Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Little Creatures.

Little Creatures., originally uploaded by mithering.

Just a few tiny things to catch up on.

First up, I’ve now seen Kingfishers on the Irwell in town/Salford two mornings in a row. Yesterday, two shot under Millennium Bridge, near Salford's five-star Lowry Hotel, heading towards Victoria Bridge at quite a pace. This morning, as I sped along The Crescent towards The Old Pint Pot, I saw one heading in the counter direction following the course of The Irwell, low above the river, towards Castle Irwell. Their colours seemed more muted than previous viewings, and I’m not sure if this was because they were juveniles (I hope not, it’s getting cold) or because their colours flare or wane according to seasonal need.

Second, there’s a new issue of Under The Boardwalk out. Under The Boardwalk, FC United's Fanzine! Get one while there are still some left, or download an excerpt, from

Thirdly, I’ve added a Library Thing widget to this blog, and decided to theme it. Have I got 200 graphic literature books? You’re going to find out soon enough.

Finally, a quick plug for little adele - funemployed , a blog put together by one of the wittiest people I know to detail the journey from restructure to relief. Or something like that…

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Que Sera Sera

Que Sera Sera, originally uploaded by mithering.

Had a cracking day out yesterday with eldest son. FC United were playing North Ferriby United in the F.A. Cup Second Qualifying round over at their place. A good thing as playing 'home' cup games at our rented bedsit in Gigg Lane means that we have to pay the rent after the takings for the game are split between the two sides.

A pair of sainted FC Fans run their own coach - The Boogie Bus - seats for which are sold at cost, with the price going down the more who book on board. This time round a double decker luxury coach was secured and quickly filled up. A buzz was created around our house as the kids both whispered about this magnificent 'Double Decker Boogie Bus', even though only one was going the other thought it one of the best things they'd ever heard of. A comment on a forum and some digital communication later and we've got the top front seats reserved. (Thanks Gally and GRS). Mrs. Mithering and I subtly whipped up the hysteria by suggesting that top front would be a great place to sit but that it was probably unlikely as other people like to 'drive the bus'.

The Magic of The Cup.

Come Saturday morning and we head into Stevenson Square to pick up our ride opposite The Koffee Pot. Upstairs and straight to the front. We notice that on each seat there is a free t-shirt courtesy of United Nation t-shirts and a Double Decker chocolate bar courtesy of The Boogie Bus. Up above us is a DVD screen. Five minutes into the journey Manchester United 100 FA Cup Goals starts up. Great footage of the team in the 70s and 80s brings back a lot of memories. The bloke behind me seems to have been to most of the games, or knows why he wasn't at particular ones.

En route to the game the tradition is to stop off at a countryside pub where free food is laid on - trays and trays of chips are the norm, or weird-looking meat dishes - and people can have a pre-match pint in comfort. The place chosen this time was The Percy Arms in Airmyn, and the method of food distribution was unique. They had arranged for a burger bar to set up in their car park with and distribute food (from a limited menu) for free. Cheese-burgers, chips and chilli. Past experience meant I had made myself and eldest son delicious vegetarian sandwiches, although he did help himself to a portion of chips.

Allotments at North Ferriby.

For once we arrived at the game before kick-off, our previous Boogie Bus experience was usually that of arriving just after or bang on kick off. Not so, this time. North Ferriby is a pretty small place just outside Hull, and is proper Posh Village territory. When we parked up on the road near the ground there were allotments between us and the entrance. Once inside, it became clear that this was one of the more well-appointed grounds we are likely to see - allotments at one end, a clear view of the Humber Bridge at the other, a railway line down one side (just like at Old Trafford) and lots of random greenery down the other.

The game ended in a one-nil victory for FC so we're in tomorrow's draw for the Third Qualifying Round. Now only two games away from the First Round Proper and the chance to make some much-needed money. In the meantime, let's hope for another away trip and the opportunity to dust down the double decker again.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Really Free.

rachaelball, originally uploaded by mithering.

Sometimes things just fall into place. Spent some time on Twitter recently wondering what had happened to Rachael Ball, the fantastic and talented comic book artist who I was lucky to work with for a very short while at City Life. Then, on Sunday, having been instructed that 'those shelves will have to go' I was going through some old boxes of stuff and came across various issues of Hungry and Homeless, a free magazine I used to produce with Mr. Richard Hector-Jones and Mr. Jay Taylor. On top was the one which had a cover drawn by Rachael Ball.


Hungry and Homeless started out as an A4 sheet, folded down to A7 in order to create a pleasing little beast which we used to leave in the bars, shops and public conveniences of Manchester. To quote one issue, "Reviews hardly ever exceed 20 words, features end around fifty, and interviews are usually one question." Those were the rules. We accidentally invented Twitter. In the end we produced about 16 issues, the later ones, including the Rachael Ball one above, were A3 folded down to A6, with covers drawn by a number of comic book 'superstars', including D'Israeli, Evan Dorkin, Sue Platt, Phillip Bond and (to his great confusion) Art Spiegelman. Random interviewees included Arthur Lee of Love, DJ Superstar Justin Robertson, Her out of Bikini Kill, Al Jourgensen of Ministry and Ornette Coleman.


In the spirit of giving, I rescued a small number of spare copies from the bin and will send them to those of you who want them, and who promise me they will not be offended, insulted or otherwise outraged by the offensive juvenalia contained therein. e-mail details to rapwithlester -AT- googlemail -DOT- com (reconstruct the address using Airfix Glue).

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Up Against The Wall XIII: No War Eny More

No War Eny More, originally uploaded by mithering.

Crass have a lot to answer for. Not least encouraging the youth of the Midlands to daub anti-war graffiti along isolated country walls and the substitution of peace signs for the letter 'o'.

Obscene graffiti has been a bit thin on the ground recently. People are either a lot more chilled than in the past or the price of paint has gone up.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Up Against The Wall XII: Tweeness

Hi Windmill, originally uploaded by mithering.

"Hi Windmill" Written on the side of a Wind Turbine, Scout Moor Wind Farm, near Rochdale. A very disappointing site if you want obscene graffiti; the two Turbines we walked up to mainly had people's names scratched or written onto them. That aside, I can thoroughly recommend the short walk up the hill from Owd Betts, an old pub on the A680 between Rochdale and Edenfield, to the turbines themselves as they are massively impressive. Here's a video I shot of them. What you don't get is the eerie, screaming noise they make randomly, every now and then.

Scout Moor Wind Farm

Friday, 11 September 2009

Fleet Foxes "Mykonos"

Off to see The Fleet Foxes at The Apollo tonight. Nice'n'gentle. Taking eight-year-old eldest son as The Fleet Foxes are like The Beatles in our house. Hope to pick up tiny tees for him and his little brother. Failing that some sort of souvenir made out of pieces of twig will have to do.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

These Boots Are Made For Walking.

What are we all going to do when the work on Deansgate is finally finished and the chaos returns? No more ambling down the middle of the road, no more dancing between the single line of slow-moving motor traffic, no more disregarding the traffic signals and just going.

I've just been outside to get some GT85 for the bike from Evans and found out that the sun is shining and there's an end of Summer, grab-it-while-you-can atmosphere about the place. Imagine how fantastic it would all feel if Deansgate were permanently closed to traffic.

No more footballer wannabees revving their (inevitably, head-shakingly, dull-as-dishwater black) cars up outside whichever current ludicrously-named bar attracts them like rap-spurting, bass-addicted thunderfly, insinuating themselves, Thrip-like, under, in and through the fabric of everything, outside Sofa, Pram, Log or Head.

No more stop/start queues of traffic everynight. Jumping the lights, blocking the crossings, stinking the place up in their selfish desperation to lop ten seconds off the journey between Kendals and The Model Shop.

No more buses, vans, trucks and lorries bullying and bulldozing their way through. Instead, you could have a pedestrian superhighway, with all the space you would need to overtake a slow-moving, prevaricating tourist pensioner. Enough space to accomodate the Golf Umbrella pavement posse. Room enough even for those groups of shoppers who like to spread themselves in a line right across the pavement, holding invisible hands and tutting when you head through them, even though the alternative would send you into the road.

Hell, we could even invite the cyclists in. As long as they all agreed to stop dressing like twats and use some deodorant...

(Thanks to pit-yacker for the fantastic photograph).

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Snail Shell.

Snail Shell., originally uploaded by mithering.

Tiny snails found just alongside my front door, with a five pence piece in the picture to give you a sense of scale. Super-Macro, and proof I can hold a camera steady. Sometimes.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Pictures of Match Stick Men IV

Pictures of Match Stick Men IV, originally uploaded by mithering.

From the clubhouse at Kendal Town FC, scene of February's Mort Drucker for Mad-esque rendition of The Police comes this depiction of Tina Turner, which looks entirely lifted from a Frank Bellamy drawing. At first I thought there was a possibility that Martin Asbury could have been the source, but the angles aren't sharp enough for him.

Frank Bellamy - The Pit and The Pendulum.

Apologies for the blurry nature of the photograph - I'm still trying to master the settings on my new camera phone (which resets all the changes I make every time I close it up). I'll take another if we go back there next season.