Saturday, January 31, 2009
It's turning into a good Saturday: there's a fox asleep on the railway embankment at the bottom of our garden (well, there was, until I tried to nip outside and photograph it), and Jack sent this email:
I love i can walk my dog here on the great fallowfield loop, i love the isis cafe, i love 'that cafe'. I love the town hall , my dad sound antiques there, i love ALL FM, i love pineapple folk and popart and all the gigs at the klondyke, i love the fiddlers and connors bars. i love Cringle park. i love the smell of hobnobs from mcvities, i love cheap 192s and 50s and fallowfield being just down the path. i love a half hour walk to chorlton bars and music nights, i love leve station and cheap quick rides into the city. Leve is my home.
[photo courtesy of Karel's flikr photostream]
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I got thinking about the long-term power of the written word when I read this article on the BBC, about a pioneering scientist who had sent a letter to Blue Peter as a 9 year old and had had a reply from Biddy Baxter herself, something that encouraged him on his life-saving career path. I'm amazed that every letter sent in got a personal response, there must have been corridors full of Blue Peter Correspondence Unit typing pools.
I never did get on Jim'll Fix It with my request to train with Tony Currie and the Leeds United side of 1979. But then again, I suppose you had to post the letter to be in with a shout, not just leave it lying around the house.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
|This just in from Kev Wardman:|
I’ve just been watching Dave Gorman’s ‘America Unchained’ documentary in which he attempts to travel from the west to the east of America without using ‘chain’ amenities.
His aim is to use only independent gas stations, eateries and accommodation during the entire trip, so no McDonalds, Best Western, Chevron, Starbucks or Wal-Mart etc.
As you can imagine he finds this quite a challenge and in fact fails to abide by these rules for the whole trip, be it only once or twice.
So I was challenged (as I have been before) about my own lifestyle with regards to the corporate establishments that threaten to erase all competition, or more importantly, all community from our villages, towns, cities or indeed our world.
But I’m not one of these people who honestly feels that they can avoid the big boys altogether, in fact if I’m really honest I would have to admit that I really do enjoy an ice cold glass of coke with my Kentucky Fried Chicken, if only occasionally.
Nevertheless there’s something inside of me that says I’d like to be more responsible toward my village amenities, or indeed on a grander scale to embark on my own journey of independent championing, much along the lines of ‘America Unchained’.
I can remember as a kid visiting a new town with my mum and dad and always asking the “Is there a HMV or Woolworths?” question (a sure vetting technique to establish the credibility of any town!) and now ironically all our towns seem to be littered with a familiar landscape.
Thankfully, Levenshulme still has a healthy independent glow about it - but for how long? And just how much does the answer to that question depend on me? Can I really afford to support local businesses when it is cheaper to shop elsewhere?
I’d like to think that I’d be devastated if one day I woke up without an option.
Could I still ‘LoveLevenshulme’ on that day, or if love is indeed a verb, shouldn’t I be acting now to make sure that day doesn’t come?
I hope this renewed challenge to myself will be of encouragement to others in the community who, like me, sometimes struggle with putting their conviction into action.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
I would like to say thank you to Nicola at Levenshulme Children's Centre. Nicola looks after me in the day and she gives me lots and lots of dinner. Nicola plays games with me and she reads me good stories.
Thank you very much. Lots of love from Cíara (aged four)
I would like to say thank you to my childminder Chi. Chi takes very good care of me while my mummy and daddy are at work. Chi takes me to playgroups and lets me do messy painting. It is brilliant.
Love from Aedan (aged two).
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Well, it seems the BBC Radio Manchester breakfast show's producer's wife was listening in to the all(fm) interview and before you know it, I'm working out how to get to the studio for 7.30am on Friday 16th for a chat about the project with Eamonn and Dianne.
(The BBC iplayer archive version's gone now, but it was fun to listen to me stumbling around for a response to Dianne's "Hmm. Bit American.")
If you heard it, live or afterwards, thanks for listening in.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Well, I really enjoyed sharing a bit about the LoveLevenshulme project with (all)fm's ArtBeat presenter Andrew Edwards on his community radio show this morning. Thanks again, Andrew, for the chance to publicise the project.
The podcast from the show is now available via the (all)fm archive so tune in to hear how nervous I get when I'm being interviewed... (and you score 10 points every time I say "absolutely"...)
Thursday, January 8, 2009
I just heard from Jenny (aka Lady Levenshulme):
What a lovely idea... I also love Levenshulme. Every now and then a report appears in the newspaper saying that Levenshulme is the new up and coming Chorlton etc. etc. It always makes me laugh. I don’t want it to be like Chorlton or any other town for that matter. I like it the way it is. It’s sort of like when you’re at the seaside eating chips. They taste all the better for having a little bit of sand in them. And that’s exactly why I like Levenshulme. It has a little bit of grit.
Anyway, enough waffling from me... is it okay to blog about it in Lady Levenshulme? Thank you again! [It certainly is!]
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Thank you for the lovely postcard. It came just at the right time.
I was feeling disillusioned about Levenshulme and getting upset about people taking from the community not giving. It's great to be reminded that there are many positives. I hope the site becomes a place to celebrate them.
Friday, January 2, 2009
Off to the Isis cafe this morning, left a few lovelevenshulme postcards there, so folks can get scribbling while watching the world go by... and then dropped into the YASP project to see if they might be into being an "outlet" for the postcards this year... And they do, which is cool (thanks, Joe). Anyways, have a look at the YASP website to check out the brilliant work they do with young people in Levenshulme and beyond.
Dropped off some more lovelevenshulme postcards at the Village Stores on the way back, so grab some while you're stocking up on fruit and veg and everything that's wholesome. Which reminds me, you can also get lovelevenshulme postcards from the Sure Start Children's Centre on Broom Avenue, and Levenshulme Baptist Church on Elmsworth Avenue. And if I get my act together, they'll be on the Library Bus while the Library itself gets a makeover.