Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Catching Up

There's some stuff I've been meaning to blog about but just didn't get to it, so I thought I'd tackle it here and now. A few weeks ago, we went to visit friends in Nottingham (hey Terri), and they took us to this really interesting "show" at the Galleries of Justice, about how the local Nottingham court and prison were used from the end of the 18th century up until the 1980s. What made the experience so memorable was the fact that we were lead through the exhibition by actors playing different roles such as the gaoler and an inmate. At one point the woman who played a mentally ill prisoner came out of her character to tell us some more current facts and it was fascinating to see her transformation - she had completely enveloped her character up until that moment. Good stuff.

Next up: A few months ago, Andrew and I went to see a fantastic show at The Octagon Theatre in Bolton called Once Upon a Time in Wigan - LIVE! The show was a re-make of an earlier production, this time accompanied by a live band. The story was about two couples who frequented the real-life, famous at the time, Wigan Casino, an all-night dance club that featured Northern Soul music. During the 1970s Northern Soul music was all the rage; it was and is essentially Motown or Detroit music from the US made popular and devotionally followed by kids from Northern England. But the trick here is that, for Northern Soul, the more obscure the song or the artist, the better. Wigan Casino was a place for the misfits and misunderstood of the country to come and meet, listen and dance all night to Northern Soul music. Now, there is a not so nostalgic element in that the Wigan Casino was shut down in 1981 because it had become a drug haven, but let's not dwell on that. Oh, the dancing! If you want to get a sense of what Northern Soul dance was like, and it's fantastic, check out the moves on the music video Mercy by Duffy.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Not taking sides or anything...

Nothing beats my beloved Leeds to Liverpool Canal, but this grand canal might come in as a close second.

What's Your Favorite Place?

I am drawn to Venice, Italy and have spent my most treasured times there with some of my most treasured people; last week I returned, this time with Andrew (my top treasure), for a long weekend. We discussed what makes it so special and romantic when, at first blush, it does look a bit neglected and unkempt. Well, countless people have written about this place, I'm sure quite eloquently; to me Venice is a delicate beauty, who transcends time and fashion, and remains just as you remember her.