29/12/15 - Life Update

No comments:
Remember earlier in the month when I promised that some "fun Christmassy" blog posts were on the horizon?  Well, that didn't happen, did it?  Oops!  That seems to be very much the way of things recently; every time I tell myself I'm going to dive back into blogging, I just...don't.  I have half-written posts littering up my Blogger dashboard and folders of photos on my desktop that I've never quite got around to using.  I've done so many things that I could have written about, but the motivation and the time simply weren't there.  But all that is going to change starting now, so here's a whistle-stop tour of my last month to get us up to speed for the New Year.

05/12/15 - Long Time No Blog!

No comments:
There's nothing worse than when life gets in the way of a little blogging and things may have been a bit quiet on here lately - but all that is going to change.  I'm determined to get my head back in the blogging game, and I have a few exciting posts lined up including some fun Christmassy ones...so watch this space, and in the meantime here's a little something to get you into the festive spirit!

Merry Christmas!

07/09/15 - 'The Night Circus' by Erin Morgenstern

No comments:
The Night Circus is as much about a night circus as Trainspotting is about drugs, The Fault In Our Stars is about cancer or Fight Club is about men beating each other up.  Such is the way with good books.  You should never judge one by its cover - or in this instance, its title.  There is so much more to The Night Circus; it's a tale of adventure, friendship, magic and romance, it's a battle of dreams versus reality, and above all it's an utterly beautiful flight of fancy which had me enthralled from the very beginning.

25/08/15 - 'The History Boys' by Alan Bennett #InfiniteVarietyBooks

It's been far too long since I did a bookish blog post and as an avid reader, writing about books is something that I am determined to start doing more of...starting from now!  I stumbled across this post on the lovely Sterling's blog and I was keen to jump on this particular bandwagon.  I absolutely love the idea of a blogger's book club and particularly when I saw that the first month's book was Alan Bennett's The History Boys (aka. my favourite play), I couldn't resist getting involved.

01/08/15 - American Idiot at the Arts Theatre, London

No comments:
For the Millennial Generation, at least, you may struggle to find an album that means as much as Green Day's American Idiot.  Even in the UK (where we didn't feel George Bush's reign so acutely), it was the soundtrack to many people's adolescence and the first form of media to truly pinpoint our feelings of nonconformity and struggles with identity.  It is also arguably the most prominent work of art to openly express opposition to the Bush administration, so much so that even ten years later the themes and ideas that the album addresses are still as relevant as they were at the time.  And now, at London's Arts Theatre, these songs are being given a new life in the form of a jukebox musical which expands on Green Day's concept album.  Although it may not seem as though a punk rock musical would appeal to either to fans of punk rock or of musical theatre, American Idiot the Musical is a force of nature that somehow just works.

02/07/15 - wonder.land at the Manchester International Festival

1 comment:
If you take your seats in Manchester's Palace Theatre for wonder.land expecting a straightforward musical adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, you will undoubtedly be disappointed.  However, if you approach the performance with an open mind, you'll embark on a truly unique adventure down a digital rabbit hole with this visually ambitious reimagining of a British children's classic.

17/06/15 - Granola Recipe

Recently, I've been on a bit of a health kick...which is a phrase that I wouldn't normally associate with myself.  Although my diet has never been particularly awful (expect for in the first year of uni but I certainly wasn't the only person living on pasta, chips and £1 shots) and I walk pretty much everywhere, I definitely have some bad habits.  For instance I'm not a big fan of any kind of exercise and I can happily eat a whole tube of Pringles in one sitting.  But by making a few easy changes to replace less healthy foods with better alternatives, I've found that I feel a lot happier, less groggy and I've been saving money.  However, breakfast was proving to be the most difficult meal to adapt.  No one eats salad for breakfast, and I definitely needed to steer away from my very bread-heavy morning routine.  And that's where this recipe comes in!

04/06/15 - An Evening with Amanda Palmer at RNCM

No comments:
Amanda Palmer has been on most people's radars in some form or another for the past fifteen years, but it was her 2014 TED talk that made the world sit up and listen. This was followed by her debut book - part autobiography, part self-help book - The Art of Asking which elaborates on her idea of the relationship between artist and audience.  Since its release last November, the book has gained momentum with support from the likes of Caitlin Moran and Brené Brown.  I bought the book for my boyfriend when it came out after he was inspired to read it by the viral TED talk, and on his recommendation we purchased tickets for An Evening with Amanda Palmer.

21/05/15 - 'Cuddles' at the Royal Exchange

With so many brilliant productions running back-to-back in the main theatre of the Royal Exchange, it can be easy to forget the 90-seater studio that the venue also offers allowing smaller, often touring, performances an intimate theatre space within the beautiful building.  Despite being a regular visitor, I had ashamedly overlooked some of the performances on offer in favour of the larger shows.  However, the advertising for Arch 468's Cuddles very much intrigued me and so, with a midweek day off, I ventured into the studio for what turned out to be a truly unique piece of theatre.

12/05/15 - Pitch Perfect 2 and Q+A with Anna Kendrick

No one wins competitions, right?  That's what I always thought, so you can imagine my surprise when I ended up winning the opportunity to head down to London for an advance screening of Pitch Perfect 2 with Stylist magazine followed by a Q+A with the film's star Anna Kendrick hosted by comedian Sarah Millican!  After a long and laborious coach journey down from Manchester (apparently I get really travel sick - who knew?), we began our time in London with some intense sight-seeing, hitting every landmark possible in a few hours before heading to the swanky Mayfair Hotel for the screening itself.  The venue was beautiful - we were greeted for a drinks reception in the Crystal Room which was incredibly impressive and full of excited chatter as the winners mingled and sipped free wine.

08/05/15 - How To Build A Girl by Caitlin Moran

Caitlin Moran has been making quite a stir recently.  From a regular column in The Times, to a career as a bestselling author, to most recently co-writing Channel 4 sitcom Raised by Wolves, her particular brand of candid and unashamed feminism seems to be everywhere and I for one could not be happier.  As a big fan of her work, I was therefore very glad to be able to spend a couple of hours in her presence on her recent tour.

04/04/15 - Election! at the People's History Museum

No comments:
With the UK general election looming at the beginning of May, there has been a lot of talk recently about voting and its relevance or lack thereof.  The People's History Museum's latest exhibition is tackling this issue head on and demystifying the political system in the process, which is something incredibly useful regardless of how politically aware you are.  Election! Britain Votes is an exhibition of two halves: the left hand side of the room details clearly the voting system, answering questions such as why we vote, moving all the way through to the exact details of forming a government; the right is a timeline covering the history of elections from the start of the twentieth century to the present day.  The beauty of such an exhibition and the reason it's so important is that it's a totally unbiased political lesson - the only 'agenda' it pushes is the importance of voting and of democracy.  

22/03/15 - Let's Talk About Sex at MOSI

No comments:
Sex, pole-dancing and the Kama Sutra aren't topics that you would expect to find on my blog and rightly so - Belle de Jour I am not and I'd get no satisfaction from pouring those sort of details of my life onto the Internet.  However, when an opportunity arises to hear what science has to say about these things, you may well have my interest and curiosity.  Wellcome Collection's Sexology Season does just this, bringing lectures and events about taboo topics to a wider audience.  I headed to Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry to see what all the fuss was about.

Image courtesy of MOSI

28/02/15 - Scuttlers at the Royal Exchange

No comments:
As an avid fan of The Royal Exchange, I like to keep track of all their productions. I'd seen adverts for their latest offering around Manchester and had been umming and ahhing over whether to get tickets.  The decision was made to go after stopping to read the positive reviews on a poster outside the theatre in St Ann's Square.  "It's really good, you should get tickets if you can."  Our comments had drawn the attention of a young man standing on the steps next to us.  After a brief conversation, it turned out he wasn't just an audience member who had enjoyed the performance - he was a member of the cast heading into the theatre to start work.  His enthusiasm, combined with all the good things we'd heard about Scuttlers previously, clinched our decision to make sure we didn't miss it.

22/02/14 - Richmond Tea Rooms

No comments:
This year marks the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland which is one of my favourite children's books and one of the most celebrated of all time, with multiple adaptations of the story in various mediums and many of the references falling into everyday parlance.  And I thought it only right to celebrate this literary phenomenon in the most appropriate way I could think of; with lunch at the elegant Richmond Tea Rooms in Manchester.  I found this little gem in a book called Secret Manchester by Phil Page and Ian Littlechilds which is a wonderful read if you're looking for places to explore around the city that are a little off the beaten track.  There are likely to be several upcoming blog posts which have been inspired by this book, so keep your eyes peeled for those!

From the outside, the building doesn't look particularly special.  Tucked away down a side street near Canal Street, it isn't the easiest place to find.  But the wandering around was worth it because as soon as you step inside, it really is like going down the rabbit hole into a more magical place away from the dreary Manchester rain.

08/02/15 - Andy Gotts' 'Behind the Mask'

No comments:
The concept of a 'celebrity photographer' is an interesting one.  An artist who titles themselves as such is making it clear that they consider themselves to be a certain type of portrait artist, focussing their work solely on people who typically spend their lives already in front of a lens.  Perhaps these photographers want to show a different and possibly less glamorous or more honest side to these familiar faces; being immortalised in art may feel much more permanent than being snapped at a premiere or papped on the way to the gym, and I can see why the idea might appeal to a performer who has gained that coveted 'celebrity' status.

'Behind the Mask' is an exhibition which marks a collaboration between photographer Dr Andy Gotts MBE and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, featuring actors who have either won or been nominated for a BAFTA since 1954. 

17/01/15 - Guest Post: Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

No comments:
It's with some reluctancy that I'm writing for you, the blogging community. You see the problem is - wait for it - I'm not one of you. I understand the merit and importance of the documentation and review of say; arts, politics and (let's just put it out there) the more trivial elements of life. Yet I had never considered publicising my own voice in such a way. Aside from the worry of topic, content and tone - what could I, a twenty-something telecom salesman from Manchester really contribute to an already bombarded platform? I figured with a New Year truly underway, a shared resolution would be a start.

13/01/15 - DIY Book Clutch Bag

No comments:
As an avid reader and an accessory junkie, I have to admit that any kind of literary-themed clothing or jewellery is a winner for me.  Thankfully, there are a lot of options out there on the interwebs for anyone with a similar fixation (Out Of Print is a personal favourite of mine, and Etsy is a haven for creative little bits and pieces), but some things might be a little too niche to be found even online or else they can sport a pretty hefty price tag.  So when I saw this tutorial for turning a hardback book into a clutch bag, I simply couldn't resist getting my craft cap on.  I'm not the most visually creative person, but I do love a little project.

02/01/15 - Little Shop of Horrors at the Royal Exchange

No comments:
Most people are familiar with Little Shop of Horrors.  Whether you're an avid fan of the musical or are just aware of the plot and can vaguely hum the opening song in the same way that everyone knows the famous Phantom chords, I imagine it hasn't entirely passed you by.  It's become something of a cult classic; originally a Roger Corman film in 1960, it was adapted for the stage in 1982 by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken before the musical was remade for the silver screen by Frank Oz in 1986.  Well, it's back and it's taking Manchester by storm at the Royal Exchange Theatre.