Manchester on Film…

 

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Funny how a city can host a personality before you’ve even visited. Alive in a picture of people who’ve existed there, bands rooted there, a history learnt though documentaries on times long passed.

Manchester begins in dribs and drabs of estate housing and graffiti-ed red brick, a lineage of its industrial past. But there’s a certain warmth in the grottiness, maybe it’s the familiarity to me, that I can relate it to the streets I grew up in back in Newcastle.

I meet Amy and we play a game of musical chairs: alternative bars and cafe eats, vegan diners and dive bars, catching up on the year that’s passed like no time passed at all. A friend like a sister, a soul piece, a revelation. We’re well and tipsy and happy to be in the city discussing the deepest things in life: love, ambition, purpose and growing up. It’s been six years since we were let loose on the world, finding a grounding companionship on that first night of university. We haven’t changed much but then we’re completely different people, it’s a weird place your twenties.

Film camera tour stops, another cheeky brew at Jimmy’s, spontaneous tattoo’s and canal side goodbyes. It’s short and sweet and nothing spectacular at all yet I leave a piece of me there in the heart of Manchester and watch as those same red brick factories and terrace houses pass me by.

There’s something very humble about being back in England. An appreciation I failed to have before but I’m proud of where I’m from, not for the politics, for the societal decay but for the people up in these Northern towns, of the grafters, the artists, the people who paint the streets with their wild. We’ve got a riotous little core and theirs pride to be had in that.

Love & Light, N x

Glasgow on Film…

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The nostalgia of the train journey from Newcastle to Edinburgh. Memories planted with the wildflowers in the country. The incomparable sweetness of reuniting with a friend who beams, always, like sunshine. The magic of childish giddiness that keeps you from sleep.

The calm of belonging walking through Glasgow, that liveliness that exalted you on your last trip four years ago. The music: buskers around every corner, vinyl stores, advertisements for bands big and small, venues aplenty. From the uniform Britishness of the city center, to dilapidated store fronts, businesses too poor to prosper, to quaint hipster cafe’s and picturesque town houses. The levels of a city baring the trail of time.

Drunk in the sunshine. A parade of decorated bodies, slurred lyrics and mosh pits. The unity of strangers in the sunset light screaming lyrics to a song you know so well, but which takes on whole new meaning in the moment. The heart surge when the intro to your favourite song starts.  Jumping and losing your mind like you’re fourteen again at your first ever concert, of your most favourite band. That naive certainty that your whole world exists in this songs course. The frantic debrief afterward. Weary and strolling through the city streets, your mate squatting for a piss on the side of the road, chip shop chips, zonking out as soon as your fuzzy head hits the pillow.

More reunions with friends who seem fictional now, existing somewhere that isn’t the world you created together on the other side of the world. The simple contentment of eating good food and chatting good chats. The gratitude that consumes you, being surrounded by inspirational humans that make you believe the world might just be wonderful.

The rarity of a full heart rather than a heavy one as you say “See you later”, because you don’t really believe in the definiteness of goodbye anymore, and hop on the train home, excited to be back in a city that filled you with nothing but dread for so many years.

These shots were taken on a disposable with Ilford black and white film, and whilst the disposable was fun I’d prefer the freedom and the skill involved in an actual film camera, so if you have any advice for beginners I am so very super keen to hear it!  Annnnnd on another note if you ever get the chance to see Catfish and the Bottlemen live, run with it, even if you have to sneak into the venue. One of the best live bands I think I’ve ever seen.

Love and Light. N x

Mount Moments 05…

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22.03.18

Three days off. One day too long. A brazen walk into a tattoo shop. It’s raining, I’m bored, and I’m careless, reckless, desperate for any sort of feeling. So now I welcome a new addition to my arm, a quote that reminds me of dismal days I conquered, that stretch of time when I was both most and least myself. It’s a kind of courage for the days that spiral down that same road, a memento of a project I committed to, resonated with and completed but mostly a little thank you to a musician who taught me a lot about the transitions of being human and making it in this world.

‘It’s Life and Life Only.’ – Bob Dylan.

31.03.18

The moon looks her most threatening tonight, ruthless confidence, beaming magnanimity. But I still find her allure in all of her phases. Great goddess of femininity, the truest most courageous representative of me and all of my sisters.

06.04.18

Independant. Stubborn. Restless. Impossible. What a collection of negative descriptives.

All of those terms have been used to describe me more than once. And I have to admit, regrettably, that they’re true. I used to take pride in my independence but…I’m lonely. And I guess I always have been a little bit, growing up too introverted and unseen. Somewhere I lost the ability to feel the bad in it and just embraced loneliness as my norm. Being alone never really solidified a relationship with myself but rather started this blooming of self disgust. After years of sharing my space, both at work and home it hit hard to be so isolated these past four months. But I think I might of made a break through with her, the me that defied self love for so long. That’s something, right? But in that I’ve found a new hunger for companionship that never really reared it’s head before.

 

Light and Love, N x