Friday, 25 March 2016


Wednesday and Thursday were busy days for me as I decided to attack the bin full of papers that needed shredding or burning. Fortunately I managed to unblock the shredder with my trusty paper knife that I used at Lanstar for the same purpose. Apparently nowadays you can buy shredders that cope with pages and pages at a time. Mine only effectively shreds about 3 at the most. However, after stopping every few piles, and unblocking, then waiting whilst it cooled down, I achieved the objective and the bin was empty. Then I decided to attack the papers in the shed which had apparently acted as bed and breakfast for an army of mice or other rodents. These were incinerated in the rather rusty bin (which now needs replacing). Halfway through I realised that I had to leave it there, as I had to be at my Mum's and couldn't leave the bin smouldering. An other day!

The day before I had managed to paint the three panels of the fence between me and next door's driveway. I then painted a bench to match the garden chair. I'm getting worried I'm becoming domesticated.

Good Friday - well I was going to go to Woodford to see the white Vulcan XM603 again - it was a beautiful day, wall to wall sunshine, but I did my usual messing around, drinking coffee, having a go at crocheting a sock and other diversions. I wondered if my Mum might like to go, so realised she would want to have her lunch first. Then I decided it would take 45 minutes to get there and maybe it was too late. Went to Mum's armed with a huge branch lopper - she didn't want to go to Woodford, said she was not well enough but we went into the garden and attacked some shrubs and I was glad, as she would have foolishly had a go herself.

Now it's 22.29 on Friday night and the prospect of the rest of the Easter weekend is wet and windy. Still 603 - sorry, there is going to be another weekend. Then I might even be able to stand on your wings and clean you up!

My husband is suffering badly from hip problems, I'm really very worried about him, and his business. Being self employed is no joke if there's only you and the running costs are rather like having a rather self indulgent mistress.


Barbara, my friend from March of Time Books, might be interested in this photo which I found on the internet. We had been talking of the 60s and I had shown her a photo of my living room in 1966, which I had accurately described to her, then strangely my son gave me some slides from his Dad with one of our living room. I managed to take a photo of it and I'll post it here too. In the 60s, there used to be an Ideal Home Exhibition held at Manchester every year which we used to go to. One of the exhibits was a Futuro house, which has stayed vividly in my imagination ever since. I really wanted one of these houses, which looks rather like something from The War of the Worlds. There was a George Clark programme which I managed to watch on Catch up (channel 4) which showed a man who had bought one of these houses and was restoring it. 

Isn't this amazing?

This was around 1966/7, it could actually pass today without much difficulty.

Well, I think that's just about enough. Next time I'm going to put on some photos of me in Paris in the 1960s. I hope the weather isn't too dire for the rest of the weekend but if it is, I'll just do some crocheting and more decluttering.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016


My friend had emailed me to say she was coming down from the NE to visit her sister as her husband was doing a show at The Whitworth Art Gallery on Valentines day, would you believe. We don't pander to that occasion, so I had no problem with saying I'd join them. I have passed that building many times but never been there. The most simple arrangement was that I should get a train to Oxford Road and a bus up to the Whitworth, as we would be walking up to Rusholme later. 

Whilst waiting for the bus near the station, I heard a hoot, then realised a steam engine was passing overhead on the line I had just travelled on. There were two lovely steam engines and a row of carriages. I didn't have time to get my camera or phone out to take a shot. If only I'd stayed in the station a little longer I would have seen them go through towards Piccadilly.

Walking past The Academy at the University I stepped back to take a better photo of Holy Name Church across the road, when I fell flying as I hadn't realised there was a kerb behind me with raised bike racks. I hurt my upper arm as I fell with that on the iron bar. Good job it wasn't my head! The wounded soldier hobbled along the rest of the way and met up with my friends in the cafe bar at The Whitworth, which is a long room with floor to ceiling windows. I passed through a gallery where my friend's husband was telling stories to children, dressed up as a entertainer, knee length wide velvet coat and other items of clothing rather like a wandering minstrel. I forgot to take a picture as I didn't want to disturb his act as he might have noticed me taking a picture.

Coffee and cake 10/10. We had a walk around the gallery, I like to paint/draw a bit but am not really interested in things that don't look like what they're supposed to look. There were lots of photos relating to the period after the war when life was drab and the process involved in 'brightening' up the country. There was also a display behind glass of a robe which I believe was from the 6th century? There others and also a very fine hand knitted tunic in silk which dated from I can't remember but was extremely old. I enjoyed that. I'm just going to show you a few pictures to show you rather than go on at too great a length, as if you're interested you can look up The Whitworth on the internet.

I remember the building before this being demolished. We heard what sounded like an explosion when I was doing a German course at the building below. It was only afterwards seeing the rubble I realised what the noise was, a large ball hitting the previous structure. It's lovely inside.

My course was in the second building down, the one with pillars, another beautiful entrance hall, going right up to the top with galleries around it, a beautiful change from functional building further up behind The Academy, where we were first of all.

Holy Name Church, a very famous landmark along Oxford Road.

This is a theatre, I can't remember what the name of it is.

A shame about the scaffolding at The Whitworth, there are new buildings build onto the back of it to give lots of light and space.

Lovely old stairwell in The Whitworth 

This was another stairwell, that lovely mobile was designed for that spot.

A lovely fabric picture

I took this for my friend's sister, as she asked me to - her daughter's favourite colours.

A lovely paper 'patchwork' quilt made by children who had a session all sitting on the floor around it.

This was a battle re-enactment in the park, I couldn't wait to see more as we had to eat!

I was amazed just how much there was for young children, the entrance hall was absolutely chock full of push chairs, there was story telling, painting, flower making and this paper patchwork. Apparently you have to book early as the sessions fill up fast. It's free too I believe.

There was also a shop downstairs which sold all sorts of interesting things, lovely wooden toys and books for children.

We then walked up to Rusholme to find a few recommended Indian restaurants, came back, didn't find the one we wanted, had a meal in another, then found the one we should have gone to afterwards. It was very nice the one we went to. We had three different vegetarian dishes and shared them between us so we had a lovely selection. We didn't have a dessert and really it was pretty cheap, about £9 each which was amazing for Manchester. There was a funny sign outside the restaurant we wanted to go to, apparently recommended by Nigel Slater.

Well, we had a nice visit to the gallery, a tasty meal, lots of chatting as I don't see her and her sister very often and I hoped to read on the train home. However, it wasn't possible as I was absolutely jammed into a corner, the train was so full.

So that's all for today, until the next time. (Did you notice anything? No shots of Vulcans)