My aMOZing Weekend

General Geekiness

Whilst queuing for Morrissey’s Manchester gig yesterday, I couldn’t help but notice that there was an open McDonald’s on the premises of the Manchester Evening News Arena. A bit strange, given that we were waiting to see Manchester’s most famous vegetarian.

“I’m not a veggie,” I said to my fellow adventurer/Morrissey fan Amy. “But I haven’t eaten meat in over 24 hours in preparation for my pilgrimage.”

Though I flippantly termed our trip to Manchester as a pilgrimage, in a sense, it was. Though Amy had been to Manchester before, it hadn’t been with a Smiths fan. We didn’t have much time in Manchester, arriving yesterday late morning and leaving first thing today. We did, however, have enough time to make a couple of important stops.

First on the list was the Salford Lads Club. The Lads Club is not, as I originally assumed, a strip club. Instead, it is a rec center, like the Boys and Girls Club.

The Salford Lads Club is about a 30 minute walk from the city centre, located in Salford. It’s down this row of little brick houses. Tucked just off of a main road, it’s one of those places you wouldn’t know was there if you weren’t looking for it.

Salford Lads Club has since cleaned up a bit since the famous photograph was taken. Throngs of fans go there each year, to take their photo like The Smiths, Amy and myself included.

(C) Bethany Wolfe 2012

Inside the Lads Club, there is a room dedicated to The Smiths. This could potentially be a bit overkill, but working in its favour was the small size of the room. It was a squash court, now a shrine to The Smiths. The entire room is covered with images of The Smiths, of fans standing outside the Club (I’m going to be sending the photograph of Amy and myself), of articles pertaining to the Smiths, paintings of Morrissey, and notes from devoted fans.

(C) Bethany Wolfe 2012

(C) Bethany Wolfe 2012

Being of an artsy bent, I left a note of my own–complete with a picture of Morrissey. My note is the yellow one with the drawing in the above picture. By no means my best picture of him, but pretty good for five minutes with a ballpoint pen! I would love to return in a few years and see if the note has been glued to the wall.

After leaving the Salford Lads Club, we wandered to the arena. Amy and I had floor tickets, so we wanted to make sure we were there early.

We weren’t in the first thirty, but were definitely in the first 100 people at the arena. We watched as more and more people piled in, complete with quiffed hair, Smiths or Morrissey shirts, big glasses. I looked rather out of place in my teal top and black cardigan, decidedly unhipster (or, at least, unlike the rest of the fans my age). Whilst waiting, the BBC interviewed a few people. I wasn’t, but I think I ended up in a few shots–I was drawing pictures of Morrissey to pass the time.

Finally, it was time to enter the arena, still a good hour and a half before the show was due to start. The excitement was palpable. I couldn’t help but jump up and down, shaking with enthusiasm.

When Morrissey arrived on stage, there was a great ‘rush and a push’ as what felt like the entire floor lunged to the stage. Everything I said about Balkanarama being the most insane concert situation I’ve been in has been taken back. Morrissey, playing in his home town, wins.

The floor was a hot, sweaty, undulating mass of bodies, of arms, of getting far too close to absolute strangers. Yet it was incredible. Everyone was there for Morrissey, everyone was (mostly) respectful, and it was mad. Though, as a very tiny girl, the second row probably wasn’t the best place for me to be, I’m rather bruised and battered and very thankful to still have some of my painkillers from my back injury!

Morrissey himself was on top form, physically a bit out of shape (the man’s 53 years old, we can cut him some slack), but his voice was just as powerful as when he was in The Smiths. Whilst he doesn’t bound around the stage anymore, his stage presence is dignified and commanding. There’s such passion in his singing.

I’m to see him again tomorrow night in Edinburgh. Am hoping to get front row this time. I do imagine that the crowd may be a bit more subdued than Manchester.

And as a final note…Morrissey biscuits at Salford Lads Club.

(C) Bethany Wolfe 2012

Surviving the first six weeks of postgrad study

Edinburgh Expeditions

I’ve made it through my first six weeks as a postgrad. Or grad student. Take the phrase as you will. It strikes me as strange that in the US ‘postgrad’ is someone who’s finished undergrad, but in the UK its a student beyond the undergrad level. But, living in the UK, I’ve embraced this terminology.

Six weeks done, another seven and term is over. So far, these six weeks have been the craziest, hectic, most sleep deprived six weeks of my life, but I wouldn’t trade them for the world. I’m learning so much. I’ve had my frustrations with the computer programmes I’m using, but they only make me more determined to do well. 3D Modelling class provides the most challenges, but I will work through them. I’m already thinking of making a short animated film for my dissertation, perhaps an adaption of Roald Dahl’s “Beware of the Dog.”

I absolutely love what I’m doing. I’ve had no doubts. This is what I’m supposed to be doing, and where I’m supposed to be. Now to get a job and a work visa for when I finish…

Also been listening to a lot of music I hadn’t paid much attention to before. Swing dancing music, bands such as The Jam and The Smiths, blues, jazz…makes me smile.

Far too optimistic and happy for my own good. Or it could just be the three cups of tea and slice of pumpkin cake talking. That would explain the rambling. 🙂

News of the Most Wonderful, Newsy Sort.

General Geekiness

I have news. It’s not entirely earth shattering. I’m not being published. I haven’t discovered the cure for the common cold (but movies, plenty of tea and a good book do help).

But…it’s pretty big. For me. You see, I’ve just finished my undergrad degree-I’ve now got a Bachelor of Arts with my name on it. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do. Until this morning.

A couple of months ago, I applied for a grad program at the University of Edinburgh. I received my acceptance today. So, starting in September, She Thinks Too Much will once again be international.

I am ecstatic. I’ll be living in Scotland for just shy of a year, doing my postgraduate work. It’ll be quite the experience.