NOMA (NOrth MAnchester), the new district of the city centre, boarding Angel Meadows, Victoria Station and The Printworks is looking for a name for it’s new public square and is asking Manchester residents to name it!

NOMA, the joint venture between The Co-operative, resident of the area for over 160 years and the main landowner, and Hermes Real Estate, will see a new public square unveiled in October 2015. The square will eventually be home to cafes, restaurants and bars and will be nestled within the historic and iconic Co-operative listed estate.

The possibilities are seemingly endless, we could commemorate a famous Manc, our incredible history or look to the future for something entirely new. It doesn’t even have to be a square!

Submit your entry on at nameoursquare.com

Here are some of my favourites so far…


My friends and I have also been thinking of submissions. Like, Turing Square, to commemorate the great Mancunian mathematician who cracked the Enigma code and was then chemically castrated as a punishment for being homosexual.

I also like Revolution Square, to mark Manchester’s revolutionary spirit: the home of socialism, co-operation, suffrage, British industry, British music.

The boyf thinks Fairtrade Square is a great way to recognise The Co-operative’s global leading stance on Fairtrade.

What do you think?



#MIF15 The Crocodile

The Invisible Dot Cabaret and Manchester International Festival presents The Crocodile, a tale of a man that re-evaluates his life after being swallowed hole by a Crocodile…

 Q&A: Simon Bird

An unusual comedy hits The Pavilion Theatre at Albert Square as part of Manchester International Festival, and you should grab tickets whilst you can!

  Starring Simon Bird, he of The Inbetweeners, it’s a right laugh from start to finish. Set in Russia, during the reign of the Tsars, the comedy begins with two friends discussing art and love and quickly descends into farcical humour straight out of the obscure. 

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsThere’s song, dance, commentary on capitalism and the pursuit of fame, art, culture, love and discussion around whether being swallowed by a Crocodile could be the answer to all our troubles.

Buy tickets here and remember, Manchester residents from lower income families can get tickets for just £12.


Liz Earle’s Cleanse & Polish

It was my birthday t’other day and a very close friend of mine who lives around 300 miles away took the time and trouble to drive all the way up to Manchester to surprise me! She’s a really special lady and I’m lucky to have her in my life.

With her, she brought a gift, which at once demonstrated the value of her friendship and also confirmed my ageing skin obviously needs some attention. The bitch.

In all seriousness, my lovely friend got me a great gift which has already become part of my weekly Sunday pamper ritual, along with my Kedem hand scrub and cream. The ritual goes like this… 

First, I fill the basin with hot water, as hot as I can stand it and I gently push the Liz Earle white muslin cotton cloth into the water, to soak up the heat. (I know, a special cloth for a special ritual.)

Then, I massage two pumps of the Cleanse and Polish cream into my face and neck, paying close attention to the creases around my nose and the eye sockets.

I then rinse the cloth and use it to wipe away the cream – which takes with it, dead skin cells and dirt from the surface of my face. I place a finger inside the cloth to get into the nooks and crannies on my face, to really lift the cleanser off.

Then, I rinse my face with cool water to close my pores before beginning my moisturising.

If anything, it’s just therapeutic to methodically go through the stages and the process leaves my face tingly clean and fresh. Perfect for just before Monday morning spinning when I sweat out all the goodness…


#MIF15 V #MIF13

So, Manchester International Festival is upon us once again, a truly thrilling time in Manchester’s cultural calender, when the entire city is seemingly swept up in a frilly throng of arts fartsy lovilness.

However, whilst the Boyf and I have been little culture vultures and scored tickets to a few of the headline acts* – this year’s line-up is somewhat… different from the last festival in 2013.

2013 saw a lot more on offer for free, more spontaneous pop-ups, Manchester Art Gallery were involved with Do It: 2013 and it just felt more like a festival. This year, the line-up is undeniably incredible, but there’s v/little happening in Festival Square (Albert Square) that isn’t ticketed, aside from alcohol, food and acoustic sets. Call me ungrateful but I can get better of an evening in Spinnningfields, most days

I’m not against paying for one’s art, but it’s nice to think people can dip their toe into the pool without forking out first. It helps punctuate a paid-for calendar with new treats and brings more people into the fold to have a gander at what’s going on. 

On that note, I revert back to a promise I made in 2013, and didn’t keep. Do It: 2013 was Manchester Art Gallery’s contribution to the MIF13 and it was sensational, read more about it here. I promised to do it and report back, but I did neither. 

Here’s some of the pieces, for you to do, I’m going to try to keep my promise!

*wonder.land, The Palace Theatre
Crocodile, The Pavillion Theatre
FKA Twiggs Soundtrack 7: The Performances , Old Granada Studios

Manchester International Festival 2015 continues until 19th July


Welcome mat

I recently blogged about buying our first home and getting our Linda Barker on and painting the hallway – this season’s it colour – grey.

Well, we’ve just about finished and we’ve added a couple of additions to help make the space pop.

Firstly, we inherited a boring side table that was being used as a dressing table in the master bedroom. It fit quite well in the hallway, so we decided to give it a shot.

First I sanded it down and removed the top layer of eggshell paint and various make-up stains from the flat’s previous inhabitants. Then it was time to prime it. We used Valspar Paint & Primer in One, a spray paint primer that leaves a nice even coat and gives the colour spray something to stick to.

Once that was dry, it was time for the first coat of Valspar Paint in luminous yellow! Why this colour, of all colours? Well, it looks great against grey and it’s all the rage on Pinterest, dahling.

#Yellow Louis Chairs | Susan Greenleaf's Home  Joy  Art Print by Garima Dhawan - $18.00  More of the grey, yellow, white combo. Although I think too much yellow here ... 

It needed two coats to give it a good even colour and once the second coat was dry, I sprayed it with Valsper Clear Satin Varnish to give it a protective coat.I also re-sited the radiator in our hallway so the new table could fit snuggly against the wall. No biggy (nails emoji)

Our beautiful hallway

Then there was the photo ledge, as inspired by Notes from Nessa’s blog, which we made from scratch! First I took three pieces of timber, two 2×1 and one 2×3. The boyf glued then together with wood glue. We had to use elastic bands to keep them firmly together whilst the glue dried. Once dried, we painted it with high gloss paint, we used Dulux Once in Brilliant White, to match all our woodwork. Then there was the pesky issue of the holes

Our beautiful picture rail

I drilled the holes and, using the spirit level etc, drilled matched holes into the wall. But, when it came to screwing the ledge to the wall, it was impossible to get the screwdriver, let alone a drill, in place. The ledge was too narrow, Damn it. Still, with a little unorthodox DIY and a lot of swearing, It’s up (and it sure as hell ain’t coming down) with a few of our memories on it.