Follow the Yellow

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

quote for today

Is that you, Rabbit?” said Pooh.
“Let’s pretend it isn’t,” said Rabbit, “and let’s see what happens.”

— A. A.Milne

Seven Stories is absolutely brilliant, by the way. Everyone should go there immediately. You can dress up as Ratty or sit in Mr Toad’s car, except when I went there the horn had broken because too many children had been pooping it. Great stuff.

so what is this really all about? (part deux)

… my word, there’s a lot of stuff online about blogging. There are whole blogs about blogging. Talk about self-referential. It’s all terribly po-mo.

Far from “ooh – project!”, in fact I have found that a lot of it quickly becomes rather boring if like me, you’re not especially bothered about the technical stuff (widgets, rss feeds, search engine optimisation and the like), but are more interested in the words themselves, and why this might be an interesting thing to do if you like words (and writing them). I haven’t found much out there about the blog as a literary or artistic form.

However, what I have found on my travels is a lot of actual blogs written by actual writers who are doing actually interesting and challenging things with this as a format. I have started a list of blogs that I like, which I’m going to add to as I go along. It’s over there, on the right, where it says ‘blogs that are good’.

Interestingly, apart from getting to read a lot of fine writing, another piece of important information I have garnered from these blogs is that if I am going to be serious about this whole blogging (and writing) business I am probably going to need to get myself a much cooler hairdo. Oh well. As long as I don’t have to wear a trilby, or gladiator sandals, it will all be fine.

some good things and some less good things

It has been a mixed week so far. These are some of the good things which have happened in it:

I bought myself a really excellent new cardigan.

The sun has come out! You could almost suspect it is summer.

I found out that I got a distinction for an essay I wrote about some brain-melting cultural theory things (I am feeling pretty disgustingly smug about this one, actually).

Tomorrow I get to go to Newcastle to visit the Seven Stories Centre, which in case you don’t know, is an arts centre devoted entirely to children’s literature. I am so excited. The fact that is actually part of my job makes it even better.

…. and some less good things which have also happened:

Now that it is hot, my beautiful sun-allergy blisters are back, decorating my face with their loveliness. Yes, I am allergic to the sun. I am very, very special.

My throat of doom has returned. it is like an uber villain from an action film, possibly The Terminator. Every time you think you have well and truly destroyed it, it is back with a vengeance, seemingly more hell-bent on evil than ever before.

The electronic council tax robots forced me to pay them £956 of council tax. Why the streets are not paved with actual gold here in Didsbury, I truly cannot imagine.

I missed out on this lovely event yesterday which I really wanted to go to, because I was tired and felt ill (see doom, throat of) after a particularly exhausting day at work. It was rubbish.

Still, in spite of all this, the sun has been shining, and I do get to go and see an exhibition tomorrow entitled ‘From Toad Hall to Pooh Corner’.

On balance, I think life is okay.