The Reading Room by Quarantine in Central Library

  “I’ve never been in here before,” said Jules about Central Library. “It is completely overwhelming.” Despite being a resident of Manchester for eighteen years, it’s not really surprising as reading has never been one of her favourite things to do. An undiagnosed dyslexic at school in the 1980s...
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These Are A Few Of My Favourite Words…

Absolute | Alabaster | Alfalfa | Amazing | Benign | Change | Character | Cheddar | Chlorophyll | Chuckle | Cool | Curlicue | Denial | Fluid | Intention | It | Lift | Metanoia  |  Officialdom |  Owl | Pamplemousse | Perspective | Pool | Present | Serendipity | Spooky | Still |  Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House...
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Carol by Patricia Highsmith

When I am dried up, a desert of words, feeling what I imagine it would be like to be an old woman in a time before any of the waves of feminism whetted her appetite for life, I always find myself reaching for a book called Carol. The copy...
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Old Millfieldian Simon Beck: Snow Artist – A Cool New Art Form

As a sixteen-year-old Simon Beck (1969* – 1974 Edgarley and Kingweston) used pure stamina, a map and compass to win the 1974 British Orienteering Championships. After studying engineering at Oxford University then becoming a map-maker it wasn’t until much later on in his life that all his skills came...
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Last Splash: The Breeders at Primavera in Barcelona

In 1993 an empty Last Splash CD case permanently resided at the top of the other CDs sprawled across typical student detritus that grew next to my bed – an overflowing stolen pub ashtray, penguin biscuit wrappers and unused packets of fruit-flavoured condoms. (Only the mint one ever got...
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A Love Letter To Alexandra Park by Teresa Green

Dear Alexandra,
It’s been nearly three weeks since we started hacking trees off you left, right and centre. 
My heart breaks into a thousand pieces that we can’t fix the damage that has been done.
Please forgive us....
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Snezana Pupovic: The Art of Emotion

I was hurtling along on a train from Manchester to Nottingham waiting on a text to see if an old friend was going to make it to meet me at the World Event Young Artist where she was exhibiting. We’d had a good time in the past then a falling...
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On the Couch with David Shrigley

How are you feeling David Shrigley? Fine, thanks. I just did some yoga. Tell me about your mother? She is 72 years old and used to be a computer programmer until she retired. She likes reading and is active in her local church. Tell me about your father? He...
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Kraak Club, Manchester: The Best Refuge for Free Spirits…

On the rare occasions when I’m not playing the card game Shithead and I fancy a stroll out into the vulgar world of fun, the place I like to frequent chat, drink, smoke rollie fags and dance is the converted textile building-cum-club called Kraak. Don’t be fooled by hip...
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Clitheroe: Henry the Sixth, Hipping Stones and Susie Dent

I’m looking for Amy Pennington said the old man slowly clambering into the back of the tiny Bedford Bambi camper parked half a mile inside the Waddington Road entrance to Brungerley Park. That’s me said the woman in the yellow. A yellow hat, yellow coat and yellow scarf signalled...
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David Shrigley: Little Drawings Big Issues

Colin the Big Issue seller had a busy week last week. His pitch is right outside the main entrance of the Cornerhouse that has just opened its doors to David Shrigley’s new show How Are You Feeling? and the ever-affable artist designed the cover on the magazine. “I sold...
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Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Lights and Beyond…

If you like your seeing spots before your eyes then it doesn’t get any better than 83-year-old Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s Gleaming Lights of the Souls now showing at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen, Denmark. Using mirrors and LEDs she reflects multi-coloured balls of electric light to...
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Cat Power: A Speck of Sunlight in the Dark

There’s a striking comparison these days between old Cat Power and new Cat Power. One is slit your wrists depressing the other a professionally applied lint bandage by one of our very own darling NHS nurses. Charlyn Marie Marshall aka Chan (pronounced like the Welsh name Sian) Marshall aka...
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Can the Real Eric Beasley Please Stand Up?

Back in 2007 when I was alone and going out under the pretence of being into culture I found myself at Jack Daniels promoted late night TV showcase for UK bands. It sounds more glamorous that it was. For a start it was at the Night and Day. For...
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