Hazard in MCR


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"All the demos I've ever been on II" - Alex Bradley in Peace Garden

On Saturday 17 July, Manchester was filled with random outbreak of fun, preformances, dance, and other happenings.

All spread around the city centre, we decided to venture around a few events and check it out!

Hazard is Manchester’s micro-festival of incidental intervention and sited performance, packed full of chance encounters, random occurrences and risky ventures around and about the city centre.

Here is a very small representationof what was available.

For more info, check the Hazard website although the first video is not brilliant, there’s a better one on this where you can actually get an idea of what the flash mob consisted of!

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"The March of 100 Dorothys" - Eggs Collective

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"Special delivery" Natalie Preece

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"The break up" Out of Hand Theatre

"Crossing Marke St" Jon, gaz n Andy

We also collected smile from the Arndale to the Northern Quarter and the Piccadilly Gardens for the flash mob!

And this is something from the flash mob.

A very fun day!


A fantastic cover!

I saw this and loved the design of this mag’s cover!


You can check the website by clicking here!


Cruising in Manchester

What can one do on a celebration weekend when the weather is not so clement?

I can think of many things to do but what we did I never had thought of it; a cruise on the river Irwell! Yep, you read me right, a cruise in Manchester!

Starting from the really lovely Mark Addy pub we were taken to Salford Quays.

The view from the river offer a fantastic new perspective over Manchester: street art, riverside buildings, Man U news updates and the rest.

The captain was lovely and gave us a full live commentary about the various sites: bridges, buildings, history and little anecdotes of past, current and future Manchester.

The whole experience (organised by Manchester Confidential) lasted around one hour and was a really pleasant and relaxing one.

The pub is a good place for food and drinks on the Salford side of the river opposite the People’s History Museum and is perfect for sunny days as it boasts a really good size terrace.

That day, as well as getting treated to the cruise we were entertained by some funny looking actors in a St George’s day farce. There even was a dragon involved!

Despite the rain and the general greyness, the mood was jolly.

As for cruising in Manchester? I would definitely consider exploring different water ways in the area again.

Ahoyyyyy Matelot!


A new breed of Mancunian

Early 2010 has been surreal in Mancunia Land.

This great video shows in real time how the snow hit Manchester! 

The city has been covered by a thick layer of fluffyness and a new breed of Mancunian has evolved – Snowman-cunian before turning into a total ice rink!

Tuesday 5th saw more snow falling over Manchester than ever before! It was beautiful, cold, crisp and white!

As I was wandering the streets I could not help but snap away at those new inhabitants disperced around the city…

I tried to catch a few of them in situ!

Val n snowman

This one was found on Piccadilly Garden! It was a nice little and friendly snowman- cunian!

I carried on passed a few bars around the square and stumbled upon a couple of Danish warriors outside Kro Piccadilly.

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This is one of the fierce Vickings! The over one has issues standing straight for now! I might be able to fix him soon!

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Even Queen V got a free makeover! You better watch it Gok! Mancunian "How to look good snowed under"!

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A very happy one standing proud outside Ridelow bike shop and Home Design shop! Good effort!

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A happy family nearby!

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The Northern Quarter creative Snowman-cunian!

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This is a fantastic specimen "standing" proud outside Keko Moku - its stance shall be restored to its full glory v soon hopefully when I discover to rotate pics! :-D

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Wonderful Snowy Mancunia! xxxxx

 


Just feeling like it…

Like the nice crisp morning
Like the nice Roses chocolate brought by Hannah
Like the hot coffee prepared by Dave
Like it’s the Crazy Car Parade tonight
Like singing Daniel Balavoine when I wake up
Like it’s going to be a fine day?


10 Things I like this Autumn

1) September is over, one month closer to Christmas and next Summer

2) Soups – Nexus, Cafe Aromat in the Art and Craft Center and Pop Cafe are good! Obviously there lots of other great places for soup but I’m not wonder-woman and not the Queen so cannot try any more than this! ;-)

3) Warm hearty food – yeah to scrambled eggs, porridge, full English, crumpets, pies, hot chocs, pastas and risottos, ..

4) Being a god mother for the second time!

5) The coulours of the trees

6) Watching DVD’s in bed

7) Manchester Bike, food and drink, Literature, … Festivals!

8) Nights in – eating, drinking, cooking, dancing, loving…

9) The crispy cold yet sunny mornings

10) Big hug under the double waming duvet xxx


Francunian currency

Yes, this is correct. Brixton is doing it so why not me! A lovely fresh and exciting new currency could be developed to beat the gloom – The Francunian Dollar! It could be used in my lovely little neighbourhood! I can visualise it pretty well.

The Francunian currency

Starting the day with a lovely breaky from Koffee Pot - I love the relaxed atmosphere and take on the  ’weekend’s full English tradition’! Plus, it’s always busy with visitors from all walks of life making a great place to people watch!

From there, it’s easy to let my feet wonder round the Northern quarter’s numerous vintage shops, record shops and bit-and-bops shops! I like those b-a-b one’s when you don’t know what you’re looking for but you always end up leaving with something  random – a kazoo, a fish telling fortunes and a mini paint set for example!

My first stop then woud be in Junk Shop on Dale St! Full of bits-and-bobs – from vintage to customisations, to wigs and other weird and wonderful things! A few 10 FD (Francunian Dollars) lighter.

Then turn on Oldham Street. I love Oldham Street. So many little gems spread along!

Affleck Palace is a pretty overal-ly good place for a variety of goodies, the alternative department store! Posters, clothes, gadgets, hairdresser, café… All sorts! I like the furniture shop  Den (they did the interior of Keko Moku, they sell vintage as well as their own creation – liiike!). Another few bucks there! Then up and down the street to the vintage shops – Ryans Vintage, Pop Boutique,  Retro… I also like the Magma book shop a lot!

Off to buy some fabric maybe?  Abakhan is like Ali Baba’s  cave; full of treasures – if you like crafts and sewing that is! This is where I get mine for my little creations!

Not far from there, the Manchester Craft and Design Centre for exquisite and original crafts and gift ideas! (love the jewelry shops there!). I’d like to spend some Francunian bills too in Oklahoma for some lovely, funny gadgets and pretty things.

By then, I’m probably starving and tired and luckily, the choice of food outlets is great – from Asian food to classic British with some organic cafés to choose from and the only issue being actually choosing!

Tried and tested recently and recommended as a result:

En bref, so much choice and potential takers of my currency?

A bon entendeur, salut!

Back on the road for more shopping, make sure you don’t miss Rags to Bitches on Tib Street.

For a pre-pre drink (yes, the one before the actual one… hmmmm) I do like Centro and the recently succesfully refurbished Cord, conveniently located right next to R to B! Manchester is indeed a very convenient place!

 And then indulgent cocktails! The best part of the day! There, I can choose between my 3 faves: Socio Rehab, Apotheca and Walrus! Yummy cocktails. I do have a thing for SR as I love the music there. Every night is party night – perfect for every occasions: pre birthday, post birthday, pre night out, new job celebrations or just a cocktail for no reason… Nikita keeps the hips moving that’s for sure!

By then I  think I might need a little trip back home to reprint some Francunian bills and keep on partying! ;-)


Balearic Mancunia, munch and Francunianniversary…

Last week’s pre weekend weather foresaw the return of the mighty sun, a last glimpse of summer, the (early) Indian summer! I like any bonus time of sun/warm weather! Being a sun junky, an anti Vampire , I expose myself (always protected though) to any ray of light available!

The sun was the perfect excuse to mount my faithful Francunian vehicle and explore Manchester morning happenings before heading off to student central Fallowfield.

So I started off with a walk through Chinatown,  soaking up the lively atmosphere and the smells of freshly baked buns. I then headed off to Manchester Art Gallery to satisfy my curiosity about the Goya exhibition – Fantasies, Follies and Disasters: The Prints of Francisco de Goya. It was much smaller than I anticipated (in gallery 11) and left me hungry for more… I did enjoy the dark humor of the etchings – only emphasised by the darkness of the prints themselves. Worth a look.

My path lead me then to Piccadilly Gardens and the Real Food Market. A delightful ballad for the senses! Everything is stimulating: the colours, the smells, the products and the sounds of the market sellers. I felt like Proust in the Madeleine episode;  involuntarily reminiscing about my childhood when my summer job consisted of selling peaches and melons on markets with my dad in the South of France! That was life! Hummmmm, but to go back to Manchester,  I cannot recommend enough the Real Food Market! The lovely, moist and colourful cup cakes from I love cake, fresh fish, meat, pasties, burgers, fruits, veg… What you’d expect from a food market really!

 

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After a spot of shopping, I departed from the city center to Fallowfield on the claimed busiest bus route in Europe… I cycled up and down this route while living in Fallowfield (7 years) and I can tell you, it is a frightening experience. It feels like an extreme sport – extreme biking! However, the journey was accident proof and the sun made it an enjoyable ride!

My final destination was Trof for a dance and bbq afternoon! The dancey bit was a success but the bbq didn’t happen due to health and safety reason. To be honest it was great the way it was and there was more room for the dancing queens and kings! The music, courtesy of some of Manchester’s popular and emerging nights like ZutekhNaive Melody (I love the website), Disco Outcast, and a few others made the day a success. It was Balearic Manchester from Trof’s roof terrace! Pure enjoyement!

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Next few dates:

  • Zutekh                     1st bday 08/10/09 @ Saki Bar  
  • Naive melody       25/9/09 @ Charlies
  • Disco Outcast        26/9/09 @ The Purple Pussycat Lounge

The Saturday evening was spent elegantly (rmmmrmmm…) in Grill on the Alleyfor a 30th birthday celebration. I imagined the food being rushed due to the size of our party but I have to say, I was luckily proved wrong! We all had great pieces of meat (for most of us anyway) including Kobe beef and ostrich steak (for me)!  I really enjoyed and got to try a few of my friends’ dishes too! The only disappointment were the size of the sides… A fist sized dish with literally 4 pieces of brocolli or 3 spoons of mash - cost £ 2.99… A bit of a  joke really… Oh well, when in Rome! I would really go back just to try the Kobe beef – the day I can justify a £50 main – soon, soon!

As for Sunday, well I forgot my own anniversary! The excitement of spending Sunday nurturing a mini hangover in the sun got the best of my memory…

The Francunianniversary! Yes, 13/9/2009 is my 8th year anniversary in Manchester! I cannot believe it really. So much has happened that I wouldn’t know where to start so I won’t! :-) I just enjoy being here even more now I can share my non sense! Vive Manchester!

To celebrate French randomness, I found those on the net and thought they were worth a look!

I’d like to start with something I find astonishing! Serge Brunier and Frédéric Tapissier have created a 360-degree panorama of the Milky Way by patching together 1200 photos they took of the night sky in Chile. Beautiful!

Something practical and FREE: A printable  Iphone/Ipod paper dock! Thick paper required though!

Then, something wacky. This French jeweler  creates piece based on photos of buildings… You could literally send him your home and you would get something like this! Not sure I would wear it myself but interesting concept… in a weird way!


Intro to V(al’s) FestiVal – A rough guide

 

It seems that it was named after me/for me – take your pick!

 So yes I have finally camped at a festival! I passed my festival license and also have caught the festival/camping fever…

I catch myself internet window shopping for gazebos, folding tables, portable sink, folding bbq, inflatable sofas and the rest… I am going to end up with the equivalent of a camping shop in my flat soon. I’m starting to have a pretty decent collection already!

So, festival, camping, travel, what to pack, is the sun going to be out,  wellies or flip flops, ponchos or sunscreen … So many questions that crossed my mind before D- Day.


 

The answer is: Planning and preparation!


 

Try to work out what you REALLY need in advancehow long is a piece of string – and check that the whole thing doesn’t weigh more than you body weight! It is easy to get carried away and end up with the kitchen sink (well a more user friendly version use the portable one! ahhhhh!).  

 

What I found very useful (in no particular order)

 

  • Tent (Useful to have a awning or some kind of covered area in case of rain)
  • Sleeping bag (did forget ours though dohhhh so had to buy a duvet there! Silly me)
  • Folding chairs
  • Stove + gas + BBQ
  • Headlamps
  • A trolley or some kinda wheeley thing to help you carry things accross the field
  • Canned food, drinks (soft + booze – all in plastic bottles – wine boxes are brilliant), snacks…
  • Wet wipes
  • Ponchos
  • Antibacterial gel/spray
  • Toilet roll
  • Air bed
  • Pump (nozzle can be used at water point as a shower!)
  • Camera

Know how to get there (self drive, coach, train) and where to catch your ride!

 

Once there, well, it’s pretty straight forward, follow the instructions!

 

Come the fun; finding a good spot and setting camp.

 

We got quite lucky with our little spot – drinking water taps 10m away, less that 5min from the arena entrance and toilets! Very important! Good to arrive early to have the best selection! We had a little tent, easy to pitch but some festival goers come with fabric houses and need massive room! My next step in my camping initiation!

 

Once set up – the fun begins: bbq, cocktail drinking, music, cheers across the camp site… and sunshine!

 

Luckily the weather was great and we both came back with a tan, no need for ponchos or umbrellas.

 

Being my first festival, I cannot really compare to others but knowing where things are and having some meeting points and ‘landmarks’ help making the most of what’s on offer.

 

Concerning the acts, we managed to see quite a lot of bands thanks to the good size of the site. Easy to get around and not packed enough that you cannot move. Lots of things to do other than listening to bands – good bars and food stands, fun fair, shops, Randoms sweets stand with silent disco and space hoper fun, games, legal highs, dance, movies, to name but a few. Everything is very chilled with a good atmosphere.

 

Fave moment was the Randoms mini arena! Few glasses of rose and off to the silent disco for a dance on a Space Hoper, joggling with foam shapes and eating loads of sweets in the sun! Sweeeet! Loved it!

 

Great intro to festiVaaaaaals! More more more!


 


 


 


64 cities/20 countries

The beginning of the expansion plan!

Traffic sources

Traffic sources

Top 5: Manchester, London, Surrey,Montpellier, Sale. Some come as far as Brazil, Thailand and Australia!

Thank you for the interest everyone! Keep spreading the word.


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