It's been almost two months since I last posted. Things have been plodding along nicely and I'd barely realised it's been so long. There have been lots of nice goings on, like seeing Philip Glass play earlier in the month, a trip over to Liverpool to see Le Gateau Chocolat's Black as part of Homotopia Festival (seriously recommend you seek Le Gateau Chocolat out if you can; the most honest, witty, wonderful piece of theatre I've seen recently). There was a big, exciting reunion with university friends which saw 40 of us crowded around a friend's table in East Finchley, smashing at kilos of crabs with rolling pins, catching up with those back from months of travelling around the world and generally falling back in love with each other. Back in Manchester, and now that it's growing colder, I've been nesting at home, writing, exploring new podcasts and getting my head around my prehistoric storage heating system.
At work, we were involved with an exciting project involving an artistic takeover at the beautiful Central Library with lots of free and unusual interventions, something I was so proud to see happening in our city. I often find myself disheartened by the fact that truly public spaces in cities seem increasingly few and far between; with many of them privately owned and councils quick to sell a scrap of land off to another developer rather than reserving it as a place for citizens to just sit and be. I'm always on the lookout for more public spaces to enjoy without having to justify my presence by consuming coffee, and libraries and churches are the last bastions. For this reason, it was refreshing to see lots of talented people use the library space to share their work for free, with people who might not otherwise ever get a chance to see it.
Alongside all of this, I've been popping down to Bristol on the train to spend time with my Granny who is feeling increasingly unwell, but as fabulous as ever. Last month we sat on a bench in the local park, all wrapped up against the Autumn chill and laughed that our relationship with each other will probably be the most successful, loving and understanding that either of us will have. Last weekend we stayed indoors curled up on a giant floral sofa each and talked about how long it's taken either of us to get to grips with female anatomy, how bizarrely detached we were from understanding how our bodies function. "We must have learned about all of this in biology?" "We were fifteen, I suppose we felt we had more pressing things on our minds..?"
Without further ado, then, is a new edition of the Weekend List. Do what you need to do. Pop the kettle on, wrap a blanket over your shoulders and read, play and listen.
Illustration by Phoebe Wahl, "Mama of Dada" Beatrice Wood and Nick Drake.
“I have issues with the idea that if someone does or says something wrong that there is no coming back, and that is the kind of person they are now and always. That’s never been true for anybody that wants to learn and wants to grow.” Ashley Ford being interviewed as part of Women on women writing online, a new series from cool Guardian intern Sarah Galo.
"When I am creating, I love my body." Phoebe Wahl's brilliant body-positive illustrations. (Thanks to Kate for the tip.)
"The second kind of freedom to me that is important in the media if the idea of giving freely. When you feel or sense that someone is giving you something not out of profit, but out of self-respect, Christian charity, whatever it is. That has a very powerful energy. The Guardian, in my understanding, was founded by an endowment by a successful man with a social conscience who wanted to help create a voice for what I call the little guy. So they have a kind of moral mission or imperative. This has given them the latitude to try to be interesting, thoughtful, helpful. And they bring Edward Snowden to the world stage. Something that is not pleasant for a lot of people to hear about, but we need to know." If you haven't listened to Iggy Pop's John Peel Lecture for BBC 6 Music yet, save it for Sunday night when you're pottering about and getting yourself mentally prepared for Monday. It's a good sentiment to absorb before the start of a new week. (Alternatively read the transcript here)
Sustainability and sex, or the very cool Father-Daughter team behind natural condom company Sustain.
I've passed the honeymoon period with Call Your Girlfriend; we're plodding along just fine but I'm looking for new podcasts that make me guffaw or feel as thoughtful as CYG did in the early days. This week I listened to Savage Lovecast while I cooked dinner. I downloaded, heard Dan Savage talking about reclaiming the word pussy, and dispensing advice to somebody trying to recover their sexuality after sexual assault I thought this is it. Thoughtful, pragmatic, intelligent and funny (if you can overlook the comedic level of adverts). Here's Dan on the P-word:
"Remember, pussies are strong, they chew up semen and spit out humans! It's scrotums that are weak and vulnerable... you give them a tap and the guy is on the ground. So we should use the word 'scrote' instead of pussy."
Paul Smith and Peter Brewis- Barcelona (at Eye Level);
Make Our Garden Grow
99 Percent Invisible: Three Records From Sundown. Nick Drake special.
Alan Turing's Love Letter Generator is true romance.
10 Female Dada artists you should know