Northern Quarter, Manchester

It’s the neighbourhood of Manchester with independent shops and restaurants, right in the city centre. It’s about time I posted some pictures of it.

Oldham Street.

Establishments on Oldham Street.

Popular comic book shop, Forbidden Planet. Taking this picture was quite a mission–coming here on Saturday wasn’t exactly my brightest idea. I had to wait for ages to snap this and then I only had a second or two before a car got into my shot!

Graffiti next to a barber shop. I didn’t have the heart to crop out the dog.

Stevenson Square.

A side street off Stevenson Square with more graffiti.

Sunset in Salford Quays

I went to a Vincent van Gogh Alive exhibition in Salford Quays, and when I got out, the sun was setting. Salford Quays seems like a good place for sunsets; I must go there with my camera one day.

The building sticking out on the above picture is Imperial War Museum.

The building on the right is part of MediaCityUK, a location of some BBC studios and other media companies.

It was the golden hour–had I been there at any other time, I would not have caught it!

And yes, that is the topic of Weekly Prompts Colour Challenge.

Christmas in the City 2021

I like a Christmas post every year, so here it is, and it’s all about Christmas in Manchester. Christmas markets are back after last year’s absence.

MCR is short for Manchester, and bee is a symbol of the city, in case you’re wondering.

Above and below shots are from inside Printworks.

Tree in my neighbourhood, outside a Methodist church.

Bonus – just for fun, I am forever amused about how the actor Adam Driver reigns over the stalls in Piccadilly Gardens. Not literally, it’s just a perfume advert!

This is probably my last post before Christmas, so if I don’t see you before then, have a happy holiday time, or peaceful holiday time, whichever one you prefer.

Autumnal Castlefield

You know you can’t get enough of autumn!

I took so many nice pictures on my walk in Castlefield, Manchester, at the end of October, I couldn’t just keep them all to myself. Here I share them with you:

Hold an autumn leaf.

Throw it in the canal.

Goose eats it.

Asters in front of the Roman fortress. I wonder if they were there when Romans were there. Would a Roman centurion admire these asters, perhaps?

A setting sun. It never disappoints.

The Materialising Of A Prompt

This is the story about how a writing prompt–or more precisely, a trio of writing prompts–came alive.

One of the blogs I follow is The New, Unofficial, On-Line Writers Guild. It’s relevant to my writing blog, not this one, but anyway, this blog publishes a fictional story every week, plus three prompts. These can be responded to in the usual style of prompts of WordPress. In a post a couple of months ago, the prompts went like this:

  • 1. outside Halifax
  • 2. no god worth worrying about
  • 3. selling truth

I looked at the prompts and instantly, they formed a whole sentence in my mind:

There is no god worth worrying about selling truth outside Halifax.

Okay, it looks like a sentence, you think, but it is a tiny bit nonsensical. And what about it came alive?

Well, not only was it a line in my head, it was a situation I was able to picture quite clearly, and one that I was sure I’d actually seen in real life, with my own eyes. How?

Like this:

Halifax is a town in Yorkshire, or in Nova Scotia, or wherever else, but here in UK it is also a bank. As banks usually do, they have branches in most town centres. So, that is the easily imaginable “outside Halifax” part. As for the god not worth worrying about selling truth, well, street Jesus freaks of all sorts are not an unusual sight here in Manchester. Strictly speaking, they’re probably not selling anything, not in the normal sense, in exchange for money, but they must want something from you, otherwise why would they stand there, shouting their preachings?

I knew I would be able to snap a pic that would encapsulate the three prompts in an ideal form. It was only a matter of time, and luck. And time and luck it was, while out on my lunch break about two weeks ago. Here is the photo:

They’re also standing where the tram lines divide, which, I like to think, adds a dramatic effect. And, of course, in true Manchester fashion, it’s raining.

The lake of fire probably won’t last long around here.

I’m not religious myself, but I showed this to a colleague who is a Christian, and she said the writing on the banner is untrue, because Jesus spreads love, not fear. He is all about forgiveness, not punishment. It certainly seems like the wrong message, even to a heathen like me.

It’s really… not worth worrying about. And I’m pretty sure it’s not the truth. What would some dude with an umbrella standing in the middle of Manchester know about it, anyway?

So that’s it, that is the story about how a trio of writing prompts came alive. Thank you for reading.

Halloween In The City

It’s that time of the year when the city, by which I mean Manchester, gets dressed up in the theme of Halloween. There’s so much fun stuff and I took a lot of pictures; it was a though decision to pick the ones for a blog post.

“Can you believe the utter stupidity?”

“Howdya like my new tentacles?”

Welcome to our castle. Don’t worry, we don’t eat people.

Without cooking them first.

Dragons make wonderful pets, I hear. As long as you’re fireproof, you’ll be fine.

“There’s something in my eye.”

Wanted: vendor for our market stall. We’re not sure what happened to last one.

A skeleton collection: I don’t know what it is, but I really do enjoy skeletons. I think it might be that they always look like they’re laughing at something.

And this one’s in a wheelbarrow. I love wheelbarrows.

“Hello, honey, I’ve been waiting for you!”

“Oh, look, kids, daddy’s home!”

Lovers.

There’s nothing like seeing monsters or villains deeply in love with each other. I went to see Venom Let There Be Carnage the other day, and the romance between Cletus and Frances (played by Woody Harrelson and Naomie Harris), the villains of the film, melted my heart. They were just so tender with each other, and you know they’d destroy the civilisation to be together. They even danced in the flames!

Since I’m on this topic, how about Gomez and Morticia from Addams Family? I think they legit might be one of the best married couples in all of fiction.

Anyway, Happy Halloween, and beware of the monsters. The true scary fact is, the most dangerous ones don’t look like monsters at all.

Manchester During Pride

Pride, the LGBTQ+ event, takes place in Manchester every year on the August Bank Holiday weekend. Last year it was cancelled (because, you know), but in 2021 it’s very much back on track. For this occasion, the city gets dressed up in rainbow flags.

This is the bridge in Castlefield.

The couple on the bridge remind me a bit of Joe and Jill Biden.

The sunny weather–not exactly a regular here–makes everything even better!