his hand that I realised had been on my stomach, so six. I’ve been amazed how people just get used to this and continue as normal making private phone calls, playing games on their phones, attempting to read, applying makeup, eating, drinking, coughing, sneezing, belching and releasing toxic gasses, completely unselfconsciously. City life...

12 December 2016

Two Become One

akin ally amalgamate associate cement coalesce combine 
commingle consolidate couple fuse incorporate integrate interface 
intermix join link meld merge mingle synthesise unite weld

04 December 2016

Eye Contact

I'm increasingly nostalgic for a time before mobile phones.

02 December 2016

Lost and Found

London is a very big city 
You could lose yourself in London
You could find yourself in London

16 October 2016

Hand in Glove

My blog is usually a fairly positive, upbeat place but today I want to share a concern that I've been dwelling on recently, wondering how I can do something about it. 

Over the last year or two I've been quietly smarting, watching as loved buildings in my city are swiftly dismantled and removed permanently from the streetscape. Manchester is definitely a better city now in nearly every way than the city of the early 1990's when I moved here. However the rate of development seems to be at a tipping point and I think we are starting to lose the character of the place. Who gets to judge the value of architecture? The most loved buildings often don't win design awards and most worryingly it seems to be money and connections rather than merit or any sense of philanthropy that shapes our built environment. 

I feel particularly strongly about a proposed development by two ex Manchester United footballers that will involve the demolition of a large swath of interesting buildings right in the core of the city, to be replaced by a huge structure that feels badly designed and wrong for the atmosphere of this end of town. Please take the time to read and digest, research, and decide for yourself:  


This paragraph is the element I find most worrying:

"The Council owns the old Bootle Street police station, and has left it empty and decaying while teaming up with developers to extend and redevelop the site, with funds from the far east. The Council is both partner in the project and planning authority, so is the primary decision-maker for this project"

I've always thought Manchester City Council on the whole make good decisions and have worked really hard to improve the city in a very capital centric country. Now however they have been in power for so long that we have a Labour Manchester hegemony that can't be challenged and they know it. I worry that the consequence will be the citizens of Manchester ending up with a less loveable, liveable city, whilst a handful of people make an awful lot of money. 

05 September 2016

Couples Everywhere (2 of 2)

Apparently psychological studies have shown that single people tend to see happy couples everywhere, whereas people in a relationship tend to see happy single people.

Part one of this post can be found here:

Part 1