Tuesday, August 31, 2010
For the second time in less than a month Levenshulme's allotment holders get to show off their produce this Saturday at the Levenshulme Allotment Society's Annual Show.
The event kicks off at 2.30pm at the society's plot at the Highfield Road allotment site. There will be an exhibition of produce and other goodies and an auction of fruit and veg from 4.30pm. There will also be a barbecue with guests asked to bring their own food to cook. I will be there at some point so be sure to say hello if you see me. There are also rumours afoot that the show will be paid a visit by a special guest...
Many thanks to InsidetheM60 for help with this story. And for being generally lovely bods who serve Levenshulme well with their excellent hyper-local news.
Picture courtesy of @binarydad 's iPhone photo blog bickr.
As previewed here, yesterday was the August meeting of Hard Rain Poetry, a group that convenes at Isis cafe on the last Monday of each month to discuss, read and create poetry.
I went along for the second part of the meeting (I ducked the first, a writing workshop - I still have a strong enough memories of my woeful attempts at 6th Form poetry to convince me - and anyone who was subjected to them at the time - that I will never be a poet) where nearly 20 people were gathered to hear Ed Kangai read his poems. We also heard some of the participants of the workshop read work they had composed inspired by the evening's "theme" poet - Hafez, and those of us who hadn't written our own were gently encouraged to read selections of his work to the group as well.
In keeping with Hafez' status as the most celebrated Persian poet the mood was suitably Arabic, with dates and middle-eastern snacks, low lighting and rose petals strewn liberally around the tables. The whole effect was charming, relaxing and convivial and I got a good chance to chat with a few of the attendees. Many were regulars although there were a few who, like me, were there for the first time. It's nice to meet people who are new to Levenshulme and get their impressions of the area and ideas for LoveLevenshulme. Even nicer still was talking to several people who'd made the journey to M19 specifically to attend Hard Rain. I like the idea that people will travel to Levenshulme for cultural activities and I think it bodes well that everyone I spoke to seemed enthusiastic about Isis and Levenshulme in general. Who knows, maybe soon we'll be able to add poetry to the list of things we do best (antiques, kebabs, Twitter and parks - anyone got any to add?).
Sunday, August 22, 2010
We also have a Facebook page, which can be found here, where we'll be adding photos of events and sights around Levenshulme. There's also an area where you can discuss your love of Levenshulme and give us ideas about what else we should cover on the blog.
Well, I made it a bit late to the allotment show although I got there in time for the major action of the prize giving ceremony, although I missed the music. However, there was still a good crowd and plenty of things to see. Fruit, veg, jam, cakes and all sorts of goodies were lined up to be judged and they all looked absolutely splendid to me.
If anyone has a record of all the winners they want to send me I'll quite happily post them up here for all to see.
The most unexpected (for me, at least) display was the bees. Yes, bees! After the show last year the allotment started with a small colony which is now two colonies of over 100,000 bees. It's hoped that they will be producing honey later in the year and it's certain that the bees' pollinating abilities have increased the allotment's yields this summer.
The overall impression was of a thriving allotment community and it was great to see so many people show out.
Eagle-eyed readers will notice that there's no report on POD as promised. Sorry. The laziness gets me every time. Next weekend is bank holiday though, so no excuses and I promise a bumper report.
Sorry if this post is a bit photo heavy. They come courtesy of Ed Sprake and they're all just so lovely, I couldn't decide which to leave out. Here's my favourite for good measure.
Funny shaped vegetables. Can't beat 'em.
If you're interested in having your own allotment plot go along to the Tonbridge Road site on any Sunday morning between 11.00am and 12.00noon where one of the committee will be able to pass on their guidance. Bare in mind that Tonbridge Road, like most sites in the country, is oversubscribed and there is a waiting list.
Friday, August 20, 2010
The scheme allows visitors to designated cafes or bars in Manchester to fill their water bottles with tap water, free of charge. The company sell reusable, hardwearing water bottles that are branded so that the water providers know that the thirsty patron is part of the scheme and 70% of the profits from the bottles go to support water charities in the developing world.
They’ve already gathered support from 38 bars, cafes and restaurants in Manchester where they are piloting the scheme and now they’ve added POD to their list. Not only that but, aside from some university campus buildings, Levenshulme is the first area outside of the city centre to be a part of the scheme.
It’s a great project and a testament to POD for getting involved. I seem to hear nothing but good things about the way they are engaging with the community and they are well overdue a visit from LoveLevenshulme, a situation I am hoping to rectify this weekend (and now I’ve stated that intention on here I’m accountable!), especially given their recent nominations in the Manchester Food and Drink Awards.
Give Me Tap are looking for more venues and it would be great if we could make it a Levenshulme double-whammy so if you have any contacts with the pubs, bars or cafes please let them know about the scheme and ask them to email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.givemetap.co.uk/providers.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
The evening starts at 6.00pm with a free poetry workshop. You don’t need to register or have experience writing poetry, just drop in and have a go. The group will be looking at the poetry of Hafez.
At 8.00pm there will be a poetry performance by Ed Kangai followed by an open mike slot. Guests are invited to read a poem by Hafez or one of their own creations.
Hard Rain Poetry is a voluntary community project to encourage local creativity (just the sort of thing we like here at LoveLevenshulme!) and is held on the last Monday of every month at Isis. The next meeting will be on Monday 27th September and will be themed to coincide with the Manchester Peace Festival.
We usually order one grill special between two of us which costs £10. This includes 4 Lamb chops, chicken tikka, kobeda, mint yoghurt, chilli sauce, a large nan (extra nan for £1), salad and pickled chillies. Today there were three of us so we got two kebabs, which meant we ate 2/3 of a kebab each and it was way to much.
Let's be clear, this kebab is absolutely freakin' awesome. I think it is great value for money and is genuinely tasty. The meat is not particularly fatty and the grilling seals in the flavour. We found that they have a tendency to add a fair bit of salt so we now ask them not to put any extra on, this means I no longer wake up six hours latter dehydrated like a tramp after a night on the meths.
This kebab is a long long way from the dog meat in a pitta bread that I used to eat after a night on the beers back in small town England. Its rammed full of flavour, variety and general kebaby goodness. Try it now and let me know what you think.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Also, the pretty floral lavender heart I pictured was created by Marie Crook, who is currently stocking her designs in POD under the label 'I Made This For You'.
There are some lovely photos of the fair (including the morning session I missed)on the dedicated Facebook page. The photos are by local photographer Terry McNamara who came down and gave his time and talent free of charge. I think that's a very telling sign of how supportive our community is and another indicator of just how many talented people we have!
The next craft fair will be on 23rd October conjunction with the Levenshulme Festival, anyone wanting to get involved can email Emily.
Sue-Ann over at Levenshulme Daily Photo writes to tell me about the Tonbridge Road Allotment Show which is being held this Saturday, 21st August at St Mary's Church on Elbow St at 2.00pm – 5.00pm
I’ve seen the very striking posters around, advertising live music, competitions for best produce, flowers, scarecrow, monster made of veg (intriguing!), best nature photo, homemade jams, chutneys and cakes. Anyone can enter, just bring your entry along to the church by 10.30am on the day. Allotment holders will be dispensing advice on growing, there will be homemade cakes for sale, children's entertainment, and a fruit and veg auction.
I will be there and will report back in full. I’m hoping to meet some of the allotment “crew” for a chat about what’s going on while I’m there so if you see me looking lost say hello!
Picture above courtesy of @aMeadey.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
In keeping with today's crafty theme, although I've seen their notices before - Levenshulme Knitters meet every other Thursday in The Bluebell on Barlow Road at 7.00pm. The next three meets are:
- 27th August
- 10th September
- 24th September
"The Village Stores is a real gem right at the heart of your community. The shop used to be an empty shell for years. Now I can pop along to the end of my street to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, some of which are locally grown. I can also chose from a wide variety of whole foods, some of which are Fairtrade, and bedding plants, and I have planted my own little herb garden, all from The Village Stores. Best of all The Village Stores is open seven days a week and you are always greeted with a smile. Levenshulme is lucky to have Ibrahim and The Village Stores. Long may they prosper!"
Also on the notice board was this sign:
Ibrahim and team are on holiday for the next few weeks but they will be back so don't despair if you see the stores closed.
I popped along to the afternoon session of the second ever Levenshulme Craft Fair this afternoon (I missed the morning session because, well...I'm lazy. If anyone went and wants to write a post please email me) and was bowled over by the lovely crafts on offer and the fact that ALL of them were made here in Levenshulme.
First up were some lovely, smelly soaps from Bayspring. All the soaps are made by hand by Jennifer in her home at Levenshulme using oils from olives, coconut, sunflower seeds, cocoa butter and shea nut butter and she comes up with all the recipes herself - no mean feat with imaginative combinations like peppermint and lemon with poppy seed. Next up was beths buns. I got to meet the real life Beth and very friendly she was too. The range of goods on offer extended far beyond buns - cupcakes, lemon drizzle, muffins, tiffin and all manor of cake. I was particularly taken with the cupcakes with melted marshmallow and goodness knows what else melted on top. Yum!
I'd managed to be quite disciplined up to this point but I have a few weak spots and marmalade is one of those. Home made lemon and orange marmalade came courtesy of a lovely lady whose name I stupidly didn't write down. I succumbed and bought a jar and promised feedback so if anyone knows who I should send it to, please let me know.
Next up was Emily. I actually met Emily before I got to her stall as she very kindly introduced herself as the organiser of the craft fair. She very stopped for a bit of a natter despite being very busy and I'm happy to report that the fairs are having a great response and there are more in the pipeline. She also told me that the Library are very amenable to giving space to community groups or projects like the fair which sowed a little seed of an idea in my mind...more soon... However, the MOST exciting thing about meeting Emily was that, alongside her other beautiful fabrics and craft work she has designed a LoveLevenshulme bag! Look!
If you'd like one, or you'd like any of her other wonderful pieces, get in touch with her via the craft fair Facebook page.
The next stall I visited was Sarah Gaffney, a local artist who was selling greeings cards along with some pretty fine looking oils on canvas.
Last up were gorgeous (and I mean gorgeous) dresses and skirts courtesy of Hannah Emissa Dunn. Lovely fabrics and really pretty patterns too and Hannah told me she makes to order as well.
It was lovely to see how many creative people there are in the area and how busy the fair was. I'm ashamed to say it was my first time in the library and it was great to finally see inside - so much seems to be going on there! I'm going to drop in there in a few weeks and chat to them about what groups they're running and post here. If you know of any please feel free to drop me a line.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
So I have a mildly ridiculous and artery busting idea.
There are a number of kebab making establishments on Levenshulme high street. I intend to try each of their finest kebabs over the next year and report back on them.
Before I start on this culinary campaign (and a fitness regime to compensate) I wondered if anybody wanted to help me? You can help in a number of different ways -
- You can join me in the eating of kebabs
- You can recommend some establishments
- You can buy me some health insurance
So if you want get involved then comment or tweet me.
Monday, August 9, 2010
The second ever Levenshulme tweetup was held last Thursday at The Bluebell pub on Broom Lane. As with the first one I arrived intending to have one drink and head off home and somehow found myself winding my way home at gone midnight, which amounts to a ringing endorsement in my book.
It was a great chance for me to meet up with fellow Levenshulme tweeters and a really nice opportunity to talk about the future of LoveLevenshulme. I’m pleased to say that everyone in attendance was really keen on the continuation of the site, although I’m not surprised - at the first #levytweetup (or #levtweetup...or #levetweetup opinions differ and who am I to argue?) I was really heartened by the enthusiasm the people I met had for the area and it was one of the reasons I really wanted to make sure there continued to be an outlet for all this positivity.
The picture above comes courtesy of @aMeadey. @ed_moose also had a camera in tow and took some beautiful shots, including plenty of Levenshulme's star twitterer @smiththewhippet.
Also worth noting our status as Manchester Twitter pioneers - Levenshulme is the first area in Manchester to have its own dedicated tweetup, although there is a planned South Manchester tweetup planned for Wednesday 18th August at 7.30pm in the Slug and Lettuce in Didsbury. Follow @totmac for details.
Friday, August 6, 2010
My call for interesting stuff happening in Levenshulme garnered a lovely email from Nick and Clare who’ve just opened a cupcake business from their home.
They both work a nine-to-five work by day and bake at night and weekends making bespoke cupcakes, whoopee pies and tray bakes for birthdays, hen parties, weddings or just a Friday night treat. All the cakes are baked fresh to order and they deliver, too.
Thanks guys, for the excuse for a visual pig-out on your lovely site.
One of the things I’d like feature on the site is people running creative and unusual enterprises in Levenshulme, I know of a few of you already but I’m sure there’s more out there so do get in touch and let me know what you’re doing.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
I will be there (I'm @helenpower on Twitter, if you want to follow me) and I'm bringing a pen to record any bright ideas people might have for LoveLevenshulme. Pop along and say hello, even if you're not on Twitter. We're a friendly bunch and, you never know, we might just induct you into the dark arts of social media. Actually maybe that's not much of an incentive...
Informal drinks and chat start around 8.00pm at The Bluebell pub on Barlow Road.