Monday, May 3, 2004

Manchester stories

Back in London after the train trip through the rolling green hills of sheep country and still thinking about the locals in Manchester.

The small square outside of Urbis was packed with working class teenagers on an (uncharacteristically) sunny Saturday afternoon, and I chatted with a 15 year old goth who had just formed an anarchist collective with three of his mates and they were looking to participate in May Day protests but had been distracted by all the immediate goings-on. He was the lead singer of a band that included a violinist, and had a good sense of humour.

The girls in Manchester are some of the most confident women I have ever seen. Every body shape imaginable was squeezed into super short skirts and super tight tops with plunging necklines. They drink and swear and laugh loudly. I liked them a lot.

Chris and I went for Thai food, and then a pint of Boddington's in Manchester's Gay Village, a really welcoming area where the ebb and flow of the crowd added new meaning to mobility.

An older man - drunk and unhappy - stopped and told me that he wished he had met me before he had met his wife, but then that would be a shame because it would make me an old woman, and I was young and pretty. He had a tattoo of her name on his arm, and I suspect they had a very good life together. She was dead, and he said he was waiting to die. I resisted the urge to wipe the tears welling in his grey eyes.

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