Follow the Yellow

Archive of ‘manchester’ category

manchester blog awards

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Some good news to brighten up a particularly grey and damp Manchester day – this blog has been shortlisted for the Manchester blog awards! It’s been nominated for the categories of ‘best new blog’ and ‘best personal blog’. Hurrah!

And hurrah also to all the other excellent blogs which have been shortlisted for this year’s awards, and especially some of my personal favourites – nine chains to the moon, every day I lie a little, chicken and pies, diary of a bluestocking and quit this pampered town.

You can check out the full shortlist here or there’s also a list here on delicious, though I have to admit I’m still not entirely sure quite what that is.

56 plastic knives and forks

About twice a week I buy a jacket potato for my lunch from a small sandwich shop near my office.

Each time I go in and ask for a jacket potato, the lady behind the counter puts the potato into a styrofoam carton, and then puts the carton inside a brown paper bag with a handle. Also in the brown paper bag are a paper napkin and a plastic knife and fork, which are wrapped in a second napkin.

Each time, I go back to my office and go to the kitchen to get a proper knife and fork to eat my potato with. Experience has taught me that a plastic knife and fork are just not substantial enough to cope with the demands of eating a jacket potato. I normally just throw away my plastic knife and fork.

However, today I worked out that if I have eaten a jacket potato twice a week throughout the time I have worked in my current job, I have so far thrown away 56 sets of plastic knives and forks. I am beginning to feel a bit bad about this. The plastic knives and forks are dancing around in my head in a slightly malevolent way, looking all spiky and accusatory.

The problem is that I can’t really think of anything very useful I could do with all these surplus knives and forks. I don’t think they’re recyclable, and they certainly aren’t any use for eating with.

Perhaps I could preserve each knife and fork in some kind of conceptual artwork, as a statement about the passing of time and a comment on the banality of contemporary lifestyle and work culture. That would work.

Or then again, perhaps I could simply ask the lady in the sandwich shop not to give me a plastic knife and fork anymore.

there is a wardrobe in next door’s back yard

There is a wardrobe in next door’s back yard.

It is lying on its back, crooked, splayed diagonally, like someone who has fallen down drunk.

It’s a sad sort of wardrobe. The white plastic coating is peeling off revealing the drab wood beneath. The door has fallen off and is now propped against a neglected shrub in a pot, revealing a shabby underbelly and a narrow mirror speckled with raindrops.

From here, I can see right inside the wardrobe and its meagre inner cavity. There is nothing inside it. It is just a very small, narrow wardrobe with no door. It is not going to take anyone to Narnia. It’s just lying there, looking helpless, beside some damp, flattened cardboard boxes that are slowly disintegrating.

I keep expecting my neighbour will move it but every time I look out of the window, it is still there.

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.