Category Archives: Exhibition

Manchester EXPO

DSCF7464Three years ago (jeebus, was it that long?) me and Cat went to the London MCMExpo. Now that Expo was happening up North, and on our very doorstep, we could suffer no other action than to go again. Loved the fact that this year, cos we bought early entry tickets, we got in with just ten minutes of queueing, rather than two hours. There’s a SHYTELOAD of pics (and a couple of videos) here that I hope capture the feel of a joyous day full of happy, friendly, vibrant people. DSCF7459Enjoy. If you recognise yourself in a pic having stumbled across this humble blog, do yell “Ayup Wombat!” in the comments and give us a cheery wave of whichever body part you find most pleasing. Oh, and you can click on each pic to see a larger version.



DSCF7552I definitely recommend you click on this pic to see the large version. There’s lots of goodies to pick out from the crowd.



Lolly chainsaw, cheerleader, weird scarecrow thing – what’s not to like?






Decide on your own amusing caption for this one, cos I can’t even.






Dance, girls, dance!







I love the pop-quaffing furry on the left there. Working the pink hair there, kids.




DSCF7553DSCF7557Creature crouching








The steps were remarkably popular for resting, although they did give you a nasty case of Numbum.




That awkward moment when your cloven hoof goes wonky








“And you are Green Lantern?”




DSCF7579Assembled folk of all kinds, but every single one having a champion time. Yes I’m from Yorkshire, why do you ask?



DSCF7581Skitty & Bulbasaur







Tim, Cat & Katharine






Inside G-MEX – sorry, “Manchester Central”, its crap new name.






Resting bananas. Be careful not to tread on them.






No Luke, *I* am your helmet.






Some weird Super-Ghost-Doctor mash-up that I can’t even.




DSCF7481DSCF7482Posing with dead Heath Ledger







Spot the tiny Han! (Harrison Ford was 70 the other day, by the way. I KNOW!)








Small child, HUGE ROBOT





Inside KITT








Dalek japes. EXTERMI oh wait…..


DSCF7511Them nice Merlin knights sign stuff and smile a lot.












Raquel, phwoar.  Yes yes, I’m old.





Totoro graveyard.



DSCF7548DSCF7549Cuddly K-9s!


Art happens!



Shopping cosplayers.





The footballers seemed out of place. Which dickhead spelled Mike Summerbee’s name wrong?


DSCF7584A weird fight between disparate genres.








It was a family day – lots of kids, which was great.



DSCF7606Those Merlin guys on stage (yeah, I can’t be bothered to look up their names).DSCF7629





Mario entertains the kids.


DSCF7611DSCF7620How much money did YOU spend?




I hope he has a green crayon.





Mobile massage. Really relaxing, akshly.




A range of costumes that tickled me. Life’s too short for me to comment on every one, but oh, those Iron Men Girls Women. Iron Ladies? Oh no, that’s something else entirely …. ah, you know what I mean.
























































Vic Mignogna Meets cat
































Just a couple – first up, some bopping to YMCA after Vic Mignogna had finished singing.

See Salts

So part of Cat’s degree course requires her to write a short essay on an exhibition she has seen. With this in mind, yesterday me and her drove to Ilkley, where (the DigYorkshire website informed us) the Manor House Art Gallery & Museum was displaying a series of Hockney etchings.

Sadly, there was no sign of them in the Gallery, and a blue-haired woman told us that no, there was no such exhibition, hadn’t been for years, and was unlikely to be one in the foreseeable. Ilkley Fail 1. After an hour’s hot drive (which included waiting at a level crossing for the longest, slowest train in history to cross), and now realising that we had to find something else for Cat to write about, we were a bit cross. Grrrr.

As we left, intending to kick Bluehair’s archway in revenge, she did say “You’ll find some Hockney in Saltaire though. You know where that is?” “Of course I do, you daft blue-topped bint!” were my thoughts, although I actually said (in my opinion quite wittily) “Yes thanks”, before realising I had no idea what she was talking about.

Saltaire? Hadn’t Mary told me about that before? Hmmm, where could I find a map…? Tourist Info Office, they’d have maps aplenty! And could we find the Tourist Info Office? Could we heck-as-like, even following the nicely mounted town centre street plan. Ilkley Fail 2. It began to look like the backup plan of visiting the Pre-Raphaelites in Manchester would have to be used, despite Cat wanting to avoid such an obvious subject. Also, if we went there, I might have to brave the nightmare horrors of the Button Exhibition.

But then, Ilkley began to redeem itself. First, Cat was given a free milkshake by a bonny lass outside Café Nerd (“Gorgeous”, apparently. I’m assuming Cat meant the shake, although one can never be certain of these things). Then I spotted a big old lower case ‘i’ outside the Library: Tourist Info! Maps! Also a leaflet about Salts Mill, but the instructions on how to find the place were “get a train or bus”. On the road map, getting to Saltaire seemed a bit complicated, but with Cat helping to remember some of the road numbers, we set off for an “Adventure Into The Unknown”  (actually, it was more “Adventure Into Bradford”, but that doesn’t sound so cool).

Despite my attempt at one point to take us into a scrapyard (“No Dad, left! LEFT!”), we found the place OK, and even managed to park out of the sun under a tree. We still didn’t really have an idea what to expect, although walking to the Mill we passed “The Early Music Shop”, which was a cool room of musical delights and unusual instruments galore. I could have just spent hours in there, thank you very much.

However, Cat dragged me onward, and we entered an unprepossessing small doorway at the base of the huge stone edifice of what was once the largest textile mill in the world. First thoughts on entering the vast ground floor? WOW! What an exhibition space! The light was incredible, due in no small part to the cheerful sunshine pouring through the blinds. There were Hockney works everywhere, and scattered up and down the mill were vases of large flowers, art materials for purchase, and fascinating objects such as beat up old chairs. Chamber music rippled through the air.

“Oh yes, Dad, this’ll do nicely” was Cat’s opinion, and she wandered off to make notes for her essay. For myself, I discovered many exciting surprises. I hadn’t realised Hockney was so varied in style, and oh my God so prolific! After an hour in that place, I began to appreciate him so much more than I had in Ilkley.

Upstairs from the Hockneys, the mill is also home to a mighty fine bookshop, a restaurant serving what appears to be really tasty and imaginative (though bloody expensive) food, a fashion exhibition, and an extensive antique shop (Forties clothes – win!). We had a marvellous time.

As many of you will know already, the mill was built by one Titus Salt, a man of mighty beard and many children, who also built the village of Saltaire for his workers. We had a quick wander round the village, where good old Titus had named the streets after his children. Not for the first time in my life, I was delighted to find myself going up Fanny Street.

We finished our day with a treat from the bakery – proper Yorkshire parkin for Cat, and a real traditional Yorkshire delicacy for me – a curry pastie. If you do end up going to Saltaire, which I urge you to do, don’t pay upwards of a tenner for a meal in the Salts Mill caff – get thee to the bakery for a proper pastie.

You can find out more about the mill at the Official Site.

Northern Exposure

189649_10150185920283313_771433312_7925777_2237005_nThose of you who already follow Ed Sprake on Twitter (@ed_moose) will know of this man’s talent. He takes heart-achingly beautiful photographs. Also, he has a beard, so must be one of the good guys.

Last Tuesday evening we went to a preview of his exhibition at The Portico Library in Manchester. (Well, his and three other talented photographers). There’s some uplifting pictures to be seen, and bought.

If you’re in Manchester before the 28th April, do yourself a big favour and pop into the little door just round the corner from the Bank pub. I’ll be there again on the 27th myself.



The cognoscenti gather in the Library.







The exhibition….







Impressive roof at The Portico.






One of Ed’s best, completely ruined by my own crap camera.







Polite Literature.







If you look carefully, you’ll spot Ed amongst the peanut and wine blaggers.