Follow the Yellow

chess and cheese

My friend Claire and I have recently started up a writing group. It is called ‘Plots and Plans’, partly because we like plotting and planning, and partly because it sounds a bit like ‘pots and pans’.

Yesterday we had our second group meeting. We played some writing games and the results were quite entertaining. This is my favourite – a collective ‘consequences’ effort by Mike Haines, Duncan Hay, James Major, Claire Symonds and myself.

You were ill in the Commodore Suite. You’d been eating cheese again, the orange kind. Microwaves and mayonnaise and cheese don’t mix! And I’m sorry to tell you that orange just isn’t your colour. I have a feeling we have reached a stalemate – I am a castle and you’ve become a queen. But you pawned our chess board and bought all the cheese, which was stupid, because as I mentioned, it makes you sick. And now I can’t play chess, which is unfortunate, since my life’s ambition has always been to become a Grand Master. You and your cheese thwarted my dreams. Until I discovered my new love for table tennis, a sport of speed, agility and strength. I am now the world table tennis champion. So thanks for thwarting my dreams: you inadvertently helped me to conquer the world. In your face.

story

I would like to write a short story. I would like to write one of those short stories which is only a few lines long and isn’t really about anything, but leaves you thinking, “oh, that was very clever”. One of those short stories where nothing much actually happens. And you’re not actually sure whether it even is a story really, or not.

best of manchester

Congratulations to the lovely Naomi Kashiwagi who was announced as the winner of the Art category at the Best of Manchester Awards at Urbis last night.

Naomi was awarded the prize for her piece ‘||: Repetition :||, Fugue No.1 in QWERTY for 8 Typewriters’, a music and text score that saw four pianists and four percussionists playing typewriters. Naomi also performs fabulous gramaphone DJ sets and will in fact be performing at the Barbican as part of the Viktor and Rolf exhibition in September. You can see a video of her in gramaphone action here.

The other award winners were Richard Cheetham (music) for High Voltage and Simon Buckley (fashion) for the rather wonderful Rags to Bitches. Work from all the winners and finalists will be on show at a ‘Best of Manchester’ exhibition at Urbis until the end of September, which I’m sure I’ll be checking out sometime soon.

some things I did at the weekend

… went shopping for misty’s birthday present – we bought her a bird necklace, a “make your own monster” and a goats cheese (like you do), plus a beautiful moomin bag to put it all inside

… ate a tasty prawn bun at the vietnamese restaurant round the corner (it’s a noodle dish, not an actual bun made of prawns, or anything weird like that, in case you’re wondering)

…watched the rain from the balcony

…drank coffee, ate bagels

…meandered down Brick Lane for people-watching, window-shopping, bicycle-spotting…

…went to John Lewis to buy luscious Rowan wool for a secret knitting extravaganza

… wandered across the river to Tate Modern to see the Street and Studio exhibition (I liked Wolfgang Tillman’s tube photos and the entertaining yet slightly disturbing two channel video installation by Rineke Dijkstra) – and as always, to covet all the lovely books in the bookshop

…misty’s surprise birthday party at Mildred’s in Soho. I ate baba ganoush, a vegan burrito and vegan tarte tatin (nice but not a fan of the tofu ice cream I’m afraid). I am quite tempted to post a really amusing photograph of me eating the tarte tatin but I’m not sure I’m ready to share my pudding-appreciation grimace with the world just yet.

… read “Perdido Street Station” by China Mieville

… treated myself to a most beautiful ruby slipper necklace – hurrah!

… went to the Publish and be Damned DIY book fair at The Rochelle School and checked out inspiring things from fuselit, strange attractor, 20×20 magazine, the arts pneumonia, impulsive random platform and the archive of shredded catalogues, amongst many others

… took photos of things that caught my eye