Friday, 20 June 2014

Photo of the Week - Royal Exchange Theatre

©Anne-Marie Marshall 2014 
The Royal Exchange Theatre is one of my favourite places in Manchester.  Not only is it a fab, in the round, theatre space, but also housed in a beautiful Victorian building.

When I was a teenager and worked in Boots the Chemist opposite the theatre, I used to eat my sandwiches on the benches here whilst appreciating the art exhibitions.  When I had the money I would try to catch a show.  I remember seeing What the Butler Saw with Kate Winslet before the fame, Richard II with Sue Johnson who made me laugh at an inappropriate moment and Love Labours Lost.  After every show I always remember floating out here on a cloud of wonder.

There used to be a good cafe here that you could get a decent salad here.  It was also a great place to meet friends before a night out as it was not intimidating like waiting in a pub in the 1990s. I also spent my 21st birthday hungover checking out the cast in the theatre bar with my best mate Shaun.  Things change over the years though, but you can't escape what a beautiful building this is.

Recently I was on an architectural photography course and at lunch time I did a detour to take photos of the building.   I love the contrast of the modernist feel of the podlike theatre against the Victorian columns and dome.  There is something wonderfully serene about the place - almost a church-like quality.  I think that is why as a teenager I took sanctuary in this place after the hustle and bustle of working in Boots.

I just love the form, light and the colour of the theatre in these shots.  I will definitely come back here on another Sunday to take more photographs.

Here are a couple more shots from my trip here:

©Anne-Marie Marshall 2014 

©Anne-Marie Marshall 2014

All the images are the work of Anne-Marie Marshall.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Six Week Challenge - Week Five

The good thing about this week was the fact I was able to get out more.  Okay I had to take the bus and I got travel sick, but hurrah I was out and about.

However the one big thing I didn't factor about getting out and about was that I couldn't do certain things.  The main things were carrying food and drink whilst on crutches.  Thankfully in Barburrito and Starbucks they took the initiative and helped me with my purchases.  In Barburrito they even helped me to find a good table.  The other thing was carrying bags of shopping - there is only so much you can carry before overbalancing your crutches.  In many respects having crutches has a sympathetic effect on other people and I certainly got help when I needed it.  The only exception was when I went to a club night and had to negotiate stairs and the drunks weren't patient with me.  I may have had an injury, but I can still have a life.  Knobs the lot of them.

Anyway I had another trip to the hospital.  This time I didn't need my Dad to drag me around the hospital in a wheelchair as I much quicker on the crutches.  I didn't need another x-ray which I was surprised about.  However I found out I needed to be in my aircast for an additional week than  anticipated.  This was such a pain in the butt as the thought of spending another week on the buses was a killer.

Sox and her twitter account did provide a pleasant distraction.  I was amazed how quickly she amassed followers.  It's surprising how a few cute photos and witty comments gets people following.  It's a subculture I had not been aware of on twitter, but I guess you don't find out about these unless you start looking for it.

The sewing machine has proved to be a productive distraction and I found that the internet was great for finding out how to make stuff, either through You Tube instructional videos or blogs.  I found out how to make reversible tote bags and lined zipped purses / pouches.  With my Mum and friend's birthdays coming up, my convalescence gave me the opportunity to make stuff for people.  I do find you get greater pleasure giving people gifts you have made, rather than a mad dash around the shops to get something they may not like.

Things I learnt this week:

1. It all gets a bit groundhog day, with days blurring in the next.
2. Being signed off for another week was so disappointing.
3. I still can't find it in my heart to love buses.  No matter how many times I go on the bus the travel sickness remains.  As long as I don't read a book or use my iPhone I can minimise it to a certain extent.  At least I can still listen to podcasts on the iPod.
4. Making people gifts is lovely.
5. There are only so many things you can learn each week and trying to find ten by week five is impossible.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Six Week Challenge - Week Four

Things definitely got better at week four as I was over the hump and over half way through my convalescence.

Boredom has kicked in.  Thankfully my parents brought Neil's Gran's sewing machine around and I started sewing on the sewing machine.  A couple of years ago I went on a patchwork course and I had been meaning to make stuff.  In the meantime I had collected a load of fabric so I had no excuse to start.  The first thing I did was a red patchwork cushion.  Weirdly I really hate cutting material and had a bit of a nightmare with it.  Although I'm alright using the machine.  I had some teething troubles initially and thankfully Google sorted me out.  It was really good to do something creative.  However Lil'Sox was feeling a little neglected and keeps trying to distract me from my project by siting on my fabric.

I escaped down the rabbit hole of twitter and set up an account for Lil'Sox.  Oh boy did I find the cat lady subculture!  I'm not the first person to set up a cat twitter account and I won't be the last.  A few cute tweets of Sox and we were off.  I could not believe how quickly her account got off the ground.  Plenty of follows ensured that Sox was followed back, who could resist her sweet face?

I did get out and about and bought a bus pass.  I'm so missing my car especially when I go green with travel sickness.  At least I could legitimately sit on the seats at the front of the bus for people who are old or with mobility issues like myself.

Things I learnt:
1. Creativity is good.
2. Reading becomes a bit of chore after four weeks.
3. Still no day time TV and I don't feel the need for it.
4. Buses still suck.
5. I'm turning into a cat lady.
6. People can be surprisingly thoughtful when you're out and on crutches.
7. You become really good at forward planning your trips out to minimise walking on crutches, whilst doing everything you want to do.
8. I'm not as obsessed about listening to podcasts on my iPod now I'm off work.
9. Running a twitter feed for your cat can be fun.
10. The end is in sight.