Tuesday, 3 March 2015

An evening with Laura Weir and Henry Holland

Designer Henry Holland and British Vogue fashion journalist Laura Weir will appear at Bury Town Hall on 15th March for an evening of conversation. The event is in support of Speakeasy, the charity supporting people with communication difficulties following stroke or head injury, founded by Holland's mother.

You can get your hands on a ticket for £10 by emailing office@buryspeakeasy.org.uk, for more information, pop along to their Facebook event here


Wednesday, 18 February 2015


Well, at the grand old age of 24 it looks like I'm finally going to get braces. Nope, not to hold my trousers up, but to straighten my teeth out.

Better late than never, right?

Today marks the beginning of the end of my quest to rid myself of 18th century like nashers and to sport a Julia Roberts smile. Something I didn't think possible, but something I've fought for for longer than I care to remember.

But remember I shall, as I promise to tell the story of a goofy young boy who very much should have had braces at the age of 11, like everyone else, but for reasons still a little foggy, didn't, and who is now, in adulthood, having to share an Orthodontic waiting room with children watching cBeebies to get his face fixed.

It's been an emotional ride my dear readers, but that's nothing compared to what's to come, I'm sure.

For now, I'm going to try not to pick the elastic bands that have been stuck between my back teeth and instead eat as much crusty bread as I can find before I'm no longer able to!


Thursday, 12 February 2015

House of Suarez rock Manchester

Queer Contact and House of Suarez staged a Vogue Ball straight out of Paris Is Burning at Manchester's Gorrilla the other night and it was glitter on toast!

For those that aren't familiar with Jennie Livingston's acclaimed documentary, Paris Is Burning, depicting New York "Vogue Balls," they were a place where (predominantly) Black street kids from all corners of the LGBT spectrum would come together, in community halls and disused clubs, to don their best (stolen) garb and strut that runway like the models in Paris. True eleganza, genuine realness, pure fabulousness.

Manchester in 2015 may be a different place than NYC in 1980s, but those kids werqin it on the runway took me to somewhere holy, and it wasn't church. Young, bendy and fierce-as-fuck, these kids were the definition of performance art.

House of Suarez, House of Cards and other dance/performance groups competed in categories and then for the title of Best Overall House.

I can't remember who won what because the beer was cheap and I was on fire, but it was fierce - I can tell you that much.

Well done to all involved (and thanks to everyone that posted their snaps, because you made my photo editing job way easier!)

Long reign House of Suarez.


Saturday, 7 February 2015

1st National Festival of LGBT History 2015

This Valentines' Weekend Manchester plays host to the first ever National Festival of LGBT History. How romantic, 'eh?

The festival is spread over the coming week, with the majority of events, theatre performances, talks and tours happening over the weekend. Centred around Manchester Central Library on Valentines' Day itself and over at The People's History Museum on the Sunday, the festival boasts a schedule filled with everything from family friendly activities through to sex and scandal on the stage!

Now, I could go all Foucault on your arse and say that the notion of an "LGBT History," is inherently problematic yadayadayada, but it looks like a great excuse to talk about gayness in Central Library (as if I needed an excuse...) so quit ya problematising and pull up a chair.

Highlights from the festival schedule:

A Very Victorian Scandal, a drama in three parts (Patron: Russell T Davis)

Via Fossa, Canal Street, Friday
Manchester Central Library, St, Peter's Square Saturday 
The People's History Museum, Spinningfields, Sunday
FREE ticketed event

Stephen Boyce's diversity lessons for children + his 'how to do diversity lessons' lessons

Manchester Central Library, St, Peter's Square Saturday 
The People's History Museum, Spinningfields, Sunday


Lesbian and Gay Foundation Archive Tours

Archives+ at Manchester Central Library, St. Peter's Square, Saturday

Peter Tatchell's Commonwealth Homophobia and our colonial legacy, a lecture

The People's History Museum, Spinningfields, Sunday



Saturday, 31 January 2015

Blast from the past, when WIndows Phone loved me

Way back when Windows were trying to make Windows Phone happen, they enlisted the support of yours truly to launch the new Nokia Lumia powered by Windows Phone in the North West.

As well as a Nokia Lumia for myself and my nearest and dearest to wave under the noses of strangers in the street, I was to be an Into Insider, populating their Into mobile app for Windows Phone with cool content about that I was into, namely, fashion.

They were even planning to host a party, with myself as host, and it was all rather a-list and I felt like a right shlebrity. Until, that is, it wasn't so a-list and the glitter had faded and the budget was pulled. Goddamnit. Still, I did get to attend one cool gig, in collaboration with a Manchester-based film blogger, read more about that here.

Why am I telling you this? Because, I've just come across some doodles that reminded me of the whole bizarre thing. I was asked, by Windows Phone, to design a shopper tote bag, that was to be put into manufacture and given away to god knows who. I got a designer friend to knock up a few options and they were all unceremoniously turned down because - get this - they were too much about me. Well of course they were - I mean, duh! 

Narcissistic, moi?



Monday, 26 January 2015

7 reasons why being in Manchester in 2015 is going to be awesome

New year, new you? Well pop these dates in your diary because these will certainly keep you on track for a right good 2015.

Cornelia Parker headlines the opening schedule

1. The Whitworth opens. The Whitworth Art Gallery at Whitworth Park, part of the University of Manchester, closed its doors last year to make way for a £15m make-over and extension. The art gallery was the first in the UK to be situated within a public park, and the new glass extension helps to better embrace the surrounding environment with an "inside-outside," kinda feel that any TV interior designer would be proud of.

Doors open 10am 14th February 2015.


Coming HOME?

2. HOME opens. The new joint venture between The Library Theatre Company and The Cornerhouse will see a 450-seat theatre, a 150-seat flexible theatre space, a 500m2 4m high flexible gallery space, five cinema screens, digital production and broadcast facilities, a bar, cafĂ© bar and cinema bar plus a bookshop open at First Street. Not to mention the first purpose built cultural quarter Manchester has seen. 

Opens May 2015


3. Manchester Central Library will be finished. The £50m refurbishment that has taken over 4 years to complete is nearly finished, with the finishing touches to the Town hall connection and the surrounding St. Peter's Square area being put into place. Whilst St. Peter's Square will continue to transform as the Second City Crossing for the MetroLink is built, the Library is open for all to enjoy and is a wonder to behold - testament to the fabulous restoration work that has happened, alongside modern improvements that make this library future proof.

Now open


NOMA Masterplan

4. NOMA phase 2 (public realm) begins. The new district of Manchester city centre, NOMA (NOrth MAnchester) continues its £800m evolution, with the Phase 2 of public realm development underway this year. Phase 2 will see a new public square open, nestled between iconic listed buildings within the old The Co-operative Group offices, including art deco Redfern House and New Century House. The development will see the northern corner of Manchester city centre fully connected with the retail core and surrounding communications links, including the Green Quarter residential development, for the first time since the rise of The Co-op and what became affectionately known as "Co-op quarter." Instead, new businesses will be welcomed into the area and more residential developments will help make the area a "living, breathing," organic place to be.

Starting early 2015


5. MIF is back. Manchester International Festival, the biennial arts and culture festival of global acclaim, is back. Taking over Manchester's arty hot spots for a little over two-weeks, MIF will see Professor Brian Cox and Peter Saville collaborate to tell the tale of how the Universe began and where we fit into the story, + much more yet to be announced. The festival is an amazing thing, with tonnes of pop-up, free to attend art works around the city, complimenting and often connected to the works in the city's theatres, galleries and show spaces. Very much worth a trip!

2nd July - 19th July


Candle Light Vigil

6. Manchester Pride turns 25. Manchester's premier LGBT+ pride festival turns 25, after a quarter of a century raising money and eyebrows for Manchester's LGBT+ community and HIV/AIDS charities. The event has sparked much controversy over the years, as ticket prices rose and charitable donations fell, but the charity has always managed to whip Manchester into an excited frenzy and hold a right gay old party over the August bank holiday weekend, a party recognised as the top Pride event by numerous awarding bodies. Highlights include the Pride Parade (Saturday), Main stage acts (throughout) and the Candle Light Vigil (Monday).

August Bank Holiday Weekend


7.  Trams and train, fit for purpose. The development of the MetroLink Second City Crossing and refurbishment of Manchester Victoria Station will come to a close in 2015, sparking a renaissance for Manchester light and heavy rail communications services. Further developments will continue, including the proposed HS2 stops at Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport and the HS3 connections (via the Ordsall Viaduct) between Manchester and neighbouring Northern cities. But, this phase of the upgrade will see a new MetroLink stop at Exchange Square, an "urban oasis" green space at the new Deansgate-Castlefield MetroLink stop and the unveiling of Manchester Victoria, a beautiful old station with a new roof, purpose and lease of life.

Throughout 2015



Saturday, 10 January 2015

Manchester Walking Tours

Wow, a cool new app has reared its head (but, for iOS only, boo!) and it's rather nifty if you're out and about in Manchester.

The Manchester Walking Tours app has been created by magneticNorth as a prototype of new technology devised by Under the Paving Stones and was developed in conjunction with Manchester City Council, NOMA (the latest new quarter of the city centre) and The Co-operative Group (major land owners in Manchester). It's a "visitors app" like no other because once you begin the tour, the phone pops back into your pocket and you experience your surroundings with your head up and not looking at a screen! Instead, GPS tracks your location and audio guides tell you more about what you're seeing, in real-time, based on information from Manchester's city archives. Go explore the city that appeared in New York Times' Top 52 Places to Visit in 2015 list!

Download now