2022 IN PICTURES – OCTOBER

October was a busy month, right from the very start, heading to Dungannon on the first day of the month to see Linfield get a win at Stangmore Park.

That was followed a few days later by another away day, to a very wet Wilgar Park to see Linfield grind out a 1-0 win over Dundela.

The following night, it was the Ulster Hall to see Beabadoobee in concert.

Back on the road the following Saturday to see Linfield draw with Coleraine.

Then it was back to Ulster Hall to see Paul Weller.

Two days after that, it was Linfield v Glentoran, the less said of that the better.

The following day was a lot more enjoyable, making the most of a football free Saturday to check out Murlough Bay.

Over the next seven days came two Linfield home matches, against Glenavon and Larne.

The following week, I was off to Manchester, my first visit to see Erik Ten Hag’s United in the flesh, against Sheriff Tiraspol.

While I was there, I got some photos from a stroll along a canal, some Street Art (of course) and a walk up Hartshead Pike.

The month ended with a trip to Newry to see Linfield get some much needed three points.

Dungannon Swifts v Linfield

Dundela v Linfield

Beabadoobee live at Ulster Hall

Beabadoobee live at Ulster Hall Photo Album

Coleraine v Linfield

Paul Weller live at Ulster Hall

Paul Weller live at Ulster Hall Photo Album

Linfield v Glentoran

Murlough Bay Nature Reserve

Murlough Bay Nature Reserve Photo Album

Linfield v Glenavon

Linfield v Larne

Manchester Street Art

Manchester Street Art Photo Album

Manchester Canal Walk

Manchester Canal Walk Photo Album

Manchester United v Sheriff Tiraspol

Manchester Untied v Sheriff Tiraspol Photo Album

Hartshead Pike

Hartshead Pike Photo Album

Newry City v Linfield

HARTSHEAD PIKE

Having really got into hillwalks during Lockdown, I now intend to attempt one everywhere I go.

I had been to Manchester many times, but I had never attempted one when visiting the city. It was time to remedy that.

In Manchester for three days, I had planned on going up on the Thursday morning, but dull skies and rain put an end to those plans. I needed the weather to be dry for this trip.

It didn’t look like that was going to happen as I got up on Friday morning.

As I went for a stroll around Manchester, the sun burst out, so I thought why not?

Unfortunately, the train from Manchester to Mossley is only once an hour. Not ideal.

Especially as I faffed about wandering around Oxford Road and missed the 10.55am training, meaning I had to wait until 11.55am until the next train.

My flight home was 8.15pm, so I still had plenty of time to work with.

Don’t worry about me, I had a copy of Metro to occupy me.

I wish we had Metro in Northern Ireland. I just love Rush Hour Crush.

Can people walk into Pret without getting horny?

So, where is Mossley?

Just twenty minutes from Manchester, sandwiched inbetween Manchester and Huddersfield.

I did my research beforehand in terms of directions.

Go past the football ground, then look for a pub called The Billy Goat.

I headed upwards from Mossley Train Station, then saw signage for the football ground, followed it.

Hartshead Pike isn’t the most signposted place in the world, I took a bit of a hunch to go up one street, and by fluke I found The Billy Goat.

The starting point for Hartshead Pike is in the Car Park of this pub.

Getting to the top isn’t particularly demanding, around half an hour.

Just walk up, turn left at the field, walk across a field, then turn right onto a road until you pass a white house and there you are.

When you get there, you get some spectacular views of Northern England, and it leads into more pathways such as Oldham Way.

It was definitely worth making the effort, an enjoyable trek.

As I had mentioned previously, I have been to Manchester so many times, it can be a bit samey, so it’s always good to try something different.

There are still plenty of more walks in Greater Manchester, so hit me up with suggestions.

I was beginning to regret missing the 10.55am train, or even being even more prepared and taking a gamble on good weather and getting the 9.55am train.

Even though I still had plenty of time before my flight, I would have loved to have had more time to explore to other walking routes when I reached Hartshead Pike.

I would definitely go back up if the opportunity presented itself when having some spare time on a trip to Old Trafford.

On the way down, I managed to slip when taking a photo, mastering the Down Dog position, and even managing to take a video of myself.

I did delete it, destroying the evidence. And no, I won’t be posting it here.

With Manchester to Mossley being a once an hour service, it was unsurprising that the return journey was only once an hour.

I walked into Mossley Train Station to see how long to wait until the next train to Manchester, there was a drunk woman, who was so drunk, she thought she worked for Network Rail and started giving me timetable and platform information. Very helpful.

It turned out I had over half an hour to kill, so I headed to The Gillery for a lite bite.

I’m not planning on becoming a Pub Reviewer, but I give this a thumbs up.

Just as I give Hartshead Pike a thumbs up, even if there is a sense of regret that I didn’t have time to explore more of it.

Although I did explore a lot of it.

Photo Album

MANCHESTER CANAL WALK

Wanting to try something different on my latest visit to Manchester, I headed for a canal walk at Sunset, to see what it was like.

My starting point was somewhere I had walked past a lot, but usually to make my way to Ancoats for some Street Art photos, Ducie Basin on Ducie Street.

Curious, I started wandering along to see where it led me. I’m always curious to explore places i’ve never been to before.

I had some time to kill, so why not?

Believe it or not, I do pay attention sometimes.

I didn’t know where I was, but I did see signs to say I was on Ashton Canal, and then Rochdale Canal. I also went past New Islington Metrolink Station.

This walk was time bound. Thirty minutes out (and then thirty minutes back obviously) and see where it takes me.

Between you and me, I was slightly over my time allocated, but when you’re enjoying yourself, rules can go out the window.

Dogs loved me, or so I thought.

Two of them were getting friendly with me.

I thought it was my camera that attracted them, but one Dog Walker suggested that it might have been the way my has were postured, that it gave the impression that I had biscuits.

Sadly, I had no biscuits.

There were lots of bridges on the route, which was nice.

It meant there was something to work with when I was taking photos, I could take photos of a bridge and from a bridge.

The walk had a strange juxtaposition of images, old and new Manchester.

Newly build skyscrapers on one side, with derelict factories on the other.

Not all of the factories were out of use, one of them was being used for a band rehearsing.

There was also fallen leaves lying around as the sun went down.

So much symbolic imagery.

As I walked along, I wondered would this lead me to Old Trafford?

That would have been handy as I could have done the walk again the following night.

Nope. It actually led me to the City Of Manchester Stadium.

Even though I wasn’t in need of it, it really perked me up, taking a chance on somewhere I hadn’t been before, combined with some spectacular views.

It just goes to show how good a lovely walk can be, even if it doesn’t take you where you want to go.

Photo Album

MANCHESTER STREET ART – OCTOBER 2022

Having been to Manchester many times, it can get a bit samey.

Not when it comes to Street Art, especially if you haven’t been in over a year.

However, I do know where to go, which helps.

As soon as I arrived, it was straight to Northern Quarter, Ancoats, Oldham Street and Tibb Street.

While I was in the middle of snap snap snapping away, there was a torrential rainstorm, which meant I had to seek refuge in Affleks.

Thankfully, it didn’t last all day, so I was straight back out.

When it wasn’t raining, the weather was quite nice, so I headed out and got as many photos as possible.

With the main areas completed, I remained on alert, in case I spotted some pieces, which I did, one around the back of Piccadilly, and then another on Oxford Street.

It was great to be back in Manchester again and getting snaps of Street Art the city had to offer, although I didn’t get a chance to snap some Street Art in Pomona Wharf.

Photo Album

Manchester Street Art – August 2021

Manchester Street Art – January 2020

Manchester Street Art – November 2019

Manchester Street Art – May 2019

Manchester Street Art – January 2019

Manchester Street Art – November 2018

Manchester Street Art – May 2018

Manchester Street Art – December 2017

Manchester Street Art – May 2017

Manchester Street Art – February 2017

Manchester Street Art – November 2016

Manchester Street Art – May 2016

Manchester Street Art – January 2016

Manchester Street Art – November 2015

Manchester Street Art – May 2015

2021 IN PICTURES – AUGUST

August is usually a busy month. It didn’t have a trip to Edinburgh as usual, but it did have a trip to Manchester to see United take on Leeds, and of course, get some Street Art pictures.

The week before that, I headed to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Fola Esch in the Euro Conference League. The less said about that the better.

Towards the end of the month, I took in another trip, this time to County Wicklow, getting pictures of the Bray To Greystones Walk, Bray Head, Bray Harbour and of Street Art in Dun Laoghaire.

On the final Saturday of the month, I was back in Irish League watching mode, seeing Linfield take on Crusaders at Windsor Park on the opening day of the season.

Linfield v Fola Esch

Manchester Street Art

Manchester Street Art Photo Album

Manchester United v Leeds United

Manchester United v Leeds United Photo Album

Bray To Greystones Walk

Bray To Greystones Walk Photo Album

Bray Head

Bray Head

Bray Head Photo Album

Bray Harbour

Bray Harbour Photo Album

Dun Laoghaire Street Art

Dun Laoghaire Street Art Photo Album

Linfield v Crusaders

MANCHESTER STREET ART – AUGUST 2021

It feels great to wake up in a bed that isn’t yours. Oi, that’s not what I mean. Behave yourselves.

After eighteen months without going anywhere, I snuck off to Manchester to see United take on Leeds. Ironically, Manchester in January 2020 was the last trip I had been on.

I only had a short window in the city, so I had to make the most of it, heading for a walk on Friday teatime, especially so with the weather on my side.

A veteran, if you will, of Street Art in Manchester, I know where to go. So, after getting off the train at Picadilly, I headed straight to Stevenson Square, Tibb Street, Northern Quarter and Ancoats to photograph what I could.

The Street Art in the city reflects the personalities of the Coronavirus Crisis (To be honest, it’s more of a Stupidity Crisis if anything) with a mural of Captain Tom on Tibb Street and a shop shutter showing appreciation for the NHS.

Delving into Manchester’s history, there was a mural of Ian Curtis from Joy Division.

One regular artist around Manchester is Akse, a French Artist based in the North-West of England, and once again, his work was prominent on my visit.

Amongst his work, was the mural of Marcus Rashford in Withington, which you may have seen on the news after it was defaced in the aftermath of the Euro 2021 Final.

As it was outside the City Centre, time constraints meant I couldn’t go and visit it, or check out the work along Salford Quays/Pomona Wharf. I do hope to pay a visit to Withington when I have a longer trip to Manchester at some point in the future.

Photo Album

Manchester Street Art – January 2020

Manchester Street Art – November 2019

Manchester Street Art – May 2019

Manchester Street Art – January 2019

Manchester Street Art – November 2018

Manchester Street Art – May 2018

Manchester Street Art – December 2017

Manchester Street Art – May 2017

Manchester Street Art – February 2017

Manchester Street Art – November 2016

Manchester Street Art – May 2016

Manchester Street Art – January 2016

Manchester Street Art – November 2015

Manchester Street Art – May 2015

Manchester Street Art – November 2014

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : Q – SEPTEMBER 2012

“Last chance to see” screams the headline accompanying cover stars Blur. That turned out to be a lie, as I saw Blur in August 2013.

As you open the magazine, there are five pages dedicated to Stone Roses comeback with a large scale concert at Heaton Park in Manchester.

Talking of concerts, there is a look at the recent trend of Meet and Greets, looking at the various packages on offer and the fans who have taken advantage of them.

In future albums, there is a page dedicated to Foals, who are working on a new album for release in “Early 2013”.

Graeme Swann takes Q through his record collection, singing the praises of Queen, Oasis, Stereophonics, The Bluetones and Pink Floyd.

The subject of this month’s Cash For Questions is Wayne Coyne of Flaming Lips, who states that he would make a good Doctor Who.

As the summer is now long gone, Q dedicates eight pages to reviewing the festivals of 2012 in the UK, although they did manage to go to Portugal for one.

Cover stars Blur get seven pages, as the band gets ready for a concert at Hyde Park, unsure of what direction for the band to go next.

The magazine ends with a Q and A with Tom Meighan from Kasabian, who reveals he would like to do a Mowtown covers album.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MANCHESTER UNITED – OCTOBER 1998

“NEW YORKE” is the headline of this cover, but it’s nothing to do with America, it’s new Manchester United signing Dwight Yorke, who is also the cover star.

The early pages of the magazine is dominated by players staying at United – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saying he wants to stay and fight for his place, and David Beckham signing a contract to stay with United until 2003.

Around this time, Paul Hayward was a columnist in the magazine, and he uses his column to comment on the number of clubs who are quick to sack their manager.

One United player with a keen interest in the European Cup group stage draw was Jordi Cruyff, who will be facing former club Barcelona.

United are a club who are constantly linked with players, with Andy Mitten writing a full page on the wonderful world of transfer rumours.

Dwight Yorke gets a five page feature, with an Aston Villa fanzine editor contributing his analysis of the player.

There is a look at United’s upcoming European Cup group games, with Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Brondby getting a full page preview each.

Eric Cantona gets three pages as he makes his final appearance at Old Trafford in a friendly to commemorate forty years since the Munich Air Disaster.

Jaap Stam debuts as a columnist for the magazine, expressing his surprise that Patrick Kluivert didn’t sign for United.

If you’re going to a game at Old Trafford, there is a review of pubs in the city for you.

There are reviews of United’s early season games, while the magazine ends with a quiz between Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt, with Giggs winning by 5 to 4.

2020 IN PICTURES – JANUARY

I went out for a walk on New Year’s Day and found a tenner. That was as good as it got in 2020.

If a see a £50 note lying on the ground on the first day of 2021, i’m just walking on and leaving it.

2020 began with a trip to the Football on the first day of the month. Not too far thankfully, just a short trip to Windsor Park to see Linfield beat Institute.

My second football match of the year, Linfield’s trip to Queen’s University, was not as enjoyable. The less said about, the better, even though it was my first visit to The Dub for a match.

I had to wait nine days for my next football match, as Linfield won at Cliftonville, before a disappointing 0-0 draw at home to Dungannon Swifts.

It wasn’t all football, as the middle of the month saw my first concert of the year – Badly Drawn Boy at Black Box.

The first of many concerts in 2020, with Paul Weller and Lightning Seeds already booked for late March. Um ….

That was then followed by a trip to Manchester, primarily to see United take on Burnley. While I was there, I managed to sneak in a trip to Salford City v Accrington Stanley (a first visit to Moor Lane), as well as Street Art in Manchester and Salford Quays.

The month ended with two more football matches, Linfield’s 8-1 win over Glenavon, which was followed by a 3-1 defeat at Larne, my first visit to Inver Park since 2005.

Linfield v Institute

Queen’s University v Linfield

Cliftonville v Linfield

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

Badly Drawn Boy live at Black Box

Badly Drawn Boy live at Black Box Photo Album

Manchester Street Art

Manchester Street Art Photo Album

Salford City v Accrington Stanley

Salford City v Accrington Stanley Photo Album

Salford Quays Street Art

Salford Quays Street Art Photo Album

Manchester United v Burnley

Manchester United v Burnley Photo Album

Linfield v Glenavon

Larne v Linfield

SALFORD QUAYS STREET ART – JANUARY 2020

Of course, no trip to Manchester would be complete without a walk along Pomona Wharf to check out the Street Art.

Well apart from the last time when I decided to visit Rochdale and check out the aftermath of Rochdale Uprising.

I usually stay in Salford Quays when I go to see United, so I can just walk over, but as I was staying in the City Centre, I needed to change my plans.

I decided to head over on the afternoon of the match, to make the most of my Day Ticket on the Metrolink.

The area was still untidy, but not as bad as it was previously, I got some photos of new pieces, including a Hello Kitty.

Closer to home, a listing in Island Arts Centre’s new programme is for a Hit The North event to be held in Lisburn in late April. Very interesting, I shall be keeping an eye out for this and checking it out.

Photo Album

Salford Quays Street Art May 2019

Salford Quays Street Art January 2019

Salford Quays Street Art November 2018

Salford Quays Street Art May 2018

Salford Quays Street Art December 2017

Salford Quays Street Art January 2017

Salford Quays Street Art November 2016

Salford Quays Street Art May 2016