back on another train after speaking at Make:Shift in Manchester - delegates were very positive about my talk that had at its core in some ways a traditional yet erratic 'old school' approach to making through gathering - its always interesting to see what will happen when standing in front of images of one's work. The process of talking is always interesting (organising, sifting, sorting images, reflecting and clarifying) and it's rare to get feedback as I'm usually standing at the front in a position of 'sort of power' so the conversations I had after the session were so instructive and helped to place or locate my practice in this new terrain. My panel was full of people talking about fabulous new materials and ways of working - collaboration and hybrid approaching to understanding are the key - obviously. The Manchester Met University were running a collaborative workshop - they were such lovely people and I have some ace paper samples which I intend to explore in the nano project as they have different surfaces on each side so will fully exploit the haptic experience. Meanwhile in the Museum of Science I got the chance to see the textile history of Manchester be performed - the looms are set up and powered - the whole process from raw cotton to calico is show and it was just awesome - if my textile students are reading this you must go - in fact everybody should see it and listen to the people explaining the process's and the wonderful way they weave the social history and trade union activity within the demonstration. I had my bike so managed to get out and about the city - often a mixture of Escher like moments where standing on a steep cobbled street looking up a bridge which carries trains, there is a canal to your side and below that a dual carriage way, all the while surrounded by brick buildings built with civic pride, iron in the road, walls and sky, stone and warehouse regeneration modern sheet glass - I think that I loved it. Manchester Art Gallery had a show looking at Fashion - some good starting points for a discussion around a number of issues as the work was very theatrical, almost beyond catwalk. The highlight of the day outside the conference was the wonderful Rachel Maclean at Home - disturbingly excellent art, awesome space and really friendly, interesting, helpful people. I can't wait to see her work in Venice next year.