Just a few brief things I never got around to mentioning about my trip to Manchester:
- Walking home one night I passed an old lady who looked at me and said “Piss off!” with more than a little conviction.
- More than once I saw a guy riding a vespa up and down Oxford road on a Vespa with about ten rear-view mirrors mounted on either side.
- At the Waterstone’s bookstore on St. Ann’s square there were several copies of both novels by my friend Dave. Each had a beautiful cover, different than the American editions. The Coffee Trader was displayed somewhat prominently in the historical fiction section of the store.
- The lamposts in the park in front of my bed and breakfast featured such political stickers as “Don’t attack Iraq. No war but class war.” and “No muggers or burglars. This is a working-class neighborhood. Don’t steal from your own.”
- A rather large flock of pigeons was loitering in the park every morning as I walked through on my way to the library. One morning they all launched into flight just a few feet off the ground, took a slow, graceful turn towards me, and for a few seconds I was surrounded by them. It created the strange sensation of being in flight myself.
Without a blog, I’m not sure I would have noted all of these details. Lately, I find myself “blogging in my head,” to quote Liz Lawley, working to file experiences away in my brain for write-up later. I like the way it seems to make me more attentive to the here-and-now, even as I cast my mind forward to what I might write about in the near future.