Street art tour in Manchester’s fashionable Northern Quarter


Hayley Flynn aka Skyliner

Manchester is brimming with street art and the Northern Quarter, playground of the hip crowd, has probably attracted more than any part of the city.

I took a walking tour with award-winning local expert Hayley Flynn AKA Skyliner. I learned more about the street art I had seen and was guided to pieces I would have missed on my own.

Hayley’s knowledge of the history of the Northern Quarter was extensive, giving us background on each artist and work.

Delivered with great humour and a true passion for our burgeoning city of Manchester.

Look up!

These days we can find our tendency to look down at our phones means that we miss the beauty and spectacle in our own surrounding. So, using my  mobile purely for its camera function I set off on a mini adventure.

I’m not going to give a blow by blow account of the tour or tell you where you can find the art – you really should try Hayley’s tour  yourself.

Below is selection of my snaps from the tour. Find out more at


My Week In Happy: Where the magic happens



"Where the magic happens" in big bubble, "Your comfort zone" in smaller, separate bubble.

After my holiday, I went back to the Ashtanga class at my gym with renewed enthusiasm for my practice, and even managed a headstand!

Because I love this diagram and know it to be true I am sharing it again with you lovely people.

Last Saturday, I summoned up all my courage to pop my head round the door of newly launched alcohol-free venue The Dry Umbrella in Manchester’s fashionable Northern Quarter (MFNQ).

I was knocked out by the warmest welcome ever – and got invited back to a comedy night (more of which below).


As a qualified City Expert for Google Local Manchester I get to go to some of the cute and quirky events they put on from time to time.

I this occasion I was joined by friends @angieokchan and @Frimkron and also got to meet up with fellow City Experts +AdrianLunsong, +IanBotterill, +ChrisBrads and the ever fabulous Chrissie from The Fabulous Times.

The Craft & Draft event was held in art supplies heaven, the venue being Fred Aldous in MFNQ. Guests were treated to a range of locally produced drinks and nibbles and invited to get an old skool photo booth picture taken, try screen printing and even make a collage which was turned into booklet using a risograph copier.


Back to MFNQ again for a night of inspirational talks at a @SheSaysMCR event held at SpacePortX – with the provocative theme What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”.


First up was Lou Cordwell (@Loucordwell) of the highly successful digital design company Magnetic North.


She talked about being prepared to take educated risks but to trust that you can manage if you don’t succeed in the way you hoped to.

Ines Lopez (@milopezcom), a creative facilitator working in digital, then followed on from with this with an insightful talk on ‘managing fear’. A refreshing look at how we can remove the stigma from failure as part of the creative process.


Went to see Robin Ince do stand-up at MOSI. I’ve followed Robin for a long time and it’s good to see how his material is evolving as he moves towards some of the more ‘touchy feely’ aspects of science.


MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, if you’ve not heard of it), provided an intimate space for the gig and I really hope they put on a few more evening events.


lizzie-allanSo, I went back to The Dry Umbrella, this time with a friend. Again, a very warm welcome coupled with an extensive tea menu, soft drinks and cakes.

Lizzie Allan, ably introduced by MC Ali Khan, told us her story, which was times dark but at others chaotic and hilarious.


Lizzie opens her set by saying that she has been clean of drugs and drink for around 5 years.

It is remarkable that her recovery from addiction and the psychosis that resulted from her abuse of drugs and alcohol have led her to a place where she can reflect on all of that with warmth, sincerity and a cutting dry wit.

After partying a bit too hard in India and Thailand, Lizzie found her 19-year-old self sectioned and detained for treatment under the Mental Health Act.

While that does not sound like a laugh a minute, Lizzie playfully recalls the effects of psychosis – specifically her belief that (despite no experience) she was about to land a major recording deal as a rap artist.

She also talked a lot about The Law of Attraction (which I think I do believe in) and the power of the alignment of the planets (which I’m not so sure about), but one thing was for sure – Lizzie caused her own brand of hysteria when I challenged her to perform an impromptu rap.

Upcoming events at Umbrella Cafe, Nexus Art Cafe, 2 Dale Street, Manchester.

This week I also updated the About Cheer Up Love page.