Monday, 12 October 2009

Wasn't expecting that...

Ooops, for a London boy, I seem to have been thoroughly de-urbanised. Hopped a train into Manchester on Sunday morning on a shopping mission for the first time in ages. It's 33 minutes away and a different universe full of shiny things and people, spending their weekend ogling and buying stuff. People who care about their clothes. And look each other up and down for labels. And have started to do that London thing of retreating into themselves because there simply isn't enough space for too many people.

Felt like an alien floating above it all. Light years away from the urban-savvy London kid I used to be, the one who couldn't imagine living anywhere else and missed the buzz when he was away. I've still got the twitching urban danger antennae, the ones that work everywhere from Brixton to Bogota, but where I used to enjoy the edginess of big cities, now I just find them slightly unsettling.

Did you know that there's a clothes shop in Manchester with a glass frontage lined and columned with dozens of old Singer sewing machines? Fantastic. No idea what it's supposed to say, but it looks amazing.

Did the shopping except for the bits where the shop I wanted had gone. Or relocated. Or been absorbed by some other shop. And wandered slowly back to Piccadily in classic Mancunian murk.

There's something lovely about looking up and seeing sun-stroked hills all around you. Dumped the shopping at home, wolfed some carbs then chucked the Rat in the car - which I'd not normally do - and drove over to Ladybower.

Same place, different day...

Just span gently around the reservoirs on semi-slicks. No rushing, no racing, no hammering. Drinking in spectacular views, chatting to folk along the way, washing the morning's claustrophobia out of my head. And feeling lucky.

ps: It's 33 minutes into Manchester and 31 minutes coming back, what happened to the missing two minutes, can I have them back please?

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