This week I made a short visit to Manchester, a city in the north of England that can be found on any map by simply looking at the wrong side of the Pennines. It was there that a large group of people who like blue things had decided to have a big meeting, though it was a bit different to the other meetings I went to because the people who like blue things seemed pretty sure they were in charge of everyone else, no matter what colour anyone else liked best. They spent a lot of time talking about how only old people like blue things and whether there was a way to convince young people that blue things are best. Outside the conference there were lots of noisy people who had big blue flags with little yellow stars on them, but strangely, none of the people who like blue things seemed to like the people with big blue flags even though the big blue flags were almost entirely blue.
Having had this experience, it is now traditional that I should share what I learned with the Beans.
The first thing I learned is that it rains in Manchester. I arrived under grey skies but it was dry. I walked ten minutes to the hotel. I checked into the hotel. I emerged again from the hotel, on my way to work, to find that it had started doing something that I can only describe as “rain”, though “rain” does not adequately describe the volume of water coming down from the sky. It rained for almost the whole of the rest of my stay.
My shoes were not waterproof. There are holes. They need replacing. They should, I now see, have been replaced some time ago. I spent the day with waterlogged feet. They did not dry for three days. I think I have trench foot.
The second thing I learned is that Manchester doesn’t like people who like blue things. There were a lot of Manchester people shouting at the people who like blue things and someone hung a big banner on a bridge that said HANG THE PEOPLE WHO LIKE BLUE THINGS. Maybe they distrust blue things because the sky is blue when it’s not raining and it’s always raining in Manchester.
The third thing I learned is that Manchester is bad at breakfast. The coffee was bad and the toast was bad and the bacon was bad and the only fruit was melon, cut up four different ways in four different bowls to make it look like there was lots of fruit, and worst of all, there was no jam. No jam at all.
There was also the saddest breakfast table in the world.
I mean look at that. There were two sad little stools under what appears to be a coffee table. Nobody was sitting there. Nobody would ever sit there. It’s a stupid place to have breakfast. Just like Manchester.
20 comments on “Report from Manchester”
I think a lot of Manchester likes red things, though half likes light blue things. It may have something to to with leather balls and chasing them round a field, but I’m not sure. Were there any light blue things at the meeting?
Maybe that’s the breakfast shelf. A breakfast shelf is a thing right?
Also Manchester is not in the North of England. It’s somewhere approaching the middle. It likes to think that it’s Northerly but it’s not.
My general rule is anything south of Doncaster is southern. I think it just about creeps in.
I didn’t see many light blue things or many red things. Most of the people at the meeting looked like they would die if asked to chase a leather ball round a field. A clear majority of them were so old they looked like their faces may have been made from old leather balls.
Did you kick their faces round a field instead then? If they looked like balls then the confusion would be expected, surely.
No. If you know anything about me then you should know that I am not the sort of person who, on seeing something that looks like a ball, wants to kick it around a field.
I know that you once had a Yorkshire accent… does that count?
Kev, didn’t he play for West Bromwich Albion from 1977-79?
I gave my Yorkshire accent to a charity shop in an ill-advised clear out circa 2009.
For shame, Christopher, for shame. Now some Cockney wide boy or lady is walking around with a very confusing accent.
Can you imagine bumping into some poor old dear with Chris’ voice? Can you?
I try not to bump into any Cockney wide ladies if I can help it, but it’s tricky because they take up so much of the pavement.
Was Bum-Chinned Bollock-Necked Magee a Cockney wide lady?
No. She was a Cockney Arsefaced Lady.
There’s not much else to say to that other than, ham?
Was that the end of the sentence or did you get distracted by some ham before you finished it?
I wouldn’t like to say. It’d spoil the nuance… (?)
In which case all that remains is for me to make an unexpected reference to Dolly Parton.
Is it Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene?
No. It was where I unexpectedly named her in the previous comment. We’re done here. Let it go.