Aurevoir Manchester

Preping my return to homeland after a decade spent in this amazing city,  I have been extremely lucky to be involved with Manchester International Festival, working with the marketing team in the lead to the festival and as a festival fronteer as well during the 18 days of extraordinary works. All I can say is it was amazing!

I saw: Bjork on the preview night (pure joy), Dr Dee (confusing yet with stunning staging), Life and Death of Marina Abramovic (as expected crazy and wonderful – Dafoe is my hero), 11 rooms (different – loved hoping from one room to another, went about 4 times), Crash of the Elysium (scary and brilliant action packed play), Amadou and Mariam Eclipse (a unique  uplifting surprisingly very experience all in the dark, really enjoyed it), Alina Abragimova (second piece was a highlight for me), 1395 days with red and the projections at Whitworth Art Gallery (film was too long but interesting, the room with the film set up was incredible and the outdoor projections magicals), John Gerard led display (not for me), Audio Obscura (one of my favorite 30min) enjoyed some drinks at the festival sq and Bjork’s choir and few other bits and bobs.

I really enjoyed all the shows, some more than others but I overall thought it was a great success. I cannot wait for 2013!

The last few weeks have been incredible, making even more attempts at catching as much of Manchester’s spirit before returning to France.

Cycling around, visiting Chorlton’s eateries – went to Charango and was quite disappointed by the main but the rest was ok, not a transcending experience like walking the Inca trail though, drinks at gorgeous Hanging Ditch, enjoying soaking up the sun for Manchester Jazz festival, picnic/ing, dancing, breakfasting, shopping, lunching, cupcaking, chilling and dinning, the lot, amongst others. Full of Manchester me.

For those out there who thinks there is nothing to do in Manchester, open your eyes, you’re either lazy, boring or plain moany. Get your act together and get out there. There’s loads  for those who make the effort to find out.

Now, only a few more days and I am driving up from South of France and loading 10 years of life in a 9cubic m van. Interesting prospect.

I will certainly miss Manchester immensely and then Francunian will retire.


Fascinating Hen Party in Manchester

Last Saturday I was cordially invited to celebrate my friend getting married.

The event was one of a kind. Indeed the lovely hens were to make fascinators.

Right, up to the mention of the event I didn’t even know what a fascinator was never mind making one but I love making things so this sounded perfect.

Organised by Simon From the World of Rags to Bitches in his new home at The Triangle.

Rags to Bitches is once again operating but this time focused on offering courses and organising events, like hen dos, as well as the online shop! I did a dress making course there in 2009.

So to go back to the event itself, my friend and I were slightly early, avoiding facing the students demo-ing outside. We made our way in anyway and had a chat with Simon.

I really liked the way the unit was transformed into a mixture of vintage furniture, fabrics, patterns, a gazebo and loads of lovely knic-knacs.

Cupcakes, drinks, home made sandwiches, crisps and even ‘Dreemy’ and ‘Roar’ where there to keep our energy and inspiration going. No Heston Blumentalism but nice simple snacks washed down by some bubbly amongst other things. No Dom Perignon but and nice and simple.

So after everyone arrived we got told to form 2 groups – one to make fascinators and one to go on a treasure hunt round the Triangle.

I was in the Alpha Hunters group and in teams of 3s we got off to find answers to our hints.

Not really difficult and quite fun actually, we swooshed the centre and collected answers, smiles and even a goody bag.

A few refuels of vino and 20min or so we were done and dusted.

Time for more vino!

Eventually the other 2 teams got back too and we carried on our chattering.

It took a chair and a loud voice for Simon to get some sort of order from everyone. The hens were happy!

Once the role got exchanged, we became the fascinator makers and they became the hunters.

Making fascinaors was easy as all we had to do was select fabric, cut it 1)for the outside 2)for the inside and chose the props – feathers, flowers, net, you name it… The lady Master of the glue gun would put it all together (health&safety first).

For some more pics of the results check Rags to Bitches blog.

It took us a good 2h to do all this and the fun was shared by all.

We then left the studio in a state of semi fashionistas devastation – fabric and props everywhere.

It felt right.

We then all went on, proud of our head gear to stylish high rise bar The Modern. Poor dinners didn’t know what hit them. A happy bunch of stylish hens!

What a great hen party with fabulous friends.

V x

P.S.: Love to my dear friends C&K. I wish you buckets and trucks load of happiness xxx


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Today is a special day!

The date is 070809

And at 12:34 and 56s today, the series of number formed will be perfect. The magic
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The crystal ball agrees!
It’s a special day!

What are the odds?