Friday, 30 November 2018

NaBloPoMo / Excess Month 2018 Ends

Today is the final day of National Blog Posting Month, a month of attempting to post every day, and filling my life with as much as possible in order to have content to cover, and hopefully to come out of November wiser than I went in.

I didn't quite manage it: 25 out of 30 was all I could do as I didn't get my camera fixed until the 20th. Visuals make up a big part of blogging. Would you rather read about 2 people beating each other up in the Northern Quarter, or would you rather watch it happen? Hence, no fight videos. (It was an entertaining and largely harmless scuffle though.)

But I still managed 3 RAF memoir entries, 6 celebrity encounters, 1 book signing, 2 mental health updates and 2 bar launches, amongst other things. I racked up 3,600 views, 600 more than in the previous month. I forgot to record my overall views at the start, but I'm at 643,576 right now.

No drugs, unless you count prescribed Citalopram, which I ran out of (and seemingly lost a packet of), but a certain amount of alcohol, although not as much as I'd expected. no gym records, unsurprisingly.

A fun project. Still to come: The launch of The Ivy, a high-end bar chain started in London, another launch, this time of an eyelashes range (as you do) a Santa Dash, a Sci-Fi convention and possibly the launch of a weekly nightlife event.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Veggie Pret in Progress

Bye, Pizza Hut. Pret-A-Manger's vegetarian branch opens its first store outside of London in the 79 Deansgate unit soon. Here's what it looked like last night. I was on the way to the Prima Lashes launch in Neighbourhood. Writeup to follow.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

What the Monkey's Thinking

Not the described picture, but a similar one

The following was written some years ago but not uploaded as the picture we used for this writing exercise was taken down from the walls of the cafe. Writers Connect has since folded, but another group runs in the same venue.

Writers Connect are held fortnightly in Nexus Art Cafe in the Northern Quarter. The café's walls are adorned with painintgs and craftwork, one of which is a large, elaborate oil piece of a monkey. We used this as a prompt.

Fluffy Oakes, zoological consultant extraordinaire, sits facing the glass of the monkey enclosure with his steel clipboard and pen poised.

Most of the marmosets are asleep, but one- the zoo named him Max- is engaged in a stare-off. The room is very quiet. Fluffy writes, 'Attentive.'

Max peers over the glass at Fluffy's clipboard, chin raised, like he's trying to look at what he's written.

It started at the turn of the century in the States- zookeepers had managed to teach animals to tap objects based on verbal instructions for rewards. Oldham Zoo were intent on taking it a step further.

The marmoset pressed his hands against the glass.

Lie Down,” Fluffy instructed.

Max shrugged, or so it seemed.

Fluffy held up a bag of peanuts. “Lie. Down.”

Max dropped to his hips, propping his head up on his elbow, human-like.

Fluffy passed the peanut through the sliding drawer and Max devoured it.

It was time to move things on. Fluffy pressed his lips together, as Max watched. He made a “pah” sound. He held up another peanut. “Pah.”

Eventually, Max would copy, and language would follow.

Monday, 26 November 2018

Burglar Caught on Littlemoor

So by now you've probably seen this video of someone catching a burglar in Oldham after the theft of some tools.

This happened on my street on Sunday afternoon. Heard a huge bang, and filmed this:

Not quite as good quality, but that's life. Soz for the Whatsapp group chats pinging away.

Now. A Question. There's a voice in the first video, on the street, saying 'get your car off.' I recognise that voice. Can anyone identify him?

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Manchester Construction Work November 2018

A year ago I took these shots of Angel Gardens, near the CIS building, and developments on Great Ancoats St. I dropped back into the area this weekend to get some updated pictures on the building sites. The construction industry has taken a big hit due to the recession, and it shows: a lot of these buildings are still under construction. I revisited them to see how things have changed. The answer: not much.

I also shot some around the Witworth St area, and returned to these too. What's happening? Well, the same buildings are still under construction. I'd swear Beetham tower got whipped up in a few months in 2006.

Down Oxford Road I found Hatch, a cross between the Arndale Food Court and the refugee camp in Scarface (1983). But okay, trendier than both.

Further down: the new university campuses.

Great Ancoats St developments


Into Cross St
 Views from Harvey Nichols

Pop-up shop on Deansgate

'Extinction Rebellion' protest on Deansgate, re the government's inaction on climate change. So they held up traffic, resulting in more carbon emmission.


Construction on Deansgate near the entrance to Spinningfields.

Formerly Sakana, the soon-to-open Peaky Blinders bar on Peter St. 

St Peter's Square developments

Witworth St developments

Circle Square, formerly the home of BBC Manchester on Oxford Rd

Hatch on Oxford Rd