I went to Leicester yesterday. My interweb friend Dave showed me a few pubs. I had a brilliant time.
On the way back I had a genuine “panic on the streets of Birmingham” moment. Yeah, walking around a strange city trying to find a train station that’d supposedly get me to Worcester in the middle of the night.
When stuff goes wrong with the British train system and delays occur, it stuffs everything up, but when it’s running smooth it’s an amazingly excellent way of getting around. It’s sad that New Zealand’s passenger rail system is so minimal. Oh, I weep bitter tears for Tranz Rail.
Oh, I was pleasantly surprised when Dave said he hadn’t heard of the Datsuns. (“But… but… they’ve been on the cover of the NME! They’ve been on “Top of the Pops”!”) Then I realised that the bloody Datsuns were just another cool-in-London band who’ll soon be uncool when the next cool band comes along (and I suspect such a band may have already come along). I’d rather put my money on Daniel Bedingfield.
Yesterday I accidentally stumbled across the site of the Hacienda. I knew it was so because even though the building which housed the legendary night club has been demolished, in its place an apartment building is being constructed. The apartment building is named The Haçienda. Its slogan is something like “The party’s over. It’s time to go home.” Yellow and black faux safety stripes adorn the advertising boards.
Oh, you wanna know what’s very fashionable right now? Burberry. I can’t stand it, but everywhere I look is bloody Burberry. I think it’s popular with young people who have a job but live at home with their mum, so they have a lot of cash to spend on crap.
I just looked out the window and it’s grey and miserable and raining. I wasn’t too impressed when I arrived in Manchester and everything was lovely and sunny. But now today feels more like the lyrics to a Smiths song.
I was walking down a road nearby when I noticed that there were lots of old buildings, then suddenly there was a section of new buildings, then back to the old. It turns out than in 1996 a massive IRA bomb exploded. Fortunately no one was killed. Just like after the German bombing in World War 2, the damaged areas were rebuilt and everyone got on with business. That’s why Manchester is so cool. Really bad stuff happens to it, but it gets on with life.
Righto. I have a bit more sightseeing to do and/or a train to catch.
Oh my God, yes, I’m in Manchester.
I’m so excited. I arrived here yesterday, and I’m going tomorrow, so I’m going to have to pack in a million things today.
Yesterday I went to Urbis, which is a museum dedicated to cities. It was brilliant (see, I’m in England, I just described something as “brilliant”). It was about all the horrible things that make big cities great. One wicked (ditto) thing was an ID card maker. It takes a photo of you, you enter your name, age, location, likes, dislikes and it makes an ID card which you get to stick up on a big wall filled with hundreds of other cards. Ah yes, part of me is stuck in Manchester forever.
I’m considering doing a Smiths pilgrimage, but I don’t know if I can be bothered finding my way out to some suburb to look at something Morrissey had something to do with once. It’s enough fun just being in Manchester, seeing signs pointing to Rusholme, Ancoats, and other places immortalised in Smiths lyrics.
I’m currently at the Museum of Science and Industry, which has free admission and free internet access (sweet as). Oh yeah, yesterday I walked past the Hard Rock cafe. There were a bunch of posters up on the wall advertising various features of the restaurant. There was one poster of a Manchester born musical artist amongst the ads: Mick Hucknell from Simply Red. I mean, really, with Manchester’s incredibly rich history of excellent bands and artists, why pick the ginge? If the Hard Rock cafe had a poster of Bez up I’d go there for sure.
I’m in Stratford-upon-Avon. I haven’t seen anything Shakespearean yet. Should I? Would I regret not seeing some old house where someone did something once?
I’m trying to think of some interesting Paris stories, but all I remember is doing a lot of walking and ending up with really sore feet. Moan, bloody moan.
Tomorrow I think I shall go to Manchester.
Jetlag is when you wake up at 4.00 am and are so bored that you read the Slough Yellow Pages.
Last night a documentary called “The Importance of Being Morrissey” was on Channel 4. Oh my God. It was so bloody excellent.
Today I’m going to France.
I must be quick, because this connection is costing approximately $100,000 per second.