Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Friday 27th January 12

I woke early, at about 7.30, and got up then as I had a fair bit to do if I was going to go out later.

I lit the back room stove and Gill took the kids to school and did her stint at the shop.  I washed up and tried to work out what I am doing over the weekend.  I have a booking for tomorrow afternoon, but I was fairly sure that I had something booked for Sunday, as I'd been invited to a social in Leeds and had then taken a Fiddlesticks booking which I thought had meant that I couldn't go to that.  However, thinking about it today, I realise that I'd taken the Saturday booking and somehow my disorganised brain had transposed it to Sunday.  The paperwork says Saturday.  I have no paperwork for anything on Sunday, so I may be able to go to Leeds, as hoped.

I am on a Facebook group called Kingston Orchard Project and one of the prime-movers, Anna Kwilecka, asked me f I had any apple trees she could have grafting material from.  I told her about the Bramleys and she asked if I could send some scion material.. basically twigs which she'll graft onto the root stock she's got.  So I went and trimmed a few twigs and put them in a padded envelope, with a few pea beans, yam tubercles and pear leather, and took them to the post office and put an overnight postage on them.  I have no idea if they'll be OK or not... but I can send some more if she wants.

I then went to do a Green Party leaflet delivery on Heslington Road. This took an hour, and I got back just after Gill got in and I had lunch after her, at about 1.30.  Then I got  ready to go to town to sort out the LETS bank account signatories and pay the Good Energy bills for the year ahead, which I do by electronic transfer.  I couldn't do the LETS account stuff as I hadn't got all the details, so it's just as well I went to check it at the bank first, rather than send it off and have it sent back to me to complete.  I got to the station just a bit too late for the 3.26 so I got the 3.41.  I changed at Manchester Piccadilly and got a Stockport train, and Janie met me there.

We'd debated whether to go by train to Liverpool or whether she would drive.  The negatives about the train were that the gallery was some way from the nearest station and although the connections were good getting there, on the way back, the hourly train at 10ish would get into Manchester with only 3 minutes to spare before the last Train to Marple, and if we got the 9ish train,we'd have to walk 20 minutes to the further station as there wasn't a service from the one 10 minutes away.  There were more frequent and later trains back to Stockport, but there was no free parking there, and  that would set Janie back £10 just to leave the car there.  So, all in all, we decided to drive to Liverpool, 40 miles, and park next to the gallery and then we'd be able to leave when we wanted.

However, the trip from Stockport to the M62 turn off the M60 Manchester Ring Road took nearly an hour, as it was really jammed with too much traffic.  Something I'm not used to.  The motorway into Liverpool was a lot less crowded and I'd memorised the route using Googlemaps, and this impressed Janie who doesn't have a good sense of direction and doesn't read maps.  I got us there without a hitch, no problem.  In fact, I was quite impressed too!

So, we went to The Gallery for the Private Viewing (opening night) of the annual Erotic Art Exhibition by the Association of Erotic Artists.  It is no secret amongst those who know me that I have a deep appreciation of erotica and a healthy interest in sexuality, orientation, kink and the like, despite my being a 'boring vanilla hetero' compared to some of the people I've met. One person I really admire from this world is Tuppy Owens, an advocate for sex workers and access to a sex life for disabled people (see Outsiders) .  I was really thrilled (no, wrong word) really happy to eventually meet her here.  This was probably the highlight of my evening. 

Janie and I first looked round all the paintings, photographs and sculptures, and one 'installation' which was an extremely still woman lying down with assorted objects placed on or next to her.  I liked a few very colourful pieces but nothing really got me very excited, in any sense of the word.

There were several live performances, Len Gifford doing a body cast of a woman's buttocks, using a blue algae-based substance which dries to a rubbery texture (used to take casts of mouths apparently) and plaster of Paris which almost defeated him as he couldn't open the tub!  Then there was a very athletic and eventually naked pole-dancer called Edie, and a bondage demonstration by the transgender 'Boykitten' and their 'dom'.  The most exotic act was Mouse who did some amazing things which I can't describe here.  Anyone with a nervous disposition or blinkered approach to life should not click on her website.

One other nice memory was meeting a couple called Kate and Tony, who were both somewhat taken aback by the proceedings but great to talk to.  They'd come to support their friend Fiona who owns the gallery.  Janie and I couldn't stay for the after-party as I needed to get back home on the train, and I didn't fancy the one which left Stockport after midnight.  The journey back was very quick, motorway all the way and she dropped me off at the station at 10.40 and I was in Manchester by 11. I waited in the lounge area above Platform 13 for the York train. There was a woman sleeping on the seats, and I woke her up as there was a train leaving in 5 minutes, and I asked her which train she was waiting for. Her name was Jenny and she had a lovely voice... and was very pleased she was able to get the last train home to Liverpool, rather than sleep in the station overnight. She would have missed it otherwise.

On the 11.21 train to York I chatted to a young lass called Anna who dozed most of the way, and she left her expensive-looking mobile phone on the train when she tumbled out at Leeds, so I went to the door and yelled at her to come and get it off me.  Another good deed!

The train got in at 1.20 as it had been sent on a diversion due to overnight working on the line.  Gill was awake and watching a film, I was really pleased to see her. 

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