Friday, 31 December 2010

Dear friends and comrades in flaneurie

I hope Yuletide has been what you wished and you have enjoyed yourself despite all the consumerist clichés and strange pressures

Please join The LRM on our first First Sunday on 2011 – January 2nd – we’ll be gathering at The Britons Protection Great Bridgewater Street at 2pm. We’ll set off about 2.30 (by which time I hope everyone will have already broken any resolutions borne of guilt and obligation rather than desire and enlightenment) We’ll be utilizing creative cartography to see if we can chart the waters ahead…. Please do join us if you can, it’s a great way to start the year, shake of hangovers and experience the city in new ways with convivial companions.

As the end of year clock ticks it may be a clich̩ but I can not help but reflect on the period just gone. It has been full of enlightening, inspiring and entertaining encounters on the streets and I want to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone who makes the LRM happen. It is truly a collective endeavor and I feel in awe of so many of the amazing people who contribute in a myriad ways. I raise a glass to you all, it would be a ridiculously long toast to name everyone but you know who you are and I hope you know you have a place in my heart. I will contradict myself, as usual, by adding an extra cheer for Alan Рif The LRM believed in such things he would surely be knighted by now.

I’ve always found it boring to talk about the weather but please indulge me a moment. We can’t change what the sky throws at us (climate chaos not withstanding; clearly we have some responsibility here) and I’ve had an epiphany this snowy season. Earlier in the year I let myself become isolated and fearful, all the things I am so fond of condemning at the arrival of the white stuff – but in December I tried embracing the new topography revealed by concealment and derives enforced by drifts. The near became strangely far away as neurological conditions and ice pavements make a terrible mix but I have so many books i want to read and music to listen to i reveled in the hibernation. It felt like a test of whether the loitering philosophy – of going with the flow, celebrating the extraordinary in the everyday and finding the magick in the manunian rain – could be applied to all aspects of life and I truly feel like it can, also my cellar is as disorientating a netherworld as the darkest of engels alleyways…. Staying in is not the new going out but it does have its own rewards!

The flipside to new year nostalgia is of course aspirations for the future and 2011 is already promising to bring new and delightful adventures. February will take us where no loiterers have dared to go before, there are plans afoot for an improved website (we will continue to champion the ephemeral of course but we have gathered many resources to share) and there will be more s with like minded friends….

First up in January we are delighted to have been invited to contribute to a wonderful new project by one of our favourite artists Jane Samuels. The Abandoned Shop of Curiosities is an “ emporium which manifests in abandoned shops; and offers you a window into other, forbidden and unseen abandoned places. The shop invites visitors to interact and explore, to discover strange narratives, and furtive creatures from The Abandoned Buildings Project.

Jane will be holding an open studio throughout the residency, and inviting visitors to contribute to the production and development of new work. The interactive exhibition also invites visitors to share their memories of Blackburn’s now lost or abandoned places, using maps, written notes, drawings or by bringing in objects or photographs.
The LRM will be be making several appearances throughout the residency, exploring the relationship between Blackburn’s official histories, and the personal histories of the people who live there. The LRM will be running mapping workshops on January 15 and 22nd and using the information gained to create two walking tours of the town on 29th January and 5th February”

The shop, exhibition and open studio will be open Thursday, Friday and Saturday 13th Jan – 5th Februray. I am really excited to enter the magical realm Jane will be conjuring up and urge you to visit if you can. More details are on

As ever if you have any comments, suggestions or just fancy a natter do please get in touch via email or the LRM hotline 07974929589

Thanks again for your support and I wish you all a 2011 full of joy, creative mischief and happy wanderings. I’m off to crack open the sloe gin

Love and golden satsumas
Morag x

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