Posts tagged Manchester

Allotment post!

From top to bottom: strawberries; tomatillos and tomatoes; leeks, runner beans, and sugar snap peas; CHILLIES; red currants; broccoli; and cabbage!

2 notes 

Bees!

Well, BEE! There’s a bee in my garden. And I’m in my garden because the sun is shining for a 4th day in a row.

This has to mean winter has gone, no? It has, right? No more winter. Please I can’t take anymore cold, rainy, windy weather!

Bee = spring?

1 note 

Sometimes you get lucky

I wanted to see if #Goldfrappascurator was still on at the Lowry; it’s not. It ended Sunday *cough cough, K Starnes*.

There was a tab,’Goldfrapp performs’, and on a whim I clicked it. There was a performance by Goldrapp 27 March. There was a buy button, I clicked it. I looked at circle; I looked at upper circle; all sold out. I looked at stalls - two seats next to each other in the area we usually sit at the Lowry. GASP - couldn’t be true could it?

…guess who is going to Goldfrapp on the night of her first lecture?

3 notes 

themancorialist:

Atkinson Street, Manchester.

What makes the photo so good is that it’s been -1C with wind chill this entire week, so this guy is actually like a narwhal for those bare ankles. This guy. Manchester narwhal…

themancorialist:

Atkinson Street, Manchester.

What makes the photo so good is that it’s been -1C with wind chill this entire week, so this guy is actually like a narwhal for those bare ankles.
This guy. Manchester narwhal…

6 notes 

On cultural appropriation and fitting in: preparations for Tunisia

My partner and I are going to Tunisia in January for a week of ‘winter sun’. This is our first trip to Northern Africa. The country is still under a state of emergency, as declared by the current president following the uneventful November elections, until June 2014. We’re not staying in one of those barricaded resort towns like a lot of Europeans do; why would we, we’re (stupid) Americans?! And also because Sousse (one of those barricaded resort towns) was the target of an attack on ‘Western’ tourists this summer. We hope to go to Tunis and Carthage, and it is advisable for me to wear a headscarf.

I have had the misfortune of never having a Muslim mate. But I, like many ‘Westerners’, have found women in the hijab beautiful, and I have questions. Like, how women get that wonderful bump?! A YouTube tutorial says that it’s usually a flower clip or ornate scrunchie. It’s to give ‘volume’ to the look. And where are they finding these scarves so long that they can be wrapped two or three times?! Turns out that’s just good pin-work. But in this context, my question is about how to wear a headscarf to be culturally appropriate whilst not committing cultural appropriation. Something I’ve learned by being a migrant is that when in large, unfamiliar social areas, it’s better to fit in than stand out.

I want to feel safe; I want to ‘fit in’, but I don’t want to appropriate someone’s culture. I opted for a brown, plain scarf. I did a simple headscarf wrap and noticed that I don’t look very beautiful. I definitely don’t look like the women I see in Manchester. As my partner said, ‘Hurry up and get in the bread line.’ It must be my pale skin and sunken-in eyes of a 4th year PhD.

Now, the ‘Western’ vain part of me wants to buy a nice Burberry-print scarf and buy/make one of the clips/scrunchies to look more like these beautiful women. That’s when I recognised the line between, what I believe is, ‘fitting in’ and cultural appropriation. Having always admired women in the hijab, I wanted to be as beautiful and make myself look more like these women. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials on ‘Arabic makeup’ and voluminous and elaborate hijabs; that, I’m almost certain, would be cultural appropriation - adopting what aspects of another culture I found most pleasing. At least, I’m pretty sure that’s how the Guardian described cultural appropriation a couple of weeks ago.

Thoughts?

2 notes 

Happy Saturday: Ding-dong Doha’s dead - but in a good way, if I’m being unclear

With Mandela’s death dominating headlines, as it should, there are few words to capture the sense of elation I feel at the news that the WTO has produced a ‘Bali package’, concluding the 12-year Doha Round.

Like many, I’ve spent years of my life ‘investing’ in the WTO, not just as a judicial forum, but as a policy-making mechanism for international trade. I BELIEVE in the WTO. I BELIEVE in multilateralism, and I BELIEVE in consensus and the single undertaking - the WTO’s thorny decision-making mechanism. Despite criticism coming out, the fact of the matter is ‘Doha-lite’ is done; Doha has ended, and this is the single greatest piece of news to come out of the WTO, perhaps since the transition from the GATT. It’s the greatest news because it means the WTO, as a legislative forum, will survive - for the time being - and when you’re invested in an organisation that has failed to survive as the ITO and the GATT, these things aren’t taken for granted. Rather than begrudge ‘Doha-lite’ or the weak rewards for developing nations - which, in my view, is still up for debate; every ministerial, developing nations advance their veteran-status in the machinery that comprises global trade rules (formal and informal) - we should congratulate the ministers, ambassadors, governments, unions, NGOs, and, particularly, the WTO staff who made the conclusion of Doha a reality that seemed almost impossible as late as Thursday night. Job well done, everyone.

And let’s not forget Director-General Azevedo … because as my friend at ECIPE knows, I, correctly, predicted the conclusion of Doha at Bali using the framework for analysis of executive leadership I developed in my doctoral research. So, you know, …go, me. :-) And go, Director-General Azevedo; I’m absolutely certain your leadership matters.

In the homestretch!

Yesterday I was registered for the fourth - and final - year of my PhD. The end is technically in sight; although I’m only halfway done writing up my doctoral thesis, and it doesn’t feel like it… I have a plan to submit in August, VIVA hopes for October, teaching through the first term as much as they will allow, and wrapping up my thesis with a nice little bow in early December. This means, I hope, I get to wear my fancy hat (graduation) before our visas are up in January 2015, and we leave this rainy island.

It’s kind of scary but definitely energising! Like outdoor running in Mancunian winter, I’m up for the tough; I’m ready for the challenge, because my goals are in sight. …hooray.

Do any of the other PhDs just feel like if they had figured out a workable life balance earlier in their progress that they’d already be done? Or is the midway mental breakdown just another part of the PhD?

2 notes 

Epic Saturday

Hi tumblrs, rather late for my weekend post, innit?

Good, good Saturday here. It was grey, as usual in Manchester in November, but we went for a long walk anyhow. By we I mean, myself, my partner, and Lelu Dallas. We forgot the camera - super lame; we saw a duck that looked just like this), super unusual colours, super beautiful. Nature is awesome. And by a long walk, I mean 2 hours. It was great. Lelu will actually walk on the harness and leash now; well, she’s do it for a bit. You know cats, then they just want to cuddle in your wool coat…

I’ve been working on Drinksgiving planning for, well, HOURS now; we’ve got 19-21 people coming, including my family flying in. Next year will be the 10th anniversary of Drinksgiving, so it had better be epic. After 3 UK Drinksgivings, I’ve finally decided to put everything down in various Word files, ensuring it will be ‘easier’ for the 10 year anniversary feast! I have 8 Word documents. Can I use this on my CV? My organisational and project management skills are freakin’ impressive!

How was yours?

:-( ????

I got sunburned on my run … in Manchester … Britain … in November!

This is possibly the first time this has ever happened in the history of time.

2 notes 

RARR - epic Sunday

Despite dapperandspiffing wishing me a happy lazy Sunday (previous post), I definitely had the opposite of a lazy Sunday!

Went for my first run since my big fall today after a 20-minute booty-shaking inner-thigh dance warm-up; thank you, C Mills. I took some advice from some of the seasoned PhD runners - particularly Dr Orth - and waited 3 weeks before I went back out on the path. I had a great run; I forced myself to keep it slow and steady and was able to get through 3K with no major pain - hooray for healing! Although, my knee is still quite painful to the touch; Willie thinks it’s a ‘bruised bone’. Can that even happen?! Came home for some post-run yoga; thank you, K Starnes.

Then it was out to the garden! The leaves are falling steadily off our maple tree. This is the second leaf sweep (say it out loud!) I’ve done, and looking up at the tree, I’m exhausted looking at how many have yet to fall… Then I turned over two grow bags with compost and planted cauliflower, two types of kale, and entire one-ton bag of tsoi sim (flowering brassica) - yum winter veg! It’s supposed to be sunny tomorrow, and for the first time in at least 3 weeks, it’s not supposed to rain. So, I hope my little seeds have a happy start. The parsnips are still looking good; my radish are ever ready, and most of the stuff I planted 3 weeks ago (more carrots, more parsnips, and head lettuce) are coming along well in their seedling state. I’m still amazed anything grows in autumn/winter Manchester.

Now it’s time for a long hot bath and finishing VanGrasstek’s excellent History and Future of the World Trade Organization (2013). I hope Willie will be home from the allotment soon to make me dinner - lol; actually, it’s (frozen) fish soup … I can wait.

WHAT A DAY, EH? What about you?

5 notes 

Carrot harvest!!!!

My chanterelles (smaller than grocery store carrots but sweeter) are so fragrant and sweet. As you can see comparable to Lelu, we have some big and some small, but she definitely is not a fan of the strong fragrant smell. Makes me remember my childhood - eating carrots fresh out of the ground is a life worth living - YUM!

3 notes 

THIS.is.an.excellent.book.
You cannot tell from the image (which I stole from Google Images but forgot to source, probably WTO Secretariat), but it’s 600 pages (give or take). My stack of what I have read is now larger than what I haven’t read, and that’s a really excellent feeling.
It’s accompanied by VanGrasstek’s excellent style; as a self-confessed political scientist with a focus on legal, economic, and political approaches, this book reads VERY easily for something that could be otherwise arduous (like the next tome on my to-read desk, The WTO: Governance, Dispute Settlement, and Developing Countries, edited by Janow, Donaldson, and Yanovich, which channels over 1000 pages!). However, VanGrasstek’s work, like the chapters edited by Janow, Donaldson, and Yanovich, brings to mind familiar faces from the WTO I haven’t seen in almost two years now, making it even more familiar and enjoyable to read. 
I cannot recommend this text enough for your go-to, end-all-be-all on the WTO … well, it’s at least a good place to start ;-). Get reading!

THIS.is.an.excellent.book.

You cannot tell from the image (which I stole from Google Images but forgot to source, probably WTO Secretariat), but it’s 600 pages (give or take). My stack of what I have read is now larger than what I haven’t read, and that’s a really excellent feeling.

It’s accompanied by VanGrasstek’s excellent style; as a self-confessed political scientist with a focus on legal, economic, and political approaches, this book reads VERY easily for something that could be otherwise arduous (like the next tome on my to-read desk, The WTO: Governance, Dispute Settlement, and Developing Countries, edited by Janow, Donaldson, and Yanovich, which channels over 1000 pages!). However, VanGrasstek’s work, like the chapters edited by Janow, Donaldson, and Yanovich, brings to mind familiar faces from the WTO I haven’t seen in almost two years now, making it even more familiar and enjoyable to read.

I cannot recommend this text enough for your go-to, end-all-be-all on the WTO … well, it’s at least a good place to start ;-). Get reading!

1 note