Friday, 28 November 2008

My Baby's Got DFC.

DFC Reader, originally uploaded by mithering.

The DFC is available in Tesco for one week only. It's a subscription-only comic that's been flogged through The Manchester Guardian to the likes of me. If you've not seen it already, treat yourself. It's not the greatest of line-ups for an advocacy issue, but it does have Sarah McIntyre's consistently funny Vern and Lettuce, Jim Medway's cutely-observed Crab Lane Crew and cover-stars Mo-Bot High by Neill Cameron. A stronger line-up would have included the increasingly surreal and beautifully-illustrated Mezolith and Gary Northfield's Lil Cutie, a tremendous marriage of offbeat humour and appealing illustration. Tremendous applause in the direction of Gary Northfield for providing the first ever creator-owned character* for The Beano, with Derek The Sheep (available in book form right now).

*A real breakthrough, albeit six years ago.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Round and Round.

Mmmm... meat, originally uploaded by mithering.

Five posts in and it's [MES]repetition repetition repetition[/MES]. The peregrines have either finished their peregrination or they never went away. I've spotted them twice in town this week. First, Monday morning, having taken a detour via Victoria Bridge (adjacent to the old Victoria Bus Station for Old Heads) to check out The Irwell for herons, I looked up and saw one doing a circuit round the old tax office and the cathedral. It then landed on the building (in Salford) I suspect they're nesting on. Being called Peregrine and living in Salford must be character-building. The avian equivalent of 'A Boy Called Sue'.

Then today, at dinnertime, walking up John Dalton Street on my way to Piccadilly railway station, up above moved that fantastic gliding t-shape. I looked around and nobody else seemed to have seen it. People just going about their business don't look up at the sky unless there's something terrible up there. (Which there is, if you're a small mammal, or a smaller bird, or a less aggressive bird (pretty much any bird, then)).

Second case of [MES]repetition repetition repetition[/MES] is a bus thing, harking back to my first post way back last month. If I could have any super power beyond the totally godlike ones, I'd have to go for one which guaranteed I arrived at a bus stop at the exact moment a bus arrived. I realise this is probably An Urban Power Fantasy, reserved for people who have a pretty regular bus service, but we all have our weaknesses.

(The photograph is one which I took at The Railway Inn in Hucknall, Notts, on an away trip to watch FC United. If I'd had a usable photo of a peregrine that would have pride of place, but I don't. When I do, it'll be here first).

Thursday, 6 November 2008


Last week, as the kids were away, we went to The Royal Exchange Theatre to see 'Antigone' by Sophocles. It's not the sort of thing we would do normally, but it's not beyond the pail. We had tickets on the banquettes (that's a hard 'a', by the way. Bank, not Bonk. I asked The Ticket Guy) which cost £8.50 on the day, and are basically benches distributed around the perimeter of the stage (R.Ex is 'in the round'). It was the first time I'd ever seen the dramatisation of a Greek tragedy and it was, in the main, pretty entertaining. There was the almost obligatory updating of the costumes and vernacular (the last time I was at R.Ex it was to see a production of Macbeth set in a concentration camp. Nice), which made it difficult to see if the source material stood up (although the alternative of seeing it in the original Greek would have had me running from the theatre). The Banquette seats were great value for money - there was so much spit coming from some of the actors it was like being at a punk gig in '77. The play itself? Good. Some confusing and potentially pointless linking material between scenes, a patronising and irritating 'northern' messenger, and a weakly-cast Antigone were rescued by strong ensemble acting and a charismatic Creon.