Sunday, October 28, 2007

John Hegley Lecture

A nice day on Friday when we all got up at 5-30am to go to Manchester on the train to see and hear John Hegley do a "lecture" at the MMU. It was still dark when the train got to Piccadilly so very strange to be walking through the empty gloomy streets of Manchester to the University buildings at All Saints. Having been a student in Manchester in the 60's it was even odder for me as these weird feelings of deja vu kept lurching into my addled brain.
Time for a big breakfast in the staff canteen before John arrived at 10. He got Hazel running around for him doing scans and photo-copies of sheets he wanted to send to Time Out and some for the students. One was a drawing of a long beaky sea bird that I've forgotten the name of - gherkin? gravy boat? glue gun? no I can't remember. Hazel will remind me no doubt but she's asleep at the moment. Oh I remember now - it was a guillemot!

The photo above is one I took back in 2002 when John came for tea. I neglected to take any at the lecture but Hazel did but they are still in her camera.
The lecture was great ofcourse- John sang some songs accompanying himself on the mandolin and read a couple of poems- two new ones for a project about biology- how to make biology more accessible for kids. Songs about the guillemot and osmosis. Also some old favourites like Omoeba ( we had to draw an Omeoba ) and design a CD sleeve for the first release whilst he went off to get a coffee.

Amazing how much you can cram into an hour. John projected all the drawings of guillemots with hats , rockets and additions onto the screen and had amusing comments to say about them all. The students seemed to like it, some saying it was the best lecture they'd ever been to.

After a short signing session we went off for lunch in the staff canteen. John had battered cod and boiled potatoes and mushy peas. We had mushroom soup and cheesy bread. Had a nice chat and mulled over the drawings again then John had to rush off to the station to get a train to Edinburgh.

Hazel went back to college to do some work and Archie and I got the bus to Piccadilly and then walked to the Arndale Centre which was very crowded with shoppers to the Apple store. Archie drooled over the latest laptops and other gadgets for a while and then we got the train home. Phew! Quite an exhausting day. I can see why Hazel is so knackered by the time she gets home!

John, Michael and Archie in All Saints yesterday.

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