Saturday, 8 September 2007
Sometimes Manchester is a really cool city, this week was one of those times: Autumn sun low in the sky, warming the bodies of people relaxing, kissing, eating and drinking (though not necessarily at the same time) on the grass and around the fountains of Piccadilly Gardens; people strolling loose-limbed around the smart shops on Market Street enjoying the last of the sun - and knowing that in eight or so weeks we'll all be hurrying, heads down, hoods up, against the more usual Manchester rain. Even I, despite being eager to get home after a hard day, slowed my stride to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the street musicians. I was particularly taken by these two men dressed in Native American costumes playing what - at least to my untrained ear - sounded something like music with a nod in the direction of native America. Click on the mini player thing to hear a dreadful recording made on my works (and therefore cheap) mobile telephone.
Ten minutes later sat, having missed the 16.15h train, on the platform of Victoria Station, I even thought the giant CIS building looked picturesque from my vantage point.
The strange thing was, thinking about it afterwards, that the people in Piccadilly were no different to usual: the regular collection of alcohol weathered faces; drug-collapsed casualties; loud students proclaiming the city as their own invention. The difference was in me - the sun warmed me through, making me want to slow down and lengthen my stride and, having done that, I just noticed more.