I hadn't even started my job when I last posted here. Well, now I've been at work nearly three month, and suffice to say I am loving it. I'm given a load of different responsibilities, the people are awesome, banter abounds and it's loads of fun. Got to go to Liverpool to see the Everyman before it won the Stirling Prize (blog entry here
), and am I don't think I'll need to buy my own drink for a while! I am working on two projects mainly: a massive apartment scheme and the church I've settled at, quite the extremes! I feel appreciated and useful, and felt at home pretty quickly ^_^ Last night was the Manchester Society of Architects annual dinner and we had a fantastic time in the Museum of Science and Industry, all dressed up. Didn't talk to anyone outside my practice but it was still a lot of fun!
Getting used to the strange beast of a city that is Manchester has proved challenging - I am always bombarded with its vibrancy and no one else seems to get that I think Market Street is barmy and not always delightfully so. But for the most part I like the place, and I am living far enough out from the city centre that I get some greenery. It's great to be in a big city that doesn't feel big, and I admire the pride of the natives and the creativity that comes from this place. And Salford, you're not bad either
Living alone for a month while my housemate was away was tough but taught me a lot too.
Been to a few good gigs already and got a lot of music for my birthday and so would recommend the following:
Josh Record - heard him and his two-man band in the fantastic acoustics of St Philip's Church in Salford. Echoey, ethereal harmonies and heartfelt songs, with some epic drums.
The John Steel Singers - didn't think much of Night and Day but these Australians make a good cheerful sound. Their album Everything's A Thread is growing on me.
U2 - Songs of Innocence is full of catchy hits and it somehow doesn't sound too much like their usual stuff!
Also: Ben Howard's new album, Imogen Heap's new one too, Nick Mulvey, Dry The River, Dutch Uncles, Beirut, King Creosote.
I get exposed to a lot of new music through the speakers at work which is great. I have a long list of artists to listen to and explore, and I think this has had a great impact on my music-writing. I've uploaded one piece of music
and am busy trying to get down my first song! (Not the first I've written, just the first I really like haha) Let me know what you think and how I can improve, though bear in mind this was recorded into the computer via MIDI so is a bit far off what a real piano should sound like! Also, prepare to hear my high reedy voice soon! (And possibly shocking guitar-playing...maybe)
Finally, and most importantly, I've been really blessed by my new church. Holy Trinity Platt is a really thriving evangelical church with a fantastic heart for people like me - the new, lost and confused ones! I've met some great friends already though it is still a struggle feeling at home in a big church. I've thrown myself into a lot of things, such as the Christmas choir and international student outreach. We've been reading Mark's Gospel and I am amazed again at how UNmundane Jesus is. He divided people, reached out to the outsiders and he said the most unexpected things. To think that as a Christian I can so easily lose sight of how wonderfully 3D my Saviour is.
So now I am looking forward to the Christmas carol concerts and to seeing the work on the church go forward. I cannot WAIT to see Interstellar in IMAX on Tuesday, and even though it's ages away I am already looking forward to going home at Christmas and going away to Madeira for new year with the family. There's lots to be done, and hopefully I won't be neglecting dA quite as much (Facebook you have so much to answer for!!!) All the best and thanks if you read this long spiel!