A Flash of Inspiration | Salford Quays


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Salford Quays

May 31, 2014  •  5 Comments

Life is not just a series of calculations and sum total of statistics, it's about experience, it's about participation, it is something more complex and more interesting than what is obvious. 

Daniel Libeskind

I've been very indecisive of late and not quite myself.  I'm going to a wedding in the Lake District next weekend. My outfit was bought weeks ago and today I changed my mind. I chose another one. Now I have no shoes to match. I tried on so many pairs and couldn't decide. I think it's the changing weather - one week sunny, the next cold and rainy. And so now I have an outfit for if it's warm and one for not so warm. But no shoes. And this is why my Weekend Walk Link Up is late - I was out shopping and I really don't like trawling around shops! 

After a week of sunshine, last weekend was decidedly chilly and grey. I resisted the easy option of staying at home. I headed over to Salford Quays by the historic Manchester Ship Canal which dates back to 1894. An area of significant prosperity, decline and regeneration.  

The plan was to visit the 3 day Food Festival. It was a long Bank Holiday weekend here.  Now I, like many others, was looking forward to catching a glimpse of lovely chef Yorkshireman James Martin. Amongst other things he bakes the yummiest of cakes - what more could you want from a man?!! Except he was demonstrating his talents the following day...

Miserable and drab best describes the day. But you have to get out and make the most of what light is available don't you? It's difficult to imagine this vast area as derelict and polluted - such a transformation has taken place over the last couple of decades. All sorts of discoveries to be made.

I headed over the Millennium bridge to Media City. The move of a large chunk of the BBC from London to Manchester was controversial at the time. There were many who turned their noses up at the prospect of having to move 'up north'.  The creation of Media City has  significantly contributed to the regeneration of this former run-down dockland area.  ITV recently moved across the water and the new set for soap opera Coronation Street was rebuilt here. The place has a real positive and optimistic buzz about it now. 

The three day Food Festival comprised of over a hundred foodie stalls, live music and food demonstrations. One of my favourites was this van decked out like a potting shed with edible plants in attractive containers. 

A novel idea for an old Routemaster bus! 

I felt sorry for the stall-holders. The cold was keeping the visitors away. And so prices were falling too. 

This was my choice for lunch and the portions were huge!

More raindrops...

And again the rain came down like cats and dogs. I popped into The Lowry arts centre for a cuppa. I made a mental note that the Rambert Dance Company will be appearing later in the year. 

I enjoy visiting the galleries here - it refuels me creatively when I'm struggling - and in truth I have been struggling the last few weeks. In addition to the permanent works of Manchester artist LS Lowry, there's always something new to see. At the moment there's an exhibition In the Frame: Dance on Film and the reflection here is of New York City Ballet's New Beginnings. The building is perfect for selfies - metal and glass at every turn!

Still dodging the rain I sheltered under a metal framework. Normally I'd pass by here without another look. I enjoyed composing shots through the gaps! If we pause and look closer we discover the unexpected and not so obvious.

I went in search of reflections.

I was quite undecided between colour or monochrome. Mono, I feel, fits the mood! Colour was a little too 'busy' and not so easy on the eye. 

And in search of abstract too.  Marble  and rain splatters - a perfect combination. These seats would've been occupied in the sunshine - and so every cloud has a silver lining! 

This building always intrigues me. I love the graphic lines and moodiness of the colour. The fence was tall though and I strained to peer over it! At times like this I could do with step ladders as part of my kit! 

Another of my favourite contemporary buildings is the Imperial War Museum North designed by Daniel Libeskind. The metal and rivets are so striking. A blue sky sets it off perfectly. Sadly not today though! But still an impressive and thoughtful piece of architecture. The building represents 3 shards - earth, water and sky - and shattered by conflict. The photo I often use in my profiles is a selfie taken in the window in the Water Shard. The photo in my "About Page' was composed at the museum entrance. I become so absorbed photographing here that I lose track of time.

I made a brief detour by the canal to one of my favourite sculptures which represents the labour union cards of dockers from the time when the area was a thriving working port. The workers queued daily for employment. There was never any guarantee of work and they didn't know from one day  to the next if they'd take a wage home to their families. Many were turned away. 

I hope you enjoyed my visit around Salford Quays! 

If you've been out with your camera I'd love to see where you've been. Please feel free to link up either by using the link tool or by adding your post to the comments box. Please remember to give me a shout-out and link on your page too.

Hope you have an pleasant week! 





Kelly L Mckenzie(non-registered)
What a lovely walk! I am sorry you've been feeling a bit out of sorts lately. I have too! Exercise always helps me. I'm off to zumba in a few minutes and while I'm dreading it I know I'll be feeling SO much better when it's done.
Here's to the sun picking up in your part of the world!
Love that bridge. My love affair with bridges. oh my.
Great buildings to photograph. I love to see urban renewal. The food stalls would be so tempting, even though Glen and I are back to counting calories for the summer.
No one looking at these photos would ever guess you were struggling creatively! You've captured so much variety, and framed it in such interesting ways. Great tour - I loved it!
Great Tour. I love the architecture shots and also the monochrome. You seem to know just which ones need it. Such an interesting place where you live. It's quite boring here in comparison.
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