This is the end
This is the end
My only friend, the end
-The Doors, The End
Well. The end of an era. Not only is 2009 in the past- quite a ridiculous year, to say the least- but the entirety of a decade is now behind us. The last few months, to which I'm dedicating this piece, have been typically mixed. Sometimes life has been disheartening, sometimes fantastic, but mostly things have been slightly weird. That's life in the 21st century, I'd say.
In the last Quarterly Summary I mentioned I'd applied to the BBC's Trainee Broadcast Journalist scheme. Suffice to say, they turned me down. They didn't say why. I was one of hundreds who applied, but I still enjoyed the application procedure (even though I had to call them to unlock my online application as something went wrong with the computers, meaning I had to hammer the application out at the last moment, submitting it with 26 minutes left on the deadline. But life is empty without the application of pressure).
Local newspaper The Oldham Advertiser features a full page dedicated to one watering-hole every week, presumably as a publicity-drive for the town's night-life. A while back their photographer found me in Milan, a pretty classy bar close to my home. My picture appeared in the paper, circulation 87,000.
For the serious dance music enthusiast in Manchester, Area 51 should be showing up on your radar. Opposite the once-high-class-now-overpopulated Deansgate Locks, a series of terraced bars, the club is home to the best house music night in the city. A few months ago I saw Jason Herd play to the crowds of Area 51. Herd, along with Jon Fitz, Make up dance music producer duo Herd 'n' Fitz. Their big hit was 'I Just Can't Get Enough' in 2005.
I Am Not in Bizarre Magazine
In autumn last year I posed naked for a fledgling Manchester publication called Hive Magazine. I was photographed, with fellow volunteer Sara, a student who'd responded to the same advert. We posed infront of various Manchester landmarks- the Gmex Exhibition Centre, Manchester Central Library, Beetham Tower- the tallest building in the city, The Urbis Museum- an uber-modern exhibition centre featuring works about city life and The Manchester Wheel, a 60-metre- high ferris wheel.
The magazine folded due to lack of advertising, but I still had copies of the pictures on my computer. They've been on Facebook for a while.
A few months ago Sara sent the pictures to a magazine called Bizarre, which- for want of a better description- features the craziest pictures from around the world. The magazine was interested in publishing the photographs, but as they'd been reduced from the original size for Facebook, they had lost their resolution. Bizarre were asking for the originals. Nobody from Hive wanted to claim ownership. Hence, my inevitable surge through the heights of international fame will have to wait...
I'm not sure what it was that made me commit to the five-hour round-trip of Greater Manchester. I had a book to read, and a bus pass. And something had posessed me and convinced me that my life would be better with a pair of nunchucks- the two-sectioned hand weapon from China and Japan, made famous by Bruce Lee. He's holding them on the poster for Enter the Dragon.
I'd seen them a few years ago in sport shop Decathlon in Stockport, which is a major trek due to the shit-ness of Greater Manchester's transport system. But I had a book to read, and nothing pressing to do. I also wanted to see if they stocked any Mixed Martial Arts clothing.
When I arrived I found they stocked no MMA gear but I got the 'chucks, and I've been watching Youtube instructional videos. I'm becoming a dab hand in the Eastern ways, and it's great for upper-body conditioning. And yes, I have twatted myself on the head numerous times during practice.
Yeah, I had a nice time. All went well.
I brought it in at Manchester's Birdcage. Imagine 2001 Odessy club from Saturday Night Fever stylistically interbred with the 'El Paraíso' club from Carlito's Way and you get a hint of the kind of place it is. Overly metallic, classically 'disco' and slightly camp (but still certifiably straight), the club provides cabaret entertainment to rival the Kit Kat Club (minus the Nazis.) Oh, and it's also heavily populated with fine women. I'm at a loss, however, to explain why I arrived home wearing a black, Zorro-style eye-mask.
I recall these incidents to remind myself of the highs. It's all too easy to dwell and wallow in negativity- the women who have said no, the publications that have turned me down (notice no section on published work?) the fact that, now approaching 28, I still live in my parent's house- a place where logic and reason seem absent- but people need reasons to be positive. Keeping a record of every 'up' seems to help.