girl in manchester
I was in Manchester on my own last Saturday, partly because the Manchester Weekender was happening and partly because I was craving a leisurely day to explore on my own. The day didn’t quite turn out how I was expecting (I’d been expecting awesomeness), probably because it was spitting rain most of the day, preventing me from taking as many pictures as I normally would. I really dislike the rain, for what it does to my mood and what it does to my plans. Obviously I’m living in the wrong place and I should just suck it up and deal, or really, make the best of it.
Anyhow, I had plans to explore the Northern Quarter, which I did, hitting up a bunch of independent stores along the way to marvel at their wares and flip through art magazines, garnering creative ideas scribbled into my notebook. In hindsight, I think that was the most successful part of my day — having the mental freedom to be able to be inspired and come up with new ideas. I had some places I’d wanted to see too — the Manchester Craft and Design Centre and the Chinese Arts Centre — and I did but found them underwhelming. Maybe because I was already a bit miffed about the less than perfect weather. I went to the Manchester Print Fair too to see all the gorgeous things people had made to sell. Way back when, I thought about getting a table but I was put off by the cost and my previous experiences at print fairs. Besides, I’m taking a bit of a break from it anyway. It was nice to see it busy. The aisles were crammed and people moved along at a snail’s pace, which I didn’t mind as I got to browse the tables as I inched along. I chatted with a couple of vendors, some of whom I’d recognized from other print fairs, and I traded a cat drawing for a little orange clay cat head for Raspberry. As always, I’d love to have supported some of the artists there by buying some of their work, but the whole idea of disposable income is still a bit beyond our reach at the moment.
Down Oxford Road, Hot Bed Press had set up two pop-up print shops giving away free prints. I scored myself a couple and talked with the people running them about the courses they run, as well as about letterpress, which I’m dying to learn one day. Since I was in that neck of the woods, I decided to go to the Manchester Museum, even though it was the weekend and I knew it was going to be jam-packed with families (did I ever mention how much I prefer quiet museums? Well, I do!). I’ve been meaning to take Raspberry there for months, but we still haven’t made it and it remains on our unspoken to-do list for the coming months. I thought I’d check out to see what might interest Raspberry and to make sure it was worth spending a day there. I wasn’t there very long (much of my time was spent getting lost and resting my feet in a darkened gallery, surrounding by taxidermied animals and gleeful children) but I saw enough to really want to go back. It’s like the World Museum, but bigger and with more interesting stuff (of course, I say this, having been to the World Museum about fifty times since we’ve moved here), which I think Raspberry will definitely enjoy.
I made an impromptu visit to The Cornerhouse too, as I’d just read their brochure while having lunch that afternoon, and I’d heard about it from an artist a few weeks back. I didn’t quite get the exhibition and I spent most of my time browsing their shop but it still looks like an interesting place to be. I briefly contemplated walking all the way back to Picadilly Station, taking a different route so I could explore more of the city, even though I was right next to Oxford Road Station. Yes, this is me wanting to make the most of my time out by myself. But then my feet decided that it would probably be a better idea to postpone the walk for another day and to end my day in Manchester so that pretty much did it. It wasn’t exactly the kind of day I wanted but it was definitely a nice break from the daily grind. I’m not sure how often I’ll get this chance, so I’ll take what I can get!Advertisements