Category Archives: Seen

Back street politics


It’s the drawing of the pooing dog that makes it art


Slow down red squirrels

It seems that red squirrels, unlike their grey American cousins, are able to read.


Chill out red squirrels. Don’t be always rushing about red squirrels. Look both ways red squirrels.


On spectacularly grey Sunday morning in Leeds -in stark contrast to the prettiness of snow sparkling York in the sunshine yesterday – I saw this outside the station.


It doesn’t appear to be selling anything, and I find that pleasant.

Queues outside bookshops

I don’t know what was going on, and I don’t want to in case it spoils it, but I am pleased to report queues of young people outside both branches of Waterstones in Birmingham today.

Maybe books got sexy today. Maybe people just can’t get enough reading. Maybe books have been banned and are now subversive and cool.

Anyhow, outside the Waterstones with the glass lift near the bull ring there was a queue, I thought that was odd but carried on up New Street minding my own business. I passed the other branch, this is one of my favourite shops. The Waterstones near my home is all white and shiny and cool and totally wrong. Bookshops should be cosy, bookshops should have hush, bookshops should be sacred portals to a million other impossible, fantastical and reachable worlds. You should feel that possibilty when you walk through the door. There should be chairs. You should be left alone to look at the pictures in the knitting books, run your fingers down the spines of books, sniff the ink… er… Maybe that’s just me. New Street Waterstones has corners, it has levels, it has a fabulous sweeping staircase going up the middle of it. And today, all the way up the staircase and out of the door into the street; teenagers. Please don’t tell me why, I like to wonder.

Street picnic

On my way to the shop today I stopped to say hello to Heike, our fabulous building manager, she was lounging about on a deck chair in the street. I asked her why she was doing so. She was hanging out with Friends of the Earth who were taking part in no parking day. “How much nicer would it be if cities were designed for people and not cars?” they said. How much nicer it would be if people gave out cupcakes and coffee in the street, I say20110916-194009.jpg

Flowers in the other city

I often wish, when I am going about my ordinary everyday business* that I could see myself in the street so I could blog about what I saw me doing.

Saturday was an example of this. I met up with Rachel from Artyarn and That Roger and spent three hours wandering the streets of Salford decorating lamposts with flowers.

Photos by Artyarn

Us knitters at The Kings Arms had been asked by Sounds from the Other City if we would decorate the streets outside their venues with something woolly. Roger made an astonishing quantity of green knitted vines and the rest of us made a lot of flowers with pins on the back. Festival goers were invited to take a flower and decorate themselves. I hope you are wearing one.

* going about my everyday business: like the time (many years ago, before blogs) I decided I liked a rocking chair I had seen in a junk shop and me and my Dad carried it between us for nearly half a mile. Every time we saw someone, my Dad put the chair down and told them they could sit in it for a while for tenpence.

On Kent St Birmingham

On Kent St Birmingham, originally uploaded by ms_lilith.

I’m hoping this is Brum’s gay community being loud and proud and not someone being derogatory about Birmingham’s gay quarter.

And is it the same person who takes the C out of Manchester’s Canal Street?