I’ve been cycling more than reading

On Friday, I completed my last full day of work, thus coming to the end of my current job role and embarking on a change of direction in terms of my career. I am no longer a librarian. Of course, I always will be a librarian in many respects, and I will be taking what I’ve learned with me, but it very much feels like the end of a chapter.

I now have seven weeks off until I start my teaching course on the 2nd September. I kicked off the holidays within an hour of leaving work by cycling to Salford Quays and enjoying a beer looking out over the water in the sunshine. Bliss.

On Saturday some friends & I decided to check out some of the free events that were going on as part of Manchester International Festival. My favourite was the Tino Sehgal piece at the Mayfield depot (which is in itself amazing!) which was disorientingly (is that even a word?) brilliant; would thoroughly recommend, if you get the chance to see/experience it.

Then, on Monday, I cycled up a massive hill.

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I have been cycling a lot more than reading of late. Cycling and running and geeking out hugely about new running shoes and cycling shorts and spending inordinate amounts of time on sports clothing websites. I wish I have known when I was younger that things like sports and reading are not mutually exclusive. More on that another time, perhaps.

Anyhow, I am currently doing some reading. I have been enjoying “The Brief and Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz and I’m hoping that I will get some more backyard sunshine reading time before the summer is out. Until then, the sofa will have to suffice.

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I’m also looking forward to reading “And the Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini this summer. Has anyone read it yet? What are you all currently reading? Any great summer reads I should put on reserve at the library?

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My Friends & Things that I Like on the Internet and in the World

Today I thought I would share some things that my friends have done and some things that I like. These two things are obviously not mutually exclusive. My friends are very talented people.

ART

One of my interests outside books, education and libraries is art. At least 50% of my friends are artists so I end up going to a lot of exhibition openings and the like. Manchester has loads of stuff going on, from huge commercial exhibitions to tiny independent galleries.

Recent Exhibition # 1

twoducksdisco at Trove Cafe, Levenshulme, Manchester

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My boyfriend teaches Graphics to A-Level kids and also runs his own one-man design company, twoducksdisco. He designs t-shirts, CD artwork for bands, gig posters and recently had an exhibition of his work at one of our favourite local cafes, Trove in Levenshulme.

Recent Exhibition # 2

The First Cut at Manchester City Art Gallery, Manchester

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This exhibition ran from October 2012-January 2013 and featured all sorts of paper art, including sculptures made out of old books, sinister fairytale scenes and giant leaves suspended from the ceiling.

Recent Exhibition # 3

How Are You Feeling? By David Shrigley at The Cornerhouse, Manchester

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I’ve always been fairly ambivilent about Shrigley’s artwork, loving some pieces and being fairly nonplussed about others. However, I really enjoyed this exhibition. It had a sense of fun that many art exhibitions lack, and was interactive and original. There was a giant burden (rucksack), videos, a napping station, walls covered in sketches, a opportunity to act in a play and a lifedrawing class featuring a giant man sculpture. The sound of laughter was a large part of the exhibition – nobody seemed able to stop, especially in the sketch room.

Recent Exhibition # 4

VS at Rogue Artists Studios Project Space, Manchester

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On Friday I attended an exhibition at Rogue Artist Studios Project Space where my good friend Taneesha Ahmed is co-curator. This particular exhibition was entited “VS” and was an “art fight” between Manchester artists and Lincoln artists. It was good fun and featured, amongst other things: A Wii dance-off, a spaceship, Rambo, Vimto punch and a giant balloon. (Lincoln won, but Manchester gave its best shot).

NEXT EXHIBITION: All That We Are Is All That We Leave Behind – Illustrations by Peter Jackson at Trove Cafe, Manchester on Monday 4th February.

OTHER ART THINGS:

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My friend Lydia Meiying is a lovely person, illustrator and surface-pattern designer from Manchester. Her stuff features lots of birds, animals and patterns and is amazing.

My sister, Emily Reid is currently in her 3rd year of a Visual Communications degree at Leeds College of Art. Her tumblr account is full of fun, lovely and brilliantly weird things that she has made or found online.

WRITING

Emily McPhillips has known me for a Long Time, has a way with words and is an all-round Good Egg. 

Giles Ruffer once dressed up in my clothes. I can’t remember why. His waist size was smaller than mine. He also writes and the writing is top.

Ilona Burton writes about raising mental-health awareness and has recently written a book about anorexia.

OTHER STUFF

I found out today that an old work colleague has been writing a blog, LilyLovesLola for ages and I never knew! It’s got loads about fashion, crafts, pugs and general lovely stuff.

A library-school colleague, Ana, writes the brilliant book blog Things Mean a Lot. Ana knows more about books that I could ever hope to.

Alex Steward is Umber, am ambient musician from the Leicestershire countryside.

I have probably missed out lots of things that I like, so there may be a part two to this post! That is more than enough information for a Sunday afternoon. Now I think I may eat a Creme Egg.