Sunday, 19 July 2015

#NameOurSquare

NOMA (NOrth MAnchester), the new district of the city centre, boarding Angel Meadows, Victoria Station and The Printworks is looking for a name for it's new public square and is asking Manchester residents to name it!

NOMA, the joint venture between The Co-operative, resident of the area for over 160 years and the main landowner, and Hermes Real Estate, will see a new public square unveiled in October 2015. The square will eventually be home to cafes, restaurants and bars and will be nestled within the historic and iconic Co-operative listed estate.

The possibilities are seemingly endless, we could commemorate a famous Manc, our incredible history or look to the future for something entirely new. It doesn't even have to be a square!

Submit your entry on at nameoursquare.com

Here are some of my favourites so far...

My friends and I have also been thinking of submissions. Like, Turing Square, to commemorate the great Mancunian mathematician who cracked the Enigma code and was then chemically castrated as a punishment for being homosexual.

I also like Revolution Square, to mark Manchester's revolutionary spirit: the home of socialism, co-operation, suffrage, British industry, British music.

The boyf thinks Fairtrade Square is a great way to recognise The Co-operative's global leading stance on Fairtrade.

What do you think?

END.

Friday, 17 July 2015

#MIF15 The Crocodile

The Invisible Dot Cabaret and Manchester International Festival presents The Crocodile, a tale of a man that re-evaluates his life after being swallowed hole by a Crocodile...

 Q&A: Simon Bird

An unusual comedy hits The Pavilion Theatre at Albert Square as part of Manchester International Festival, and you should grab tickets whilst you can!

 
 
Starring Simon Bird, he of The Inbetweeners, it's a right laugh from start to finish. Set in Russia, during the reign of the Tsars, the comedy begins with two friends discussing art and love and quickly descends into farcical humour straight out of the obscure. 

There's song, dance, commentary on capitalism and the pursuit of fame, art, culture, love and discussion around whether being swallowed by a Crocodile could be the answer to all our troubles.

Buy tickets here and remember, Manchester residents from lower income families can get tickets for just £12.

END.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Liz Earle's Cleanse & Polish

It was my birthday t'other day and a very close friend of mine who lives around 300 miles away took the time and trouble to drive all the way up to Manchester to surprise me! She's a really special lady and I'm lucky to have her in my life.

With her, she brought a gift, which at once demonstrated the value of her friendship and also confirmed my ageing skin obviously needs some attention. The bitch.

In all seriousness, my lovely friend got me a great gift which has already become part of my weekly Sunday pamper ritual, along with my Kedem hand scrub and cream. The ritual goes like this... 

First, I fill the basin with hot water, as hot as I can stand it and I gently push the Liz Earle white muslin cotton cloth into the water, to soak up the heat. (I know, a special cloth for a special ritual.)

Then, I massage two pumps of the Cleanse and Polish cream into my face and neck, paying close attention to the creases around my nose and the eye sockets.


I then rinse the cloth and use it to wipe away the cream - which takes with it, dead skin cells and dirt from the surface of my face. I place a finger inside the cloth to get into the nooks and crannies on my face, to really lift the cleanser off.

Then, I rinse my face with cool water to close my pores before beginning my moisturising.

If anything, it's just therapeutic to methodically go through the stages and the process leaves my face tingly clean and fresh. Perfect for just before Monday morning spinning when I sweat out all the goodness...

END.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

#MIF15 V #MIF13

So, Manchester International Festival is upon us once again, a truly thrilling time in Manchester's cultural calender, when the entire city is seemingly swept up in a frilly throng of arts fartsy lovilness.

However, whilst the Boyf and I have been little culture vultures and scored tickets to a few of the headline acts* - this year's line-up is somewhat... different from the last festival in 2013.

2013 saw a lot more on offer for free, more spontaneous pop-ups, Manchester Art Gallery were involved with Do It: 2013 and it just felt more like a festival. This year, the line-up is undeniably incredible, but there's v/little happening in Festival Square (Albert Square) that isn't ticketed, aside from alcohol, food and acoustic sets. Call me ungrateful but I can get better of an evening in Spinnningfields, most days

I'm not against paying for one's art, but it's nice to think people can dip their toe into the pool without forking out first. It helps punctuate a paid-for calendar with new treats and brings more people into the fold to have a gander at what's going on. 

On that note, I revert back to a promise I made in 2013, and didn't keep. Do It: 2013 was Manchester Art Gallery's contribution to the MIF13 and it was sensational, read more about it here. I promised to do it and report back, but I did neither. 

Here's some of the pieces, for you to do, I'm going to try to keep my promise!
 








*wonder.land, The Palace Theatre
Crocodile, The Pavillion Theatre
FKA Twiggs Soundtrack 7: The Performances , Old Granada Studios

Manchester International Festival 2015 continues until 19th July

END.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Welcome mat

I recently blogged about buying our first home and getting our Linda Barker on and painting the hallway - this season's it colour - grey.

Well, we've just about finished and we've added a couple of additions to help make the space pop.

Firstly, we inherited a boring side table that was being used as a dressing table in the master bedroom. It fit quite well in the hallway, so we decided to give it a shot.



First I sanded it down and removed the top layer of eggshell paint and various make-up stains from the flat's previous inhabitants. Then it was time to prime it. We used Valspar Paint & Primer in One, a spray paint primer that leaves a nice even coat and gives the colour spray something to stick to.


Once that was dry, it was time for the first coat of Valspar Paint in luminous yellow! Why this colour, of all colours? Well, it looks great against grey and it's all the rage on Pinterest, dahling.

#Yellow Louis Chairs | Susan Greenleaf's Home  Joy  Art Print by Garima Dhawan - $18.00  More of the grey, yellow, white combo. Although I think too much yellow here ... 




It needed two coats to give it a good even colour and once the second coat was dry, I sprayed it with Valsper Clear Satin Varnish to give it a protective coat.I also re-sited the radiator in our hallway so the new table could fit snuggly against the wall. No biggy (nails emoji)


Our beautiful hallway


Then there was the photo ledge, as inspired by Notes from Nessa's blog, which we made from scratch! First I took three pieces of timber, two 2x1 and one 2x3. The boyf glued then together with wood glue. We had to use elastic bands to keep them firmly together whilst the glue dried. Once dried, we painted it with high gloss paint, we used Dulux Once in Brilliant White, to match all our woodwork. Then there was the pesky issue of the holes


Our beautiful picture rail

I drilled the holes and, using the spirit level etc, drilled matched holes into the wall. But, when it came to screwing the ledge to the wall, it was impossible to get the screwdriver, let alone a drill, in place. The ledge was too narrow, Damn it. Still, with a little unorthodox DIY and a lot of swearing, It's up (and it sure as hell ain't coming down) with a few of our memories on it.

END.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Two front teeff

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So I've had my braces on for just over two months now and we're getting along famously. Now, back when I introduced my braces to you, in Introducing: Braceface, I mentioned that my Orthodontics department was actually the Children's Orthodontics department of the University of Manchester Dental Hospital. Yes, Children's. No, I'm no minor (although I have enviously youthful skin, I must confess) but nonetheless, I'm being treated alongside pre-tweens with bad ache and bad attitude.

Follow Jordan's board Bracespiration on Pinterest.


I've always suffered with my teeth. When I was very young I used to have chronic abscesses that would last days and keep me awake. Once, my Mother ran out of frozen peas and vegetables to soothe it and I had to go to bed with a frozen sausage on my face. I woke up and it was soggy.... my teeth still hurt.

I have had countless fillings but I never had a sweet tooth and I brushed my teeth religiously. My brother, on the other hand, barely put brush to gum and his perfect pearly whites were the envy of the entire family.

Little shit.

I've always had trouble with dentists too. There was one dentist in my home town who was pretty horrific. He never let my Mum come into the surgery room and he smoked, so his hands stank and I'm not sure he ever wore gloves either! Once, he had to extract a tooth that had gone bad (oh yeah, I've had 4 teeth removed in surgery too...) but he barely numbed the tooth before sticking that mini ice pick into my gum and yanking the tooth out. I screamed a lot and Mum burst through the door and dragged me out. There was a dramatic amount of blood - like Halloween amounts. As we left, the receptionist called, "you've not made another appointment!" to which my mother responded, "I don't think we will be either," as she turned my now hyperventilating face to the receptionist, blood pouring off my chin. I must have looked like the girl from the Exorcist.

Then there was the dentist who, upon mere mention of Orthodontics, said, "Jordan has a tragic orthodontic problem, beyond discussion." I later learnt that back in Poland, he was actually a trauma surgeon who specialised in re-constructive facial surgery after road traffic accidents.

This was all pretty much whilst I still had milk teeth.

So, needless to say, I went through adolescence without braces and laughing openly at all my friends who had them. Little did I know it would come back to cross-bite me in the arse.



So, I'm 18 and University is around the corner, everyone I know has immaculate teeth and I know I've been shafted. We pick up where we left off and try the Orthodontic route. I have appointments and there are X-rays and then I totally bottle it because I'm going to University and I don't want to be the only one with braces. Again, just delaying the inevitable really. So, I go to University and have a grand old time and, guess what, people had braces and those that didn't had wonderful teeth and I looked like someone from The Hills Have Eyes

Now I'm 22 and graduating. I begin the process again, because Miley Cyrus is on the scene and she had a marvellous thing called Lingual Braces, which are affixed to the reverse of your teeth and so therefore, invisible. I enquire, more appointments, x-rays and the like and the cost, an astronomical £8,000. So, I start saving. 

Whilst I'm supposedly saving, a lovely PR friend of mine stops me at a bar opening we're at and says,  "you've got wonky teeth, want me to sort them out?" I spit out my Prosecco, ready to lamp him one when he divulges that he's doing the press for a local Invisalign Invisible Braces specialist and they could use a case study like me. Bonus.

I meet with the wonderful team and get started with the assessments. I eventually meet the owner of Smile Stylist, and he takes a look. Then he delivered another crushing blow for my gob... he said, "I've only said this to three other people in my career, but Invisalign won't help you..."

Oh for fuck's sake, I'll just have crap teeth and focus on distracting people with my hair.

Then, I'm 24 and my wisdom teeth come through so I'm referred to The University of Manchester Dental Hospital to consider taking them out. This is where it gets interesting.

They believe there's a case to enrol me on Orthodontic treatment under the NHS (i.e. which only under 16s can have) because I'm "an extreme case," - yeah, cheers love - and would require multidisciplinary treatment; both surgery and orthodontics. Basically, it seems my problem is so severe, I need my jaw breaking (maybe twice) and so the NHS step in as no private Orthodontists can perform such a treatment in this country. Amazing, right? But what's more, had I gone with any of the many Orthodontists that have quoted me thousands and thousands of pounds for treatment, they'd never have fully fixed my problem, isn't that awful?

Anyway, I was put on the TWO YEAR waiting list, but randomly expedited, and so I had the beauties popped on in March this year! So that's why I'm in the Children's Orthodontic Department for my treatment.

END.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Spare a moment for Kedem

Popped to Ideal Home Show t'other day (not really anything to write home about) but had a Jewish epiphany whilst there. Let me explain.

Kedem, Dead Sea beauty products, inspired by Cleopatra's beauty regime using the sea's minerals, were there and we were cornered by a chatty sales girl when walking past looking for carpet swatches.


After a flustered recovery from the question, "any special ladies in your lives?" To which we responded "we're each other's special lady," she promptly took to washing and exfoliating our hands.

Oh my gosh. What a transformation. I've never had hands so smooth. I've been neglecting my hands of late and you can really tell. They are all cracked and manly. Yuk. So I was well into this treat. 

She first applied a gorgeous hand sea salt scrub made with peach and honey, saying "be cheap with this, I'm Jewish, so you know I'm cheap..." (I think she meant use sparingly.)


Then a cutical roll on oil with more dead sea minerals and a rich hand cream with plant extracts.

Simply divine and worth a cheeky mention here. 


END