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The Civil Justice Centre, corner of Bridge Street and Gartside Street.

Opened on 24 October 2007, the Manchester Civil Justice Centre is the biggest court complex to be built in the UK since the Royal Courts of Justice were constructed in London between 1868-82.

On completion it had the largest glass wall in Europe: a 63m by 60m cavity glass wall as a façade along its western edge supported by sixty metre high triangular atrium columns all suspended from the 11-storey atrium roof.

The floors cantilever up to 15 metres from the building’s columns creating what the architect has dubbed “fingers”, a feature that gives the building some distinctive interior space.

Architects Denton Corker Marshall won Australia’s most prestigious architecture prize – the Royal Australian Institute of Architects National Awards (RAIA) Jørn Utzon Award for International Architecture for designing this building.

(Source: Skyscraper News)

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Christmas shopping in the rain …

You could wait for a lifetime
To spend your days in the sunshine …
(Noel Gallagher, Cigarettes and Alcohol)

King Street

This magnificent erection is the statue of Neptune which stands on the parapet of Ship Canal House in King Street, once the banking centre of the north of England. The building was commissioned in the 1920s by the Manchester Ship Canal Company as its headquarters.

Mosley Street Metrolink

People waiting for trams to Altrincham, Eccles, MediaCityUK and Salford Quays.

Albert Square

The decorations put up for the recent Chinese New Year juxtapose rather well against the Town Hall in Albert Square.

This was taken after an excellent lunch at the Slug & Lettuce.

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Elbow performing at Manchester Cathedral. The song is “Lippy Kids” from their album Build a Rocket Boys!.

This captures some of the atmosphere of this amazing gig which I walked into Manchester to see.

Felix Mendelssohn writes to his mother, 19 July 1842, describing a screamingly funny morning spent with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert at Buckingham Palace:

I owe you further particulars of our time in London, after our trip to Manchester … Prince Albert had asked me to go to him on Saturday at two o’clock, so that I might try his organ before I left England. I found him all alone; and as we were talking away, the Queen came in, also quite alone, in a house dress. She said she was obliged to leave for Claremont in an hour. “But goodness! how it looks here,” she added, when she saw that the wind had littered the whole room, and even the pedals of the organ, with leaves of music from a large portfolio that lay open. As she spoke, she knelt down and began picking up the music; Prince Albert helped, and I too was not idle. Then Prince Albert proceeded to explain the stops to me, and while he was doing it, she said that she would put things straight alone.

But I begged that the Prince would first play me something; and thereupon he played me a chorale by heart, with pedals, so charmingly and clearly and correctly that many an organist could have learned something; and the Queen, having finished her work, sat beside him and listened, very pleased.

Then the Crown Prince of Gotha came in, and there was more conversation, and among other things the Queen asked if I had composed any new songs, and said that she was very fond of singing the published ones. “You should sing one to him,” said Prince Albert; and after a little begging she said she would try the “Fruehlingslied” in B-flat. “Yes, if it were still here, for all my music is packed up for Claremont.” Prince Albert went to look for it, but came back saying it was already packed. “Oh, perhaps it could be unpacked,” said I. So the bell was rung, and the servants were sent after it, but came back embarrassed; and then the Queen went herself, and whilst she was gone Prince Albert said to me “She begs you will accept this present as a remembrance” and gave me a case with a beautful ring, on which is engraved “V.R. 1842”. Then the Queen came back and said: “Lady N.N. (I did not catch the name) has left and has taken all my things with her. It really is most unseemly.” (You can’t thnk how that amused me.)

Later, after rummaging around in some music, Queen Victoria sang “Schoener und schoener” from Mendelssohn’s first set of songs, which he was forced to confess was in fact composed by his sister Fanny! How they laughed!

Black Dogs Defined

This is the best of me; for the rest, I ate, and drank, and slept, loved and hated, like another: my life was as the vapour and is not; but this I saw and knew; this, if anything of mine, is worth your memory.

(John Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies)

Whatever people say I am, that’s what I’m not.

(Alan Sillitoe, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning)

This is my letter to the world, that never wrote to me.

(Emily Dickinson, This is my letter to the world)

Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand:
Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!

(Edna St. Vincent Millay, Second Fig)

R.A.D. Stainforth

I was born before The Beatles’ first LP and brought up in the reeking slums of Jericho. I am in love with a woman called Hazel and in love with her daughter, also called Hazel, both of whom I met at Alcoholics Anonymous.

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