About Sunday with Me

Sunday with Me is an invitation for you to spend a Sunday (...with Me) in a place of your choosing for a little or a long while, so what we may do and where we may go can reflect upon and explore the ordinary creativities of leisure time - hobbies, sightseeing, going to your favourite haunts, visiting attractions, pubs, sporting events, and so on. If you have an idea, email neilsimonbowes@gmail.com to make a plan

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Sunday with Tamara Ashley, Holy Island, Northumbria, 25.5.08

Just returned from a splendid Sunday with Tamara Ashley, on Holy Island (a tidal island), Northumbria, the site of Lindisfarne. Tamara is an artist with a background in Dance, who is primarily interested in improvisation and with performance in relation to landscape in rural environments. She has worked with Simone Kenyon as Brief Magnetics - they did the Pennine Way together in the Summer of 2006. I first met Tamara at Unknown Terra-tories, run by Simone Kenyon and Neil Callaghan as part of DIY4. I met her again when she came to see Rules and Regs at the Nuffield Theatre, on the 26th April.

We met at Haymarket bus station in Newcastle and journeyed for two hours to Beale, about 60 miles. At one point a car was pulling out and the driver, caught between one car pulling out and another oncoming, had to swerve to avoid them. I had a very clear thought, amidst a sort of surge in the guts, that I could be involved, but we were fine, very lucky.
On the bus we met a woman names Jean, perhaps 65 years old. We learned that it was five miles from Beale to Holy Island and there was no public transport. Jean was getting a lift from a friend who lived there, Ian, and she arranged for us to be driven onto the Island.
Tamara had an idea to try and map the distances traveled by people we met, so we asked about fifteen people and had an idea that a visual representation of these journeys would document our Sunday together: Provisionally:

Brian and Family (Heaton Mersey): 170 Miles

Mikey (Ice-cream seller, 7 days a week) (from Berwick): 10 Miles

Tony, Janet and Bertie the Dog (Kent): 324 Miles

Claire, David and Robert (Walsall): 256 Miles

Evaline (Poland): 1,500 Miles (2000 Kilometers)

Vicky (London) 300 Miles

Alan and Karami (Teeside): 80 Miles

Rebecca (Morpeth) Unknown distance

Megan (Ryton): 70 Miles

Steph (Consett): 80 or 90 Miles

Rebecca (Whitley Bay): Approximately 70 Miles

Clelia (Gosforth): 65 Miles

We walked and talked, sometimes about work, sometimes trivia, autobiography, or considering the virtues of mutual friends. We moved towards a great white pyramid structure which we learned was called Emmanuel Head, local lore warns of a 'False Emmanuel Head', a crop of rock which sailors do well to avoid.
Back in the village we bought local Mead, and met Jean again in a cafe, where we had Cream Teas, and talked, the three of us, about fate.
In a gift shop I found a set of CDs by a harpist called Hilary Rushmer, gentle Celtic-influenced music. My parents own a tape of hers with a great piece of music called 'Give Me Your Hand'. Tamara bought a CD. We were talking to Lisa who was working behind the counter, covering for her daughter. Tamara asked where she was from, she said: "Germany, that she arrived here in 1951, "a long time before you people were born", and she told us about moving to Lindisfarne, hearing these birds that sounded like bells, and listening to her, Tamara and I both got a welling emotional feeling, lumps in the throat, trembling a little bit... (tbc). More soon...


Sunday, 30 March 2008

Sunday with Me: 30.3.07: with Ian Abbot.

Ian Abbott has just left, an hour or so ago. Last night (Saturday 29th, Ian seemed to enjoy the fish pie, then we went to The Sportsman, which has been refurbished, then the Royal, then to the Pack Horse talking about the state of the performance scene in the North West.
Waking early, I had a cup of tea in bed before getting up and making smoked salmon and scrambled egg. We ended up not walking Kinder, as we were advised that bad weather was due in the afternoon so, instead, we headed up past the campsite through Kinder woods and up to Mount Famine. Near the top of mount famine we met two Mountain Rescue chaps on a training exercise with a huge radio aerial, and got chatting a bit. They recommended a route to us and we found the wet boggy bit they warned us about (Ian almost lost a boot) and the had fun jumping over the waterlogged parts (Ian can jump further than me, we found), before blustered by winds until we turned off to near Jacob's ladder. We pressed on to Edale Cross (where my father left Paul and I on our Sunday 3.4.06), before dropping back own into Hayfield. Ian was (and is always) good company, kind to a fault.
A journey of 7 to 7 1/2 miles, a steady walk, before returning for pasta and sauce and a read of the papers. It didn't rain a drop, so we could have done Kinder after all.
I gave the stills camera to Ian, I will upload a select few of them sometime soon.

Friday, 28 March 2008

Forthcoming: Sunday with Ian Abbott

Good News!

Ian Abbott, with whom I spent a fantastic Sunday traveling through Devon on 22.10.06, is coming up for a second Sunday on 30.3.08. He will arrive on the Saturday evening "give or take 30 mins of 6pm" and we will be having fish pie for tea before going for a couple of pints of ale. On the Sunday morning we will walk up Kinder Scout and be brightened by the exercise. If you follow this blog you might remember that Kinder Scout is where Mariella Greil and I walked in preparation for our lecture last November, in entirely abysmal weather.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

DOCUMENTS: Sunday with Me: Performance Lecture (4.3.07)

On 4.3.07 I gave a performance lecture to 9 people in Hayfield Derbyshire, North West England, prompting the following generous responses:

"...at times relaxing, contemplative, moving, insightful, funny and encompassed by a transient, yet heartfelt and welcoming, sense of community" - (Paul Stapleton) / "I felt a part of a wider family, though in a liminal state between family and stranger" - Paul Craddock / "The nature of the day gave it the friendly atmosphere of a group attending a folk music session rather than that of an audience attending an academic lecture or a piece of experimental live art" - Jon Aveyard.

The following extracts describe particular events on the original 12 Sundays between March '06 and March '07:

Lecture on Bridges (Delivered from a small island after wading the River Sett):

30.4.06 / For Robin: I’m walking briskly in the very general direction of Castlefields, Manchester, after a year in the city I’m not sure where I’m going. At the Newsagents near Spar on Oxford Road I buy a birthday card for Robin (it has pictures of bears on), and I turn off at the Temple of Convenience, Towards Peveril of the Peak, past Briton’s Protection, remembering (…) I’m following scribbled directions, despite myself, my way feels almost legible.
I turn down the steps the narrow way by the old canal. As I walk by, not through, not on, the water I see a boy of about sixteen hanging off a wall, a sheer drop of ten or fifteen feet. There is a football floating below him, which he is trying to rescue. I shout at him to climb back up, because I can see back the way I came a point where the ball could be rescued. The boy ignores me, so I wait ten minutes or so whilst he eventually climbs back, feeling that I could not have left him. By the lock I see the Newsreader Jon Snow, who is out for the day with, presumably, his family. I imagined they were going somewhere very nice for lunch, and afterwards, with full bellies, maybe to the theatre (to sleep it off). I am very early. I write in the card Happy 46th Birthday, Robin, and wonder where we will go, what we will see, what we will hear, what we will say.

Lecture on Music (Never delivered):
15.10.06 / For Kate: You will take one of her loose hairs and wrap it around her finger. You will take the other end and wrap it around yours and you will both pluck it, exploring the sounds, making attempts toward rhythm and melody. You will while a few minutes before the hair breaks too short to be played. And she will say, that she is going to get ready. You will shower and wait on the landing standing at the window watching a flag snap in the wind. A few minutes will pass you will ask where she wants to go.

Lecture on Forgetting (Delivered at Twenty-Trees):
10.9.06/ For Yosuke: Yosuke shares his sandwich with me and we talk about our work, and after an hour we go for a walk. We are at a loss for what do, until we arrive at a set of stone steps leading up to the city walls. And our tourism is (inevitably) accomplished quite by accident as we walk around in a circle sharing the narrow walkways with families. We take each other’s picture on his camera phone by a turret. And by fortune we arrive at a little bookshop where he inquires about the English Poet Wordsworth, whom he read as a schoolboy in Japan. He tells me that he loves nature and that when he read Wordsworth he was very moved. He recites the poem by heart.
Weeks later we meet up at the Emergency platform in Manchester, where Mariella is performing. I ask him about the poem again, he recites it. I have an idea (which I keep to myself) to find the poem and recite it, making a recording to send to him when he is back in Japan. I ask him what the title is, but he cannot recall.

Some stills taken by participants:

4.3.07: top-to-bottom:
Wading through the River Sett,
Sign for Public Safety, Nr. Bowden Bridge Campsite, foot of Kinder
Sign for Public footpath to Twenty Trees
Up Twenty Trees (5 of 9 attendees pictured)
Phil & Angie Eating Lasagne

Photographs by writings and accompanying photographs by Paul Stapleton over at www.livearchives.org/sunday-with-me/

DOCUMENTS: Sunday With Me - 2006-07

DOCUMENT 22.2.06:

The Invitation:

From: simon bowes
Sent: 22 February 2006 12:37:12
To: The Emergency Network
Subject: Sunday with Me:
Dear Emergency:
Sunday with Me:
Hello Everyone, it’s me, Simon Bowes!

This is a general invitation to members of the Emergency Network to spend a Sunday with Me in a place of your choosing (Manchester and surrounds) for a short or long while. Your Sunday with Me can explore everyday practices, talking to each other, walking around, sightseeing, lazing in your favorite haunts or visiting attractions. I initially considered meeting individuals but I can meet you in with your companies if you would prefer. I would be interested to discuss / explore any of your working practices. There are 8 opportunities (every Sunday, March through April) so book early to avoid disappointment!
Your Sunday with Me can be documented by either (or both) of us, in any medium (i.e., written notes, time-based A/V recordings, still photographs). Documentation will be produced collaboratively less than one week after our day out, at a time of your convenience. Documentation may form an appendix of my Practice as Research PhD, due for completion by September. Material to be included is negotiable and will be consensually agreed.

Hope to hear from you soon,
Simon B. x

NB. I will be skint through March but flush again in April. Please take this into consideration when suggesting activities. I am a reasonable vegetarian chef and will be happy to cook you tea if you wash up.


My Photographs on Hilbre Island:

DOCUMENTS 22.10.06:

Ian (22.10.06) Challenged me to find my way out of Trago Mills, by looking for a model railway.
Trago Mills is massive. It took ages. I drew 3 maps and then, later, a list of places we went that day.

'Maps' Pertaining to the Exit at Trago Mills (Newton Abbott).
Incomplete List of Places
(we started out from and ended up in Totnes).

DOCUMENTS 22.10.06:

Pictures from Sunday with Ian, 22.10.06: Touring South Devon:

A Goat at Trago Mills Pet Farm
Marbles in the Gift Shop at House of Marbles
Datmoor/Haytor (for the exercise)
Ian's Welcome Mat
Groyn at Dawlish (The Edge of the World)
Shut Bingo at Amusement Arcade
My Wet Socks.

If you would like a Sunday with Me, email neilsimonbowes@gmail.com to say hello.

List of Sundays so far...

19.3.06: Lena, Gary, Neal, Gaby, Wladislawa, Sefton Park; Albert Dock; Tate Liverpool; their family home; 2.4.06: Paul and My Dad, my family home Hayfield, Derbyshire, to Edale; 9.4.06: Roshana, Train journey to Chester, for Curry; 24.4.06: Paul, too much beer and too much food, Cornerhouse, Manchester city centre, Jam St. Whalley Range; 30.4.06: Robin – looking for the meaning of ‘46’ (on Robin’s 46th birthday), on foot, by bus, or by car, through Manchester, various locations; Undated (April 06?): Alastair and Pauline: walking Bonnie (the dog) Corporation Park, Blackburn; 11.6.06. Documenting Nick cleaning Denmark Rd, Hulme, Manchester; 3.9.06.With Mariella: Hilbre tidal island, West Kirby, then home (Chester) to meet Werner; 10.9.06. With Yosuke: walk: round Chester city walls; 15.10.06. With Kate: Teignmouth and Newton Abbot, Devon, taking photos; 22.10.06: With Ian: Touring South Devon by car; 10.12.06. With Dad: West Gallery Singing, Royal Hotel, Dungworth, in Yorkshire (and in response to all these: 4.3.07 Performance Lecture, walking, various locations, Hayfield, Derbyshire); Undated (October 07), Circumnavigating Grindleford, with Claire.

Simon Bowes / Sunday with Me on Flickr

I am beginning to document past Sundays in Flickr.com, so now you can go to www.flickr.com/photos/simonbowes/sets for SWM photo-fun!

Thesis & Documentation

Sunday with Me was originally devised through my postgrad research, which informed a 73,000 word PhD thesis called Towards an Ethics of Voice as Hospitable Space, based at and funded by The University of Central Lancashire between 2003-08. There are some minor corrections outstanding but if you are interested in this curious and unwieldy document, sections of it are available on request (Or... just come on a Sunday).