Tag Archives: Manchester

Rally round the family with a pocket full of shells…because there will be no pictures of you and Willie May pushing that shopping cart down the block on the dead run, or trying to slide that color television into a stolen ambulance

*sigh* People, let’s talk about this UK riot situation.

I know, I know. It was a whole week ago, now. Aaaages ago. But, in the grand tradition of CP time…here we go.

First, the factual, woman on the street stuff. I’m bad at that, so I’m going to send you  here, to  Spinster’s Compass, where a fellow expat(and ‘net friend) breaks down the aftermath of the London riots in pictures and video interviews. Very well done, and worth a look.

For what happened in my city, the good ol’ Manky Manc, check out this blog entry over at Talking To Myself…a quick bird’s eye view from someone who lives in the Manchester city centre, practically.

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Panic in the streets of London! Panic in the streets of Birmingham…

I wonder to myself…

~sigh~ Yeah. So, to interrupt our not-so-regularly scheduled travelogue series…

So, this happened…this being stealing in the name of rioting. Or rioting in the name of stealing. Either way, I’m still connecting my thoughts on it all, and will be posting something proper on it over the weekend.

Meanwhile, take it away, Morrissey…

We’re all going on a summer holiday…

One of my besties from the USA is touching ground in Manchester today, and for the next three weeks we’ll be traveling around Europe. It’ll be very surreal having him here. This is the first time in 5 years that anyone from the USA has come to visit me here in England. To say that I’m excited would be a major understatement.

I may do a couple of super-quick posts from the road, but obviously, posting will be back to sparse around here for the month.

Meanwhile, all my English friends keep singing this song at me. It took me ages to figure out what it’s from and now that I have…I don’t get it. At all. This is one of those intensely British pop culture things that never made it across the pond…

So, without further ado, here’s Cliff Richard, with “Summer Holiday”…

Kick, push, kick, push…

So I often wish that I was one of those people who can turn anything into a treatise on the deeper things in life. Some people can see a red apple in a green bowl and turn it into a discourse on diversity, a treatise on terraforming, a manifesto on a myriad of things. I don’t really have that skill.

Me, I say, “gee, look, an apple.” And I thoroughly expect that to speak for itself. It’s not that I don’t see the deeper things inherent in daily life, it’s just that I don’t think that they really need explaining that often. They’re just there. So maybe an apple in a bowl could mean something deep, but the very act of explaining it removes some of the power of that meaning. Just say it once, and answer questions later if need be, but constantly explaining something dries it out, robs it of it’s juices. I’m a firm believer in the notion that it’s only when a group of people instinctively understand the underlying concepts behind a thing are they able to really live those concepts out. Until then, you can explain until you’re blue in the face, but all it does is add words to the experience, not meaning. Why would someone care that apples are in a bowl if they didn’t know apples are edible? Maybe there would be some aesthetic appreciation, but true beauty is holistic…not just in the looks of a thing, but also it’s form and function. Seriously, would butterflies still be beautiful if they didn’t fly? What if they hopped from place to place like little etheareally-winged insectoid frogs?

For that matter, would frogs be prettier if they flew?

Ooooookay, so anyway back on Earth…

I want to tell you all about my day today, but it’s been one of my typical fragmented-but-busy days, so I don’t really know how to describe it. I’ve been on the phone, researching, reading, writing, and visiting.  I’ve been meant to clean this house, but I’ve settled for just straightening things up behind myself instead. I’m one of those horrible people who is very clean but not at all neat…so while everything in my house is reasonably sterile, nothing actually appears safe for human consumption. Add in a housemate who is very neat but not at all clean, and I’m amazed that anybody ever comes to visit me. Between the two of us, we’re a professional biohazard. Ugh.

Anyway, that’s all pretty boring. Let me tell you *one thing* about my day. I was walking back to my house from town today because I’ve decided that while I’m the governor of my own time, I might as well use it to explore and experience, as well as do…so I’m walking all over Manchester, wandering in and out of places, indulging in a lot of chilled conversations with people here and there because for once, I can. Anyway, I’m walking up some road or other, and I run into this teenage boy, about thirteen, who comes to youth club sometimes. I haven’t seen him a lot, but he’s instantly recognizable because he has an afro that could cover the heads of ten grown people, usually cornrowed into a bunch of midback length plaits. Anyway, I see this guy, morosely staring down at this battered and very dangerous looking skateboard, and I say hiya, y’alright. Or at least, I try to. It  comes out sounding like, “Hey y’all! What’s up?” for whatever reason. We have one of those lazy summer conversations about the weather, what we’re up to(Me:nothing really. Him: learning to ride a skateboard), where we’re going(Me:nowhere really. Him: his cousins house).

Anyway, somehow the conversation ends with me saying, hey, lemme see you ride the skateboard. To my surprise, the guy says, “sure!”, jumps on the skateboard, and nearly runs the board off the pavement and into the very busy street. This is quite a feat, considering that this is also the slowest that I have ever seen anybody ride a skateboard…we’re talking sloooooooow. Like maybe 5 miles-per-year. Two wheel rotations a minute.  At which point I say a whole lot of “holy crap”, and “you almost got hit by a car” and “never do that again! Do you want to die young?” At least I try to say all that, but damn the accent, it comes out sounding like, “Wicked! Do that again…but on the side of the pavement that’s  away from the road.”

And I got rewarded for that with a dazzling smile and the company of this kid all the way up to my road…weaving around me on that epically slow skateboard, not saying much, just concentrating on riding the board, and constantly looking back at me to see if I was watching. I didn’t say much, just offered a few thumbs up whenever he got the board going and the occasional be careful! and watch out for that car!

There’s no point to this story really, but it’s probably the best thing that’s happened to me all day.  I’m discovering that I really treasure time spent with people that doesn’t revolve around an event or some media product. I really felt honored, in a way, that this particular teenage boy was willing to put up with me outside of youth club and show me a few tricks on his skateboard. Considering that I’m always threatening to evict him from said youth club, it’s even nicer to have a moment to chill that doesn’t involve me saying “Stop that right now or I’ll–” at all.

Anyway, eventually our paths diverged. He went off to his cousin’s house(he’ll probably get there next year sometime) and I came back home to deal with phone calls and paperwork and attempt some multi-tasking. Primarily I got distracted by IM and Facebook and heaven only knows what else, but I did get a few things done.   Don’t know that I got much accomplished, but oh well. Can’t knock it out the park every time up at bat.

But on that note, I’m going to go accomplish some sweet dreams…taking a page from the wonderful Adis!, good night! Now go to bed!