Thursday, 28 May 2015

To Manchester! for murals, trams and The Car Man

In a change from hill walking, we jumped on a NorthenRail train today to
Blue tit mural in Manchester 
briefly visit Manchester. Our reason for going was the Matthew Bourne ballet, The Car Man which is playing at The Lowry this week. It is fantastic! Not as light-hearted and jokey as Sleeping Beauty which we also thoroughly enjoyed in Wimbledon a couple of years ago, but with the same level of inventive choreography, loads of stunning dancing and superb set design. This is now the third Matthew Bourne ballet we have seen and we were trying to decide if we have missed any or if that's all of them. A brief google later, we learn that, fortunately, we still have Edward Scissorhands and Lord Of The Flies to look out for. I do love his work! The Car Man does have strong 'adult' themes, so not really a half term treat for the kids, but if you aren't so encumbered, there might be some good tickets left in Manchester and the tour then moves on to Sadler's Wells.

We didn't have any sightseeing time in Manchester other than what
Steampunk style sculpture on
top of something 
flashed past the trains and the excellent Metrolink tram network, plus what we saw on the short walks between the two. I loved the blue tit mural pictured above and also this steampunk-style dragon. I didn't find out why either were created. Do you know? Dave got new paintbrushes in a dangerous shop called Fred Aldous - multiple floors of art and craft supplies for all budgets. They even had the scraping foil picture kits that I used to love doing as a child! We both liked the mix of ultra-new and vintage industrial architecture that we saw from the tram out to The Lowry. In common with many cities I guess, the old industrial areas are being reimagined as modern housing and flats. Some here are metal and glass towers and others are created within old factory walls. I thought this gave a real sense of energy to the city without losing its sense of heritage. There was quite a lot of work still being done, especially along the tram lines which must be irritating for those travelling every day. But it will look fabulous when it is finished! We have decided that we would definitely like to return to the Peak District again for another few weeks - perhaps next year. I would also like to return and see more of Manchester when we do.

On a different note, SumOfUs emailed me this afternoon with the below petition that, while it only affects El Salvador, a small country on the other side of the world, at the moment, could have far-reaching effects for all of us if El Salvador loses its fight:

"In just a few weeks, a World Bank tribunal could decide whether the tiny
Central American nation of El Salvador will have to dish out millions to a Canadian-Australian mining giant - just for rejecting a destructive gold mine. OceanaGold is suing El Salvador for a whopping $301 million under investor laws that allow corporations to shamelessly sue countries.

El Salvador has the right to reject the mine to protect its water and people - 90% of the country's water is contaminated already, and OceanaGold’s mine would ruin its last remaining sources of clean water. With a decision coming any day, now is the time to pile on the pressure. Let's raise an outcry the World Bank can't ignore, and convince it to throw out this deeply unpopular case."

Please sign this SumOfUs petition telling the World Bank to throw out OceanaGold's case!

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