Moon over manchester
Last week I took two little trips to town to check out the newly refurbished Manchester Central Library.
In terms of function and facility it is an impressive resource with computer stations on every floor, dotted around the book collections, meeting & study rooms.
In the Henry Watson Music Library, hidden behind shelves filled with music literature, scores, magazines and more, are recording stations, drum kits and electronic pianos and mixing desks.
This modern technology is all framed by extraordinary gothic and neo classic architecture and original design features.
The circular layout of the library creates an unusual feeling of getting lost and exploring. One younger visitor exclaimed ‘I feel like I am in Hogwarts’ as we entered the domed roofed Wolfson Reading Room. The only ‘quite’ room in the building has a wonderful atmosphere, lit from dimmed lighting and the huge ocular window in the ceiling.
On the flip side the new media lounge offers fully spec’d macs, design and gaming software for budding creatives to use, apparently for free, and the two times I have been there has been no one using them. I will certainly be having work days here - welcome to my new office.
This sign confused me a little, I’m not sure its ‘original’ and I think its trying to be sympathetic to the surroundings, I certainly don’t want a laminated print out here but Im not sure if chip board was the right choice?
Some more photos…
The place is full of these little stairways to imagination…
The new ground floor entrance room homes the film archive, cafe and many other touch and feel exhibits.
And in case you do get lost…
There is so much more in there than I have recorded so please go, its a treasure trove of inspiration, an impressive resource and work space.
Thanks to Sarah and Kerry for mooching about with me.
My first thought when I saw this was that it was a post from the Daily Mash, but then I pondered why original famous paintings cost millions but you can buy a postcard copy for a quid in the gift shop…
I have been labelling myself as a kayaker ‘paddler’ ‘boater’ since University, an easy set of tags that allow you to be more than just yourself, giving you access into a whole new family, club, whatever you want to call it. Anyone who is a kayaker will understand, this is one of the best groups to be in – full of loyal, passionate, mentally and physically strong people, the sort you want to have with you in a crisis, and in the grand scheme of things, it’s a pretty little place, so you feel like one of the special ones. Your ‘other’ friends marvel at tales of raging whitewater, far flung adventures around the world and of course, the best parties you have ever been to. But what happens when you fall out of love with it or physically can’t do it anymore?…
It can happen for many reasons, for me it was a combination of things. Working in the industry where you spend your spare time has certain drawbacks, the feeling of constantly being at work, needing to keep a professional face at a party, or not appear weak on a river takes away from having fun after a while.
Then the thing that people don’t talk about happened. Paddlers died. When I started paddling there were plenty of stories about people I had never heard of, but once those distant stories became real-time, friends of friends, then close. Then became real, painful, loss.
It’s not that I don’t accept that everyone dies, and to die doing what you love is probably better than getting hit by a bus on your way to work. But the feeling of dread every time the rumours start, spreading like wildfire through facebook just made me hate this little club, this group of friends for life I had never even met.
It’s an odd situation, after labelling myself as one thing for so long. Will my paddler friends still get me? Am I a fraud at work? What the hell am I going to do now? Kayaking was one of a few things I was actually pretty good at, never the best, but good enough in my head (where it matters) and realising I was not going to be able to push myself anymore became the final straw.
This made me realise some things pretty fundamental –
I always want to be better than I am.
There is only a fine line between bored and terrified, and I have tripped across it many times.
Repeating an activity holds no excitement, adventure or consequently enjoyment for me (read bored).
Over the last few months Mountain Biking has been a joyous discovery. I feel like I did when I first started paddling, new places, new friends (well actually quite a few of the same ones), but the thing I have really noticed is that I am driven again, challenged, in control, and getting better. I’m not the one worrying at the back or freaking out in the car, and it feels great.
I know people will get hurt biking, and if I spend enough time and meet enough people here I will probably know them. I also know there will come a point when I can’t get any better, or get hurt or scared and loose the passion, and that will be time to do something new.
But that’s life, and enjoying the right now, whatever that happens to be, is the most important thing, because it is short.
Remember to not take it all too seriously - Shit happens. Things change. People are funny.
Thanks for reading.
Photo stolen from Martin Linford.
A well covered and remixed track but this is something special.
Dirty Awesome Spring Bass.