I departed from Manchester at 9:30 am and arrived into Mumbai Airport at 1 am (6:30 pm GMT) with a 12-hour layover on top of my shoulders. Not pleasant to say the least, but it was exciting to feel on the move again- like I felt just a few months ago when I traveling South East Asia. The sun was blazing, and the temperature was hot outside; 24 degrees, humid, hot, sticky and the – ironically refreshing, particularly for someone who’d just left the dismal temperatures of the UK winter-time.
With nothing much to do but sleep (at least attempt to sleep) I decided to try and find somewhere to nap; only there’s only so much sleep you can achieve reclined on a metal seat in India’s biggest (and possibly noisiest) airports. I quickly came to realise that I was going to be a bad night sleep and that I would face the consequences the next day. With no WiFi, sleep or familiar food, I boarded the plane to Madurai with the hope to achieve a little snooze- success.
Madurai airport, arrival time 14:35. No passport checks, no security procedure, first to claim baggage, I walked out of the airport feeling relieved; sleep being the first thing that crept to mind. A lengthy taxi ride, the sound of horns, no indicators, undertaking, stray dogs, cows, aggression; chaos. I was definitely not in the UK. It was going to take a few days to adjust.
Hello’s, shower, nap; I then had a sit-down meal with Sid’s family who were so attentive and welcoming. It was great to see and eat Indian cuisine in its real form- different types of crockery and versions of things I’d had at home; the real thing. Spicey, meaty, mix and matchy. It was delicious. I then met Sid’s two cousins Shaktirupa and Gargee, who told me a great deal about Indian culture; food, fashion, music etc, and who also shared my passion for food and singing!
In the evening, we decided to venture on to the rooftop of the house, over-looking Madurai’s night-sky. Clear, dozens of stars, light breeze; alien to any December night in the UK. Still exhausted- here-there-and-everywhere- the conversation going in all sorts of directions- myself feeling more content to listen. One thing I remember is thinking how unbelievably grateful I was to be there- with these people, for Nam’s wedding.
It was a wonderful introduction to India.
We are Polestar Digital – A small group of industry experts- a dedicated, creative and attention-commanding digital marketing consultancy. We have a clear vision of who we are, what we want to achieve for our clients, and how we will disrupt the current digital marketing industry in order to achieve this.
Our Work Ethos
Rather than implementing the execution of a strategy, we prefer to empower our clients with the tools needed to take this on themselves, enabling us to focus on the bigger business picture. We’re not afraid to be frank if we feel that a particular course of action is not advisable, and likewise, if we’re not best placed to take on a project.
Our Work Culture
We respect work-life balance, plan efficiently for a manageable workload and strive to create an environment where people love coming to work. Plus, a happy team is a productive team!
We are based in Spinningfields WeWork office where we work closely with our clients in an interactive and open environment.
Not to mention the facilities that WeWork have to offer…
Here’s a few things about what the team say about working at Polestar Digital and what makes them thought-leaders.
Interested in working at Polestar Digital or wanting to intern with us?
The only watch which tends to your drinking needs – day and night
So you know how much water you should drink every day. That’s 3 pints if you’re a woman, and 3 and a half pints if you’re a man – that’s 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. (1)
And exercise? Well, that’s much more – all depending on the type of training and physical factors – (but that’s a whole topic in itself)
You also know your maximum units of alcohol a week. That’s 14 units if you’re a woman and 14 and a half if you’re a man- that’s a bottle and a half of wine or 6 pints of 3% beer. (1)
So you know how much water you should drink and you know your maximum units of alcohol… (if you didn’t know before, then you know now! ) But do you actually know how much you’re really consuming?
Ask yourself this; how many glasses of water have you drank today? Or how units of alcohol have you drank this week?
No idea? Or at least, can’t be sure?
With 60% of the UK just drinking 1 glass or less of water a day, (2) and with 27% of adults classed as binge drinkers, it seems these important digits are frequently put on the backseat. (3)
Here’s a poster to demonstrate why these digits should perhaps be more of a priority…
With health issues relating to dehydration; from fatigue, stress constipation, to those relating to alcoholism; from depression, anxiety, organ disease to cancer, the benefits of monitoring your liquid intake can be substantial – relieving you of these unwanted health risks.
Thanks to alcohol and hydration detection watches, you can do just this.
The market is flooded with health watches to help you learn and monitor your drinking patterns; take instance the ‘LVL Hydration Watch,’ (4) – enabling you to track your hydration and heart-rate in real-time, or the ‘Proof Alcohol Tracking Wearable,’ (5) enabling you to monitor your alcohol levels present and future. Even more so, with9,050 casualties recorded in the UK as a result of drink driving in 2016, (6) alcohol tracking technology (such as this) has the potential to significantly reduce these figures.
But what about a product which does both? A watch which tells you just about everything you need to know about your drinking patterns? And what about a watch smart enough to actually prevent the intoxicated version of yourself from entering your car?
That’s where Formula comes in. The new and combined alcohol and hydration detection watch, telling you everything you need to know about your drinking patterns, and maximising your safety in any drinking situation.
Perfect for your needs day and night- for the early morning jog or the few glasses of wine on a Friday night.
What does it do? How does it work?
Monitors your alcohol and water levels in real-time and automates car locking system with request.
Hydration detection– Tells you; total glasses of water consumed, water consumption remaining and hydration advice after consuming alcohol. Uses cutting-edge Red Light Technology to measure real-time hydration levels in your blood – sending data to Formula app.
Alcohol Detection Tells you; total units consumed, when the alcohol will exit your body, and predicted alcohol levels. Uses cartridge to measure chemicals from the skin- also transmitting data to Formula app.
How do the notifications work?
You will receive notifications to both the Formula watch and app with the choice to turn either on or off.
So how else can the Formula watch help you?
Take a look at Joe!
Like Joe, you can also benefit from the range of services that Formula has to offer- giving you full control of your drinking patterns right at your fingertips.
Hold on! What else can Formula do?
Take a look at the Formula App!
Start by registering and signing in by downloading the app in the App store
Settings- Then input your gender, height and weight information to generate accurate hydration and alcohol levels for you.
My Goals- So you can change what you want to achieve
Home– Where you can choose what you want to monitor
Results- Where you can see your hydration and alcohol statistics, as well as gain access to your Goals, Settings and Tracker
Tracker– Where you can track your levels in real-time
Lock My Car-Where you can choose to activate an automated locking system to your car- Optional at your request.
Your Mode- Where you can categorise the information you want in one place, whatever the drinking occasion.
Add-Ons – So you can have everything in one place to optimise your safety- ideal features when using Day or Night mode.
The Formula watch is therefore designed to improve your drinking patterns- your health and to maximise your safety in any drinking situation.
The only watch which tends to your drinking needs – day and night
Sad because of the overwhelming sense of loss you endure to begin with- and yet beautiful.
Beautiful because of how that special thing that you once treasured so dearly, will in time transform into a beautiful memory once the circumstances have been accepted.
A fragment of your life that you will eventually be able to reflect back on- to devour with nostalgic eyes- in awe of the moment as it once was- happy that it happened and happy because it guided you to where you are now.
A satirical musician; witty, unorthodox and incredibly charismatic; lyrics infused with ridicule; context- brilliantly outrageous. 28th September, 7pm- Chris Tavener @ 3 Minute Theatre.
On the 28th and 29th of September 2017, Chris performed his very first Live Album Recording at the Three Minute Theatre in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. ‘I’m Sorrdy Bi’m Drunnk,’ which was released early 2016, has been heard continuously in Manchester bars, sung loudly by gig-goers, memorised by open mic regulars, made visual into music videos and is now heard with the nitty gritty realness of live recording.
In 2016 alone, Chris played 351 gigs in 209 different venues, made five self-produced music videos and completed 2 six- week tours in 12 cities across the UK. With the scope of his musical ventures, it is clear to see how Chris gained such popularity over the past year, filling the venues of both gigs and leaving his audiences in puddles of laughter or at least feeling slightly tipsier than anticipated. Above all, Chris undoubtedly succeeds to captivate his audience with a truly unique style.
Chris performs as both a comedian and musician – a paradoxical doubleness as it were; a loud, confident, suited and booted musician from the past, juxtaposed with a nervous, slightly less confident, slightly more ‘human’ double captured through voiceover.
His image- particularly juxtaposing; confusing even; quaint, charming and polished- a real gentleman flair which lies in contradiction with a set-list riddled with satire and vulgarity- deceiving right from the offset.
Chris’s musical style offers a modern twist to folk-pop as we might recognize it; with simple chord sequences and lyrics narrating stories of social division, heartbreak, and festivity, Chris utilizes and subverts traditional folk conventions in return for a satirical spin on modern culture.
His tone- particularly easy on the ear- solely focused on the comedy of matters trivial and epidemic; from festival experience, iphones, the end of the world, to modern dating, Chris’s content covers just about anything. This merging of the two realms is how Chris inflicts the shock factor in his work- the ‘head in the hand, shaking of the head, with a shameful grin on the face’ round about response.
This doubleness; as a performer and in his writing style marks the style of his performance throughout.
~The Night itself
The venue was small and interesting; an ancient mini auditorium with sinking chairs, out-dated furniture filling the outer walls- and a fish-tank plonked at the back for good measure. A peculiar choice of ceiling decor too; randomly jotted posters and half moulded breasts right above me. I knew I was in for an unpredictable evening the moment I sat down.
The evening opened up with a seemingly nervous voiceover of Chris contemplating whether or not he would go on stage- “Ahh they’re there. What if I just don’t go on. No come on, come on. They’re waiting for me”, only to be swiftly juxtaposed with his alter-ego reassuring the audience of a night full of entertainment. “It’s gonna’ be a great night! (Pause) “I said it’s gonna be a great night!” (Audience cheers)– keen to see where this was going.
The set-list started with ‘Praise Him’ – a song about celebrity worship, featuring Harry Styles as the pinnacle of discourse, shortly followed by ‘Let’s All Go To A Festival’, ‘Fakin cool’ and ‘Apocalypse prediction.’ The humour behind all things serving as the common link between each song.
With lyrics such as, “Let’s all go to a festival, we’ll piss and shit in a hole”, to “I’m smoother than play-doh, I’m harder than hard boiled sweets”, even as far out as, “I’ve had a premonition, a sneaky superstition that the world is gonna end today”, Chris takes any situation and makes it into a laughing stock leaving an audience on the edge of their seats.
Halfway through and the tone now taken a more serious turn, Chris introduces the next song with reference to a great “division within society.” With Brexit, inflation, and immigration being at the forefront of current political debate the audience could only assume the usual- or rather a song relating to phone war: iPhone vs. Samsung.
This playing on traditional folk conventions with modern dialogue is replicated throughout, applying humour to the norms of youth culture; solo-traveling, heartbreak, modern dating…the list goes on.
A song about traveling? “This song is delicately and indirectly written to the older generation.” (Pause) “Dear old people… life’s for living and doing malibu shots on the back of a hippo…Yours sincerely, all of the traveling millennials.”
Heartbreak? “If you see her, tell her to go fuck herself…’ quite the opposite to Dylan’s “if you see her, say hello.”
Modern dating? “I reckon we were made to be. It couldn’t be random we dry humped in tamden and we both smelt of beer, sweat, and weed. She’s so drunk now, and I’m so drunk now, she’s violently keen to have me. We’re in love, and we’re both delving in this modern romance.”
And amid the gasps and laughter, Chris’s double act certainly didn’t go unacknowledged. (Chris fetches a glass of water from off the floor and sips.) “They think I’m thirsty. More water, less songs”, leaving audience members laughing – musicians feeling slightly more normal.
The show finished with a song which seemed to summarise the overarching message of the evening. “You glue your boss’s laptop shut, and you draw some cock and balls. Cling film all the office phones, and you leave a few missed calls… When it’s time to go, inside you know, you must do something first, to test if you can see the funny side.”
And indeed, he certainly does just this!
Through his songs, Chris creates a sense of commonality between everyone in the room which encourages us to laugh at ourselves and anyone else for that matter.
The show finished with a long round of applause and a very proud home crowd either smiling or laughing… or falling hysterically to the floor.
Running late as per usual, I quietly rushed down into the basement of Soloman’s Café Bar, holding a glass of prosecco in one hand and a packet of handmade crisps in the other. After a long day at work, and a job and a half finding the venue without a charged phone, I could finally let my hair down…and didn’t I just.
I had successfully found and was now opening the door to the venue which held our quarterly MWSG charity gig. This time, we were fundraising for M.A.S.H.
M.A.S.H, or Manchester Action on Street Health, is a charity which provides free and confidential support to female sex workers in Manchester. From sexual health to needle exchange to therapeutic services, M.A.S.H works to promote the well-being and personal safety of sex workers through providing medical and emotional support with the aim to break the cycle of women returning to work within the sex industry. And; after researching into the charity’s website, it is clear that M.A.S.H offer much more than free condoms.
Thanks to the nurses and caseworkers at M.A.S.H and the professional services that they provide, the charity efficiently offers both short and long-term care support through;
Drop-In sessions- Individuals are able to use their facilities, have some refreshments and a confidential discussion with a caseworker.
Help with legal matters- Caseworkers who work closely with women who are survivors of attack and who are involved in the criminal justice system.
Checkups- Nurses offer confidential sexual health-related check-ups.
One-to-one support and counseling sessions- MASH caseworkers offer individualised and tailored care plans to suit individual cases.
It is precisely through these services that M.A.S.H have been helping women, day and night, to break away from the sex industry. In 2016, MASH helped over 800 women alone.
But equally, if not, more importantly, M.A.S.H’s commitment to empowering individuals to make the best life choices is what makes this charity transform the lives of many; and since 1991, they have been doing just this.
~On the night itself
Held on the 4th August, 7:30pm in Solomon’s Cafe bar, the events organiser, Heidi Dewhirst- (a brilliant musician herself who just recently performed at Edinburgh Fringe Festival) opened the night with a speech about the charity; what it does, who it helps, as well giving her own experience of visiting the M.A.S.H Centre just days before.
During this speech, I noticed a small clothes stall and an EP record sale; organised by our MWSCG acts, Ellis Hall and Avital Raz, as part of fundraising for M.A.S.H. Leaflets and donation boxes were also scattered around the room, blending in quite nicely with the half full, half empty glasses of wine. The venue itself was eye-catching too; after a stressful ordeal with a last-minute venue cancellation, we unexpectedly (although luckily) stumbled upon Solomon’s Cafe Bar- it was a pleasant surprise.
The room dark but homely; with portraits of local musicians hanging from the walls, and an old, presumably abandoned bar area, which seemed to have collected and kept music gear from previous gigs- It was almost as if the room itself knew the Manchester music scene very well.
This was then followed by the MWSCG line-up; (and a quick synopsis of each act)
7:30 Claire Jordan– Sincere, sweet and uplifting.- very lovely.
7:55 Eilís Hall– Raw and innocent- instantly charmed by her confidence. Her poetry; personal and passionate. Her story-telling; absorbing and easy on the ear.
8:20 Sophie Blackwell– Heart-enduring lyrics- performs as if she is in her own little world and invites us in .
8:45 Avital Raz– Shocking and controversial. Lyrics which may disturb the prude- tone rich in dark humor.
9:10 Karen Chung– Quirky, hippy and cool- sings directly to the audience.
9:35 Heidi Dewhirst– Powerful and traditional folk origins-distinctive strength of vocals.
10:00 Alex Ohm– Emotional and compelling- a real sense of maturity in her style.
~And there we have it!
The night ended with drinks at the bar, a few conversations about music influences and an expensive taxi ride home.
~A quick reminder
MWSCG is passionate about showcasing the talent that Manchester’s songwriters, poets, and musicians have to offer as well as helping out local charities with the fundraising that we achieve.~This is what makes Girls on Tour gigs special.
Thanks to the donations that we received, the night raised £50.00 for MASH.
And once again, MWSCG strives to support more local charities with more Girls On Tour music nights;
Our next gig? 16th November @The Art Of Tea, 19:00
~Thanks for reading!
Donations are much appreciated: please find attached link below.
As the title reads, here’s a little (long) introduction about myself.
I am a 21 year old busy bee living and enjoying post- graduate life in Manchester; passionate about music, literature, anything artsy and going on adventures, big and small.
I am a singer-songwriter and musician, playing and performing around the writing blocks and the hustle and bustle of Manchester’s vibrant creative scene.
I am also an Events Assistant at MMINE (Manchester Music Industry Networking Events) Radio Liaison officer at Sonderfest, and a general helper outer at MWCG (Manchester Women Songwriters Collective Group) – their ‘Instagram Queen’ so they tell me!
Apart from the music stuff, I am an English Literature and Drama graduate now turned Digital Marketing Masters student from the University Of Salford. It’s fair to say that I have read my share of thick novels and over-bearing Shakespearean plays during the course of the past three years; most of which I enjoyed, some I would place cosily on a high bookshelf with the hope never to see again.
Classics are my favourite; the hard-to-read, fatigue inflicting and unnecessarily descriptive novels- I think stemmed from watching BBC period dramas as an early teen and imagining the scenes that I repeatedly watched as I read them now.
As with most people, I love a good weekend away. I love booking flights to my bucket-list destinations and delving into the food, (yes always food first), drink and culture of different places. I still demand the window seat, and continue to drink from the terrible selection of wines supplied by these cheap, (all-important, needless to say) plane companies.
Five trips abroad in 2015 is my record, but I think visiting 6 European countries in just under 3 weeks thanks to a Contiki coach tour is just as exciting.
South America and Thailand are my next big adventures. 🚲🚲🚲
Here’s an introduction about myself and my interests. I plan to post weekly about my music, reading and travelling adventures and about anything else which brings me to ‘pick up a pen’ and write, (or type on my laptop as the equivalent today).