Posts Tagged ‘art gallery’

A Series of Unexpected Events

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Sometimes, just when you think things have settled down and the world is becoming normal again, life throws moments of “What?!” at you. Unexplainable happenings. Unbelievable occurrences. General mind-blowingly WEIRD stuff that makes you stop what you’re doing, shake your head and laugh out loud at the sheer absurdity of it all. The past month has been significantly more banal than my first few months of living in Manchester. Things have become serious, I’ve spent more time sitting in front of my computer watching movie re-runs in my pyjamas and I have a job. Boring. But then last night happened.

My initial plan was to meet my friend Eli and some co-workers at the Manchester Art Gallery. Last night was the Grayson Perry exhibition opening and Eli, who works at the gallery, had acquired tickets for us to go. Throughout the two hours of the opening, a random selection of people formed our group – friends of friends and the like. We made the most of the free wine, chatted and analysed Grayson’s amazing tapestries, trying to decide whether or not the lamp shades depicted in the kitchen scene were from IKEA or not. There must be something about the Art Gallery as I have made many friends within its walls. I originally met Eli there and we have since become good friends. Last night I made friends with a Scottish lass who screamed with delight when she discovered I had sent a ‘wee text’ to her mobile.

We all went for a drink and some food at a local pub and, after a fun evening of chatting, I decided to head home at about 10.30pm. I walked outside with two of my work colleagues and stood outside as they smoked cigarettes. While they inhaled toxic fumes, a guy walking past the pub stopped and asked to borrow a lighter. His Australian accent was picked up by the shrewd ears of my colleagues and we started chatting, discovering he was South Australian, now based in London, was visiting Manchester for a week and knew no one. Were we interested in going for a drink? Sure. One must look after one’s own kind.

So two Australians, an Irish/Jamaican and a Chinese guy, headed into the Northern Quarter for a quick drink. Where should we go? How about Terrace? Agreed. Arriving at Terrace Bar we discovered the place was heaving – music was pumping, people were drinking and the dance floor was going off. Highly unusual for a Wednesday night but hey – why not?

Our quick drink turned into two hours of dancing, laughing, singing and general craziness. It turns out we had accidentally walked into Terrace’s first birthday celebrations. At 12.30am I called it to a close, remembering that Wednesdays are school nights and that according to School Night Rules 101, I really I should have been in bed hours ago. But I had had such an unexpectedly fun evening out, made new friends and bonded with my new colleagues. I now know that two guys in my team can dance far better than me – an invaluable piece of information to know in the workplace.

I really enjoy life’s ‘What?!’ moments. They draw me out of deepening holes of self-pity and make me see how unexpected life can be. You never know what is going to happen or who you are going to meet when you step out of the front door of that pub and choose to take the risk and say yes. I don’t think my dreams would have been even half as entertaining as the events that occurred last night. I’m glad I chose life over sleep, although that may be the strong coffee that I am currently surviving on speaking.

Nuts in New York

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

So I went to New York. WOW. What a place. I had been there once before when I was travelling on my own in 2007. Being there with someone else is a much better experience as it makes going out at night easier, plus it is such an insane place that you need to have someone around to say “WHAT ON EARTH WAS THAT?!” to.

My favourite day in New York was my birthday (surprise, surprise.) I woke up to a beautiful, sunny day and the sounds of taxi horns and general yelling on the street. Ahh… bliss. I had decided I would have my birthday morning tea at Baby Cakes (you can’t not eat cake on your birthday morning. It would just be wrong.) Baby Cakes is home to handmade cupcakes that are either gluten free or made with spelt flour. I had a chocolate spelt cupcake which started my realisation that I don’t actually like cupcakes. They are generally too dry and flavourless and covered in a huge lump of over-sweetened icing. My Baby Cakes cupcake was the best cupcake I ate in New York as it wasn’t too sweet (they don’t use sugar in their cooking) and it was a nice little bakery. I don’t think I’d have another one in a rush.

BabyCake Cupcake

Tom put a candle in my cupcake!

Post-cake we needed to go for a walk so I took us on the Flight of the Conchords walking tour which goes past all of the main sites of Bret and Jermaine’s world. It was awesome seeing all of the places in the tv show – the highlight was the New Zealand embassy building. I didn’t see Murray.

Flight of the Conchords

Bret and Jermaine live here!

Flight of the Conchords New Zealand Embassy

It's the New Zealand Embassy!

We had lunch at a nice little café near where we were staying before heading to MoMA – my favourite art gallery in the world. Big call. But so far it’s true. It is so wonderful to be surrounded by amazing art works from such great artists. I think I saw a famous actor but I’m not sure who she is. But still. Fame.

MoMA

Oh MoMA, I love you.

The afternoon involved a bit of shopping (for Tom) and then drinks and dinner. Tom took me to a great restaurant called Little Giant where we ate delicious food. See?

Trout

A whole baked trout

ice cream

Bananas with salted butter caramel ice cream for dessert

So that was my birthday. It was a great day. Now I am going to play table tennis. I’ll write more later.