Friday, October 22, 2004

Everybody's Working for the Weekend

Or so it seems. Me, I have figured out long ago that to hang out for the weekend as soon as Monday rolls around means you lose 5 days in the process with all the waiting that ensues. Getting to old to lose 5 days a week thanks. So rather than regale you with what I am going to do in the next 2 days, I will fill in what I've done in the past 5.

I will start by painting a back drop of what has been going on around me to give you a context. Autumn is in full swing here in Manchester and as I moaned earlier in the week about the rain and the slimy leaves I will not carry on that vein as there is an upside. The end of October means that we stop saving daylight and we promptly waste it in one last burst before darkness descends. That is not so bad as we then have November which is generally crisp and bright when the sun is out but imagine if you can, that even if you look it in the face, it gives you no warmth. Winter really means business up here in the north.

The lead up to Christmas is jolly indeed. I have mentioned in years past about the German markets that magically arrive overnight in late November in the various squares around the city centre and proceed to emit mouth-watering aromas until December 22. From anywhere within a half mile radius of them you can easily smell spicy mulled wine, those gorgeous pork sausages you get with a plate of those fabby little noodle things, waffles and crepes. OK, you can't exactly smell waffles from half a mile away but I just know they are there.

The Christmas decorations go up, the tree in Albert Square (which has already been erected I should point out) is festooned with a million fairy lights and you start to sense that suppressed air of panic and desperation that only surrounds Marks & Spencers, Selfridges and Argos this time of year. Actually, take that as a warning to avoid these places of business on any given Saturday between now and December 24. To be honest, you would be best to avoid the centre of Manchester in completely.

This week I watched trees everywhere lose the bulk of their leaves in the face of the gale force winds that I am sure moved the British Isles a few feet west last night. We ventured out in this tumult on Wednesday night for a meal and to see the Finn Brothers live at the Apollo. I am sure I have said before how much I like the Apollo. It is an ancient venue in Manchester that for all its decrepitness retains this elaborate gilt ceiling that curves like the back of some huge whale which stands to remind us what a grand old dame she once was. I admire her style. No matter who I see play there (New Order, Underworld, Doves) I still get a buzz for the vibe is so good.

Neil and Tim Finn were fantastic. Songs from Split Enz to Crowded House which cover a period of over 20 years - a reasonably scary thought given I knew the words to all of them. I loved hearing Four Seasons in One Day as I was never organised enough to get myself to a Crowded House gig in years gone by and that is probably the only time I will ever hear it sung by both of them. Unlike Ian who has already seen them in London, Bradford and will be seeing them in Liverpool next Tuesday on this tour. Have I mentioned he is a huge fan? We managed to hail the only cab in sight right outside the Apollo which was just as well cause I was in dire need of a pee!

Last night I went to PJ's for a girly night in. I got there in time to play with Trinity, bath her and get her ready for bed. This did not involve however my taking my eyes off her for a split second giving her time rolled over suddenly and clonk her head on the wooden sofa frame. She screamed blue murder, more from shock than pain I suspect, so I bundled her up in my arms and made quiet shushing noises till she unruffled. To be honest I was surprised that I managed to get her to calm down on my own and when PJ appeared a few moments later Trinity was smiling. At least I know that when I look after her on my own for a while night next weekend I can manage to bring tranquillity to her little soul.

I used a little more baby bath gel than I am sure she is used to for she spent the entire time trying to work out what the white, fluffy stuff surrounding her and why it tasted so strange. She was also bemused by the fact that her brigade of rubber ducks, which she can normally spot in the clear water, were nowhere in sight. It was quite amusing to watch this normally fearless child behave so tentatively.

PJ and I then watched Mona Lisa Smile which was ok if not pretty much the inverse of Dead Poet's Society. I really want to believe that 1950's America was not as bad as that but I dare say it was. In a disconcerting way I could not help believing that the dressed up prejudices against women and those less priviledged that prevailed then still underpin middle America today. Not to mention those who rule over her. Still, not a bad way to spend an evening when outside the wind and rain howled around the house.

I have a night in alone tonight as Ian is on a late shift. I like these night. I like the space and time to just potter around and not have to think being somewhere or doing something. The only things on the agenda are make a vegetarian lasagne, open a bottle of red wine and find something to watch on telly. Oh, and to drag my duvet (doona) down to the sofa for the wind is still whipping its over England and if I am going to be sitting in a football stadium tomorrow somewhere in the Midlands, I want to be warm tonight.

Reading: Uncle Tungsten, Oliver Sacks
Listening to: Everyone is Here, Finn Brothers (courtesy of Tim the iPod)


Blogger OMIH said...


The email I sent to your brother was returned. Can you double check it or send me a another email address.

Whoo hoo - just seen that the Guardian has taken up my "buy a brick" campaign.



2:00 PM  

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